Gas haulers in Alabama get temporary hours of service exemption

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Updated Nov 2, 2016
The order suspends hours regulations for 30 days, through Dec. 1, unless it’s canceled sooner.The order suspends hours regulations for 30 days, through Dec. 1, unless it’s canceled sooner.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley issued Tuesday an emergency declaration following an Oct. 31 explosion of a gasoline pipeline in Helena, Alabama, effectively relaxing hours-of-service regulations for gasoline haulers operating in the state.

The pipeline that exploded is part of the same Colonial Pipeline that leaked in September that caused gas shortages in several states along the East Coast. The pipeline runs from Texas to New York and New Jersey. Several states issued emergency declarations as a result of that leak.

Bentley’s State of Emergency declaration suspends hours regulations for any drivers or carriers providing aid through pipeline repair or fuel transportation for 30 days through Dec. 1, unless the order is canceled sooner.

Colonial Pipeline representatives said the gasoline pipeline, Line 1, will likely remain shut down the rest of this week. Line 2, which transports diesel, jet fuel and other distillates, was restarted late Oct. 31 and is expected to remain in operation.

Colonial says the incident occurred at approximately 2 p.m. local time Oct. 31, when a crew working on a permanent fix for the gasoline pipeline struck the pipeline with a trackhoe, sparking a fire and explosion that killed one worker and injured four others. The fire has since been contained.