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US Senators reintroduce legislation to reform livestock transport

31 March 2021

A bipartisan group of senators reintroduced the Modernizing Agricultural Transportation Act to address ongoing concerns over hours of service and electronic monitoring rules.

The Modernizing Agricultural Transportation Act will reform Department of Transportation regulations on hours of service (HOS) for haulers and delay the enforcement of electronic logging devices (ELDs) until the reforms are formally proposed by the Secretary of Transportation.

“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,” says lead sponsor Senator John Hoeven, a Republican from North Dakota. “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.”

The bill also creates a working group at the Department of Transportation that will include stakeholders from the transportation and agriculture industries, the USDA and safety representatives.

“Livestock haulers have the difficult task of protecting the safety of our roads while maintaining the health and welfare of the animals they’re transporting,” says Senator Roger Marshall, a Republican from Kansas.

“The establishment of this working group will allow DOT to make common sense… ensuring the timely delivery of agricultural commodities.”

The group will assess the impacts of existing rules on HOS and ELD for commercial livestock transportation and other commodities. They will also develop guidelines for reforming the rules and issue a report. From there, the Transportation Secretary must propose regulatory changes to hours of service and electronic logging devices based on the working group’s recommendations.

Senator Michael Bennet, a Democrat from Colorado, says he looks forward to working with his colleagues to give “farmers and ranchers a seat at the table as we push for more sensible rules around the transportation of agricultural goods.”

Read more about this story here.



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