Gov. Signs Order to Keep Oil Trucks on Road and Mainers Warm

January 20, 2011

Augusta, Maine – On Thursday, Governor Paul LePage signed an emergency proclamation to ensure heating oil deliveries are made to Maine residents.

“We need to ensure that our oil delivery drivers can be on the road so that Maine homes stay warm during this difficult time,” said Governor LePage.

The State of Emergency proclamation will enable the granting of a waiver from the Federal Department of Transportation to allow heating oil delivery personnel to stay on the road longer to make sure homes and businesses stay warm. Demand for heating fuel deliveries is up, and the current inventory of propane is down because of a disruption in supply. Short-term rationing of propane is possible.

The Governor would also like to remind drivers who are picking up extra hours to remain safe on the roadways. “We want to keep Mainers warm, but oil drivers and businesses should understand their limitations too,” said Governor LePage.

The order will remain active for 10 days, beginning on January 20, 2011, the day the order was issued, or until the Governor declares the emergency is over.

The text of the proclamation follows:

WHEREAS, the northeastern United States, including Maine, is experiencing arctic cold temperatures and dangerous wind chills;

WHEREAS, this cold weather is expected to continue for approximately ten (10) days and affect the State;

WHEREAS, heating fuel in Maine is in great demand because of the cold, and because supplies have lagged behind demand;

WHEREAS, bulk carriers of petroleum-based heating fuels routinely diversify their loads with other petroleum fuels;

WHEREAS, Federal motor carrier safety regulations determine the number of hours the drivers of heating fuel and bulk petroleum transport and delivery vehicles may operate;

WHEREAS, many such drivers in the State will shortly be approaching the Federal limit on hours of operation and may have to cease delivery of heating fuel and bulk petroleum fuels;

WHEREAS, these conditions threaten public health and safety and endanger public property if heating fuels cannot be transported or delivered;

WHEREAS, the declaration of a State of Emergency will facilitate the granting of a waiver from the U.S. Department of Transportation – Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, pursuant to 49 C.F.R. part 390.23 to allow relief from 49 C.F.R. parts 390 through 399, specifically 49 C.F.R. part 395 Hours of Service of Drivers, and subject to the limitation described below, and therefore allow heating fuel and bulk petroleum transport and delivery drivers to operate additional hours; and

WHEREAS, motor carriers that have an Out-of-Service Order in effect may not take advantage of the relief from regulation that such a declaration provides under 49 C.F.R. 390.23.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Paul R. LePage, Governor of the State of Maine, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of Maine, find that these conditions constitute a civil emergency under 37-B M.R.S.A. 742, and for the purpose pursuant to 49 C.F.R. part 390.23 of facilitating a waiver to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, specifically 49 C.F.R. part 395 Hours of Service of Drivers, do hereby declare that a State of Emergency exists as of January 20, 2011 through January 30, 2011.

Paul R. LePage, Governor