Regulatory Update – Nov. 13, 2017

Update on Relevant U.S. Regulations

DOT Extends Comment Period on Regulatory Review Notice
On Nov. 3, 2017, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) published a notice reopening the comment period for the department’s regulatory review initiative. The original notice and request for comments was published Oct. 2, 2017, with a Nov. 2, 2017, deadline for comments. Comments are now due by Dec. 1, 2017. CVSA filed comments to the docket on Oct. 27, 2017.

FMCSA Seeks Comment on Motor Carrier Form ICR
On Oct. 31, 2017, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a notice requesting comments on the agency’s plans to submit an information collection request (ICR) titled “Motor Carrier Records Change Form.” The purpose of the ICR is to more efficiently collect information that the Office of Registration and Safety Information requires to process name and address changes and reinstatements of operating authority. Comments are due by Jan. 2, 2018.

NHTSA Grants Petition Related to ESC Final Rule
On Oct. 30, 2017, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a final rule in response to a petition related to the agency’s June 2015 final rule on electronic stability control (ESC) systems for heavy vehicles. The petition, submitted by the Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association, requested that NHTSA amend the test conditions for the agency’s performance test by allowing a larger lane width for long wheelbase truck tractors. The agency has decided to grant the petition because there is sufficient evidence to indicate that a larger lane width is needed. The final rule is effective Nov. 29, 2017. Petitions for reconsideration are due by Dec. 14, 2017.

Update on Exemptions

FMCSA Seeks Comment on Livestock Haulers ELD Exemption Request
On Oct. 31, 2017, FMCSA published a request for comment on a request from the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) on behalf of the livestock hauling industry from the electronic logging device (ELD) requirement. In the request, NPPC argues that the exemption is necessary to address an incompatibility between FMCSA’s hours-of-service rules and the current structure and realities of the U.S. livestock industry. NPPC also notes that the livestock haulers will not be prepared to meet the Dec.  18, 2017, compliance date for installing ELDs. Comments are due by Nov. 30, 2017.

FMCSA Seeks Comment on ELD Exemption Request from Hub Group Trucking
Also on Oct. 31, 2017, FMCSA published a request for comment on a request from Hub Group Trucking Inc. (HGT) for an exemption from the ELD requirement. Specifically, HGT is seeking an alternative grandfather period for any commercial motor vehicles added to company’s fleet after the compliance date. Currently, all of HGT’s trucks are equipped with automatic onboard recording devices (AOBRDs) and it expects to add at least 160 trucks to its fleet in 2018. If the exemption is granted it would allow HGT to equip the additional trucks with AOBRDs instead of the required ELDs until the company’s full transition to ELDs can be accomplished. Comments are due by Nov. 30, 2017.

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.

Other Items of Interest

DOT Nominees Move Forward
On Nov. 2, 2017, Howard “Skip” Elliott was sworn in as Administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. On Oct. 31, 2017, the Senate Commerce Committee held a confirmation hearing for a number of the president’s nominees, including Raymond Martinez, who has been nominated to serve as Administrator of FMCSA. Later, on Nov. 8, 2017, the committee voted to approve his nomination, which now awaits approval by the full Senate.