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Regulatory Update – August 19, 2022

Update on Relevant U.S. Regulations

FMCSA Requests Comment on COVID-19 Waiver ICR
On Aug. 18, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a notice and request for comments on the agency’s intent to submit an information collection request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget titled “Acknowledgement of Use of COVID–19 Emergency Declaration Relief.” The ICR, which has been approved on an emergency basis, allows FMCSA to collect information from motor carriers regarding use of the COVID–19 Emergency Declaration. The current emergency approval expires on Aug. 31. Comments are due by Sept. 19.

FMCSA Releases Medical Examiner’s Handbook and Proposed Updated Guidance
On Aug. 16, FMCSA published a notice and request for comments announcing the availability of the draft Medical Examiner’s Handbook (MEH), which includes updates to the Medical Advisory Criteria published in the Code of Federal Regulations. FMCSA is requesting comments on the proposed regulatory guidance. Comments are due by Sept. 30.

PHMSA Publishes Correction to International Harmonization Final Rule
On Aug. 16, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published a correction to the agency’s July 26, 2022, Harmonization with International Standards final rule. Paragraphs (i) and (ii) were inadvertently removed from § 173.27 (c)(2). The correction is effective Aug. 25

PHMSA Publishes Updates on Special Permits
On Aug. 15, PHMSA published updates on special permit applications:

FMCSA Holds UCR Board Meeting
On Aug. 12, FMCSA announced a meeting of the Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) Plan Board’s Education and Training Subcommittee. The subcommittee met on Aug. 18. The meeting was open to the public.

FMCSA Requests Comments on Incorporation by Reference of the CVSA Level VI OOSC NPRM
On Aug. 8, FMCSA published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend the hazardous materials safety permit regulations to update the incorporation by reference of CVSA’s “North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria and Level VI Inspection Procedures and Out-of-Service Criteria for Commercial Highway Vehicles Transporting Transuranics and Highway Route Controlled Quantities of Radioactive Materials as Defined in 49 CFR Part 173.403.” The amendment would update the regulations to reference the April 1, 2022, version of the Level VI out-of-service criteria. Comments are due by Sept. 7.

FMCSA Requests Comments on Designation of Agents, Motor Carriers, Brokers and Freight Forwarders ICR
Also on Aug. 8, FMCSA published a notice and request for comments on the agency’s request to renew an ICR entitled “Designation of Agents, Motor Carriers, Brokers and Freight Forwarders.” This is necessary to provide motor carriers, property brokers and freight forwarders a means of meeting process agent requirements. Comments are due by Oct. 7.

U.S. DOT OST Publishes Semi-Annual Regulatory Agenda
On Aug. 8, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Office of the Secretary (OST) published the department’s semi-annual Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, which provides a summary of all current and projected rulemakings, reviews of existing regulations and DOT completed actions. In addition, the document provides the public information about DOT’s planned regulatory activity for the next 12 months.

U.S. DOT Requests Nominees for Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking
Also on Aug. 8, DOT’s OST published a notice requesting nominees to serve on the department’s Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking. The committee, a requirement under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, was reestablished on July 29, 2022. Nominations are due by Oct. 7.

Update on Exemptions

FMCSA Renews Ford Motor Company Exhaust System Exemption
On Aug. 18, FMCSA announced its decision to provisionally renew the Ford Motor Company’s (Ford) exemption allowing motor carriers to operate Ford’s transit-based commercial motor vehicles that do not meet the exhaust system location requirements in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. The exemption is effective Aug. 16, 2022-Aug. 16, 2027. Comments are due by Sept. 19.

FMCSA Requests Comment on NTSA CDL Skills Testing Exemption Request
On Aug. 11, FMCSA published a notice requesting comments on an exemption request from the National School Transportation Association (NSTA) from the engine compartment portion of the pre-trip vehicle inspection skills testing requirement for commercial driver’s license (CDL) applicants seeking a school bus endorsement. If granted, drivers issued a CDL pursuant to the requested exemption would be restricted to the intrastate operation of school buses only. Comments are due by Sept. 12.

CVSA Active Exemption Tracker
CVSA maintains a list of active exemptions issued by FMCSA. The exemption tracker can be found at www.cvsa.org under the “Inspections” tab at the top of the page.