The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently issued its Final Rule, titled "Clarification to the Application of Emergency Exemptions." This rule came in response to concerns raised from its initial rule proposal last December, where FMCSA had suggested shortening the standard duration of a regional hours of service waiver from 30 days to just 5 days.
However, FMCSA received feedback from various entities, including the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA), which argued that more than 5 days might be needed to address specific emergencies. In response to these concerns, FMCSA revised the automatic regulatory relief duration triggered by a regional emergency declaration to 14 days.
Moreover, the Final Rule mentions that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) acknowledges that there are situations where emergency declarations are made before a foreseeable event, like a hurricane, blizzard, or flooding. The National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) plans to leverage this statement to support the idea of getting advance declarations for temporary changes in hours during the upcoming winter season, particularly if these changes are necessary to help communities prepare better for severe weather conditions.