U.S. Department of Transportation Proposes Exemption for Drivers Transporting Ammonia

Department of Transportation LogoThe Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (“FMSCA”) recently announced its intent to grant a limited, two-year exemption from federal hours of service rules for certain drivers engaged in the transportation of ammonia. The FMSCA, a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation, is currently seeking public comments regarding this proposal.

The FMSCA administers the regulations governing the maximum driving and on-duty time for drivers utilized by motor carriers. On March 22, 2010, FMSCA announced a 90-day waiver of these regulations for drivers involved in the transportation of certain ammonia products.

More recently, FMSCA announced a proposal to establish a two-year exemption from the federal hours of service regulations for interstate motor carriers engaged in the distribution of anhydrous ammonia during the planting and harvesting seasons, as defined by individual states. The exemption would apply only if (a) the driver is delivering anhydrous ammonia, (b) none of the transportation movements within the distribution chain exceeds a 100-mile radius – whether from the retail or wholesale distribution point, and (c) the driver is employed by a motor carrier that has a “satisfactory” rating or is unrated.

The proposed exemption will not go into effect until after the conclusion of the 30 day comment period on August 13, 2010.

This entry was written by Christopher Kaczmarek.

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.