Regulatory Updates – Dec. 21, 2016

Update on Relevant U.S. Regulations

PHMSA Publishes Updates on Special Permits
On Dec. 22, 2016, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) will publish updates on special permit applications:

TSA Sets New Security Training Standards for Bus Carrier Employees
On Dec. 16, 2016, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) requiring additional security training for employees of high risk bus, rail and transit systems. The training will prepare employees to observe and respond to threats and possible terrorist attacks including identifying suspicious activities such as terrorist reconnaissance and dangerous substances. Comments are due by March 16, 2017.

TSA Requests Input on Surface Transportation Vulnerability Assessment
Also on Dec. 16, 2016, TSA issued an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) to request public comment on the surface transportation vulnerability assessment and security plan regulations mandated by the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 (9/11 Act). TSA seeks feedback on vulnerability assessments of security systems and infrastructure, requirements for security plans and other programs that TSA should consider. Input is also sought on the costs of developing a security plan and cost-reduction measures. Comments are due by Feb. 14, 2017.

Access Board Updates Guidelines for Passenger Vehicles
On Dec. 14, 2016, the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board issued a final rule that updates current accessibility guidelines under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) covering passenger vehicles, including buses and vans. These changes include consistent application of requirements across all passenger vehicles, requirements for automated stop and route announcement systems and the addition of signs for accessible seating and doorways. The rule is effective Jan. 13, 2017.

PHMSA Issues Safety Notice for Liquefied Compressed Gases
On Dec. 13, 2016, PHMSA issued a safety notice advising the public against using DOT-39 cylinders with an internal volume greater than 1.23L containing a liquefied flammable compressed gas. The agency cautions that such containers are more likely to corrode or puncture due to their thinner walls. The notice was effective Dec. 5, 2016.

FMCSA Extends Implementation of URS
On Dec. 9, 2016, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced that it will again delay the final implementation of its Unified Registration System (URS) used by carriers for updates, name changes and transfers of authority. The agency cites additional time to transfer data into a central database and the need to conduct compatibility testing with state partners as reasons for the delay. FMCSA will issue a notice in January 2017 to announce a new implementation date.

Update on Exemptions

Prime Requests Exemption for CLP Holders
On Dec. 20, 2016, FMCSA announced that New Prime, Inc. (Prime) had applied for an exemption allowing drivers with a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) to drive without a CDL holder in the front seat. Prime argues that the exemption would promote productivity and help CLP holders who have passed the CDL skills test to start work immediately. Comments are due by Jan. 19, 2017.

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.