The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has chosen not to renew its Covid-19 emergency declaration that had been in place since March 2020 and provided some regulatory relief (primarily HOS-related) for carriers and drivers transporting certain commodities as part of the emergency relief efforts like vaccines, food supplies, etc.
The declaration, which the agency had renewed several times over the past two years, expired on October 15th. According to the FMCSA's website, "There are no active emergency declarations at this time."
Although the agency has not formally announced its decision to terminate the declaration and its corresponding exemptions, it had hinted at the possibility. As we discussed in this article, the agency recently solicited feedback from the industry on the continued need for such an exemption, causing many to speculate the agency may not renew the declaration beyond its October 15th expiration date.
In response to the FMCSA's September request for comments, many industry groups expressed support for a further extension of the declaration. However, many safety groups opposed such an extension.
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