Emergencies declared in Wyoming, S. Dakota; fuel haulers get hours break

Updated Jul 24, 2021
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The governors of South Dakota and Wyoming have issued emergency declarations that suspend hours of service regulations for certain haulers in those two states.

The declarations apply to drivers hauling gasoline, diesel and aviation fuel. In South Dakota, Gov. Kristi Noem’s order points to low inventories and outages of fuel, while the “return of normal supply flows to fuel terminals in South Dakota is not expected until early fall.”

The Wyoming order from Gov. Mark Gordon notes increased post-pandemic travel and an early and severe wildfire season in the region have both contributed to fuel shortages in the state.

The South Dakota waiver will expire no later than midnight, Aug. 16, and the Wyoming waiver will expire no later than Aug. 20. 

Drivers transporting gasoline, diesel and jet fuel to either of the two states will be exempt from hours-of-service rules. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration also clarified its emergency declaration rules, noting that the HOS waiver continues to apply to a driver after he or she has delivered the load, as long as he or she is returning to pick up more emergency relief supplies.

“For example, if the governor of the state of Wyoming issues an emergency declaration for the transportation of aviation fuel for wildfire suppression, and a driver picks up aviation fuel in Nevada to be transported to Wyoming for wildfire suppression and the trip goes through Idaho into Wyoming, the trip is covered by the emergency declaration,” the agency said. “If the driver then heads back to Nevada to pick up more aviation fuel to deliver to Wyoming, the trip is still covered by the emergency declaration.

"But once the driver is no longer providing direct assistance to the state emergency, in Wyoming in this example, such as deadheading back to Nevada to pick up cargo not related to the Wyoming emergency, or later transporting aviation fuel again from Nevada to be delivered to a state not subject to a specified emergency declaration, the driver is no longer covered by the emergency declaration.”