Hoeven, Bennet Introduce Legislation to Ensure HOS & ELD Regulations Work for Ag Haulers

Bipartisan Legislation Would Delay ELD Enforcement until Reforms Are Proposed by Transportation Secretary

WASHINGTON – Senators John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) today announced they have 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). Further, the bill would delay enforcement of the ELD rule until the required reforms are formally proposed by the Transportation Secretary. This bill follows Hoeven’s successful efforts through the appropriations process to secure delays of the ELD rule in Fiscal Years (FY) 2018-2021. 

“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,” said Senator Hoeven. “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.”

“It is important that we maintain safe roads while also recognizing the unique flexibility needed to move Colorado’s agricultural products to markets,” said Senator Bennet. “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.”

Specifically, the Hoeven-Bennet bill would establish a working group at DOT comprised of representatives from the transportation and agriculture industries, transportation safety representatives and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The working group would be required to 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. Within 120 days of receiving the working group’s report, the Transportation Secretary must propose regulatory changes to the HOS and ELD regulations, taking into account the group’s findings and recommendations.

In addition to Hoeven and Bennet, the legislation is cosponsored by Senators Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), James Risch (R-Idaho), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), and Roger Marshall (R-Kans.).

The Modernizing Agricultural Transportation Act is supported by the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA), Livestock Marketing Association (LMA), American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), the American Honey Producers Association (AHPA), The American Horse Council, the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA), American Sheep Industry Association (ASI), the National Turkey Federation and the National Aquaculture Association. A summary of the Hoeven-Bennet legislation can be found here, and industry statements of support can be found here. The full text of the bill is available here.