South Dakota responded to the problem of a tight market for fuel tankers by extending the hours of service allowed for oil deliveries until August 16.
Although the statement is a state departure from federal rules, a spokesperson for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said such action was legal.
âGovernors can issue emergency declarations,â said Duane DeBruyne, spokesperson for the FMCSA, in an email to FreightWaves.
Additionally, a spokesperson for South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (pictured above), who issued the executive order and declaration of emergency, said federal law allows a governor to declare the state emergency override of federal rules for 30 days.
âWe consulted with many stakeholders before making the decision, including the FMCSA, our Department of Public Safety, as well as fuel producers, wholesale distributors and end users,â said Ian Fury, spokesperson. word of Noem, in an email to FreightWaves.
The suspension of federal hours of service rules covers deliveries of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and ethyl alcohol. In a somewhat vague restriction, South Dakota said companies “cannot require or allow tired drivers to make deliveries.”
It also states that a driver who “informs a carrier that he needs immediate rest must be given adequate rest before the driver is obliged to return to service”.
âThe people of South Dakota are facing extremely low inventory and outages,â Noem said in his executive order, adding that normal supplies are not expected until âearly fallâ.
Among the areas where the supply of drivers has been restricted, deliveries of fuel from tankers have been particularly noted. One-off shortages and station closures have been reported.
However, the Department of Energy’s weekly data on supply and demand does not show a significant drop in the product supplied, the category that represents deliveries. In the first week of July, gasoline deliveries of 10.55 million barrels per day to the United States were the highest one-week figure in data history since 2018. The most recent figure , for the July 7 report covering the previous week, reached 9.85 million barrels per day. This was only slightly lower than the second week of July in recent years, but still slightly above 2019.
Most of the other state of emergency declarations currently listed by the FMCSA are linked to either states affected by Tropical Storm Elsa or wildfires in the west.
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