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Numerous HOS Exemptions Issued, Extended Due to Extreme Weather


The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is coordinating with the following states that have Declared Emergency Declarations. We recommend you check each State’s Web site and search for “Issued Emergency Declarations” if you are interested in more details. For those carriers or drivers interested in providing services or need to understand FMCSA regulations, the following applies:

Emergency Declaration Information
To provide vital supplies and transportation services to a disaster area in the United States, emergency declarations may be issued by the President, Governors of States, or FMCSA. These declarations trigger the temporary suspension of certain Federal safety regulations, including Hours of Service, for motor carriers and drivers engaged in specific aspects of the emergency relief effort. See 49 CFR 390.23 for the actual emergency regulation.

Relief from Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations is limited to a maximum of 30 days, unless extended by FMCSA itself.

The information below reflects currently available relief:

  1. These Federal exemptions, when in effect, only apply to 49 CFR Parts 390-399. They do NOT apply to CDL, drug/alcohol, hazardous materials, size & weight, or State/Federal registration and tax requirements. (However, a Governor’s Declaration may add some of those exemptions—read the declaration for details.)
  2. Even if an Emergency Declaration is still in effect, the emergency must be on-going and you must be providing direct emergency relief in order to be exempt from safety regulations.
  3. The list of Emergency Declarations below may not be complete. Declarations may be in effect even if not listed here.
  4. Drivers and carriers should coordinate with State and Federal emergency officials before providing assistance.
  5. Even though safety regulations may be suspended, drivers and carriers are expected to use good judgment and not operate vehicles with fatigued or ill drivers, or under any conditions presenting a clear hazard to other motorists using the highways.

FMCSA will update the Web site as new information becomes available.



DR 14-02

WHEREAS: A winter weather system containing extremely cold temperatures and heavy snow in the northern states has resulted in Arkansas’s propane supplies being shared with those affected northern states; and

WHEREAS: The extreme weather conditions surrounding Arkansas are forecast to arrive in our State and the surrounding areas, requiring liquefied petroleum gas transporters to travel further distances to secure propane to meet the needs of consumers in Arkansas and its neighboring states, creating an emergency situation that is limiting the delivery of propane gas; and

WHEREAS: 49 C.F.R. Section 390.23 authorizes a state governor to declare a regional emergency during the duration of the emergency conditions, not to exceed thirty (30) days from the date of the initial declaration of emergency, and to exempt any motor carrier or driver operating a commercial motor vehicle to provide direct assistance in providing emergency relief during an emergency from Parts 390 through 399 of Chapter 49, Code of Federal Regulations;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, MIKE BEEBE, Governor of the State of Arkansas, acting under the authority vested in me by Act 511 of 1973, as amended, do hereby declare that a state of emergency exists in the State of Arkansas insofar as applied to commercial carriers hauling liquefied petroleum products to customers in Arkansas, and said state of emergency and the provisions of this proclamation shall exist and be in effect through January 17, 2014, or until such time as emergency conditions shall cease to exist, whichever is sooner.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of Arkansas to be affixed this 3rd day of January, in the year of our Lord 2014.



AUGUSTA—Governor Paul R. LePage has signed a second limited Emergency Proclamation that will allow Maine fuel transport and delivery trucks to drive additional hours to ensure timely heating fuel deliveries during the unusually cold weather that is expected over the next several days.

“The recent ice and snow storms have hampered efforts for oil delivery trucks to deliver fuel, which is one reason this declaration is being extended,” Governor LePage said. “The declaration allows heating fuel to be delivered to Maine families when they need it most. Keeping homes warm is critical to protect the public health and safety of Mainers.”

Propane has been in short supply, and the situation is expected to worsen as demand increases due to cold weather. The supply from Canada has been impacted because the Northern Rail Route is closed due to the tragic accident at Lac Megantic. Additionally, a train carrying crude oil in North Dakota that collided Monday with another train may impact the supply.

Propane has been sent to dry crops in the west because of wet weather, which means fewer trucks are available from other parts of the country. Because of these factors, propane inventories are 25% lower than normal in Maine, and fewer outside haulers are available to come to Maine.

More than home heating fuels are impacted: fuels used in manufacturing, business heating, fork lift and other vehicle operations are also affected.

Much colder than normal weather is expected over next 30 days. The Governor’s proclamation waives U.S. Department of Transportation rules and extends the hours of service for heating fuel transport and delivery trucks within the State of Maine for two weeks. On Dec. 13, Governor LePage issued the same Declaration of Emergency to ensure fuel deliveries to Maine homes.

The Declaration language is as follows:

Governor’s Emergency Proclamation for US-DOT Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Hours of Service Waiver WHEREAS, Maine is experiencing artic cold temperatures and dangerous wind chills; and

WHEREAS, this cold weather is expected to continue for the next several days affecting the entire State; and

WHEREAS, heating fuel in Maine is in great demand because of the cold; and

WHEREAS, federal motor carrier safety regulations determine the number of hours the drivers of heating fuel and bulk petroleum delivery and transport vehicles may operate; and

WHEREAS, many drivers in the State will shortly be approaching their federal limit on hours of operation and may have to cease delivery of heating fuel and bulk petroleum fuels; and

WHEREAS, these conditions threaten public health and safety and endanger public property if heating fuels cannot be transported or delivered within the State of Maine; and

WHEREAS, the declaration of a State of Emergency will facilitate the granting of a waiver from the U.S. Department of Transportation – Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, pursuant to 49 CFR part 390.23 to allow relief from 49 CFR parts 390 through 399, specifically 49 CFR part 395 Hours of Service of Drivers, and subject to the limitations described below, and therefore allow heating fuel and bulk petroleum delivery and transport drivers to operate additional hours; and

WHEREAS, motor carriers that have an Out-Of-Service Order in effect may not take advantage of the relief from regulation that such a declaration provides under 49 CFR 390.23,

NOW THEREFORE, I, Paul R. LePage, Governor of the State of Maine, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of Maine, find that these conditions constitute a civil emergency under 37-B M.R.S.A. section 742, and for the purpose pursuant to 49 CFR part 390.23 of facilitating a waiver to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, specifically 49 CFR part 395 Hours of Service of Drivers, do hereby declare that a State of Emergency for fuel drivers operating within the State of Maine exists as of December 31, 2013 through January 18, 2014.

Pursuant to this declaration, I hereby order the following: No motor carrier operating under the terms of this emergency declaration shall require or allow an ill or fatigued driver to operate a motor vehicle. A driver who notifies a motor carrier that he or she needs immediate rest shall be given a least ten (10) consecutive hours off-duty before the driver is required to return to service.

Paul R. LePage

Related Documents

Governor Extends Limited Emergency to Ensure Fuel Deliveries to Maine Homes



Massachusetts Governor Patrick has issued emergency exemptions for drivers hauling propane, heating oil and diesel fuel.

Massachusetts Governor Declares an Emergency Pertaining to the Transportation of Propane Gas, Heating Oil and Diesel Fuel (PDF)

Follow this link to Massachusetts exemption information. 



Michigan Governor Snyder has issued temporary emergency exemptions for drivers hauling propane. The exemption was issued on December 20, and expires on January 10.

Michigan Governor Issues Emergency Declaration Due to Propane Shortage (PDF)

New Hampshire

Propane, gasoline, diesel and fuel oil to distributers, residential and businesses. 

Pursuant to 49 CFR Section 390.23 and New Hampshire RSA 266:72-a, the New Hampshire Department of Safety declares that an emergency exists pertaining to the delivery of propane, gasoline, diesel, and fuel oil to distributors, residential and business establishments within the State of New Hampshire.

The emergency exemption is issued in connection with anticipated emergency conditions from a shortage of propane at Sea-3 in Portsmouth, two major winter storms in a row, and a period of sub-zero temperatures, all of which have resulted in hazardous driving conditions and extra demands on fuel supplies. It is deemed that a declaration of emergency is required to ensure the continuation of these essential services to both residential and commercial establishments and government buildings within the State.

As a result of the emergency conditions, the following Declaration of Emergency is ordered:

  1. Relief from the Hours of Service Regulations contained in 49 CFR 395.3 of the Federal Motor Carrier Regulations adopted pursuant to RSA 266:72-a, for motor carriers providing delivery of propane, gasoline, diesel, and fuel oil to distributors, homes, businesses and government buildings within the State of New Hampshire. The relief also applies to motor carriers engaged in the transportation of such products from terminal locations to local delivery companies.
  2. No motor carrier operating under the terms of this declaration shall require or allow a fatigued or ill driver to operate a motor vehicle. A driver who informs a carrier that he or she needs immediate rest shall be given at least ten consecutive hours’ off-duty before the driver is required to return to service.
  1. Motor Carriers that have an Out of Service Order in effect cannot take advantage of the relief from regulations that this declaration provides under Title 49 CFR 390.23.
  2. Nothing contained in this declaration shall be construed as an exemption from the Controlled Substances and Alcohol Use and Testing requirements, Commercial Driver’s License requirements, Financial Responsibility requirements, Size and Weight requirements or any other portion of the regulations not specifically identified.
  3. Drivers for motor carriers that operate under this Declaration of Emergency Notice must have a copy in their possession.
  4. Consistent with Title 49 CFR Part 390.23, this Emergency Declaration has been extended through midnight on January 11, 2014.
  5. Drivers who utilize this exemption may come back into compliance and restart the hours of service clock after taking 24 hours off-duty at the end of their period of extended hours.

Issued at 4:00pm on December 27, 2013. Signed,

Earl M. Sweeney
Assistant Commissioner
New Hampshire Department of Safety

New Jersey


Effective December 20, through January 11, Governor Christie has issued an emergency exemption for those who transport propane.

New Jersey Governor Issues Emergency Declaration Due to Propane Shortage (PDF)

State of Emergency issued.

New Jersey Governor Declares a State of Emergency (PDF)



Vermont has extended the exemption for drivers hauling propane.  The exemption is in effect until January 13.

Vermont Extends Emergency Declaration Pertaining to Delivery of Propane (PDF)



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