Senate Bill to Reform Hours of Service, Logging Regulation for Ag Haulers
Senators John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) reintroduced the Modernizing Agricultural Transportation Act, bipartisan legislation to reform the Hours of Service (HOS) and Electronic Logging Device (ELD) regulations at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
The bill would also delay enforcement of the ELD rule until the required reforms are formally proposed by the Transportation Secretary.
“We’ve worked to provide needed certainty and flexibility to our agricultural haulers under the HOS and ELD regulations so that they can get their products to market safely and efficiently,” Senator Hoeven said in a release. “This legislation builds on our efforts, establishing a process to address unnecessary burdens under these regulations and advance reforms based on the input of agriculture producers, while also ensuring roadway safety is maintained.”
The bill would establish a working group at DOT comprised of representatives from the transportation and agriculture industries, transportation safety representatives and the USDA.
The working group will consider the impact of existing HOS and ELD rules on the commercial transport of livestock, insects and agricultural commodities and develop guidelines on reforming these rules, the release said.. Within 120 days of receiving the working group’s report, the Transportation Secretary must propose regulatory changes to the HOS and ELD regulations, considering the group’s recommendations.
“It is important that we maintain safe roads while also recognizing the unique flexibility needed to move Colorado’s agricultural products to markets,” Senator Bennet said in a release. “I look forward to working with Senator Hoeven and our colleagues to give farmers and ranchers a seat at the table as we push for more sensible rules around the transportation of agricultural goods.”
The Modernizing Agricultural Transportation Act is supported by the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, United States Cattlemen’s Association, Livestock Marketing Association, American Farm Bureau Federation and more.
“NPPC strongly supports the Hoeven-Bennet bill, which provides stakeholder collaboration for developing common-sense Hours of Service regulations to addresses the safety of our roadways while protecting the welfare of our livestock,” NPPC President Jen Sorenson, communications director for Iowa Select Farms in West Des Moines, Iowa, said in a statement. “The bill supports an essential element of the nation’s food production system and the continuity of the U.S pork supply chain.”
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