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Regulatory Update – Oct. 4, 2019

Update on Relevant U.S. Regulations

U.S. DOT Renews National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners System of Records
On Oct. 4, 2019, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) published a notice of a modified system of records to update and reissue the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners. The system of record allows U.S. DOT to collect information from medical examiners registering to be a certified medical examiner who can issue medical certificates for commercial motor vehicle drivers. Comments are due by Nov. 5.

FMCSA Renews MCSAC Charter
On Oct. 2, 2019, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a notice renewing the charter for the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee (MCSAC). The committee provides FMCSA with advice and recommendations on motor carrier safety programs and regulations through a consensus process. This charter renewal took effect on Sept. 29, 2019, and will expire after two years.

FMCSA Proposes Amendment to Hazardous Materials Safety Permit Regulations to Update Incorporation by Reference of the CVSA Level VI OOSC
Also on Oct. 2, 2019, FMCSA published a notice of proposed rulemaking that would amend the hazardous materials safety permit regulations to update the incorporation by reference of CVSA’s “North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria and Level VI Inspection Procedures and Out-of-Service Criteria for Commercial Highway Vehicles Transporting Transuranics and Highway Route Controlled Quantities of Radioactive Materials as Defined in 49 CFR Part 173.403.” The amendment would update the regulations to reference the most recent version of the Level VI out-of-service criteria (OOSC). Comments are due by Nov. 1.

FMCSA Requests Comments on Financial Responsibility of Motor Carriers of Passengers and Motor Carriers of Property ICR
On Oct. 1, 2019, FMCSA published a request for comments on an information collection request (ICR) used to verify a motor carrier of property or passengers has obtained, and has in effect, the required minimum levels of financial responsibility. Motor carriers must maintain proof of the required financial responsibility at their principal places of business, available upon request of an FMCSA safety investigator during compliance reviews. Comments are due by Dec. 2.

FMCSA Publishes Final Rule on Issuance of CDL with Hazardous Materials Endorsement
Also on Oct. 1, 2019, FMCSA published a final rule adopting the requirements in the interim final rules published on May 5, 2003, and April 29, 2005. The final rule prohibits states from issuing, renewing, transferring or upgrading a commercial driver’s license (CDL) with a hazardous materials endorsement without a security threat assessment being conducted by the Transportation Security Administration. The final rule is effective Oct. 31.

FMCSA Publishes Technical Correction Final Rule
On Sept. 30, 2019, FMCSA published a final rule making technical corrections to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). According to the notice, the rule makes minor changes to correct errors and omissions, remove or update obsolete references, and improve the clarity and consistency of certain regulatory provisions. The rule is effective Sept. 30, 2019.

FMCSA Publishes Notice of Revision to the Listing of Designated and Restricted Hazardous Materials Routes
On Sept. 24, 2019, FMCSA published a notice of revision to the listing of designated and restricted routes for hazardous materials. FMCSA’s notice revises the National Hazardous Materials Route Registry based on reporting from states with designated and restricted routes. The revisions were effective on Sept. 24, 2019.

Update on Exemptions

FMCSA Grants NMSCA Hours-of-Service Exemption Request
On Oct. 1, 2019, FMCSA announced the decision to grant the National Mobile Shower and Catering Association (NMSCA) a five-year limited exemption from various hours-of-service requirements. The exemption allows NMSCA’s member drivers to extend the 14-hour duty period to 16 hours, be exempt from the 30-minute rest break requirement and be covered under the eight in 30 days electronic logging device (ELD) exemption if they operate less than 12 days in a 30-day period. The exemption is effective Oct. 1, 2019-Oct. 1, 2024.

FMCSA Requests Comments on VSNA Rear-Vision Mirrors Exemption Request
On Sept. 26, 2019, FMCSA published a notice and request for comments on an exemption request from Vision Systems North America Inc. (VSNA) to allow motor carriers to operate commercial motor vehicles equipped with the company’s SmartVision camera monitoring system instead of two rear-vision mirrors as is required by FMCSRs. Comments are due by Oct. 28.

CVSA Active Exemption Tracker
CVSA maintains a list of active exemptions issued by FMCSA. Members can access the information 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 to FMCSA Crash Preventability Determination Program Notice
On Oct. 4, 2019, CVSA submitted comments to FMCSA’s notice on the agency’s intent to permanently operate a crash preventability determination program. CVSA’s comments outlined concerns that the review process lacks minimum training requirements for the individuals who are making preventability determinations. Additionally, the comments note the negative impact that these determinations could have on pending state criminal or civil proceedings.

CVSA Submits Comments to FMCSA Agricultural Commodity Definition ANPRM
On Sept. 27, 2019, CVSA submitted comments to FMCSA’s advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) on the definition of an agricultural commodity. CVSA’s comments outline the need for a clear, enforceable definition that can be uniformly applied during a roadside inspection.

Other Items of Interest

FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Website
Motor carrier registration is open for the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. FMCSA’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse website has additional information, resources and frequently asked questions.