Last week, in response to the emergency conditions created by Subtropical Storm Alberto, several states in the south, along with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), issued waivers and temporary suspension of hours of service requirements and certain fees so that emergency relief efforts in providing supplies, goods and services could move more quickly. Here are the specific waivers:
Alabama—On May 26, the Governor of Alabama issued a proclamation declaring a state of emergency and waiving hours of service requirements “as it relates to providing emergency or disaster related materials, supplies, goods and services.” The waiver applies only to drivers providing “direct assistance” and is in effect for 30 days.
Florida—On May 26, the Governor of Florida issued an executive order allowing for hours of service to be waived for drivers responding to emergency conditions created by Subtropical Storm Alberto. Pursuant to that executive order, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles waived hours of service requirements for vehicles “providing emergency relief.” The waiver is in effect for 30 days from the date of the executive order.
North Carolina—On May 30, the Governor of North Carolina declared a state of emergency and waived hours of service requirements. The intent is to ease the transportation of “essential fuels, food, water, medical supplies and feed for livestock and poultry.” The waiver is effective for 30 days in the following counties: Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Burke, Buncombe, Cabarrus, Caldwell, Catawba, Cherokee, Clay, Cleveland, Gaston, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Iredell, Lincoln, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mecklenburg, Mitchell, Polk, Rowan, Rutherford, Stanly, Swain, Transylvania, Union, Watauga, and Wilkes.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration— On May 27, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a regional declaration of emergency waiving hours of service and other requirements due to Subtropical Storm Alberto. Specifically, FMCSA notes that the declaration is needed to respond to anticipated fuel shortages, “which will create a need for immediate transportation of fuel products, including gasoline, diesel fuels, kerosene, jet fuel, aviation fuel, aviation gasoline, propane and home heating oil.” States covered by this declaration include Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas. The declaration is in effect until June 27.
On May 26, the FMCSA issued a notice of enforcement discretion saying it would not enforce the Temporary Operating Authority Registration fee in order to facilitate emergency assistance (which is related to the regional declaration of emergency issued on May 27). As such, drivers providing direct assistance to the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas related to the storm Alberto are generally covered under this notice. The fee waiver expires on June 27.
For convenience retailers, preparing ahead of a storm can be crucial to staying open and in business for residents and emergency personnel. NACS has many resources to assist retailers in disaster preparedness, relief and recovery.