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States and U.S. DOT Issue HOS Waivers

The Federal Motor carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and governors of several states have issued emergency waivers of driver hours-of-service (HOS) requirements for heating fuels and other products, reports the New England Fuel Institute. “The combination of the state HOS waivers and the federal regional waiver essentially creates a blanket HOS exemption across the Northeast, subject to some important restrictions,” NEFI President and CEO Sean Cota writes in an email to members. (To see details of current regional HOS waivers, visit the NEFI website, www.nefi.com.)

“First, the waivers have different lengths of duration. The state governors and the FMCSA will make their own individual determinations as to whether their respective emergency waivers will be extended. Some states may terminate the waivers earlier depending on whether the emergency conditions that support them continue to exist,” Cota writes.

“Second, the emergency waivers differ on the type of fuel they cover. All states require drivers to keep a copy of the emergency waiver in their possession while on duty with the possible exception of New Hampshire. The New Hampshire waiver does not affirmatively state that the driver must have a waiver in possession. However, it is a good idea for drivers to carry the waiver nonetheless,” Cota writes.

“Third, it is important to remember that drivers returning to duty after the termination of the emergency waiver must take the required rest period before returning to duty,” Cota notes in his email. “The rest period could be 8 hours or 34 hours depending on the time the driver worked during the previous shift or 7/8 day work period. Check with your state’s motor carrier enforcement authority to determine the length of rest period required for drivers to return to regular duty status. NEFI will update the information in this alert as it becomes available.”

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a regional driver hours of service waiver for the interstate transport of fuel products throughout the New England and New York region, NEFI reports:

  • The federal hours of service waiver applies to interstate drivers transporting heating oil, propane and fuels into, from or between the following states: Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York and New Jersey (see waiver for a complete list of additional states).
  • The interstate HOS waiver will remain in effect for the duration of the emergency or until 11:59 P.M. on January 14, 2018, whichever occurs first.
  • Click here for a copy of the FMCSA waiver.
  • Motor carriers subject to an out of service order may not operate under the emergency waiver.

NEFI further reports that the governors of the following states have issued hours of service waivers for intrastate divers hauling: Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont.

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