Drivers hauling livestock or insects may continue using an ELD exemption allowing them to run paper logs “until further notice,” according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
FMCSA issued an update to its website late last week, clarifying that the ELD exemption for those haulers remains in place. The update also says drivers do not need to carry documentation of this exemption.
Livestock and insect haulers were granted an ELD exemption as part of a 2018 spending bill, which means a potential government shutdown, which could occur on Dec. 21, could affect the exemption, according to Mike Matousek, manager of government affairs for the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association.
“The livestock and insect hauler ELD exemption continues to be tied to the appropriations process, meaning if government funding expires, so would this exemption,” Matousek said. “However, it appears that FMCSA is going to keep the statutory exemption in place, even if the government shuts down. I’m not sure what authority the agency has to do this, but from a practical perspective it probably makes sense to handle it this way.”
Matousek says the “uncertainty of the budget process” in general and a potential government shutdown is why including policy riders in appropriations bills is a risky maneuver.
“Quite frankly, FMCSA is probably in a bit of a bind right now,” he said. “My guess is they’re hoping Congress and the White House can reach a deal to avoid a government shutdown, thus avoiding having to deal with any sort of statutory lapse in the livestock and insect hauler ELD exemption. That’s what we’re seeing play out right now with this exemption.”
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