Farm State Senators Oppose New Transportation Guidelines

Wednesday, 03 Aug 2011 09:26 AM

By Greg McDonald

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A bipartisan group of senators from farm states is pressuring the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to reconsider new transportation proposals they say could impose an unnecessary burden on the nation’s agriculture industry.
 
“Our farmers and ranchers need the federal government to help, not hinder, their industry in this uncertain economic climate,” Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., said in statement late Tuesday. “Although safety is always a priority when regulating agriculture-related transport, these proposals don’t make sense and, if implemented, would unfairly burden the agriculture industry with unnecessary regulations.”
 
Hoeven, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, is one of 22 senators raising concerns about three FMCSA proposals now open for public comment that would reclassify trucks and equipment currently considered “farm use” as commercial motor vehicles.
 
Hoeven said the proposals could also turn farmers who transport their own goods to market into “for-hire” commercial carriers who would have to be licensed at commercial drivers.
 
“At a time when many individuals and small businesses are facing economic uncertainty and unemployment remains high, we cannot afford to place additional burdens on our nation’s producers of high quality, safe and nutritious food,” the senators wrote in a letter to FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro.

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