NACS joined with three other fuel retailing industry groups in asking the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to issue a national hours-of-service waiver for the transportation of fuel in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 crisis.
FMCSA previously issued an HOS waiver for truck drivers moving essential goods in support of emergency relief efforts due to the national emergency but didn’t include fuel in the order.
“We support the HOS Waiver for the delivery of essential supplies critical to supporting public health during this crisis. Without access to fuel, however, manufacturers are unable to provide supplies to hospitals, businesses, and homes. Moreover, workers at essential businesses—including first responders and hospital workers—need fuel to get to their jobs. In addition, emergency response vehicles need uninhibited access to fuel,” the groups said in a letter addressed to FMCSA Acting Administrator James A. Mullen.
In addition to NACS, the letter was signed by the National Association of Truckstop Operators, Petroleum Marketers Association of America and Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America. Click here to read the letter.
The groups told Mullen that fuel retailers in some states are seeing consumers rush to the pumps. “Issuing a nationwide HOS Waiver for the transportation of fuel will help mitigate a broader run on fuel.”
What’s more, “there is currently a national shortage of drivers. Losing drivers due to illness or quarantine will only amplify the shortage of drivers making a nationwide HOS Waiver for the transportation of fuel even more necessary.”
Separately, Indiana issued an executive order waiving HOS regulations for motor carriers and drivers of commercial vehicles transporting goods to Indiana businesses due to the public health emergency declared for the coronavirus until April 5, unless terminated or further extended by the governor. HOS will be waived for the delivery of food, goods and items to Indiana businesses for use by the public, and items for emergency preparedness and relief supplies/services. The order includes the transport of propane and fuel.
NACS has compiled resources to help the convenience retail community navigate the COVID-19 crisis. For news updates and guidance, visit our coronavirus resources page.