The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Wednesday approved legislation backed by the National Milk Producers Federation allowing states to increase truck weights, which could improve speed and efficiency of milk hauling.
The amendment, offered by Richard Hanna, R-N.Y., and Elizabeth Esty, D-Conn., was added to a transportation bill that could reach the House floor later this fall. It was approved on a voice vote.
"Today's amendment recognizes the unique needs of hauling milk," said NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern. "Milk is extremely perishable. Both the supply of it coming from farms, and the daily intake needs of processing plants, can fluctuate unpredictably. As a result, milk handling requirements sometimes conflict with limits on truck weights."
To solve the problem, the Hanna-Esty amendment gives states the option to issue permits allowing milk haulers to increase their truck weights beyond Interstate Highway System limits. The permits would still need to comply with each state's trucking laws.
"Timing is critical in moving milk to market," Mulhern added. "This amendment recognizes the specific challenges in transporting milk and allows states to ensure that milk is delivered in a timely fashion while adhering to all transportation and food safety standards."