House Panel Approves NMPF-Backed Amendment Allowing Increased Truck Weight Limits for Milk Hauling

Release date: October 22,2015
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ARLINGTON, VA – The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee today approved legislation backed by the National Milk Producers Federation allowing states to increase truck weights so that milk is shipped as quickly and as efficiently as possible.

The bipartisan amendment, offered by New York Republican Richard Hanna and Connecticut Democrat Elizabeth Esty, 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.”

Mulhern thanked Representatives Hanna and Esty for sponsoring the amendment and urged the House to take up the highway bill as soon as possible. 

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The National Milk Producers Federation, based in Arlington, VA, develops and carries out policies that advance the well-being of dairy producers and the cooperatives they own. The members of NMPF’s cooperatives produce the majority of the U.S. milk supply, making NMPF the voice of more than 32,000 dairy producers on Capitol Hill and with government agencies. Visit www.nmpf.org for more information.