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Gov. Branstad signs disaster declaration allowing for more propane transport during harvest

By Staff | Oct 25, 2013

DES MOINES (IDALS) — Gov. Terry Branstad today approved an emergency declaration suspending the regulatory provisions pertaining to hours of service for drivers of commercial motor vehicles transporting propane. The order goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 25 and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 7.

The proclamation is as follows:

WHEREAS, because of the late harvest and high demand for petroleum products throughout the Midwest, the people of the State of Iowa are faced with extremely low supplies of propane; and

WHEREAS, adequate supplies of propane are necessary to continue normal agricultural harvesting and to provide residential heating to our citizens, particularly those in rural portions of the state; and

WHEREAS, the effects of this propane shortage are being felt throughout the State of Iowa; and

WHEREAS, the limited suspension of certain hours of service regulations for drivers of commercial motor vehicles transporting propane in our state will increase the amount of propane transported throughout the State of Iowa, thereby reducing the damaging effects of this shortage; and

WHEREAS, these conditions threaten the peace, health, and safety of the citizens of the State of Iowa and its agricultural industry and accordingly provide legal justification for the issuance of a Proclamation of a State of Disaster Emergency pursuant to Iowa Code 29C.6(1).

NOW, THEREFORE, I, TERRY E. BRANSTAD, Governor of the State of Iowa, by the power and authority vested in me by the Iowa Constitution Art. IV, 1, 8 and Iowa Code 29C.6(1), and all other applicable laws, do hereby proclaim a State of Disaster Emergency for the entire state of Iowa and do hereby ORDER and DIRECT the following:

SECTION One. I temporarily suspend the regulatory provisions of Iowa Code 321.449 pertaining to hours of service for drivers of commercial motor vehicles transporting propane, during the duration of this disaster, subject to these conditions:

A. Nothing contained in this Proclamation shall be construed as an exemption from the controlled substances and alcohol use and testing requirements under 49 CFR Part 382, the commercial drivers’ license requirements under 49 CFR Part 383, the financial responsibility requirements of 49 CFR Part 387, or any other portion of the Code of Federal Regulations not specifically identified in this proclamation.

A. No motor carrier operating under the terms of this proclamation shall require or allow a fatigued or ill driver to operate a motor vehicle. A driver who informs a carrier that he or she needs immediate rest shall be given at least ten consecutive hours off duty before the driver is required to return to service.

B. Upon the request of a driver, a commercial motor carrier operating under this proclamation must give a driver at least thirty-four (34) consecutive hours off when the driver has been on duty for more than seventy (70) hours during any eight consecutive days.

C. Motor carriers that have an out-of-service order in effect may not take advantage of the relief from regulations that this declaration provides under title 49 CFR 390.23.

D. Upon the expiration of the effective date of this Proclamation, or when a driver has been relieved of all duty and responsibility to provide direct assistance to the emergency effort, a driver that has had at least thirty-four (34) consecutive hours off duty shall be permitted to start his or her on-duty status hours and 60/70 hour clock at zero.

SECTION Two. This state of disaster emergency shall be effective at 12:01 a.m. on October 25, 2013, shall continue for fourteen (14) days, and shall expire on November 7, 2013 at 11:59 p.m., unless sooner terminated or extended in writing by me.

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