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Regulatory Updates – April 29, 2016

Update on Relevant U.S. Regulations

PMHSA Announces SNPRM of the Incorporation of ASME Code Section XII

On April 29, 2016, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) announced a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM) to incorporate and allow the use of the 2015 edition of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) “Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, Section XII—Rules for Construction and Continued Service of Transport Tanks” for the construction and continued service of cargo tank motor vehicles (CTMVs), cryogenic portable tanks and multi-unit tank car tanks (ton tanks). PHMSA also proposes to incorporate and authorize the use of the 2015 edition of the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors “National Board Inspection Code as it applies to the continued service of CTMVs, cryogenic portable tanks and ton tanks constructed to ASME Section XII standards, as well as for existing CTMVs constructed in accordance with the current hazardous materials regulations. If adopted, these amendments will allow for flexibility regarding selection of authorized packaging, in addition to qualification and maintenance for continued service of the packaging, without compromising safety. Comments to the SNPRM are due by June 28, 2016.

PHMSA Direct Final Rule on Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code

On April 29, 2016, PHMSA announced its direct final rule to incorporate by reference the most recent editions of the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code. The purpose of this update is to enable non-specification (nurse tank) manufacturers and other DOT and UN specification packaging manufacturers to utilize current technology, materials and practices to help maintain a high level of safety. PHMSA is replacing the ASME referenced standard (1998 edition) with the new, current ASME standard (2015 edition) for boiler and pressure vessels. PHMSA is also replacing the ASME 1998 edition referenced standard of ASME’s Transportation Systems for Liquids and Slurries: Pressure Piping to the current 2012 ‘edition. The rule is effective June 28, 2016.

NHTSA Request for Comment on Volpe Center Study

On April 29, 2016, the Department of Transportation (DOT) announced a request for public comments on its intention to request the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval for a new information collection. The U.S. DOT John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center will conduct this study under an interagency agreement with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The collection involves case study interviews with law enforcement agency personnel pertaining to their knowledge and practice in using automated license plate readers (ALPR) for traffic safety purposes. The information to be collected will be used to document the state of knowledge and practice in using ALPR for this purpose under the National Cooperative Research and Evaluation Program (NCREP), which is managed jointly by NHTSA and the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). Comments are due by June 28, 2916.

FMCSA ANPRM for Input on State Annual Inspection Programs for Passenger Carriers

On April 27, 2016, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) that would require states to establish a program for annual inspections of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) designed or used to transport passengers (or, passenger-carrying CMVs). FMCSA plans to assess the risks associated with improperly maintained or inspected passenger-carrying CMVs by reviewing the effectiveness of existing federal inspection standards that are applicable to these types of vehicles, and considering the costs and benefits of having a mandatory inspection program. Comments to the ANPRM should be submitted by June 27, 2016.

PHMSA to Hold a Public Workshop on Liquefied Natural Gas Regulations

On April 26, 2016, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) announced it will hold a public meeting to solicit input and obtain background information for the formulation of a future regulatory change to 49 CFR part 193, Liquefied Natural Gas Facilities: Federal Safety Standards. PHMSA is co-sponsoring a two-day Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Workshop with the National Association of Pipeline Safety Representatives. PHMSA will also describe requirements for transporting LNG in commerce by rail, highway and waterway, as authorized in the federal hazardous materials regulations in 49 CFR parts 100-185. The workshop will be held May 18-19, 2016, at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)headquarters in Washington, D.C. Online preregistration is available until May 11, 2016.

FHWA Issues Third NPRM on the Highway Safety Improvement Program

On April 22, 2016, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced its third NPRM to establish a set of performance measures for state DOT and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO) to use as required by Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). The proposed measures would be used by state DOTs and MPOs to assess the performance of the interstate and non-interstate national highway system (NHS) for the purpose of carrying out the National Highway Performance Program (NHPP); to assess freight movement on the interstate system; and to assess traffic congestion and on-road mobile source emissions for the purpose of carrying out the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) Program. This third performance measure NPRM also includes a discussion that summarizes all three of the national performance management measures proposed rules and the comprehensive regulatory impact analysis (RIA) to include all three NPRMs. Comments to the NRPM should be submitted by Aug. 20, 2016.

NHTSA Request for Comments on Model Minimum Crash Criteria

On April 21, 2016, NHTSA, in coordination with GHSA, FHWA and FMCSA announced they are in the process of reviewing the Guidelines for the Model Minimum Uniform Crash Criteria (MMUCC) Fourth Edition, dated Dec. 2012, and request comments to determine if updates or improvements are appropriate. The MMUCC provides states with a dataset for describing crashes of motor vehicles in transport that generates the information necessary to improve highway safety within each state and nationally. Crash data users may comment on the utility of the current MMUCC guidelines and suggest changes for the next update to MMUCC. Based on the input received in response to this notice, NHTSA and GHSA anticipate issuing draft changes to the guidelines by fall 2017. Comments on the MMUCC should be submitted by June 20, 2016.

NHTSA Request for Comments on Model Minimum Crash Criteria

On April 21, 2016, NHTSA, in coordination with GHSA, FHWA and FMCSA announced they are in the process of reviewing the Guidelines for the Model Minimum Uniform Crash Criteria (MMUCC) Fourth Edition, dated Dec. 2012, and request comments to determine if updates or improvements are appropriate. The MMUCC provides states with a dataset for describing crashes of motor vehicles in transport that generates the information necessary to improve highway safety within each state and nationally. Crash data users may comment on the utility of the current MMUCC guidelines and suggest changes for the next update to MMUCC. Based on the input received in response to this notice, NHTSA and GHSA anticipate issuing draft changes to the guidelines by fall 2017. Comments on the MMUCC should be submitted by June 20, 2016.

DOT Update on Significant Rulemakings

On April 16, 2016, the U.S. DOT published its monthly report on significant rulemakings. The report included the following updates:

  • Map-21 Enhancements to the Unified Registration System (URS) NPRM – Publication is still scheduled for Jan. 28, 2017.
  • CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Final Rule – Publication has been delayed just under one month, from July 28, 2016, to Aug. 16, 2016.
  • FMCSA/NHTSA Joint Rule on Heavy-Vehicle Speed Limiters – Publication has been delayed from April 28, 2016, to spring 2016.
  • State Inspection Programs for Passenger Carrier Vehicles ANPRM – Publication has been delayed just under one month, from March 30, 2016, to April 26, 2016.
  • Motorcoach Rollover Structural Integrity Final Rule – Publication has been delayed one month, from Sept. 6, 2016, to Oct. 3, 2016.

Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 150 – Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V) Communication NPRM – Publication has been delayed one month, from April 18, 2016, to March 18, 2016.

Update on Exemptions

Missouri DOR Exemption Request from the CDL Requirements

On April 20, 2016, FMCSA announced its receipt of an application from the Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR) Driver’s License Bureau for a limited exemption from the agency’s commercial driver’s license (CDL) regulations. These regulations require a driver to pass the general knowledge test before being issued a commercial learner’s permit (CLP). The Missouri DOR requests an exemption from the knowledge test requirement for qualified veterans who participated in dedicated training in approved military programs. The Missouri DOR states that its goal is to assist qualified veterans in obtaining employment when returning to the civilian workforce, and that granting this exemption will assist veterans who have already been through extensive military training. Comments are due by May 20, 2016.

McKee Foods Transportation, LLC, Exemption Extension Granted

On April 20, 2016, FMCSA announced the extension of the exemption granted to McKee Foods Transportation, LLC, (MFT) for transportation by their team drivers utilizing the sleeper-berth (S/B). The agency extends the expiration date from March 27, 2015, to March 27, 2020, in response to Section 5206(b)(2)(A) of the FAST Act. That section extends the expiration date of hours-of-service (HOS) exemptions in effect on the date of enactment of the FAST Act to five years from the date of issuance of the exemptions. The MFT exemption from the agency’s S/B requirement is limited to team drivers employed by MFT to allow these drivers to split S/B time into two periods totaling at least 10 hours, provided neither of the two periods is less than three hours in length. The exemption is now effective March 27, 2015, to March 27, 2020.

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 account and clicking on the “Exemptions Tracker” tab at the top of the page.

Other Items of Interest

FMCSA and FRA to Host Public Listening Sessions on Obstructive Sleep Apnea among Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers and Rail Workers

On April 28, 2016, FMCSA and the Federal Railroad Association (FRA) announced public listening sessions on May 12, 17 and 25, 2016, to solicit information on the prevalence of moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) among individuals occupying safety sensitive positions in highway and rail transportation, and its potential consequences for the safety of rail and highway transportation. FMCSA and FRA also request information on potential costs and benefits from possible regulatory actions that address the safety risks associated with motor carrier and rail transportation workers in safety sensitive positions who have OSA. The listening sessions will provide interested parties an opportunity to share their views and any data or analysis on this topic with representatives of both agencies.

FMCSA Announces Broker/Freight Forwarded Financial Responsibility Public Meeting

On April 27, 2016, FMCSA announced it will host an informal roundtable discussion pertaining to property broker and freight forwarder financial responsibility. The meeting will focus on the adequacy of existing trust fund industry practices, federal requirements for such institutions, and the underlying instruments they issue for use by brokers and freight forwarders submitting the Broker’s or Freight Forwarder’s Trust Fund Agreement (FMCSA Form BMC-85) to satisfy the agency’s financial responsibility rules. The agency seeks information from motor carriers and shippers that have experienced challenges receiving compensation for claims against freight forwarders and brokers due to insufficient funds. The roundtable discussion will be held on May 20, 2016, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET) at the U. S. Department of Transportation headquarters in Washington, D.C.

FMCSA Update on Volvo Trucks Recall

On April 26, 2016, FMCSA announced approximately 830 recalled Volvo 2016-2017 VNL, VNX and VNM trucks remain unaccounted. These unsafe vehicles should not be operated as they pose an imminent hazard and are to be immediately ordered out of service by federal and state roadside safety.

FMCSA Announces its Intent to Establish a Household Goods Consumer Protection Working Group

On April 20, 2016, FMCSA announced its intent to establish the Household Goods (HHG) Consumer Protection Working Group (Working Group). The FAST Act requires FMCSA to establish this working group to provide recommendations on how to better educate and protect HHG moving customers (consumers) during an interstate HHG move. FMCSA solicits applications and nominations of interested persons to serve on the working group. The working group must be composed of individuals with expertise in consumer affairs, educators with expertise in how people learn most effectively and representatives of the interstate HHG moving industry. The FAST Act mandates that the working group make its recommendations and the U.S. DOT publish them no later than Dec. 4, 2016. Applications must be received by May 20, 2016.

NHTSA Requests Comments on Pilot Program for Notification of Open Recall at the Time of Vehicle Registration

On April 19, 2016, NHTSA announced a request for information on its two-year pilot program to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of a state process for informing consumers of open motor vehicle recalls at the time of vehicle registration. Currently, a manufacturer must provide notice of a recall to each person registered under state law as the owner and whose name and address are reasonably ascertainable by the manufacturer through state records or another source. Comments to this request are due by May 16, 2016.

FMCSA Releases Latest Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts Report

On April 15, 2016, FMCSA released its “Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts, 2014” report. The annual report contains descriptive statistics about crashes involving large trucks and busses that caused fatalities, injuries or property damage.