Regulatory Update – June 24, 2022

Update on Relevant U.S. Regulations

FMCSA Announces UCR Board Meeting
On June 21, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced a meeting of the Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) Plan Board. The UCR board hosted a virtual meeting on June 23, from 12-2 p.m. EDT. The meeting was open to the public.

TSA Seeking Applicants for Surface Transportation Security Advisory Committee
On June 17, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) published a request for applicants to serve on the Surface Transportation Security Advisory Committee. Applications are due by July 18.

FMCSA Reopens UCR Fee NPRM Comment Period
On June 14, FMCSA announced the agency’s decision to reopen the comment period for its January 24, 2022, notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) concerning UCR fees for the 2023 year and subsequent registration years. FMCSA is reopening the comment period in response to a request from the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association. Comments are due by June 28.

PHMSA Extends FAQ Creation Comment Period, Announces Webinar
On June 13, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published a notice extending the comment period on the agency’s intent to convert historical letters of interpretation applicable to the Hazardous Materials Regulations into frequently asked questions (FAQs). Historically, the agency has issued letters of interpretation to specific stakeholders and plans to convert those letters into broadly applicable public FAQs. PHMSA plans to host a webinar to discuss the process and intent of this initiative on June 27. Comments are due by July 22.

Update on Exemptions

NHTSA Denies Goodyear Petition of Inconsequential Noncompliance
On June 23, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced the denial of a petition of inconsequential noncompliance from Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. Goodyear determined that certain Kelly Armorsteel KDM 1 commercial truck tires do not comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 119, New pneumatic tires for motor vehicles with a GVWR of more than 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds) and motorcycles. The tires are engraved with a date code that is less than the required height.

FMCSA Renews C.R. England CLP Exemption
On June 16, FMCSA announced its decision to renew an exemption for C.R. England Inc. allowing commercial learner’s permit (CLP) holders who have passed the skills test but have not received commercial driver’s license (CDL) documents to drive a C.R. England commercial motor vehicle (CMV) while accompanied by another CDL holder who does not need to sit in the front seat. The exemption is effective June 13, 2022-June 12, 2027. Comments are due by July 18.

FMCSA Denies Minnesota CDL Testing Exemption Request
On June 15, FMCSA issued a decision denying a request from the State of Minnesota to reconsider the agency’s previous decision to deny the state’s request for an exemption from the CDL skills testing procedures and practices requirements. The decision was effective June 15.

FMCSA Requests Comments on SBTC English Language Proficiency CDL Requirement Exemption Request
Also on June 15, FMCSA published a notice requesting comment on an exemption request from the Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC) seeking an exemption from the requirement CMV drivers be capable of reading and speaking the English language sufficiently to communicate with the public, understand highway traffic signs and signals, respond to official inquiries, and make entries on reports and records. Comments are due by July 15.

FMCSA Denies PLCA HOS Exemption Request
Also on June 15, FMCSA announced the denial of the Pipe Line Contractors Association’s (PLCA) request to exempt the drivers of its member companies from various hours-of-service (HOS) requirements. PLCA requested their member companies’ drivers be exempt from the requirement to return to the work reporting location to qualify for the short-haul exemption, the requirement that drivers use electronic logging devices if they have to complete a record of duty status eight days in a 30-day period and the 70 hours in eight-day maximum.

FMCSA Requests Comments on ELDT Exemption Request
Also on June 15, FMCSA published a notice requesting comment on an exemption request from the Western Area Career and Technology Center (WACTC) seeking an exemption for one instructor from the entry level driver training (ELDT) requirement that instructors have at least two years of driving experience of the same or higher class and/or the same endorsement level as the CMV to be operated to satisfy the instructor requirements. Comments are due by July 15.

FMCSA Seeks Comment on Stevens CLP Requirement Exemption
On June 14, FMCSA published a notice requesting comment on an exemption request from Stevens Transport, Inc. (Stevens) seeking an exemption from the requirement that a CLP holder who has passed the skills test but not yet received CDL documents be accompanied by a CDL holder who is seated in the front seat. Comments are due by July 14.

FMCSA Renews IITR Securement Ties Exemption
Also on June 14, FMCSA announced its decision to renew the International Institute of Towing and Recovery’s (IITR) limited five-year exemption allowing its operators to secure cars, trucks and vans using four tiedowns, two of which are fixed and two adjustable, rather than using two adjustable tiedowns. The exemption is effective May 17, 2022-May 17, 2027. Comments are due by July 14.

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

Other Items of Interest

Senate Commerce Committee Approves FMCSA Administrator Nomination
On June 22, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation voted unanimously to advance the nomination of FMCSA Deputy Administrator Robin Hutcheson to serve as administrator of FMCSA. The next step in the nomination process is consideration by the full Senate. If approved by the Senate, Deputy Administrator Hutcheson would become the first FMCSA Administrator since 2019. CVSA issued a press release in support of Deputy Administrator Hutcheson’s nomination.