Dec 28th 2020 – DOT Compliance and Transportation Industry Update

  1. CDC Panel Includes Transportation Workers on ‘Essential’ List for Vaccine Priority – Transport Topics, December 21, 2020.  A federal advisory panel is recommending that the next round of coronavirus vaccines be given to teachers, first responders, correction officers and grocery store employees, along with people 75 and over. The vaccine is currently being given to group 1a, health care workers and residents and staff at long-term care facilities. Group 1b will include “frontline essential workers.” Truck drivers and other transportation workers fall into Group 1c as “essential workers.” They are only recommendations, made by Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but many states are expected to follow them. But even as the ACIP made its recommendations Dec. 20 on who should get the vaccine next, officials acknowledged that there still isn’t enough vaccine available for people who make up the second and third round of vaccinations. There are 51 million people in the next round, or 1b category: an estimated 30 million frontline essential workers and another 21 million age 75 and over. Federal officials say there is enough vaccine to inoculate about 20 million people in December, another 30 million in January, another 50 million in February for a total of 100 million doses total. But since the third phase, or 1c category, includes about 129 million people, there will not be enough vaccine to handle all of the people targeted for the next two rounds, at least by the end of February. Several members of the 14-member commission raised questions about the CDC’s recommendations about why they were separating out 65-74 year-olds and why some work groups were considered “frontline essential” workers as opposed to just “essential” workers. Link here>>>

  2. Program aiming to cut emissions could drive fuel costs – CCJ | Jason Cannon, December 22, 2020. Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Washington, D.C., Monday became the first jurisdictions to sign on to a program that hopes to cut emissions roughly 30% between 2022 and 2032 by charging companies hauling fuel into the states.  Fuel importers would be required to buy emissions allowances at auction based on how much on-highway gasoline and diesel they sold in each state. The states would in turn use that money – currently a minimum of 35% of each jurisdiction’s proceeds – to combat climate change and pollution and improve transportation infrastructure. Three trade groups representing the retail fuels industry — NATSO, representing the nation’s truck stops and travel plazas, the National Association of Convenience Stores and the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America — Tuesday encouraged Northeastern states to reconsider the regional Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) and instead focus on policies that will achieve more meaningful environmental benefits without imposing added costs on consumers. Estimates of between 9 and more than 50 cents per gallon could be felt at the pump over the program’s first decade should diesel fuel wholesalers pass the added costs onto customers.  Link here>>>

  3. CCJ Daily Dispatch, Dec. 23: Livestock haulers’ ELD exemption retained in government funding bill – CCJ |CCJ Staff, December 23, 2020.  In addition to COVID-19 relief measures passed by Congress Monday, the massive bill passed by Congress – 5,593 pages, all told – also includes government funding provisions to stave off a government shutdown through September 2021. The government funding portion of the bill includes a provision that extends the ELD exemption for livestock and insect haulers. Specifically, language in the bill bars any funds from the package from being used to implement, administer or enforce ELD requirements to drivers transporting livestock, as defined in section 602 of the Emergency Livestock Feed Assistance  Act of 1988, or insects. Link here>>>