Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) on Monday issued an hours of service waiver for haulers of baby formula and related manufacturing ingredients.
Baby formula was already included in the COVID-19 Emergency Declaration that allowed for hours of service waivers for drivers transporting baby formula as a finished product. Monday's emergency declaration clarifies that HOS requirements are temporarily waived for motor carriers transporting for both baby formula and the other ingredients used for production, such as corn syrup, casein, hydrolyzed protein and whey.
The waiver covers motor carriers hauling formula and its ingredients to either manufacturers, distributors or stores.
PMTA Statement on May 18 Bridge Tolling Decision
The following statement can be attributed to PMTA President & CEO Rebecca Oyler.
PMTA and its trucking industry members were very pleased to read Judge Ellen Ceisler’s opinion today granting a preliminary injunction in the case Cumberland County and several municipalities filed challenging PennDOT’s Major Bridge P3 Initiative. We are especially grateful that Judge Ceisler recognized the necessity to put a halt to all nine bridge tolling projects across the state because it is clear from her opinion that PennDOT violated the P3 law from the beginning.
From the day the initiative was announced in November 2020, PMTA has pointed out that the agency failed to follow basic steps not only required by law, but also expected of any government action – communicate before acting.
Had they communicated with the Pennsylvania trucking industry, they would have heard that the consequences of tolling would be catastrophic. With diesel prices already at record levels, now is the worst possible time to add $5000+ per truck per year for trucking companies and other small businesses. These are costs that are ultimately passed on to consumers.
PMTA filed an amicus brief on the lawsuit in a similar case challenging the I-79 bridge tolling project, for which a hearing was held today in Pittsburgh. The same arguments apply to both cases, and we hope that the court ultimately finds them decisive enough to make the injunction permanent.
And although we are pleased to know that no additional motor license funds, 40% of which come from trucks, will be spent on this clear agency overreach, we wonder how many bridges could have been built with the money PennDOT has already spent on the Major Bridge P3 Initiative.
On Friday, May 13, PMTA submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on its proposed regulation of emissions for heavy-duty trucks. For more information on the rulemaking, please see Transport Topics article.
Comments on the regulation are due on Monday, May 16, and all PMTA are encouraged to submit comments.
To do so, go to https://www.regulations.gov; scroll down to “What’s Trending”, click on “Control of Air Pollution from New Motor Vehicles: Heavy-Duty Engine and Vehicle Standards”, click on the “Comment” button; then upload your comments and submit.
Filed via Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov
EPA Docket Center
WJC West Building, Room 3334
1301 Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20004
RE: Comments on EPA “Control of Air Pollution From New Motor Vehicles: Heavy-Duty Engine and Vehicle Standards, Proposed Rule,” Docket EPA-HQ-OAR-2019-0055
To Whom It May Concern:
As EPA develops the final rule on tailpipe emissions from heavy-duty trucks as part of the "Control of Air Pollution from New Motor Vehicles: Heavy-Duty Engine and Vehicle Standards," we file these comments in support of a single national low-NOx rule that is technologically feasible, protects American jobs, and is not disruptive to the nation’s economy or supply chains. An approach such as Option 1 that cannot be achieved by all classes of trucks under widely-varied business models will cause significant uncertainty amongst fleets and will result in purchasing new trucks before new standards are implemented. This pre-buy/low-buy/no-buy scenario would jeopardize thousands of good-paying jobs and slow environmental success. To be effective, the final rule must result in new trucks that are:
Affordable. If trucking companies choose not to purchase new trucks due to cost or reliability concerns, older trucks will stay on the road longer and environment goals will not be achieved;
Durable. New, more expensive trucks are not purchased to sit in repair bays. Trucks are unproductive pieces of equipment unless they are moving freight;
Safe. Safety is a top priority in every trucking operation. Putting off the purchase of the newest equipment will delay the use of the latest safety technologies; and
Cleaner. An unworkable rule will delay fleet turnover and impede environmental progress.
Fleets don’t make trucks – they are consumers that buy trucks. While this rule is directed at manufacturers, it is trucking companies buying new technologies that determine the success or failure in the implementation of every trucking emission regulation. Fleets remain extremely sensitive to the many difficulties involved in running a trucking company – a matter that is especially significant to the 97 percent of fleets classified as small businesses.
Finally, we believe it important to point out that 34 business days is a wholly inadequate public comment period for a highly technical, 475-page proposed regulation, especially for these small businesses who struggle every day to manage the challenges of a supply chain crisis, record high-diesel prices, and a workforce shortage to deliver freight for their customers and keep the American economy afloat. Understanding the impact of this regulation on their business is itself a challenge, much less putting it into words in time to meet the May 13 deadline. We would ask that EPA consider these limitations as it assesses the comments (or lack thereof) that are submitted within the timeframe given.
Thank you for considering our comments as we continue our work to improve the environment and keep the nation’s goods and economy moving ahead.
Rebecca K. Oyler
President & CEO
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) has announced this year’s International Roadcheck dates as May 17-19 with a focus on wheel ends.
International Roadcheck is 72-hour high-visibility, high-volume commercial motor vehicle inspection and enforcement initiative. Commercial motor vehicle inspectors in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. will conduct North American Standard Inspections of commercial motor vehicles and drivers at weigh and inspection stations, on roving patrols, and at temporary inspection sites.
Each year, CVSA focuses on a specific aspect of a roadside inspection. This year, the focus will be on wheel ends. Wheel end components support the heavy loads carried by commercial motor vehicles, maintain stability and control, and are critical for braking. Violations involving wheel end components historically account for about one quarter of the vehicle out-of-service violations discovered during International Roadcheck, and past International Roadcheck data routinely identified wheel end components as a top 10 vehicle violation.
During International Roadcheck, commercial motor vehicle inspectors examine large trucks and motorcoaches and the driver’s documentation and credentials using CVSA’s North American Standard Inspection Program procedures which are the uniform inspection steps, processes and standards established to ensure consistency in compliance, inspections and enforcement. Using the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria, also established by CVSA, inspectors identify critical out-of-service violations that if found, require the inspector to restrict the driver or vehicle from travel until those violations or conditions are addressed.
Vehicles that successfully pass a North American Standard Level I or Level V Inspection without any critical vehicle inspection item violations may receive a CVSA decal. In general, a vehicle with a valid CVSA decal will not be re-inspected during the three months while the decal is valid. Instead, inspectors will focus their efforts on vehicles without a valid CVSA decal.
“We want every vehicle on our roadways to be in proper working order for the safety of the driver operating that vehicle and everyone traveling on our roadways,” said CVSA President Capt. John Broers with the South Dakota Highway Patrol.
In consideration of COVID-19 and the health and safety of commercial motor vehicle inspectors and drivers, law enforcement personnel will conduct inspections following their departments’ health and safety protocols during International Roadcheck.
International Roadcheck is a CVSA program with participation by the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, Transport Canada, and Mexico’s Ministry of Infrastructure, Communications and Transportation.
The final comment periods for the nine bridges PennDOT is proposing to toll are ongoing. Please take a few minutes to tell PennDOT and the FHWA the impact of increasing your costs for each truck at least $5000 per year. Links to project information, sign-ups to testify at hearings, and email addresses to send comments to are below. This information will be updated at new bridges are scheduled for public comment.
PennDOT Major Bridge P3 Initiative Proposed Bridges to Be Tolled – Public Comment
Next Public Hearing Date
Public Hearing Location
Send Written Comments
Comments Due By
I-81 Susquehanna River Susquehanna County
I-80 Nescopeck Creek
Thurs, May 12, 2022, 3:30 pm – 7 pm
Nescopeck Township Social Hall, 510 Zenith Rd, Nescopeck
I-78 Lenhartsville Bridge Berks County
May 19, 2022, 3:30 - 7 pm
I-80 Lehigh River Carbon/Luzerne Counties
May 18, 2022, 3:30 - 7 pm
I-95 Girard Point Bridge Philadelphia
I-83 South Bridge Dauphin/Cumberland Counties
Wed, May 25, 2022, 3:30 - 6:30 pm
Thurs, May 26, 2022, 3:30-6:30 pm
Penn Harris Hotel
Hilton Garden Inn - Harrisburg East
I-80 Canoe Creek
Wed, May 4, 2022, 3:30 pm – 7 pm
Wolf’s Den Banquet & Conference Facility, 291 Timerwolf Run, Knox, PA
Tues, May 3, 2022, 3:30 pm – 7 pm
Chateau d’Argy, 345 Main St., Brookville, PA
I-79 Bridgeville Interchange Allegheny County
PMTA added Kelly Hawthorne to the staff in April to serve as the Association's Chapter Relations Director. She has been heavily involved with PMTA and the Lancaster chapter for many years and brings with her a lot of experience running chapter events. Please see a note from Kelly below.
My goals are to increase membership throughout Pennsylvania and to meet with each chapter on a regular basis so I can assist them anyway I am able.
I have been affiliated with PMTA all my adult career. The Lancaster Chapter has helped me grow and learn so much about the trucking industry along with depending on others. I could not have asked for a better mentor than the friends I have at the Lancaster Chapter.
In my spare time, I like reading books written by authors Michael Connelly and Sandra Brown.
I live in New Holland, PA with my significant other, David Lynch. He has been my rock and best friend for twenty plus years. Between the two of us, we have four children and seven grandchildren with two more on the way both due in August 2022. Of course, since we are empty nesters, we have four fur babies. Three dogs and one cat.
I am looking forward to collaborating with the staff at PMTA along with the members and prospective members.
(From Left to Right: PMTA Lancaster Chapter President Ken Martin, Rep. Keith Greiner, Rep. David Zimmerman, Rep. Mindy Fee, Rep. Michael Sturla, Rep. Dave Hickernell, Sen. Scott Martin, Rep. Brett Miller and PMTA Director of Safety John Ringey.)
Last month, the PTMA Lancaster Chapter held is annual Legislative Breakfast at The Gathering Place in Mount Joy, Pa.
The Lancaster Chapter presented the state headquarters with a check for the PMTA Government Relations fund.
Orlando, Florida – In April, the American Trucking Associations’ Safety Management Council honored a number of fleets and industry leaders for their commitment to safety on the highway and in the workplace.
“Trucking is a safety-first industry, and the professionals being recognized today have made it their mission to build strong safety practices into the culture of their companies,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. Through their dedication to safety, they provide a tremendous example to our industry, and I congratulate them on receiving these important honors.
The winners were recognized at ATA’s 2022 Safety, Security & Human Resources National Conference & Exhibition.
“SMC is pleased to honor this year’s winners – all of whom play an important role in building our industry’s safety culture,” said SMC Executive Director Jacob Pierce. “Motor Carriers, safety directors, drivers and our state association executives do critical work in promoting and improving safety across our industry and we thank them all for their commitment.”
PMTA is providing the update below on the Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP's) now-final Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) from the Pennsylvania Manufacturers' Association. Though energy costs are important to all businesses, as trucking companies move further to electric and no-emissions vehicles, policies related to the cost of electricity are even more critical. PMTA will continue to track challenges to RGGI and will update members as appropriate.
Despite rising inflation, sluggish pandemic recovery, war in Europe, and global supply chain struggles, Governor Wolf is going into overdrive to impose his crippling electricity tax, which became official last week.
Wolf’s go-it-alone effort started with an executive order in October 2019, which called for Pennsylvania’s entry into a multi-state compact of 11 Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). The final rule was published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin on April 23 after two-and-a-half years of intense public scrutiny, and damning assessments from business, organized labor, and consumer groups, as well as opposition from a large bipartisan majority of state lawmakers.
The RGGI cartel requires power plants to pay a tax for each ton of carbon dioxide they emit. A report by the Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) said Pennsylvania electricity generators could spend upwards of $781 million annually on emissions credits at the RGGI auctions, nearly four times the amount the Wolf administration used when rolling out the RGGI scheme in 2020. The IFO also warned lawmakers that “those costs would be pushed through to final customers.”
The RGGI electricity tax will also force the closure of older power plants, even though those plants are fully compliant with all DEP and EPA regulations. Because Pennsylvania is the top electricity exporting state in America, those plant closures could destabilize the electrical grid for the entire PJM market serving thirteen states and the District of Columbia.
Lawmakers from both parties tried numerous times and in different ways to block Wolf’s plan. The most recent being an attempt earlier this month by the Senate earlier to override a Wolf veto of a concurrent resolution (SCRRR1) to stop RGGI. The two-thirds majority required for override failed by one vote.
Unless the plan is stopped in court -- a critical hearing in the Commonwealth Court that could delay it, is set for Monday -- Pennsylvania is looking at the potential loss of over 20,000 jobs, and a 30 percent jump in electricity rates for consumers and businesses. Almost all emission reductions will be reimported from Ohio and West Virginia (both outside RGGI), when electricity production moves to those neighboring states. Governor Wolf has not yet shared any plans to redirect the Jet Stream from its current west-to-east path.
“Pennsylvania should be a national energy leader, supercharging our economy and lowering monthly bills for consumers,” said PMA President & CEO David N. Taylor. “Instead, under Governor Wolf’s RGGI cartel, Pennsylvanians will have more expensive energy, more inflation from higher business costs, and fewer good-paying jobs for our skilled tradesmen and power plant workers. Because all taxing authority rests with the General Assembly, Wolf’s RGGI tax is unconstitutional. PMA looks forward to vindicating that principle in court.”
Power generators could begin paying the fees required for entry into the compact starting July 1st unless the Commonwealth Court acts to at least delay implementation. It did delay publication of the rule in the Pennsylvania Bulletin, but that brief expired on April 18.
The broader argument before the court is that the governor has enacted a tax without legislative approval; the Constitution authorizes only the General Assembly to enact or raise taxes.
With a victory in the Commonwealth Court, the fight will almost certainly end up in the state Supreme Court, predicts state Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming), chairman of the Senate Environmental Resources & Energy Committee, and a vocal opponent of the plan.
“What [Wolf’s] doing is handing over our economic and environmental future to 11 other states,” Yaw said. “But he seems hell-bent on getting us into this.”
“I wish more people understood how serious this really is,” he added. “That consumers are going to get hit hard from both sides.”
The hope is that court actions can delay implementation until a new Governor is elected in November, assuming, of course, that the new Governor supports leaving the compact. All Republican candidates have stated their opposition, and even the lone Democratic candidate, Attorney General Josh Shapiro, has expressed reservations about RGGI in a bid to retain support from organized labor.
In Virginia, newly elected Gov. Glenn Youngkin, a Republican, has vowed to remove his state from RGGI. There, the Democratically controlled legislature approved entry, so he and Republican lawmakers are trying a variety of strategies to get the state out. A new Pennsylvania Governor could withdraw with a simple executive order because the legislature never approved, or was even asked to approve, Wolf’s plan.
Pennsylvania electricity generators support tens of thousands of high paying jobs and provide millions in additional tax revenue. Wolf’s RGGI tax and the Biden Administration’s continued attacks on domestic energy production have those generators on the ropes. President Biden’s climate envoy John Kerry recently said that “no one should make it easy for gas interests to be building out 30- or 40-year infrastructure.”
By next January, Wolf will be gone, and the November elections will reveal what consumers think about the Radical Greens’ destructive anti-energy agenda.
Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association | (717) 232-0737 | 225 State Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101
In pursuit of controlling the spread of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Flu, the Department of Agriculture is requiring permits to move poultry or other poultry related cargo into, with or from the established quarantine area.
Here’s the quarantine zone map: https://padeptag.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=a9066a3d68a443a08043766cb84bf4ae
Here’s the permit application: https://pacedcitpowerapps.powerappsportals.us/services/AG-Permit-to-Move-Poultry/
From the Pennsylvania Bulletin:
9. Permit Required. No poultry shall move into, within, from or out of the Quarantine Area or off or onto a premises within the Quarantine Area without a Permit issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and no conveyance, vehicle, container, materials or live or unprocessed goods or products of poultry or other domestic animals shall move into, within, from or out of the quarantine area or off or onto a premises within the Quarantine Area on which any poultry is present without a Permit issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. A prerequisite for the issuance of any Permit is a biosecurity plan approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. Permit forms, standards and requirements are established on the Department's website at padls.agriculture.pa.gov or at direct link padls.agriculture.pa.gov/InnerPages/HPAI.html, and are incorporated into this Order by reference, as if fully set forth herein. Any person without access to the internet or the Department's website may call the Department at (717) 772-2852 and request a copy of the Permit requirements. Restricted movements include:
a. Transport poultry, poultry waste, poultry manure, containers or materials or live or unprocessed goods or products of poultry or other domestic animals or any combination of those into, within, from or out of the Quarantine Area, and
b. Deliver or distribute poultry, poultry waste, poultry manure, containers or materials or live or unprocessed goods or products of poultry or other domestic animals or any combination of those into, within, from or out of the Quarantine Area, and
c. Pickup poultry, poultry waste, poultry manure, containers or materials or live or unprocessed goods or products of poultry or other domestic animals or any combination of those into, within, from or out of the Quarantine Area, and
d. Transport, deliver, pickup or distribute poultry, poultry waste, poultry manure, containers or materials or live or unprocessed goods or products of poultry or other domestic animals or any combination of those into, within, from or out of the Quarantine Area, and
e. With regard to poultry waste and poultry manure or the waste or manure of any other domestic animal on the same premises as poultry this Order shall apply to any vehicle, conveyance or container utilized in the movement or application thereof.
f. Feed or feed products or materials shipped onto a premises containing poultry within the Quarantine Area.
© 2021 Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association 910 Linda Lane • Camp Hill, PA 17011 • United States of AmericaPhone: 717-761-7122 • Fax: 717-761-8434