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Regulatory Update – Nov. 27, 2017

Update on Relevant U.S. Regulations

FMCSA Seeks Input on CMV Driver Commuter Habits
On Nov. 27, 2017, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a notice seeking comment on the agency’s plan to conduct a survey to gather information about the commuting practices of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. Comments are due by Jan. 26, 2018.

FMCSA Announces UCR Board Meeting
On Nov. 22, 2017, FMCSA announced that the Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) Plan Board of Directors will meet on Nov. 30, 2017. The meeting is open to the public via conference call.

PHMSA Publishes Updates on Special Permits
On Nov. 14, 2017, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published updates on special permit applications:

DOT Revises Drug Testing Requirements
On Nov. 13, 2017, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) published a final rule making changes to the department’s drug testing program, adding and removing substances from the drug testing panel, harmonizing the regulation with guidelines established by the Department of Health and Human Services, and clarifying existing program provisions and definitions. The final rule is effective Jan. 1, 2018.

CVSA Petitions and Comments to Rulemakings

CVSA Submits Comments Opposing ELD Exemption Requests
On Nov. 17, 2017, CVSA submitted comments to three separate dockets, opposing requests for an exemption from the electronic logging device (ELD) requirement:

Update on Exemptions

FMCSA Renews Ford Exhaust System Exemption
On Nov. 16, 2017, FMCSA published a notice announcing the renewal of an exemption allowing motor carriers to operate Ford Motor Company’s transit-based CMVs that do not meet the exhaust system location requirements in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. The exemption is effective Aug. 15, 2017-Aug. 15, 2022. Comments are due by Dec. 18, 2017.

FMCSA Grants Rail Delivery Services HOS Exemption
On Nov. 14, 2017, FMCSA published a notice granting an exemption from the log book requirements to Rail Delivery Services Inc. drivers. The exemption applies to drivers who may not qualify for the 100 air-mile radius log book exemption. This exemption exempts the company’s drivers who stay within the 100 air-mile radius, but may occasionally take more than 12 hours to return to their work-reporting location, from having to complete a daily record of duty status on those days. Instead, the drivers will use an ELD system at all times to track all hours-of-service (HOS) data. The exemption is effective Nov. 14, 2017-Nov. 14, 2022.

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

FMCSA Holds ELD Update Meeting
On Nov. 20, 2017, FMCSA held a public meeting to update stakeholders on implementation of the ELD requirement. At the meeting, FMCSA announced that ELD violations documented prior to April 1, 2018 will not impact a motor carrier’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability score. During this time frame, inspectors will use a violation code associated with zero points in the system. Beginning April 1, inspectors will use a different violation code that is associated with points. In addition, agency officials indicated that they plan to issue a 90-day waiver from the ELD requirement for transporters of agricultural commodities.