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Amid weather emergency, Minnesota relaxes rules on trucking to help farmers

On Friday, May 13, Gov. Tim Walz issued Executive Order 22-11, authorizing temporary regulatory relief for motor carriers and drivers.

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Flooded fields near Oslo, Minnesota.
Ryan Longnecker / WDAY News
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ST. PAUL — Minnesota is temporarily lossening restictions on hours of service to help farmers deal with flooding and storms amid spring planting.

On Friday, May 13, Gov. Tim Walz issued an executive order authorizing temporary regulatory relief for motor carriers and drivers.

The order allows for continued movement of fertilizer, pesticides, and seed. Strict enforcement of certain hours of service rules could hinder transportation of these important supplies to Minnesota farms, the governor's office said in a news release.

The executive order notes that North Dakota earlier in the week had declared an emergency and provided temporary relief on trucking regulations.

Spring flooding in Minnesota has set back planting schedules for farmers across the state and severe storms ravaged much of the state this week.

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“Parts of Minnesota are experiencing some of the worst flooding we’ve seen in over decade,” Walz said in a news release. “Our state and country’s agricultural industry rely on our Minnesota farmers to successfully plant and harvest on time every year, and we want to help them get back on track in every way can. This order will provide immediate relief as we continue to assess these extreme weather conditions.”  

The executive order is in effect for 30 days. It notes that fatigued drivers cannot be required to keep driving a commercial vehicles and be allowed to rest before returning to duty.

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