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Regulatory Update – Sept. 6, 2019

Update on Relevant U.S. Regulations

FMCSA Proposes State Query of Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Compliance Date Extension
On Sept. 6, 2019, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a request for comments on a compliance date extension for the requirement that states request information from the Commercial Drivers’ License (CDL) Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse before completing certain CDL transactions. The original compliance date was Jan. 6, 2020. The proposed extension would change the compliance date to Jan. 6, 2023. Comments are due by Oct. 7.

NRC Seeking Input on Agency Performance
On Sept. 5, 2019, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) published a request for comments on the renewal of a generic information collection request (ICR) to collect qualitative feedback on the agency’s performance. Comments are due by Oct. 7.

FMCSA Announces Hours-of-Service NPRM Public Listening Session
On Sept. 3, 2019, FMCSA announced a public listening session on the proposed changes to the hours-of-service regulations included in the agency’s recent notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). The listening session is being held on Sept. 17 at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) headquarters in Washington, D.C.

FMCSA Reopens Comment Period on Petition to Preempt New York Passenger Carrier State Law
Also on Sept. 3, 2019, FMCSA announced the reopening of the comment period for a petition for determination of preemption from the American Bus Association and Motor Coach Canada. The petition, which was originally published for comment on Sept. 12, 2013, requests that FMCSA determine that federal law preempts Article 19-A of New York’s vehicle and traffic law which outlines a wide range of requirements for passenger carriers. Comments are due by Oct. 3.

FMCSA Reopens Comment Period on Petition to Preempt Chicago Registration Emblem Requirement
Also on Sept. 3, 2019, FMCSA announced the reopening of the comment period for a petition for determination of preemption from Allerton Charter Coach Inc. The petition, which was originally published on March 23, 2012, requests that the Chicago ground transportation tax registration emblem display requirement be preempted by federal law. Comments are due by Oct. 3.

NHTSA Requests Comments on Camera-Based Rear Visibility Systems ICR
On Aug. 28, 2019, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a request for comments on an ICR to study the safety impacts of camera-based rear visibility systems used to replace traditional outside rearview mirrors. Comments are due by Oct. 28.

FMCSA Announces MCSAC Meeting
On Aug. 28, 2019, FMCSA announced a public meeting of the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee (MCSAC). MCSAC will meet Sept. 30-Oct. 1 at U.S. DOT headquarters in Washington, D.C. A meeting agenda will be published prior to the meeting.

FMCSA Requests Comments on UCR Plan Fee Reduction
On Aug. 27, 2019, FMCSA published a request for comments on the reduction of the Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) Plan fees for registration years 2020 and 2021. The reduction would decrease annual registration fees collected from motor carriers, private motor carriers of property, brokers, freight forwarders and leasing companies. Comments are due by Sept. 6.

Update on Exemptions

FMCSA Announces Decision on Transco 30-Minute Rest Break Exemption
On Aug. 28, 2019, FMCSA announced the decision to grant Transco Inc. a five-year limited exemption to allow its drivers to satisfy the 30-minute rest break requirement with 30 minutes of on-duty-not-driving time. The exemption applies to Transco drivers in its grocery division who make wholesale deliveries to grocery and convenience stores. The exemption is effective Aug. 28, 2019-Aug. 28, 2024.

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 Requests MCSAP NPRM Comment Period Extension
On Sept. 5, 2019, CVSA submitted a request to extend FMCSA’s Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) NPRM comment period by 45 days. In the request, CVSA outlines the need for more than the originally provided 45 days to adequately gather input from stakeholders before submitting comments.

CVSA Submits Comments to FMCSA Inspector Certification NPRM
Also on Sept. 5, 2019, CVSA submitted comments to FMCSA’s NPRM that would amend the regulations to incorporate by reference CVSA’s “Operational Policy 4: Inspector Training and Certification,” which outlines the required training and certification of those conducting driver or vehicle roadside inspections. CVSA’s comments encourage FMCSA to finalize the rule and to take the necessary steps to adopt the most recent version of the policy.