Governor Declares Limited Emergency to Help Restore Power
January 11, 2016
For Immediate Release: Monday, January 11, 2016 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary (207) 287-2531
AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage has signed a limited Emergency Declaration allowing electric utility contractors from Canada into Maine to assist with power restoration efforts following Sunday's strong rain and wind storm.
There were approximately 27,000 outages Monday morning and assistance is needed to aid in rapid restoration efforts. The declaration will help Maine power providers pre-place their crews by extending the hours their crews can drive.
“This effort will allow power crews to restore power in areas that were impacted by the storm," Governor LePage said. “The ability to have electrical service repaired quickly is critical to protect public health and safety of Mainers.”
The Governor's proclamation waives Federal Department of Transportation rules and extends the hours of service for workers, and allows additional crews from other states to assist with repairs.
The text of the proclamation follows:
State of Maine Governor’s Emergency Proclamation for Electricity Restoration Efforts
WHEREAS, the State of Maine is experiencing the effects of high winds and storm conditions that have impacted transportation routes and put thousands of Maine homes and businesses out of power; and
WHEREAS, work crews will have to work many hours to clear roads and restore power; and
WHEREAS, power restoration crews have been requested from other service areas as well as Canadian provinces to assist in power restoration; and
WHEREAS, federal rules determine the number of hours the driver of an electrical line repair vehicle may operate; and
WHEREAS, drivers of such vehicles must cease operations when they reach the federal limit on hours of operation, and therefore would have to cease power restoration; and
WHEREAS, these conditions threaten public health and safety and endanger the property of Maine homes and businesses; and
WHEREAS, these conditions are expected to extend until January 15, 2016; and
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 CFR part 390.23 to allow relief from 49 CFR parts 390 through 399, specifically 49 CFR part 395 Hours of Service of Drivers, and subject to the limitations described below, and therefore allow drivers of electrical line repair vehicles 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 CFR 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. section 742, and for the purpose pursuant to 49 CFR part 390.23 of facilitating a waiver to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, specifically 49 CFR part 395 Hours of Service of Drivers, do hereby declare that a State of Emergency within Maine as of January 11, 2016 through January 15, 2016.
Pursuant to this declaration, I hereby order the following:
No motor carrier operating under the terms of this emergency declaration 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 a least ten (10) consecutive hours off-duty before the driver is required to return to service.
Drivers operating under this proclamation shall carry a copy of the proclamation with them as evidence of their direct support to the State of Maine during this emergency period.
Paul R. LePage