As of June 27, Pennsylvania has suspended its 2% biodiesel content mandate in diesel fuel sold for on-road use in the state. The suspension is in effect through July 26, 2022.
PMTA made the request of the PA Department of Agriculture for the suspension in response to reports by PMTA members and other companies of temporary shortages of diesel in some areas of the state.
Pennsylvania is the only east coast state that has a biodiesel mandate like this, preventing Pennsylvania suppliers from sourcing diesel fuel from outside the state. Suspending the biodiesel requirement opens the market to out-of-state purchases and should have the effect of evening out supply chain issues that have prevented distribution of PA-compliant diesel to some suppliers.
The Department of Agriculture is able to issue the suspension if it determines that doing so is necessary due to increased cost to consumers or insufficient quantity or distribution of the fuel. In issuing its order, the agency noted that, "the extreme price fluctuation and limited inventory from wholesalers have caused low stock and rolling outages of diesel fuel throughout Pennsylvania."
The Department of Agriculture will be monitoring supply conditions throughout the state in the coming weeks and may consider modifying, terminating, or extending the order.
Mount Pocono, PA -- Friday and Saturday at the Kalahari Resort the Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association hosted its annual Truck Driving Championships for the first time since 2019.
This year, 132 drivers, with more than 212 Million combined safe miles, competed in nine different classes: Straight Truck, Twins, Three-Axle, Four-Axle, Five-Axle, Sleeper, Tanker, Flatbed and Step Van. In the nine different classes, eight different companies left with first place trophies.
The action got started on Friday morning with the driver meeting and the written test. This year, two drivers tied for the high score on the written test. Terry Wood from Walmart Transportation and Matt Fletcher from Martin Brower each scored 72 of a possible 80 points on the test.
In the afternoon, drivers had the opportunity to walk through the course and went through the Pre-Trip Exam portion of the competition as well. John Brownawell, representing Yellow Freight Systems, recorded the high score in that portion of the competition.
On Saturday morning, the first driver went through the course a little after 7:30 a.m. and the final driver completed the course just after 3:15 p.m. In that time, all 132 drivers and PMTA President and CEO Rebecca Oyler navigated the six-problem course.
On Saturday evening at the banquet, more than 700 individuals attended the awards presentation in convention center at the Kalahari Resort. At the time, the following individuals were given their awards for their performance in the event.
Straight Truck: 1. Leonard Monette, UPS
2. Michael Thorne, Pitt Ohio
3. Brandon Mahan, Old Dominion Freight Line
Twins: 1. John Brownawell, Yellow Freight Systems
2. Eric Waybright, Walmart Transportation
3. Robert Walker, FedEx Freight
Three Axle: 1. Scott Mullen, XPO Logistics
2. Kraig Keller, Estes Express Lines, Inc
3. James Evans, FedEx Freight
Four Axle: 1. Bartholomew Masciulli, FedEx Express
2. Doug Arnold, Pitt Ohio
3. John Burns, R. H. Crawford, Inc
Five Axle: 1. Tom Bewley, A Duie Pyle
2. Falesha Delgado, FedEx Ground
3. Matt Fletcher, Martin Brower
Sleeper: 1. James Campbell, T Force Freight
2. Terry Wood, Walmart Transportation
3. Bryan Krol, Martin Brower
Tanker: 1. Joe Allen Boyd, Walmart Transportation
2. Douglas Lang, Yellow Freight Systems
3. Paul Waite, A Duie Pyle
Flatbed: 1. Troy Wolf, Day & Ross
2. Gene Bartlett, Walmart Transportation
3. Daryl Miller, The Cope Company Salt
Step Van: 1. T.J. Altland, UPS
2. Chuck Digiovanni, FedEx Ground
3. Jose Justiniano, FedEx Ground
Pennsylvania Grand Champion: Troy Wolf, Day & Ross
Rookie of the Year: Falecia Delgado, FedEx Ground
Highest Written Exam Score: Terry Wood, Walmart and Matt Fletcher, Martin Brower
Highest Pre-Trip Score: John Brownawell, Yellow Freight Systems
Small Team Champion: Martin Brower
Large Team Champion: Walmart Transportation
The nine class winners have earned the right to represent Pennsylvania at the National Truck Driving Championships August 16-19, 2022 in Indianapolis.
The Pennsylvania Truck Driving Championships will return to the Kalahari Resort again in 2023, returning to the normal early June dates, June 9-10.
Click here for more photos from the event.
After receiving some feedback from members about access to diesel, PMTA asked the Department of Agriculture to waive the biodiesel mandate to minimize disruption of the supply of diesel in our state. This makes it possible for our suppliers to purchase fuels in surrounding states to sell here. Removing this artificial limit on the market should help bring prices back into line.
Today, the Department wrote the letter below to the Governor to suspend the 2% biodiesel mandate for 30 days.
Dear Governor Wolf,
The Department of Agriculture (PDA) received a request to suspend the 2% biodiesel content mandate in diesel fuel sold for on-road imposed under section 3(a)(1) of the Biofuel Development and In-State Production Incentive Act (Act) (73 P.S. § 1650.3(a)(1)).
The request was made under section 5(d) of the Act (73 P. S. § 1650.5(d)), which authorizes PDA, in consultation with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), to suspend or modify to reduce the mandated content required by section 1650.3(a)(1) of the Act if PDA determines that doing so is warranted by factors, including but not limited to, substantially increased costs to consumers or insufficient quantity or distribution of biodiesel.
In consultation with DEP, PDA has reviewed the industry’s evaluation of the impact of ongoing market price volatility on the consumption and availability of diesel fuel in Pennsylvania. Because wholesalers are unable to forecast the ongoing diesel fuel needs for in-state customers, they have ceased carrying a surplus of diesel fuel. The extreme price fluctuation and limited inventory from wholesalers have caused low stock and rolling outages of diesel fuel throughout Pennsylvania. Based on this evaluation, PDA has determined, and DEP concurs, that it is necessary to take further action to minimize or prevent disruption of the supply of diesel fuel in Pennsylvania.
In accordance with the authority granted by section 5(d) of the Act, PDA hereby issues a partial and temporary suspension of the 2% biodiesel content mandate in this Commonwealth required under section 3(a)(1) of the Act. The suspension shall be effective Monday, June 27, 2022 until 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, July 26, 2022, subject to the following terms and conditions:
a) All in-state terminal facilities shall continue to receive and blend diesel fuel in compliance with 2% biodiesel content mandate and all other provisions of the Act. Additionally, these facilities should consider higher blends within the acceptable OEM engine requirements and their customer’s ability to make such products available to consumers.
b) During the period of this temporary suspension, the sale of diesel fuel for use in on-road compression ignition engines by any retailer, as defined in the Act, shall not be subject to the 2% biodiesel content mandate required by section 3(a)(1) of the Act. Any retailer that took delivery of diesel fuel blended outside the Commonwealth and which is not compliant with the mandated 2% biodiesel content required by section 3(a)(1) may sell such diesel fuel to consumers during the period of this suspension.
c) After this temporary suspension expires, any retailer that took delivery of diesel fuel that is not compliant with the 2% biodiesel mandate during the period of suspension may sell the noncompliant diesel fuel already in its possession for use in on-road compression ignition engines. Any deliveries of diesel fuel to a retailer after this temporary suspension expires shall be subject to all provisions of the Act.
PDA will continue to monitor conditions impacting the available supply of 2% biodiesel blend in the Commonwealth. Should conditions warrant, this suspension may be modified, terminated or extended as appropriate.
Questions about this suspension should be directed to PDA through the Bureau of Ride and Measurement Standards Director Walter Remmert at 717.787.9089 or [email protected]
Russell C. Redding
cc: Secretary McDonnell, Department of Environmental Protection
In partnership with the I-81 Corridor Coalition, the Federal Highway Administration has scheduled a Virtual Truck Parking Technical Roundtable, which PMTA members may be interested in attending. The Roundtable will take place on June 23rd and 29th, with an introductory session scheduled for June 22nd to familiarize participant with the truck parking topic and enable full participation at the Roundtable sessions.
Session dates/times, web conference information, a registration link, and the latest agenda can be found at the I-81 Corridor Coalition website here. There is no charge for attendance.
I-81 is an important facility serving goods movements on the east coast as it traverses six states. The Corridor is challenged by a lack of safe and secure truck parking opportunities presenting a challenge to the safe and efficient movement of goods. The Roundtable is intended to bring public and private sector stakeholders together to:
PMTA members are welcome and encouraged to attend to discuss issues they have had with parking in the corridor and discuss potential solutions. Please register here: https://www.i-81coalition.org/truck-roundtable.html.
Register here: 2022 Commercial Vehicle Safety Symposium
Harrisburg, PA – The No P3 Bridge Tolls Coalition will be hosting a rally at 10:00 am on June 8 on the front steps of the State Capitol Complex in Harrisburg. The rally will include remarks from state legislators, county officials, statewide business organizations, local chambers, and economic development entities who oppose Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s P3 Major Bridge Tolling Initiative. The coalition is calling on the Wolf Administration and PennDOT to scrap the tolling proposal and work with organizations and stakeholders to find sustainable and equitable long-term solutions to funding Pennsylvania’s infrastructure needs.
The following individuals will be participating in the rally:
• Sen. Wayne Langerholc, Jr., Chair, Senate Transportation Committee
• Rep. Donna Oberlander, House Majority Whip
• Sen. Scott Hutchinson, Chair, Senate Finance Committee
• Sen. Devlin Robinson, Vice Chair, Senate Law & Justice Committee
• Rep. Sheryl Delozier, Chair, House Children & Youth Committee
• Rep. Jason Ortitay, House State Government, Subcommittee on Government Operations - Chair
• Rep. Doyle Heffley, House Transportation Committee
• Cumberland County Commissioner Jean Foschi
• Cumberland County Commissioner Vince DiFilippo
• Rebecca Oyler, President & CEO, Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association
• Greg Moreland, Pennsylvania State Director, National Federation of Independent Businesses
• Katherine Hetherington Cunfer, Greater Reading Chamber Alliance
• John Stroup, former Mayor of Clarion
WHO: No P3 Bridge Tolls Coalition
WHAT: Stop the Tolls Rally
WHEN: Wednesday, June 8, 10:00 am. (No Rain Date)
WHERE: Front Steps, Harrisburg Capitol Complex
Media is invited to attend. Also, live coverage of the press conference will be accessible on Senate Republican Caucus website and Senate Republican Caucus Facebook page.
Please consider covering the event with a reporter and photographer. Contact John Stroup, [email protected] or 814.538.9112 if you plan to attend or if you have any questions.
ABOUT THE NO P3 BRIDGE TOLLS COALITION: The No P3 Bridge Tolls Coalition is a group of concerned local chambers, economic development entities, statewide business organizations, business leaders, affected community leaders, and citizens. We stand opposed to the tolling of these nine bridges because of the effect it will have on our local and statewide economy and to stop PennDOT from using this version of the P3 process from negatively impacting more communities in the future
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.
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