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ATA Hours-of-Service Emergency Declaration and Member Update

3/14/2020

Dear ATA Member,

Following our email this afternoon, we wanted to let you know that FMCSA has posted the emergency declaration and details with respect to targeted, limited relief from Hours of Service (HOS) for COVID-19 emergency efforts on their website. We appreciate the clarity the agency is able to provide now and will be working with regulators and businesses to answer questions that will arise in the coming days and weeks. ATA's Dan Horvath and our safety team are available to help with questions or feedback. Please read the declaration, and we will call your attention to the section clarifying what qualifies for this emergency relief from HOS regulations.

This Emergency Declaration provides regulatory relief for commercial motor vehicle operations that are providing direct assistance in support of emergency relief efforts related to the COVID-19 outbreaks, including transportation to meet immediate needs for: (1) medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19; (2) supplies and equipment necessary for community safety, sanitation, and prevention of community transmission of COVID-19 such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants; (3) food for emergency restocking of stores; (4) equipment, supplies and persons necessary to establish and manage temporary housing, quarantine, and isolation facilities related to COVID-19; (5) persons designated by Federal, State or local authorities for medical, isolation, or quarantine purposes; and (6) persons necessary to provide other medical or emergency services, the supply of which may be affected by the COVID-19 response. Direct assistance does not include routine commercial deliveries, or transportation of mixed loads that include essential supplies, equipment and persons, along with supplies, equipment and persons that are not being transported in support of emergency relief efforts related to the COVID-19 outbreaks. 

On the legislative efforts by Congress, both parties report successful negotiations between Speaker of the House Pelosi (D-CA) and the Administration for the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. ATA members have contacted ATA about the impacts and limitations of family and sick leave provisions, and we won't know the final details until the legislative text is available and reviewed, which is expected to be available this weekend. The initial release by Speaker Pelosi cites these key provisions:

Excerpt from Speaker Pelosi:

This legislation is about testing, testing, testing. To stop the spread of the virus, we have secured free coronavirus testing for everyone who needs a test, including the uninsured. We cannot fight coronavirus effectively unless everyone in our country who needs to be tested can get their test free of charge.

This legislation takes additional smart, strategic and science-based measures to put Families First:

  • For families economic security: we secured paid emergency leave with two weeks of paid sick leave and up to three months of paid family and medical leave. We have also secured enhanced Unemployment Insurance, a step that will extend protections to furloughed workers.
  • For families & food security: we strengthened nutrition security initiatives, including SNAP, student meals, seniors nutrition and food banks. 22 million children rely on free or reduced-price school meals for their food security; we must ensure that they have food to eat.
  • For families health security: we increased federal funds for Medicaid to support our local, state, tribal and territorial governments and health systems, so that they have the resources necessary to combat this crisis.

The ATA team is monitoring the government response to the COVID-19 crisis and will post additional information on the ATA website as it becomes available. As the government and the country buckle down to address this challenge, we will strive to coordinate, educate and represent you.

Please let us know if you have any questions or comments.

Bill Sullivan
EVP, Advocacy
American Trucking Associations






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