Burgum waives hauling permit fees to help drought-stricken ranchers

Saturday, July 22, 2017 - 4:30pm

BISMARCK, N.D. – As part of ongoing efforts to help farmers and ranchers hit hard by extreme drought conditions, Gov. Doug Burgum today signed an executive order waiving fees for drivers of commercial vehicles hauling hay, water and livestock supplies in drought-affected counties of North Dakota.

“Transportation costs are a major expense for ranchers being forced to move their livestock to non-drought areas or buy and haul hay from other counties and states, and this order aims to help defray those costs,” Burgum said. “We’re committed to leaving no stone unturned as we seek ways to ease the burden on our agricultural producers who form the bedrock of North Dakota’s communities and economy.”

The fees waived by the order include the $50 seasonal hay hauling permit fee; $15 fuel permit fee; $20 trip permit fee; $20 oversize permit fee and a related $15 service fee; and the $35 interstate single-trip permit fee and $300 annual interstate permit fee.

State Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring had requested the fee waivers in a letter to the governor Thursday.

“I appreciate these additional actions taken by Gov. Burgum to assist our agricultural producers in managing through this drought,” Goehring said. “This further relief for truckers will provide assistance where it is needed.”

The executive order also permits the hauling of hay at night if loads are within a certain size and marked with proper lighting. State highways posted at 80,000 pounds gross vehicle weight also have been increased to a legal gross weight of 105,500 pounds, provided all axle weights and bridge lengths are legal.

Today’s order supersedes an executive order issued by Burgum earlier this month related to hours of service and weight exemptions.

Today’s order now acts as the permit and must be carried in the vehicle of those operating in direct support of the declared drought emergency under the stated exemptions. The executive order can be viewed here.

The order will remain in effect until Aug. 10, at which point the 30-day hours of service waiver will be revisited and an extension may be sought.

Those with questions about the permitting requirements and waivers are encouraged to contact the North Dakota Highway Patrol’s permit office at (701) 328-2621.

For additional information related to drought and wildfires, visit www.ndresponse.gov.

On Thursday, the State Water Commission approved an additional $500,000 for its Drought Disaster Livestock Water Supply Program. For more information, go to www.swc.nd.gov.

The U.S. Drought Monitor released Thursday rated 6 percent of North Dakota in exceptional drought (D4), the first time since 2006 the state has received a D4 drought rating. Approximately 34 percent of the state is listed in extreme drought (D3), 17 percent in severe drought (D2) and 17 percent in moderate drought (D1).