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June 25 2018

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June 25 2018 | The Journal of Commerce 25 Government exemption when transporting agri- cultural commodities, which include livestock, applies to a narrower base of companies and drivers, but comes as the produce season moves toward full swing. Carriers hauling agricultural commodities within a 150-air-mile radius, about 172 miles, are exempt from log-keeping requirements. How that exemption is applied, however, has been questioned since the ELD mandate took effect. The FMCSA reviewed several scenarios. "Any time that takes place within that 150-air-mile radius is not counted to- ward the driver's [HOS]," DeLorenzo said. "That includes time spent driving empty miles and waiting at pickup sites. All that time doesn't count." In addition, an agricultural carrier driving beyond 150 air miles "can take advantage of the exemption" for the first 150 miles of the trip. "Once you exit the 150-air-mile radius, about 172 miles on the road, then the [HOS] rules kick in, starting at hour zero," DeLorenzo said. "At that point, you've got the full [14] hours to go. That's a fairly significant extension." JOC email: twitter: @willbcassidy and shippers some added flexibility at a time when tight capacity, high freight demand, and regulatory constraints have disrupted supply chains. Truck drivers, in particular, have demanded clearer instructions on how to log per- sonal conveyance time with ELDs. The FMCSA opted for a flexible approach, rather than a rigid standard, when laying out its guidance. "It's easy to get bogged down in a lot of scenarios," DeLorenzo said. "Each sit- uation needs to be looked at individu- ally. And it is the employer, the carrier, who can make a determination about use of personal conveyance. The carri- er has a right to put limits on it." Among the scenarios DeLorenzo raised: If drivers use their rigs to com- mute to work, is that on-duty time? "If you truly are going from home to the yard to pick up a trailer, that personal time driving to work is considered per- sonal conveyance," and can be logged off-duty, he said. The same goes for commuting between trailer drop lots and work sites and a driver's home. Driving straight home from dropping off a load, however, "is a continuation of an interstate move," not personal conveyance. The guidance for using the HOS Not just yet US judge halts effort to limit NY harbor commission's power By Hugh R. Morley A FEDERAL JUDGE temporarily halted New Jersey's effort to end a 65-year-old agreement giving the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor the power to do background checks and criminal inves- tigations at the Port of New York and New Jersey. Judge Susan Wigenton, in US District Court in Newark, ruled that New Jersey Governor Phil Mur- phy couldn't enforce a law that would end the com- mission's investigative authority in the port and shift those powers to the New Jersey State Police. The law and the complaint suit are the latest salvos in the dispute between the commission and the New York Shipping Association (NYSA) and International Longshoremen's Association (ILA) over the commission's role in the port, which has played out in recent years in legislative, regulatory, and court venues over hiring and other issues. The ILA and NYSA accuse the commission of overstepping its authority to combat crime on the docks and say the commission's effort to oversee hiring in the port causes delays and disruption. The Waterfront Commission says its work is necessary, and it is merely carrying out its responsibility to fight racketeering and ensure fair hiring. Past efforts to reduce the commission's power have not become law. Even if they had, they would have had no impact, according to commission supporters, unless New York state's Legislature passed an identical law. It has not. In the latest case, however, New Jersey legislators argued that the state could withdraw unilaterally from the compact. About 90 percent of the port's container volume goes through New Jersey. Governor Chris Christie signed the law on Jan. 16, his last day in office. The law gave the state's governor, now Murphy, 30 days to enforce the law and state his intention, or not, to withdraw from the commission. Before he could do so, the Water - front Commission sued, arguing that the compact creating the commission can't be dismantled with- out the consent of New York state or Congress. Murphy and both houses of New Jersey's Leg- islature responded by filing a motion to dismiss the commission's case, in part because the commis- sion's executive director filed suit without getting approval of the two-person commission. Wigenton denied the motion and granted an injunction pre- venting New Jersey from withdrawing from the compact while the initial suit is heard. JOC email: twitter: @HughRMorley_JOC "Each situation needs to be looked at individually. And it is the employer, the carrier, who can make a determination about use of personal conveyance."

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