|MADISON – Governor Scott Walker today signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency exists in Wisconsin in response to propane shortages and increased wait times to obtain propane. These challenges are due, in large part, to the below-normal temperatures experienced across the Midwest and a shortage of drivers. Governor Walker’s order exempts drivers in the process of obtaining or transporting propane from certain federal and state requirements to mitigate the propane supply shortage.
“As Wisconsin faces extreme temperatures, we want to do everything we can to ensure people who rely on propane for heat have access to it,” Governor Walker said. “This executive order is a move to alleviate the propane shortage while ensuring the safety of drivers who are doing the important work of transporting it.”
Governor Walker’s order declares a state of emergency exists in Wisconsin beginning Friday, December 29, 2017, at 12:01 A.M. and expiring on Sunday, January 28, 2018, at 11:59 P.M. It specifically orders the following:
- Carriers and drivers of commercial motor vehicles while in the process of obtaining and transporting propane are exempted from federal and Wisconsin hours-of-service requirements in Part 395 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations and in Chapters Trans 325 and Trans 327 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code. This exemption applies to all highways in Wisconsin, including the national system of interstate and defense highways.
- No motor carrier operating under the terms of this order shall require or allow an ill or fatigued driver to operate a motor vehicle. A driver who notifies a motor carrier that he or she needs immediate rest shall be given at least ten consecutive hours off duty before the driver is required to return to service.
- Upon request of a driver, a commercial motor carrier operating under this order must give a driver at least thirty-four (34) consecutive hours off when the driver has been on duty for more than seventy (70) hours during any eight consecutive days.
- Upon the expiration of the state of emergency declared by this order, or when a driver has been relieved of all duty and responsibility to provide direct assistance to the emergency effort, a driver that has had at least thirty-four (34) consecutive hours off-duty shall be permitted to start his or her on-duty status hours and 60/70 hour clock at zero.
- This order does not suspend the operation of any state or federal laws within the State of Wisconsin except as specifically described in the order. All other laws remain in full force and will be enforced. This order does not authorize any person transporting propane to exceed any statutory vehicle weight, width, length, or height limit. This order does not authorize the use of unregistered or improperly registered vehicles. Vehicles registered in other jurisdictions and not entitled to reciprocity, or not registered for use in Wisconsin through the International Registration Plan, must obtain a permit as provided in section 341.41, Wis. Stats. Motor carriers transporting propane for hire must have proper authority to operate in this State, as provided by section 194.04, Wis. Stats., and must meet the insurance requirements of section 194.41 or 194.42, Wis. Stats. Carriers must satisfy all ordinarily acceptable federal and Wisconsin requirements concerning vehicle equipment, vehicle operations and driver qualifications and conduct.
A copy of Governor Walker’s executive order is attached.