Regulatory Update – Oct. 16, 2020

Update on Relevant U.S. Regulations

FMCSA Extends Comment Period on OOIDA and SBTC Petitions
On Oct. 16, 2020, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced a 30-day extension of the comment period on petitions from the Owner-Operator Independent Driver Association (OOIDA) and the Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC), originally published on Aug. 19, 2020. OOIDA and SBTC are petitioning FMCSA to require property brokers to provide an electronic copy of each transaction record within 48 hours after a contractual service has been completed. Comments are now due by Nov. 18.

FMCSA Announces Listening Session on Property Carrier Brokers
On Oct. 13, 2020, FMCSA announced that it will hold a listening session pertaining to property carrier brokers. FMCSA seeks feedback on the property broker regulations generally, as well as responses to related petitions from OOIDA and SBTC. The listening session will be held virtually on Oct. 28 from 1-2:30 p.m. EDT.

PHMSA Publishes Updates on Special Permits
On Oct. 9, 2020, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published updates on special permit applications:

FMCSA Requests Comments on Expansion of the Military Pilot Program
On Oct. 9, 2020, FMCSA published a notice and request for comments on the expansion of the pilot program that allows individuals who are age 18, 19 or 20 with relevant military driving experience to operate commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce. FMCSA is proposing to expand the program to allow additional types of military experience to qualify an individual to participate in the pilot. Comments are due by Nov. 9.

FMCSA Requests Comments on Financial Responsibility ICR
On Oct. 8, 2020, FMCSA published a notice and request for comments on an information collection request (ICR) that will allow the agency to collect the necessary information to ensure motor carriers meet minimum financial responsibility requirements. Comments are due by Dec. 7.

Update on Exemptions

FMCSA Denies SBTC ELD and Hours-of-Service Exemption Request
On Oct. 16, 2020, FMCSA announced the denial of SBTC’s exemption request from the electronic logging device (ELD) regulations and certain hours-of-service requirements for drivers traveling with domestic animals in interstate commerce. SBTC requested that qualifying drivers be exempt from the use of ELDs and be allowed to drive for up to 13 hours during a 16-hour on-duty window.

FMCSA Denies Matrix Medical Network Hours-of-Service Exemption Request
On Oct. 13, 2020, FMCSA announced the denial of Matrix Medical Network’s exemption request from certain hours-of-service requirements. Matrix Medical Network requested that certain drivers be permitted to have up to 16-hour on-duty periods and return to work with less than the required 10 hours off duty.

FMCSA Grants Nauto Windshield Mounting Exemption Request
On Oct. 9, 2020, FMCSA announced the approval of an exemption request from Nauto Inc., allowing Nauto’s multi-sensor device to be mounted lower in the windshield on commercial motor vehicles than is currently permitted. The exemption is effective Oct. 9, 2020-Oct. 9, 2025.

FMCSA Grants NTTC Rear Lamp Exemption Request
On Oct. 8, 2020, FMCSA announced the approval of an exemption request from the National Tank Truck Carriers Inc. (NTTC), allowing motor carriers operating tank trailers to install a red or amber brake-activated pulsating lamp on the rear of the trailers. The exemption is effective Oct. 8, 2020-Oct. 8, 2025.

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.

CVSA Letters, Petitions and Comments to Rulemakings

FMCSA Responds to Letter on MCSAP Relief
On Oct. 9, 2020, FMCSA sent a letter responding to CVSA’s correspondence with Secretary Chao encouraging the inclusion of the Motor Carrier Safety Grant Relief Act of 2020, S. 3729, in the next COVID-19 relief package. FMCSA’s letter acknowledged the impact that COVID-19 has had on state commercial motor vehicle programs and outlined the actions the agency has taken to provide states with flexibility.

CVSA Submits Petition to Amend the Emergency Declaration Regulations
On Oct. 7, 2020, CVSA submitted a petition to FMCSA requesting that the emergency declaration regulations be amended to allow the issuer of an emergency declaration to select which regulations are waived and to clarify that the FMCSA administrator has the authority to issue emergency declarations.