WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) today introduced bi-partisan and bi-cameral legislation with Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) eliminating a burdensome regulation that requires agriculture industry professionals to obtain a hazardous material endorsement before transporting sufficient amounts of diesel fuel necessary for a number of agricultural operations.
“Our farmers and ranchers work tirelessly to provide the world with the most abundant and safe food supply ever known. The least we can do is remove frivolous government red tape that makes their efforts more onerous.” Roberts said. “Requiring our producers to treat a truck transporting large amounts of diesel fuel in a similar fashion to hauling radioactive material is patently absurd and is simply another example of the federal government’s overly burdensome regulations stifling our economy.”
“I am happy to have an opportunity to address an area of over-regulation that particularly impacts our farmers in North Dakota and throughout the country,” Heitkamp said. “This legislation will remove an unnecessary and costly requirement for custom harvesters and agribusinesses, saving money and time in the rural economy. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate to pass this important legislation into law.”
The Senators’ legislation exempts agribusiness participants from the requirement to obtain a hazardous material endorsement, while operating a service vehicle carrying diesel fuel in quantities of 1,000 gallons or less, if the tank containing diesel fuel is clearly marked. Exempted parties include all custom harvesters, agriculture retailers, agriculture business employees, agriculture cooperative employees, or agriculture producers who hold a Class A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).
Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), and Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) are original co-sponsors of the bill. Congressman Randy Neugebauer (R-TX) and Congressman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) are introducing companion legislation in the House of Representatives.
The bill is also endorsed by the American Farm Bureau Federation, the Kansas based U.S. Custom Harvesters Industry, the Kansas Coop Council, the Kansas Grain and Feed Association, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, the Agricultural & Food Transporters Conference, the National Association of Wheat Growers, the US Canola Association, National Sunflower Association, US Dry Pea & Lentils, National Barley Growers Association, the Kansas Farm Bureau and the Kansas Agri-business Retailers Association.
Under current regulations, any driver transporting more than 119 gallons of diesel fuel is required to obtain a Hazardous Materials endorsement on their Class A CDL.