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Regulatory Update – Dec. 28, 2018

Update on Relevant U.S. Regulations

FMCSA Publishes Determination on California Meal and Rest Break Preemption Petition
On Dec. 28, 2018, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a determination that California’s meal and rest break requirements create an unnecessary delay in the transportation of goods. The determination preempts the requirement for drivers of property-carrying commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). FMCSA made this determination in response to a request from the American Trucking Association and the Specialized Carriers and Rigging Association, published on Oct. 4, 2018.

FMCSA Publishes Final Rule Reducing UCR Plan Fees
On Dec. 28, 2018, FMCSA published a final rule reducing the Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) Plan fees starting in registration year 2019. The reduction decreases annual registration fees collected from motor carriers, private motor carriers of property, brokers, freight forwarders and leasing companies. The final rule is effective Dec. 28, 2018.

FMCSA Requests Comment on ICR for Class I and Class II Motor Carriers of Property Report
On Dec. 27, 2018, FMCSA published a request for comment on an information collection request (ICR) for Class I and Class II motor carrier reporting. The ICR combines several separate ICRs into one titled “Annual Report of Class I and Class II For-Hire Motor Carriers.” Comments are due by Jan. 28, 2019.

FMCSA Revises ELD Vendor Registration ICR
Also on Dec. 27, 2018, FMCSA published a revision to an approved ICR that allows for the collection of information from electronic logging device (ELD) vendors for registration and self-certification of devices. The notice notes that FMCSA is in the process of updating its website to display the data transfer methods with which each device is compatible. Comments are due by Jan. 28, 2019.

NHTSA Publishes Final Rule Amending Temporary Exemption Process
On Dec. 26, 2018, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a final rule that amends the process for reviewing applications for temporary exemption of motor vehicle and bumper standards. The revision expedites the process by allowing NHTSA to publish exemption applications in the Federal Register for comment before the requirement of determining that applications are complete has been finished. The final rule is effective Jan. 25, 2019.

FMCSA Amends FMCSRs to Allow States to Issue CLPs That Are Valid for One Year
On Dec. 21, 2018, FMCSA published a final rule that amends the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) to allow states the option of issuing commercial learner’s permits (CLP) that are valid for one year without having to retake the general and endorsement knowledge tests. The final rule is effective Feb. 19, 2019.

NRC Extends Comment Period on Draft Uniform Low-Level Radioactive Waste Manifest Guidance
On Dec. 21, 2018, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) extended the comment period for the draft guidance on the uniform low-level radioactive waste manifest requirements. The draft guidance was originally published for comment on Oct. 30, 2018. Comments are now due by Jan. 31, 2019.

FMCSA Announces Meeting of UCR Plan Board of Directors
On Dec. 20, 2018, FMCSA announced that the UCR Plan Board of Directors would hold public meetings on Jan. 28 and Jan. 29, 2019. The meetings will be open to the public in person in Tampa, Florida, or by conference call.

Update on Exemptions

FMCSA Requests Comments on ABA and IDFA HOS Exemption Request
On Dec. 18, 2018, FMCSA requested comments on the American Bakers Association (ABA) and International Dairy Foods Association’s (IDFA) application for exemption from the maximum drive time requirements. ABA and IDFA request that drivers delivering baked goods or milk products be exempt from the requirements in Title 49 CFR 395.3 in advance, during and shortly after anticipated emergencies. Comments are due by Jan. 17, 2019.

FMCSA Requests Comments on AAR and ASLRRA HOS Exemption Request
Also on, Dec. 18, 2018, FMCSA requested comments on the Association of American Railroads (AAR) and the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association’s (ASLRRA) application for exemption from various hours-of-service (HOS) requirements. AAR and ASLRRA request that railroad workers responding to unplanned events be exempt from the 14-hour duty period and the maximum of 60/70 hours on duty in a 7/8-day work week. Comments are due by Jan. 17, 2019.

FMCSA Requests Comments on North Shore HOS Exemption Request
Also on Dec. 18, 2018, FMCSA requested comments on North Shore Environmental Construction’s (North Shore) application for exemption from HOS requirements. North Shore requests that its drivers be exempt from the 14-hour duty period when responding to environmental emergencies. Comments are due by Jan. 17, 2019.

CVSA Active Exemption Tracker
CVSA maintains a list of active exemptions issued by FMCSA. Members can access the document by logging into their CVSA member portal and clicking on the “Exemptions” tab at the top of the page.

CVSA Letters, Petitions and Comments to Rulemakings

CVSA Submits Comments on NMSCA HOS Exemption Request
On Dec. 23, 2018, CVSA submitted comments to FMCSA in opposition to an exemption request from the National Mobile Shower and Catering Association’s (NMSCA) for an exemption from various HOS requirements. The application from NMSCA requests that its members be allowed to extend the 14-hour duty period to 16 hours; exclude waiting time from on-duty time; be exempt from the 30-minute rest break requirement; extend the maximum 60 hours on duty in seven days to 80 hours; extend the 11 hours driving time to 12 hours; and be covered under the eight in 30 days ELD exemption if they operate less than 12 days in a 30-day period.

CVSA Submits Petition to Amend 393.47 and Appendix G
On Dec. 17, 2018, CVSA submitted a petition to FMCSA to amend Title 49 CFR 393.47 and Appendix G to correct an error related to brake actuators, slack adjustors, linings/pads and drums/rotors. The requested change is a technical correction to fix an error where the brake readjustment limit does not meet the manufacturer’s recommended limit.

CVSA Submits Petition to Add Maximum Distance/Time to Definition of Personal Conveyance
Also on Dec. 17, 2018, CVSA submitted a petition to FMCSA to add a maximum distance and/or time a driver can operate under personal conveyance to Title 49 CFR 395.2. The petition outlines the need for a defined maximum distance and/or time to prevent abuse of personal conveyance and provide a clearer set of guidelines for enforcement.

CVSA Submits Petition to Require CMVs be Manufactured to Wirelessly Broadcast a Universal Electronic Vehicle Identifier
Also on Dec. 17, 2018, CVSA submitted a petition to NHTSA to require that CMVs be manufactured to wirelessly broadcast a universal electronic vehicle identifier. The petition outlines the need for universal electronic vehicle identification to enhance inspection screening and prepare for deployment of automated driving systems technology.

CVSA Sends Letter Opposing Exemptions
Also on Dec. 17, 2018, CVSA sent a letter to FMCSA Administrator Raymond Martinez outlining CVSA’s policy on exemptions. The letter expressed CVSA’s general opposition to exemptions and the impact they have on safety and uniform enforcement.

Other Items of Interest

PHMSA Publishes Notice of Enforcement Policy on International Standards
On Dec. 19, 2018, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published a notice of enforcement policy regarding international standards. The notice addressed the use of certain international rules governing international movements of hazardous materials. The enforcement notice is issued on an interim basis while PHMSA determines if it will accept the updated international standards.