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Regulatory Update – Jan. 12, 2018

Update on Relevant U.S. Regulations

DOT Publishes Semiannual Regulatory Agenda
On Jan. 12, 2018, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Office of the Secretary published its semiannual Regulatory and Deregulatory Agenda, a summary of all current and projected rulemakings, reviews of existing regulations and actions completed by the department. The purpose of the document is to provide the public with information about the DOT’s planned activities for the year.

FMCSA Reduces UCR Fees
On Jan. 5, 2018, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a final rule lowering the Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) Plan and Agreement fees for the registration years 2018, 2019 and subsequent years. The agency is reducing the fees to ensure that revenues do not exceed the statutory maximum. The final rule was effective Jan. 5, 2018.

FMCSA Publishes Notice Regarding MCSAP Multiyear Plans
Also on Jan. 5, 2018, FMCSA published a notice regarding the agency’s efforts to allow states to submit multiyear commercial vehicle safety plans as part of the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP). In the notice, FMCSA announces the voluntary implementation of a three-year plan approach for up to 18 jurisdictions in fiscal 2018. Comments are due by Feb. 5, 2018.

Update on Exemptions

FMCSA Requests Comment on STC ELD Exemption Request
On Jan. 10, 2018, FMCSA published a notice requesting comment on an exemption request from STC Inc. seeking an exemption from the electronic logging device (ELD) requirement. STC uses up to 75 commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) to transport propane fuel and anhydrous ammonia. In the request, STC argues that because its operations are seasonal and dependent on the weather, the ELD requirement creates an undue financial burden on its business. Comments are due by Feb. 9, 2018.

FMCSA Requests Comment on TRAA ELD Exemption Request
Also on Jan. 10, 2018, FMCSA published a notice requesting comment on an exemption request from the Towing and Recovery Association of America Inc. (TRAA) seeking a five-year exemption from the ELD requirement for all operators of CMVs owned or leased to providers of motor vehicle towing, recovery and roadside repair services while providing such services. Comments are due by Feb. 9, 2018.

FMCSA Requests Comment on Exemption Request Regarding Securement Agricultural Commodities
On Jan. 5, 2018, FMCSA published a notice requesting comment on an exemption request from the Agricultural and Food Transporters Conference (AFTC) of the American Trucking Associations to allow certain alternate methods for the securement of agricultural commodities transported in wood and plastic boxes and bins and large fiberglass tubs, and hay, straw and cotton bales that are grouped together into large singular units. Comments are due by Feb. 5, 2018.

FMCSA Requests Comment on ADS ELD Exemption Request
On Jan. 2, 2018, FMCSA published a notice and request for comment on an exemption request from the American Disposal Services Inc. (ADS) seeking an exemption from the ELD requirement. In the request, ADS states that ELD systems cannot accurately record driving time for a CMV that stops at each house along their trash and recycling residential routes, with the driver often leaving the vehicle. Comments are due by Feb. 1, 2018.

FMCSA Requests Comment on AESC ELD Exemption Request
Also on Jan. 2, 2018, FMCSA published a notice and request for comment on an exemption request from the Association of Energy Service Companies (AESC) seeking an exemption from the ELD requirement for well service rig contractors. Comments are due by Feb. 1, 2018.

FMCSA Requests Comment on CES ELD Exemption Request
Also on Jan. 2, 2018, FMCSA published a notice and request for comment on an exemption request from Cudd Energy Services (CES) seeking an exemption from the ELD requirement for certain drivers in oilfield operations. Comments are due by Feb. 1, 2018.

FMCSA Requests Comment on OOIDA ELD Exemption Request
Also on Jan. 2, 2018, FMCSA published a notice and request for comment on an exemption request from the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) seeking an exemption from the ELD requirement for small motor carriers that do not have a carrier safety rating of “unsatisfactory” and can document a proven history of safety performance with no attributable at-fault crashes. Comments are due by Feb. 1, 2018.

FMCSA Requests Comments on ARA ELD Exemption Request
On Dec. 28, 2017, FMCSA published a notice and request for comment on an exemption request from the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) seeking an exemption from the ELD requirement on behalf of its members. Comments are due by Jan. 29, 2018.

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 Tracker” tab at the top of the page.

CVSA Letters, Petitions and Comments to Rulemakings

CVSA Submits Comments Regarding Agricultural Commodity Guidance
On Jan. 11, 2018, CVSA submitted comments to FMCSA regarding proposed guidance on the transportation of agricultural commodities. The comments address some specific questions posed by the agency, while also expressing concern that the interpretation could result in increased fatigue.

CVSA Submits Comments Regarding Personal Conveyance Guidance
Also on Jan. 11, 2018, CVSA submitted comments to FMCSA regarding proposed guidance on the use of a CMV for personal conveyance. The comments address specific questions posed by the agency in the guidance and offers recommendations for improvements.

CVSA Withdraws Out-of-Service Authority Petition
On Jan. 9, 2018, CVSA sent a letter to FMCSA withdrawing a 2008 petition dealing with language in the regulations pertaining to out-of-service orders issued to drivers, vehicles and motor carriers. CVSA has determined that the petition needs to be revised and updated. The matter will be referred to the Driver-Traffic Enforcement Committee and discussed at the 2018 CVSA Workshop in Portland, Oregon.

CVSA Requests PHMSA Interpretations
On Jan. 5, 2018, CVSA sent three letters to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA):