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  • March 23, 2023 9:02 AM | Anonymous

    Washington — Today a group of truck transportation stakeholders launched the Clean Freight Coalition (CFC) to serve as a collective voice for key trucking industry stakeholders. Made up of motor carriers of every size and sector, truck manufacturers, and truck dealers, the CFC’s mission is to:

    1. Educate policy makers on the incredible progress the trucking industry has made in reducing emissions and protecting the environment; 
    2. Promote the work underway to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from freight transportation; and 
    3. Advocate for sound public policies that transition toward a zero-emission future in a manner that assures affordable and reliable freight transportation and protects the nation's supply chain.

    The five founding members of CFC are the: 

    Jim Mullen will serve as CFC’s executive director. Mullen has extensive regulatory, legislative, and legal experience within the industry, having previously served as acting administrator and chief counsel of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, chief administrative and legal officer of a publicly traded autonomous truck developer, and general counsel for a large publicly traded truck company.

    “Trucking is the backbone of our economy and critical to the nation’s supply chain. It is an honor to lead the CFC in its pursuit to get to zero emissions in a responsible and feasible manner,” said Mullen.

    “The trucking industry starts with ‘Yes,’ as we’ve demonstrated through massive emission reductions over the last three decades,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “To get to zero, we must be honest and transparent about the road ahead. Success depends on a national energy strategy that is inclusive of our industry – the most central and critical link in the supply chain.”

    “America’s truck dealers sell and service the newest, cleanest, and safest trucks available,” said Laura Perrotta, President of ATD. “Truck dealers are essential to turning over America’s aging truck fleet, and with nearly half of America’s trucking fleet over 10 years old, there is a lot of work this new coalition can do together to prepare the marketplace for the next generation of clean trucks.”

    “The tank truck industry leans into new technologies, embracing improvements to make equipment safer for the motoring public, as well as for our environment more than ever before,” stated NTTC President and CEO Ryan Streblow. “Tank trucks deliver over 1/4 of all truck tonnage in North America, much of which is providing critical energy sources to all Americans. Looking ahead, we stand ready with our partners to embrace and help implement new scalable technologies and infrastructure on a timeline which is obtainable.”

    “The U.S. commercial trucking industry is in the process of transforming. Truck and engine manufacturers are leading the way to cleaner air through investment, innovation, and engineering,” said EMA President Jed Mandel. “EMA members are dedicating billions of R&D dollars towards a ZEV future, but those investments won’t be enough on their own—we also need state and federal leaders to commit to building the essential infrastructures for those vehicles to operate nationwide. We are committed to working with policymakers to ensure a smooth and successful transition that aligns ZEV production to infrastructure availability.”

    "Truckload has long been on the road to zero—embracing new advancements in emissions-reducing technology and critical improvements to infrastructure. The key to our shared success will be in establishing a realistic timeline and multiple-solution approach that ensures productivity for drivers and reliability within the supply chain for consumers,” said Jim Ward, President of the Truckload Carriers Association. “For this to happen, we need carrier involvement in all stages of the testing process to help identify operational challenges on the ground. All modes of our industry stand ready to work together to prepare for this essential transition."

    Learn more at cleanfreightcoalition.org.

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  • March 22, 2023 11:32 AM | Anonymous

    PMTA will host its Driver of the Year Banquet tonight, March 22, at the Penn Harris Hotel in Camp Hill. The Awards Ceremony will be streamed live on Facebook beginning at 6 p.m.

    You can access that here: https://www.facebook.com/PennsylvaniaMotorTruckAssociation

  • March 22, 2023 10:42 AM | Anonymous

    The 2023 Public Comment Period for the update of the 12-Year Program (TYP) opened March 1 and the Transportation Survey is available until Sunday, April 30, 2023. 

    In addition to the Survey, PennDOT will also host an Online Public Forum on Wednesday, April 12, from 6:30 – 8:00 PM, featuring a presentation from PennDOT leadership and members of the STC, followed by a Q&A session. 

  • March 17, 2023 5:05 PM | Rebecca Oyler (Administrator)

    As the season turns to spring, the annual renewal of apportioned registration heats up along with the temperature. As always, the deadline in Pennsylvania for renewal is May 31, but it is to your advantage to renew sooner rather than later to ensure that your paperwork can be processed before the deadline. PMTA can help you with this process. If you need assistance, please contact us.

    If coming to PMTA for your apportioned renewal, please be aware of the following:

    • PMTA hours for the apportioned process are 10:00 am to 4:45 pm. (Because staff makes daily visits to PennDOT each morning, slight variations may occur.)
    Please note that we will be closed for our Annual Membership Conference on April 19 from 12:00 pm to 4:45 pm and on April 20 from 8:30 am to 12:00 pm.
    • Please be sure that you bring the following with you:
      • Completed renewal application
      • Current insurance information
      • Stamped 2290 Schedule 1 form for the tax period July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023
      • Current and valid driver’s license
      • Payment
      • Total miles driven per state for the period July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022

    PMTA understands from PennDOT that the option to change a fleet’s deadline for their apportioned renewal will be available in the future. In addition, the agency is also working to move the process online for customers. However, dates have not yet been provided for these initiatives. PMTA will inform members when these options is available.

    Although little has changed with the process for now, there are several changes occurring in Pennsylvania with apportioned registration that members should be aware of, specifically related to new accounts.

    First, due to a bill signed into law last year, which was supported by PMTA, PennDOT has begun providing rolling deadlines for apportioned registration. The result is that, in the future, not all apportioned registration renewals will be due on May 31. For the time being, this only affects NEW accounts. As new apportioned registration accounts are set up, applicants’ renewal deadlines will be one year from the point of registration.

    Second, carriers should be aware that PennDOT has been strictly enforcing requirements related to residency when setting up new apportioned accounts in order to prevent incidences of fraud in the industry. These verification requirements have been delaying the process of setting up an account for many applicants, often by several days. PMTA has been working with PennDOT on this process, but delays remain.

    No matter where an applicant sets up a new apportioned account – whether at PennDOT, PMTA, or another agent – it is necessary to provide three additional forms of identification to establish proof of residency, each of which is verified and approved by PennDOT.

    All Proofs of Residency or documents that Establish Place of Business must show the exact name and address listed on the apportioned registration application. All applicants must provide a valid legible front and back copy of their driver license.

    If the applicant is a business, they must provide verification that the business is registered with the Pennsylvania Department of State (a copy of the business’s corporate documents) in addition to at least three of the following:

    • Electric, gas, oil, water, or sewer utility bill
    • IRS Heavy Vehicle Use Tax (HVUT) IRS Form 2290, Schedule 1 Payment Receipt
    • Federal, State, or County Tax Filing
    • Mortgage documents
    • A current municipal government certification of business
    • Pennsylvania Vehicle Certificate of Title or Current Registration Card (except for the vehicle(s) currently being titled or registered)

    If the applicant is an individual, at least three of the following must be provided:

    • Most current personal income tax filing (Federal or State)
    • Mortgage document/residential lease agreement
    • Current county-issued weapons permit
    • Gas, electric, water, or sewer utility bill
    • Pennsylvania Vehicle Certificate of Title or Current Registration Card (except for the vehicle(s) currently being titled or registered)
    • IRS Heavy Vehicle Use Tax (HVUT) IRS Form 2290, Schedule 1 Payment Receipt
    • Pennsylvania IFTA Cab Card

    Applicants should be aware that additional information may be requested to meet the satisfaction of PennDOT.

  • March 09, 2023 2:09 PM | Rebecca Oyler (Administrator)

    On Tuesday, March 7, Governor Josh Shapiro delivered his first budget address, outlining his proposal for 2023-24 state spending and setting the stage for legislative debate in the coming months. The annual budget address is an opportunity to hear from the governor what his priorities and policy initiatives are for the coming year. The event is particularly important for a new governor, as it is his first opportunity to publicly announce the administration’s plans as it transitions from campaigning to governing.

    Overall, Governor Shapiro’s proposal would increase spending 8% over last year to $44.5 billion. There are several elements of the proposed budget that are of interest to the trucking industry.

    Motor License Fund

    Because the trucking industry pays almost 40% of the highway and bridge taxes in Pennsylvania, PMTA supports ensuring that these funds are spent in the most efficient and effective way to benefit the commonwealth’s transportation infrastructure. As a result, PMTA has long supported ending the diversion of Motor License Fund revenue to the PA State Police, while still ensuring that our partners in law enforcement receive the support that they need from other sources.

    The issue has been debated in Harrisburg for many years. The 2022-23 budget reduced the State Police allocation from the Motor License Fund by $175 million to $500 million, with further reductions anticipated over time. However, Governor Shapiro’s proposed budget addresses this issue in a new way.

    The budget proposal would create a new Public Safety and Protection Fund to reduce the State Police’s reliance on the Motor License Fund by $100 million per year until 2027-28, when Motor License Fund commitments would reach $0. Other sources for State Police funding in the Public Safety and Protection Fund would be directed from the motor vehicle sales tax and tobacco and liquor taxes, in addition to other smaller fund transfers.

    As proposed, the resulting Motor License Fund revenues over the next five years will provide the full matching requirements for additional federal funding for highways and bridges made available by the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

    The Governor has not proposed changes to state diesel or gas tax rates.

    State Police Funding

    The creation of the roughly $1 billion Public Safety and Protection Fund, as proposed, would fund four new trooper cadet classes in the coming year to train 384 new troopers. The plan would also allocate $20 million for State Police vehicle and helicopter replacements and equipment upgrades.  

    Marijuana Legalization

    Governor Shapiro’s proposed budget anticipates legalization of adult-use cannabis with a 20% wholesale tax imposed on it. As proposed, this would generate $28 million in the first year, increasing to $250 million by 2027-28. See PMTA’s article and link to complete ATRI’s survey on marijuana legalization here.  

    Corporate Net Income Tax

    The proposed budget continues the step-down enacted in 2022 of the Corporate Net Income (CNI) Tax from 9.99% to 4.99% by 2031 (which began in 2023 with a reduction to 8.99%). Though Shapiro expressed support for accelerating the reduction of the CNI during the campaign, an acceleration was not proposed in this budget. The governor instead stated his willingness to work with the legislature on this.

    Workforce Development

    The governor’s proposal calls for increased funding for existing workforce development programs, including career and technical education and apprenticeships through the Department of Labor and Industry. It also calls for two new programs, including $3 million for Foundations in Industry through the Department of Community and Economic Development to increase apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeship programs and $3.5 million for the Schools-to-Work program to help the Department of Labor and Industry support partnerships between career and technical education students and employers.

    Labor Law Compliance Resources

    The proposed budget increases Department of Labor and Industry funding by $1.28 million to hire additional labor law compliance investigators to investigate more cases, permit more strategic enforcement of current labor laws, and provide additional education on these issues to businesses.

    The Governor’s proposed budget will be debated by the legislature over the coming months, with the state senate and house Appropriations Committees each scheduling hearings to consider the agency’s budgets. PMTA will monitor these discussions for impacts to the trucking industry. The state budget must be completed and signed by the Governor by midnight on June 30.

  • March 07, 2023 12:01 PM | Anonymous

    Washington, D.C. The American Transportation Research Institute today issued a request for motor carriers to participate in ATRI’s annual update to its Operational Costs of Trucking report.

    ATRI’s 15thannual Operational Costs of Trucking is one of the most used and most comprehensive benchmarking tools in the trucking industry. ATRI confidentially collects costs and operational data directly from trucking fleets and owner-operators, and its analysis reveals key trends for fleets of each sector, size, and region.

    The fleet metrics requested by ATRI include driver pay, fuel costs, insurance premiums, and equipment lease or purchase payments. Carriers and owner-operators are asked to provide full-year 2022 cost per mile and/or cost per hour data through an easy-to-use online data entry form or email submission. By carrier request, this year’s report includes valuable new efficiency metrics such as miles between breakdowns.

    Participating motor carriers will once again receive a customized report that compares their fleet’s costs and operations to peer carriers of the same sector and size, as well as an advance copy of the full report.

    “ATRI’s Ops Costs report is indispensable for benchmarking our operations; it confirms what we are doing well and notes where we can achieve additional cost savings,” said James Burg, James Burg Trucking Company President and CEO.“ And the customized peer-group assessment is invaluable to our benchmarking activities.”

    For-hire motor carriers are encouraged to provide operational cost data to ATRI by Friday, April 28. ATRI’s data collection form is available online here. All confidential information is protected, and it is published only in anonymized, aggregate form.

    ATRI is the trucking industry’s 501c3 not-for-profit research organization. It is engaged in critical research relating to freight transportation’s essential role in maintaining a safe, secure and efficient transportation system.

  • March 04, 2023 10:34 AM | Rebecca Oyler (Administrator)

    On March 1, the Pennsylvania Senate passed SB 254, a bill sponsored by Sen. Gene Yaw and supported by PMTA that would suspend the enforcement of California Air Resources Board (CARB) emissions regulations for heavy-duty trucks through MY26. The bill also protects businesses from legal challenge by third parties if they are complying with EPA standards during the suspension.

    This bill is a continuation of PMTA’s efforts, in cooperation with legislative allies, to address concerns raised by members in late 2021 about steep and unexpected cost increases in 2022 truck orders. After making inquiries, PMTA determined that the increases were the result of a regulation promulgated nearly 20 years ago by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Projection (DEP), which adopted CARB’s emissions standards by reference for diesel-powered vehicles weighing over 14,000 lbs. As a result, any time CARB revises its rules, Pennsylvania’s Heavy-Duty Diesel Emission Control Program automatically updates to adopt the California rules.

    As a result, no action is needed on the part of Pennsylvania to adopt CARB requirements going into effect for heavy-duty trucks. The cost increase for 2022 trucks sold in Pennsylvania was the result of the significant extension of warranty requirements for new trucks in the CARB regulations. Previously, the warranty period for class 4 through 8 trucks was five years, 100,000 miles or 3,000 operation hours, whichever came first. In 2022, the five-year limit was unchanged under CARB, but the required warranty was extended to:

    • ·       350,000 miles for class 8 vehicles
    • ·       150,000 for class 6 and 7 vehicles, and
    • ·       110,000 for class 4 and 5 vehicles

    The extension of these warranty requirements resulted in significant increases in the cost of new trucks.

    In response to PMTA’s members’ concerns about these cost increases that have no beneficial impact on the environment, DEP issued a notice in November 2021 that the agency would not be enforcing CARB requirements in PA until at least July 31, 2023.

    However, many PMTA members remained concerned that DEP’s notice was insufficient to prevent legal challenges for companies for not complying with CARB. Therefore, PMTA pursued a legislative solution that would give the suspension the force of law. Two bills passed their respective chambers last year but were not considered in the other chamber before the legislative session expired: HB 2075, sponsored by state Rep. Jerry Knowles, and SB 1030, sponsored by Sen. Gene Yaw.

    PMTA supports the overall repeal of the California air pollution control standards in Pennsylvania to prevent further costly emissions mandates from affecting the industry. However, with DEP’s CARB suspension set to expire July 31, 2023, action is urgently needed now to provide certainty for the industry in Pennsylvania and control the cost of new trucks for businesses in the state this year.

    SB 254 is a reintroduction of Sen. Yaw’s bill that passed the Senate last year. This bill, which suspends CARB through MY26, will now be considered by the PA House of Representatives. PMTA members are urged to contact their state House member to support SB 254.

  • February 27, 2023 8:53 AM | Anonymous

    Butler, Clearfield, Clinton, Fayette, Lawrence, and Somerset counties are new to the quarantine for 2023 

    Harrisburg, PA – Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today announced that six counties have been added to Pennsylvania's spotted lanternfly quarantine zone ahead of the 2023 spring hatch. With this addition, the quarantine for this invasive pest now includes 51 counties.

    "Spotted lanternfly is an invasive pest that is disruptive and damaging to our agriculture commodities and a nuisance pest for all Pennsylvanians," said Redding. "Through collective and intentional efforts, including instituting quarantine zones, we continue to slow the spread of this insect, and I call on all Pennsylvanians to assist. This time of year, before the eggs hatch in spring, do your part to help manage the pest by scraping egg masses and reporting where they are found. Each egg mass destroyed eliminates 30-50 lanternflies before they have an opportunity to hatch and spread."

    Spotted lanternflies have not been found throughout the entirety of each of the new six counties, but rather have been found only in a few municipalities. Butler, Clearfield, Clinton, Fayette, Lawrence, and Somerset counties are new to the quarantine for 2023.

    Businesses that operate in or travel through quarantined counties are required to obtain a spotted lanternfly permit. Homeowners with questions about treatment are encouraged to contact their local Penn State Extension office or learn about management, including approved sprays, at their website. Pennsylvanians who live inside the quarantine zone should also review and sign the Compliance Checklist for residents.

    "The purpose of expanding the quarantine is to raise awareness and slow the spread of the spotted lanternfly," said Dr. Ruth Welliver, director of the department's Bureau of Plant Industry. "Thanks to an actively engaged community, and aggressive treatment and monitoring by the Department of Agriculture and our partners, we are limiting the spread and impact of this pest across the Commonwealth and are assisting our commodity growers in protecting their crops."

    The department also announced opportunities for funding to help counties slow the spread of spotted lanternfly. Through the PA Farm Bill's Rapid Response and Disaster Preparedness Fund, $150,000 will be available for grants for county conservation districts in Pennsylvania. The department will award grants of up to $25,000 to assist conservation districts with activities designed to enhance spotted lanternfly quarantine compliance by businesses and residents of their county. The application period opens on March 5, 2023, and closes on Friday, April 7, 2023, at 5:00 p.m. Learn more about this grant opportunity in the PA Bulletin on March 4, 2023.

    Since 2015, the department has received more than $53 million to combat spotted lanternfly in Pennsylvania – $32 million in federal funds and another $21 million in state investment.

    For more information on spotted lanternfly, visit agriculture.pa.gov/spottedlanternfly. For more about the PA Farm Bill and its investments in a sustainable agriculture industry visit agriculture.pa.gov/pafarmbill.

    To report a sighting of spotted lanternfly, visit https://extension.psu.edu/have-you-seen-a-spotted-lanternflyOpens In A New Window.

  • February 23, 2023 9:14 PM | Rebecca Oyler (Administrator)

    Last week, the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) launched a new survey seeking motor carrier input on the impact of legalizing marijuana on the trucking industry’s workforce. The survey is a follow-up to ATRI’s 2019 Marijuana Legalization and Impaired Driving: Solutions for Protecting our Roadways.

    Data gathering on the issue of marijuana impairment on the roads and in the industry is increasingly important as more states move to legalize recreational marijuana. Nationally, there are 21 states where recreational marijuana has been legalized. The latest states – Vermont and New York, which were added in late 2022 – round out a list of others in the northeast, including Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Washington, DC. A legalization bill that passed last year in Delaware was vetoed by Governor John Carney.

    After medical marijuana was legalized in Pennsylvania in 2016, lawmakers debated legalizing recreational cannabis for several years, and Governor Josh Shapiro has been a long-time proponent of recreational marijuana legalization, so it is likely that this issue will be considered soon in Pennsylvania.

    Last year, several hearings were held on a bipartisan bill that would set a minimum age of 21 for marijuana consumption and expunge non-violent marijuana crime convictions. The existing medical marijuana program would become the basis for distribution through licenses, and limited home growing would be permitted for medical marijuana patients. Micro-cultivation licenses would be issued to farmers and craft growers.  

    Last year, two studies on the relationship between marijuana legalization and crash rates found that injury and fatal crash rates rose 6% and 4%, respectively, in California, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington after marijuana was legalized in these states compared to other western states. According to insurance records, collision claims also increased similarly.

    As for the impact on truck drivers, where any use of marijuana is prohibited, legalization (whether medicinal or recreational) is presenting a challenge for the industry. Over the course of the 3-year period of testing through the clearinghouse, marijuana has been the most common positive drug result. Of 171,957 substances identified in violations, 95,076 or 55% were positive marijuana tests. It is concerning that, of 113,995 drivers in prohibited status in the clearinghouse due to a positive drug test, 86,500 of them have not started the return-to-duty process. In an industry with a driver shortage of 78,000, it is clear that marijuana use is affecting trucking’s workforce.

    Legalization affects the trucking industry in several ways, including the drivers trucks encounter on the roads around them as well as the ability to recruit and retain truck drivers.

    For legalization updates in Pennsylvania, stay tuned or contact your state House or Senate member.  

    To have your say on the impact of marijuana legalization on the trucking industry’s workforce, please complete ATRI’s survey. The results of this survey may be used by PMTA to advocate in Pennsylvania’s General Assembly on this issue.  

  • February 16, 2023 3:36 PM | Anonymous
    Washington — Wednesday, American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear told Congress that the industry needed realistic national timelines and targets to reduce emissions, rather than allowing California and other states to drive standards.

    “The trucking industry starts with ‘yes,’ Spear testified before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee today. “ATA worked with the Environmental Protection Agency, producing Phases I and II emission reduction rules, as well as the SmartWay Transport Partnership – which has been a model of public-private cooperation. To date, 98.5% of all emissions have been removed from our tailpipes.  In fact, 60 trucks today emit what one truck emitted in 1988.”

    Spear emphasized that those gains, which include reductions of millions of tons of carbon, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter emissions, were the result of collaborative regulatory processes and realistic goals.

    “This is not a debate about if we get to zero, but when. – we’ll get there, just not on the timelines proposed by California. By excluding our industry in a mad dash to zero makes their timeline and targets not only unachievable… but guarantees they will fail,” Spear said. “To get to zero, we must be honest and transparent about the road ahead. Sourcing rare minerals needed for millions of 5,000 pounds of truck batteries, the infrastructure needed to charge them and the additional electricity needed to power our trucks – full scale – doesn’t yet exist… and won’t if you allow California to set the nation’s standard.”

    If California’s proposals are allowed to set targets and timelines for emissions reductions, Spear said it will certainly impact the industry and the supply chain – and Americans will feel those disruptions.

    “Over the next decade, trucks will be tasked with moving 2.4 billion more tons of freight than they do today – the moment that slows or stops, Americans, your constituents, will want answers,” he said. “The responsible approach is also the realistic approach.  Achievable timelines and targets matter. We’re committed to a cleaner environment – we’ve proven that.  We simply ask that we be realistic about the path forward.  Do that, and we’ll post the best environmental gains possible.”

    American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils, ATA is the voice of the industry America depends on most to move our nation’s freight. Follow ATA on Twitter or FacebookTrucking Moves America Forward

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910 Linda Lane • Camp Hill, PA 17011 • United States of America
Phone: 717-761-7122 • Fax: 717-761-8434

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