USDOT Waives Interstate Size/Weight Regs for Fuel Haulers Making Emergency Deliveries
Washington D.C. – The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) has issued additional waivers for fuel haulers directly engaged in relief efforts in the wake of a growing fuel distribution crisis.
On Tuesday night, the USDOT said in a release it was suspending certain size and weight requirements for semi-tankers hauling overweight loads of gasoline (and other fuels) along U.S. Interstate highways in the States impacted by the ongoing emergency.
“The White House and DOT have determined that previous declarations of ‘major disaster’ issued by the President within the past 120 days allow States covered by those declarations to use Interstate highways in their State to transport overweight loads of gasoline and other fuels,” the USDOT said. “Each State must continue to follow its own procedures for issuance of special permits authorizing the loads, but the added flexibility announced today lawfully permits these trucks to run on the Interstate Highway System and other Federal highways.”
The ten States covered under these new waivers include: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.
This latest action by the Department comes only about 48 hours after the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a Regional Emergency Declaration suspending hours of service regulations for fuel haulers providing direct aid into more than a dozen states and the District of Columbia.
According to the USDOT, the States and jurisdictions now currently under a emergency declaration include: Alabama, Arkansas, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.
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In response to the growing crisis in their respective states, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper (D) and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) each declared a State of Emergency on Tuesday.
As part of those emergency declarations, both governors issued waivers pertaining to weight, height, length and width restrictions (and penalties) for fuel haulers engaged in direct relief assistance.
It’s likely more governors will soon take similar actions especially given that conditions are expected to worsen… at least in the short term.
According to the popular gas tracking app Gas Buddy, as of late Tuesday night, 1,800 stations are currently out of gasoline across Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Maryland and Virginia.
TransportationNation.com will continue to closely monitor new developments.