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FMCSA extends COVID hours of service waiver another 3 months

Exemption set to expire Tuesday will now run through August

Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s COVID-19 hours of service waiver has been extended yet again.

The waiver was to expire Tuesday. But late last week, just prior to the holiday weekend, it was extended again. The original COVID waiver was put into place March 13, 2020, in the first days of the pandemic. Since then, it has been both modified and extended several times, with the most recent expansion coming just a few weeks ago, when the transport of propane, natural gas and heating oil was brought under the waiver.   

The latest extension takes the COVID waiver out another three months, to Aug. 31.

Under the waiver and its extension, HOS requirements are waived for vehicles that are “providing direct assistance in support of emergency relief efforts related to COVID-19.”

Shipments of goods that fall under the waiver are:

  • Livestock and livestock feed.
  • Medical supplies related to testing and diagnosis of COVID-19.
  • Vaccines and related products.
  • Supplies of “equipment necessary for community safety, sanitation and prevention of community transmission of COVID-19.” Masks and hand sanitizer are cited as examples.
  • Gasoline, diesel and diesel exhaust fluid and the most recent additions of propane, natural gas and heating oil.

There is a requirement that drivers taking advantage of the waiver report into FMCSA monthly about their use of the exemption.

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John Kingston

John has an almost 40-year career covering commodities, most of the time at S&P Global Platts. He created the Dated Brent benchmark, now the world’s most important crude oil marker. He was Director of Oil, Director of News, the editor in chief of Platts Oilgram News and the “talking head” for Platts on numerous media outlets, including CNBC, Fox Business and Canada’s BNN. He covered metals before joining Platts and then spent a year running Platts’ metals business as well. He was awarded the International Association of Energy Economics Award for Excellence in Written Journalism in 2015. In 2010, he won two Corporate Achievement Awards from McGraw-Hill, an extremely rare accomplishment, one for steering coverage of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster and the other for the launch of a public affairs television show, Platts Energy Week.