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December 16, 2013

Propane shortage prompts civil emergency declaration

Gov. Paul LePage has issued a limited emergency proclamation to allow trucks delivering heating fuel to operate for extended hours, in response to a shortage of propane and current low temperatures.

The proclamation waives for two weeks U.S. Department of Transportation rules that restrict the hours of service for heating fuel transport vehicles.

The governor's office said propane inventories are 25% lower than normal in Maine, due both to limitations on rail service from Canada following the tanker car derailment in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, and because more shipments of propane are heading by truck to farmers in western states to dry their crops.

The governor said supplies of fuels used in manufacturing and other applications have also been harder to access in the past weeks.

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