The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released their Expanded Emergency Declaration and an accompanying Frequently Asked Questions document as it relates to Hours of Service (HOS) regulations during the COVID-19 national emergency.
The new declaration and FAQs specifically exempt waste haulers from HOS are in direct response to a request by the National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) in a letter to Acting Administrator Jim Mullen. Other requirements under Parts 390-399 which include vehicle maintenance, inspection, and driver qualifications are also waived for waste haulers.
The declaration is as follows:
This Emergency Declaration provides regulatory relief for commercial motor vehicle operations providing direct assistance in support of emergency relief efforts related to the COVID-19 outbreaks, including transportation to meet immediate needs for: . . . (2) supplies and equipment necessary for community safety, sanitation, and prevention of community transmission of COVID-19 . . .
The FAQ issued by FMCSA clarifies this specifically with regard to our industry:
Are haulers of household waste and medical waste covered under the terms of the declaration? Yes, transportation for removal of both household and medical waste is covered as “supplies and equipment necessary for community safety, sanitation, and prevention of community transmission of COVID-19.”
“We extend our thanks to FMCSA for recognizing the vital role of the waste industry by including us in their Expanded Emergency Declaration. NWRA remains committed to working with federal and state officials to ensure our members can properly and safely respond to this health crisis,” said NWRA President and CEO Darrell Smith.