FMCSA Formed New Team to Bring Fuel to States Affected by Hurricane Sandy
Recently, the Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) said that it plans to lead an Interstate Petroleum Transport Team that will bring fuel to the areas affected by Hurricane Sandy in the quickest and most efficient way possible.
This Interstate Petroleum Transport Team will help prevent confusion by acting as the only point of contact for affected states, members of the trucking industry, and parties responsible for lifting barriers to allow fuel delivery. Each state has its own laws about crossing state lines, as well as truck size and weight, so this team will speak with authorities at the state level to coordinate activities. Even since the recent announcement, a hotline has been made available so that people can call to discuss barriers that stop the flow of fuel to the states affected by Hurricane Sandy.
According to the U.S. Transportation Secretary, the Interstate Petroleum Transport team will create a fast and efficient fuel delivery system to cities in the Northeast affected by the hurricane. President Obama has stated that ending fuel shortages is his top priority, and this team is hoping to help him with that so that relief goods can be brought in, basements can be pumped out, and electricity can be restored as soon as possible.
Each state in the region affected by the hurricane has different laws to which trucks must adhere. This new team will communicate regularly with states to make sure that the most important regulatory issues are dealt with appropriately. Some of the key issues they are dealing with include the number of hours each driver can work, the size and weight of trucks, waiving of toll fees, wavers of low sulfur diesel, waivers for vehicle registration, and waivers for the fuel tax.
This new team has already negotiated a plan that HOS requirements with be lifted temporarily so that emergency relief can be brought to the affected area quickly. This emergency relief includes the transportation of fuel and generators. The team has also worked with FEMA to put companies that distribute fuel in touch with companies that have fuel pump trucks at their disposal.