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Regulatory Update – March 8, 2019

Update on Relevant Canadian Regulations

Transport Canada Requests Comments on Updates to TDGR
On March 4, 2019, Transport Canada published a request for comments on proposed updates to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDGR). The changes aim to harmonize the TDGR with international standards. Comments are due by May 27.

Update on Relevant U.S. Regulations

FMCSA Requests Comments on ICR for RODS
On March 8, 2019, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a request for comments on an information collection request (ICR) for the collection of records of duty status (RODS) of drivers. The ICR allows for the collection of electronic and paper logs to enforce the hours-of-service (HOS) rule. Comments are due by May 7.

FMCSA Updates CDL Guidance and Requests Comments
Also on March 8, 2019, FMCSA published an update to existing commercial driver’s license (CDL) guidance documents. FMCSA requests comments on the changes that were made and on any other changes that should be made to CDL guidance. The updated guidance is effective March 7, 2019, and comments are due by May 7.

FMCSA Publishes ANPRM on Driver Employment Application Requirement
Also on March 8, 2019, FMCSA published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) on the value of the driver employment application requirement. FMCSA is seeking input on how to lessen the burden of the requirement to industry, including potentially eliminating the requirement. Comments are due by May 7.

U.S. DOT Extends Comment Period on Notice of Review of Guidance
On March 8, 2019, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced a 30-day extension of the comment period on the notice of review of guidance originally published on Feb. 6, 2019. The review seeks feedback on existing regulatory guidance that needs to be updated or revised. Comments are now due on May 8.

FMCSA Published Final Rule Amending ELDT Regulations
On March 6, 2019, FMCSA published a final rule amending the entry-level driver training (ELDT) regulations originally published on Dec. 8, 2016. The change adopts a new Class A CDL upgrade curriculum to reduce the training time required to upgrade from a Class B CDL to a Class A CDL. The final rule is effective May 6, 2019, and the compliance date is Feb. 7, 2020. Petitions for reconsideration of the final rule must be submitted by April 5.

Department of Agriculture Announces Listening Session on Implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill Provisions on Hemp
On March 5, 2019, the Agricultural Marketing Service, a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, announced a listening session on the implementation of the hemp provisions in the Agricultural Improvements Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill.) The listening session seeks to gather public input on how to regulate hemp production. The session will be hosted by webinar on March 13.

U.S. DOT Announces Meeting of the Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking
On Feb. 26, 2019, the U.S. DOT announced that the Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking will hold a meeting on March 12 at U.S. DOT headquarters in Washington, D.C.

PHMSA Requests Comments on ICRs
On Feb. 25, 2019, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) requested comments on three ICRs that the agency intends to submit for approval. The ICRs pertain to radioactive transportation requirements, the hazardous materials public sector training and planning grants and subsidiary hazardous class requirements on shipping papers. Comments are due by April 26.

Update on Exemptions

FMCSA Requests Comments on Joint Railroad HOS Exemption Request
On March 8, 2019, FMCSA requested comments on R.J. Corman Railroad Services, Cranemasters Inc. and the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association’s application for exemption from the HOS requirements when drivers are responding to unplanned events, such as the derailment of a train. Comments are due by April 8.

NHTSA Grants Window Glazing Exemption
On March 1, 2019, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) granted Forest River Inc.’s petition for inconsequential noncompliance of certain model year 2017-2018 buses owned by Forest River Inc. The buses’ entry doors do not fully comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 205 on glazing materials.

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 Joint Livestock and Insect Industry Exemption Request
On March 7, 2019, CVSA submitted comments to FMCSA in opposition to a joint HOS exemption application from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Livestock Marketing Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Beekeeping Federation, American Honey Producers Association and the National Aquaculture Association. The application requests that transporters of livestock, insects and aquatic animals be allowed to drive 15 hours in a 16-hour period instead of 11 hours in a 14-hour period.