Hoeven, Bennet Reintroduce Modernizing Agricultural Transportation Act
Bipartisan Legislation Would Ensure ELD, HOS Reforms Work in Real-World Conditions
WASHINGTON – Senators John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) today 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.
“Livestock haulers need a permanent solution to the HOS and ELD rules that provides flexibility while also ensuring road safety and the humane transportation of animals,” said Senator Hoeven. “We’ve worked hard to secure regulatory relief under these rules, including the 150 air-mile agriculture exemption and the flexibility the FMCSA provided for all commercial drivers last fall. Our legislation builds on these past efforts, putting the ELD rule on hold and helping ensure the DOT advances reforms that will work in the real world.”
“Providing farmers and ranchers a seat at the table will lead to more sensible rules around the transportation of agricultural goods,” said Senator Bennet. “It is important that we maintain safe roads, while also recognizing the unique flexibility needed to move Colorado’s agricultural products to market.”
Specifically, the Hoeven-Bennet bill would establish a working group at DOT to identify obstacles to the safe, humane and market-efficient transport of agricultural commodities, including livestock, and, within one year of the group’s establishment, develop guidelines for regulatory or legislative action to improve the transportation of these commodities. The working group will be comprised of representatives from the transportation and agriculture industries, transportation safety representatives and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and is required to consider:
- The impact, incompatibilities and other challenges and concerns of existing HOS rules and ELD rules under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) on the commercial transport of livestock, insects and agricultural commodities.
- Initiatives and regulatory changes that maintain and protect highway safety and allow for the safe, efficient and productive marketplace transport of livestock, insects and agricultural commodities.
- Other related issues that the Transportation Secretary considers appropriate.
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 findings and recommendations of the working group.
In addition to Hoeven and Bennet, the legislation introduced today is cosponsored by Senators Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Michael Rounds (R-S.D.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), James Risch (R-Idaho), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.).
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) and the Rocky Mountain Farmer’s Union (RMFU). 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.
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