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South Dakota waives hours of service to help petroleum resupply

Governor signs emergency declaration to suspend federal HOS rules for 30 days

South Dakota has responded to the issue of a tight market for fuel tanker trucks by extending allowable hours of service for petroleum deliveries until Aug. 16.

Although the declaration is a state override of federal rules, a spokesman for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said such an action is legal. 

“Governors are able to issue emergency declarations,” Duane DeBruyne, a FMCSA spokesman, said in an email to FreightWaves.

Additionally, a spokesman for South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (pictured above), who handed down the executive order and the declaration of an emergency, said federal law allows a governor in declaring a state of emergency to override federal rules for 30 days. 

“We consulted with numerous stakeholders before making the decision, including FMCSA, our Department of Public Safety, as well as fuel producers, wholesale distributors and end users,” Ian Fury, a spokesman for Noem, said in an email to FreightWaves.

The suspension of the federal hours-of-service rules covers deliveries of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and ethyl alcohol. In a somewhat vague restriction, South Dakota said that companies “may not require or allow fatigued drivers to make deliveries.” 

It also says that a driver who “informs a carrier that he/she needs immediate rest shall be given adequate rest before the driver is required to return to service.”

“The people of South Dakota are faced with extremely low inventories and outages,” Noem said in her executive order, adding that normal supplies are not expected until “early fall.”

Among the areas where driver supply has been tight, deliveries of fuel from tankers have been particularly noted. Spot shortages and station shutdowns have been reported. 

However, weekly data from the Department of Energy on supply and demand is not showing a significant downturn in product supplied, the category that represents deliveries. In the first week of July, gasoline deliveries of 10.55 million barrels per day in the U.S. was the highest one-week figure in the history of the data since 2018. The most recent figure, for the report of July 7 covering the prior week, came in at 9.85 million barrels per day. That was only slightly less than the second week in July for recent years but still slightly above 2019. 

Most of the other state emergency declarations currently listed by FMCSA are connected either to states affected by Tropical Storm Elsa or by Western wildfires.

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  1. Refineries run 24/7 people. All this complaining about refinery workers need to work OT instead, or they get to go home at night, is pointless. Yes they get to go home at night but the refinery doesn’t stop. It keeps running with the next crew..

  2. I just want to point out that HOS were never an issue with paper logs ‼️ Plus nobody can force you to do anything. If you don’t want to run don’t do it. They won’t fire you, they need you.

  3. I all ready work 70+ hours a week. I haven’t been home in 3 weeks. Now your telling me I have to work more! While refineries go home at night. Stations won’t take deliveries during their off hours because they are at home. Governors make declarations then go home. All I can say is “F**k all of you!”

  4. There is no driver shortage and the drivers aren’t tired and killing everybody, nobody wants to work for crap companies. Funny how when the nation is in need the first thing that goes is the Hours Of Service and the accident rates never go up they actually go down, so why do we need them in the first place? The only industry out here that the government tells you how much you can work and make but no subsidies to make your potential!! Start paying more and you’ll see tanker drivers from all over the country breaking There neck to haul your oil.

  5. Anyone with hos violations should say no to this. If the Gov’t fines you and messes with your license only to later on tell you to violate, there is something seriously wrong. Truckers.Stop.Your.Wheels. It’s long overdue.

  6. In my mind the drivers hours of service should be the last thing we waive. The drivers are already tired and this posses a huge safety risk to the public. I believe it should be terminals and refineries that should be working overtime to ensure the pipelines don’t run out in the first place. The driver are currently allowed to work 70 hours a week, and now you waive this regulation to try and force them to work more??? No wonder we can’t hire anyone for trucking jobs???

    1. The pipelines/terminals are not out of fuel. The issue is that with additional demand from tourism/agriculture, there are not enough trucks to keep up with the last-mile delivery. We need more truck drivers!

  7. We need to make sure all truck drivers have the right to turn down the extra hours
    Also all truck drivers over 10 hours per day should be getting overtime pay.

    1. MPH. AUDIT

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.