FMCSA extends limited emergency declaration following Baltimore bridge collapse

Trucking news and information for Tuesday, June 11, 2024:

FMCSA extends emergency declaration for Baltimore bridge collapse

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is again extending its emergency declaration following the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore.

Following the collapse, a state of emergency was declared on March 26. On April 4, the FMCSA extended the waiver through May 8, granting special regulatory relief. On May 7, the agency extended the exemption for another month, until June 8. Now the FMCSA is once again extending the declaration until June 22.

As previously reported, the following motor carriers and drivers are exempt from the maximum driving time regulations set forth in 49 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 395.3:

Persons providing direct assistance in the reconstruction and reopening of the Port of Baltimore, transporting equipment and materials related to immediate repairs to roadways and navigable waterways adjacent to the Port

Providing transportation services related to the removal of wrecks and debris from waterways providing access to the port

Additionally, carriers and drivers carrying goods diverted from the Port of Baltimore to other East Coast ports due to the slump, including fuel and intermodal freight such as shipping containers and their contents, cars or other equipment transported in roll-on-roll-off operations such as heavy machinery and agricultural equipment, benefit from emergency relief from the maximum 11-hour driving time specified in 49 CFR part 395.3(a)(3)(i), up to a maximum of two additional hours.

Carriers and drivers transporting fuel (gasoline, ethanol, propane, natural gas and fuel oil) from the Curtis Bay Terminal in Maryland (in the Baltimore Marine Terminal area) for delivery to the following locations within Maryland: Anne Arundel, Baltimore City, Baltimore County , Carroll, Cecil, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Queen Anne’s and Washington counties are also exempt from the maximum 11-hour driving time, up to a maximum of two additional hours.

Finally, drivers and carriers operating the above operations who are not currently required to use an electronic recording device and do not have an ELD installed, including drivers currently operating under the short haul exception, may operate operations without an ELD for the purpose of maintaining logbooks. Such carriers and drivers are required to maintain paper logs and supporting documents when performing exempt activities.

FMCSA said it will continue to monitor the emergency and will modify the statement as necessary.

(Related: Equipment, motor carriers may feel strain from Baltimore bridge collapse)

Fleet is seeking work permits in other states for drivers under 21 years of age

3 North LLC, which the FMCSA SAFER snapshot shows is a 23-truck private fleet based in Brookfield, Wisconsin, is seeking a waiver to allow three of its internal drivers under the age of 21 to operate in another state.

Federal regulations require CDLs issued to drivers under the age of 21 to be marked with a “K” restriction, limiting them to intrastate transportation in the driver’s state of residence.

3 North uses a fleet of specialized construction equipment mounted on a simple truck chassis to transport concrete for wind turbine foundations. The company said it uses a different set of CDL holders to drive CMVs across state lines. Once the trucks cross state lines, the company asks the FMCSA to allow it to use three drivers under 21 years of age to operate the trucks in the state where the work is being performed.

“The applicant believes that their activities will not impact the safety of U.S. highways because the three drivers will operate the CMVs for only 20 miles in one state after driving them from one state to another,” the FMCSA Federal Register notice reads. “The applicant considers that in the absence of an exemption, progress towards green renewable energy could be delayed, which could delay the energy sector’s transition away from carbon-intensive energy sources.”

The agency is accepting public comments on the proposal for 30 days, beginning Tuesday, June 11. Comments may be submitted at by searching for document number FMCSA-2024-0125.

Oregon wants limited exemption from proof of citizenship and residency rules

The Oregon Department of Transportation has applied for a limited waiver of the Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) regulations regarding acceptable proof of citizenship or lawful permanent residence for citizens of the Free Associated States (FAS) who currently reside in Oregon and wish to obtain a CDL. FAS is the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau.

If the waiver is granted, Oregon will be able to issue standard commercial training permits (CLPs) and CDLs to these individuals instead of issuing CLPs and CDLs to unresidents.

According to the FMCSA Federal Register notice, the United States’ relationship with the FAS is governed by agreements known as Compacts of Free Association (COFA). Under these agreements, FAS citizens can enter the United States as nonimmigrants and, without requiring a visa, can stay and work in the country indefinitely.

Oregon requests that FMCSA grant the proposed waiver and authorize it to issue CDLs and CLPs to FAS citizens in accordance with State procedures set forth in 49 Code of Federal Regulations 383.73(a) and (b). Typically, a non-U.S. citizen must present a valid, non-valid permanent resident card. In the case of a person who is an FAS citizen, Oregon would instead accept a valid, invalid FAS-issued passport and arrival/departure card, i.e. Form I-94 or I-94A, to prove that the person entered the United States legally.

FMCSA will accept public comments on the proposal for 30 days beginning June 11 at by searching for document number FMCSA-2023-0266.

PGT opens new facilities in Kentucky, South Carolina

PGT truck transport (CCJ Top 250, No. 87) announced the opening of two new facilities in Ghent, Kentucky and Spartanburg, South Carolina, expanding the company’s operational footprint in the Southeast.

“PGT Trucking is excited to open two new terminals, providing greater service options for our customers and drivers in the Southeast,” said Chad Marsilio, PGT Trucking chief operating officer. “With PGT Ghent and PGT Spartanburg, our customers can expect safe, reliable and high-quality cargo transportation solutions. Proud professional PGT drivers will also benefit from these centralized hubs.”

Located at 3738 US Highway 42 West, PGT Ghent is five acres in size and includes a large truck parking lot and a brand new building with an operations center, driver lounge and showers. The facility is also close to several significant customers of steel and construction products who can expect PGT’s operational capacity to increase in the region. The operator of PGT Ghent is PKM Transportation Services.

PGT Spartanburg, located at 615 Simuel Road, includes office space, a driver lounge, on-site parking and service facilities. This terminal allows PGT to provide enhanced port delivery services, ensuring the safe and timely transportation of foreign cargo while supporting the company’s strong fleet of professional drivers in the Southeast.