Gov. Paul LePage has extended an emergency order that allows fuel oil delivery truck drivers to stay on the road longer.

LePage issued an initial emergency declaration on Dec. 13 and another on Dec. 31. The latest covers the period from Jan. 19 through Feb. 8.

LePage said heating oil is in high demand due to cold weather and national storage and supply issues. In addition, some of the oil being delivered to Maine customers is coming from out of state, adding to the amount of time drivers need to spend on the road.

The emergency declaration allows drivers to continue to operate without following federal rules that limit their hours, although any driver who reports a need for immediate rest is required to be given at least 10 consecutive hours off.

Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at:[email protected]

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