Federal regulators issued on Sunday an emergency work-rule exemption for truck drivers and motor carriers as a result of the Colonial Pipeline shutdown.
The shutdown that occurred on Friday and was caused by a cybersecurity ransomware attack warrants a Regional Emergency Declaration and an exemption from Parts 390 through 399 of federal motor carrier safety regulations, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Those regulations include hours-of-service rules.
“This declaration addresses the emergency conditions creating a need for immediate transportation of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and other refined petroleum products and provides necessary relief” for carriers and drivers in 17 states and the District of Columbia that are providing direct assistance, according to the exemption.
“USDOT’s top priority is safety, and while current circumstances dictate providing industry flexibility, FMCSA will work closely with its state and industry partners to monitor driver work hours and conditions for the duration of the exemption,” FMCSA said in a statement.
In addition to the District of Columbia, FMCSA’s waiver applies to the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
This exemption is in effect until June 8 or until the emergency is declared over, whichever is earlier.
Colonial Pipeline Co.’s operations team is developing a system restart plan, the company said in a statement Sunday evening. “While our mainlines (Lines 1, 2, 3 and 4) remain offline, some smaller lateral lines between terminals and delivery points are now operational,” according to the company’s latest update.
“We are in the process of restoring service to other laterals and will bring our full system back online only when we believe it is safe to do so, and in full compliance with the approval of all federal regulations.”