BISMARCK, ND (STL.News) Gov. Doug Burgum today signed an executive order waiving hours of service restrictions for drivers of commercial vehicles transporting hay, water and livestock to help livestock producers battling extreme drought conditions across North Dakota.
Drought conditions continue to worsen across North Dakota, with the latest U.S. Drought Monitor rating 14% of North Dakota in exceptional drought, 46% in extreme drought, 38% in severe drought and 2% in moderate drought. The National Weather Service predicts drought will persist through August and into the fall.
Livestock producers running short on water and feed have been forced to sell off parts of their herds or bring in supplemental supplies, including from out of state, requiring commercial truck drivers to move hay and water in significantly greater volumes across North Dakota.
“Ensuring that supplemental water and feed can be delivered in a timely fashion is critical for North Dakota ranchers struggling with shortages of both due to devastating drought,” Burgum said. “With no relief from extremely dry conditions in sight, waiving the hours of service will allow commercial haulers to move the additional food and water that livestock producers need to maintain their herds and make it easier for ranchers to move their herds.”
The order, issued in consultation with state Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, will remain in effect for 30 days. All road safety and vehicle compliance regulations still apply. The executive order serves as a permit and must be carried in vehicles operating under the hours of service waiver.