Refinery shutdown, winter weather prompt FMCSA emergency declaration

Updated Jan 24, 2023
Shut down Suncor refinery in Colorado
Shut down Suncor refinery in Colorado
photo-denver /

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has declared a regional emergency in eight states related to the transportation of gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel. 

The declaration exempts "motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance supporting emergency relief efforts transporting gasoline, diesel, or jet fuel into the affected states are granted emergency relief" from regulations governing maximum driving time. The affected states include:

  • Colorado
  • Kansas
  • Nebraska
  • New Mexico
  • Oklahoma
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Wyoming

The FMCSA said the emergency declaration is in response to the unanticipated shutdown of the Suncor refinery in Colorado, severe winter storms, and high demand resulting in difficulty in obtaining necessary gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel and the current and anticipated effects on people and property, including the immediate risk to public health, safety, and welfare. 

According to the FMCSA, direct assistance means "transportation and other relief services provided by a motor carrier or its driver(s) incident to the immediate restoration of essential supplies or essential services. Direct assistance does not include transportation related to long-term rehabilitation of damaged physical infrastructure or routine commercial deliveries, including mixed loads with a nominal quantity of qualifying emergency relief added to obtain the benefits of this emergency declaration, after the initial threat to life and property has passed."