Trucking restrictions waived for drought relief

By David Tanner, Land Line associate editor | Thursday, August 09, 2012

In response to the drought, the White House says truckers can apply for waivers to certain regulations when hauling agricultural relief supplies even if a state does not have a standing emergency order.

Kentucky and Tennessee are among the states that have issued emergency declarations to speed up relief efforts related to the drought. That means truckers hauling agricultural and relief supplies can obtain permits without waiting in line or paying oversize-overweight fees.

In a statement released Tuesday, Aug. 7, the White House is reminding truckers that under special circumstances such as the current drought, truckers may apply for waivers even if a state has not declared an emergency.

“If the situation does not qualify for emergency relief, the federal rules regulating large truck and bus operations may be waived in certain circumstances,” the White House release states. “DOT can process a request to waive regulations in 7-14 days.”

The White House release says the new highway law known as MAP-21, which takes effect Oct. 1, provides new authority to states to expedite permits for overweight vehicles hauling relief supplies during emergencies.

“DOT is expediting the process of developing guidance for States to support their permitting programs, and the way in which ‘relief supplies’ are defined may provide states with a new tool to use for hauling heavy loads of grain, livestock, etc. for drought relief,” the release states.

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