Thursday, February 6, 2014
 

 

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US DOT temporarily suspends rule that was reducing ability of truckers to bring desperately needed road salt to New York City and Long Island

WASHINGTON - the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will, as a result of the extreme cold weather conditions causing shortages in the availability of road salt, issue a temporary rules change allowing salt to be delivered faster to New York and Long Island.

The department’s emergency declaration will suspend the hour limits that currently govern truckers that carry road salt.  It will allow salt to arrive to Long Island and New York City from upstate in a more expedited fashion. In addition, Schumer spoke directly with American Rock Salt Inc. mine owner, Neil Cohen, to ask for help in swift delivery of rock salt to those parts of Long Island and New York City that are in short supply. American Rock Salt is located in Genesee County and is the largest such mine in the Northeast.

“These back to back to back storms have taxed our resources to the breaking point, and we need to rush more salt here from wherever it’s available,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer.  “These rule changes will allow the city and Long Island to better access the vast Upstate salt resources so that we have what we need to fight back against  mother nature.  Salt in time saves lives.”

Currently FMCSA’s rules dictate that truck drivers can only drive a maximum of 11 hours, which must come after being off-duty for at least 10 hours. This temporary rule change will enable drivers to drive for longer, as long as they continue to follow rest break rules that prevent drivers from operating under intense fatigue.