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Thursday, April 22, 2021

FMCSA Declares Emergency for Cold Wave

It was but five months ago that the FMCSA declared a regional emergency for the west coast states in response to rampant wildfires in...

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FMCSA Extends Cold Emergency for Six States

We wrote how we thought this state of emergency would not need an extension, and in twenty-eight cases, we were right. At the same time, some states were hit harder by the cold weather than others. As such, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is expanding the state of emergency in these six states.

Regional Emergency Details

The declaration of extension says directly that “…emergency conditions in the Affected States have not abated…” This is not to say that the tumultuous cold is still there, but that the lingering effects still leave a mark on communities. For example, over a quarter-million Texans are still without running water in their homes.

Affected States

  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Oklahoma
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia

The extension has also been modified on what hauled items count as eligible for the hours-of-service exemption:

  • Supplies
  • Goods
  • Equipment
  • Heating fuels (propane, natural gas, heating oil)
  • Other fuels (gasoline, diesel, etc.)

The most notable change is that moving people in and out of the Affected States is no longer qualified, perhaps because the worst of the emergency, the chilling storm, is behind us.

Additionally, as what is par for the course, nothing in the declaration and its extension is to be construed as an invitation to break other laws and regulations regarding commercial truck operations.

Conclusion

We would love to say that this regional emergency will not be extended again, but because the emergency relates more to the fallout of the extreme weather more than the weather itself, it is anyone’s guess as to when the state of emergency will be fully resolved. Hopefully those quarter-million Texans will have proper plumbing again soon.

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