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Gov. Hickenlooper declares disaster emergency due to propane shortage



DENVER – Gov. John Hickenlooper has been disaster emergency to a shortage of propane in Colorado.

On Monday afternoon, the governor issued a press release stating the shortage, impacting about 33,000 propane customers who primarily live in rural areas.

"These customers may not be able to receive enough propane to heat their homes in the near future, "the press release states.

Hickenlooper issued the verbal executive order shortly after 11 am Monday due to propane production issues combined with the ongoing shortage and anticipated severe weather.

The executive order suspends hours-of-service regulations for intrastate commercial truck drivers. The regulations will be suspended until Jan. 8 at midnight.

According to the governor's statement, a number of state agencies alongside the Colorado and New Mexico Propane Gas Associations that presents a clear risk to populations dependent on propane for heating. ”

Hickenlooper's office said production issues in Colorado have forced the propane industry to seek supplies from outside the state. This has significantly increased the amount of time required to transport fuel.

"The propane industry attempted to address the issue with rationing and other means, however, propane shortages continue," the release states.

In addition to the aforementioned temporary deregulation, the executive order states that involved in transporting propane will prioritize safe practices. It also says that the suspension of regulations does not mean drivers from other Colorado road laws. In addition, the order states that drivers are still prohibited from driving while ill or in poor condition.

A winter storm system arriving midweek is expected to hit the rural parts of Colorado the hardest; portions of the eastern plains could receive more than a foot of snow.

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