Regulatory Updates – Jan. 20, 2017

Update on Relevant U.S. Regulations

PHMSA Issues Rulemaking for Class 3 Hazardous Materials
On Jan. 18, 2017, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) to establish vapor pressure limits for all Class 3 hazardous materials during their transportation. Comments are due by March 20, 2017.

FMCSA Suspends Regulations for Unified Registration System
On Jan. 17, 2017, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a final rule announcing the suspension of regulatory requirements for motor carriers, shippers, brokers and hazardous materials carriers to submit registration and biennial update information to the Unified Registration System (URS). The agency cites the need for additional time to transfer data to the new URS website as the reason for the suspension. The rule was effective Jan. 14, 2017.

PHMSA Seeks Comments on Hazardous Materials Transportation
Also on Jan. 17, 2017, PHMSA issued a notice of its plan to submit four information collection requests (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for its review and approval. The collections involve hazardous materials training, packaging and transportation requirements. Comments are due by Feb. 28, 2018.

NHTSA Seeks Comments on Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communications
On Jan. 12, 2017, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) creating a new federal motor vehicle safety standard (FMVSS) for vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications. The proposed rule highlights the safety benefits of V2V technology and requires newly manufactured light vehicles to be equipped with V2V beginning two years after a final rule is released. Comments are due by April 12, 2017.

FMCSA Seeks Comments on Guidance for Passenger Motor Carriers
On Jan. 10, 2017, FMCSA issued guidance for organizations and businesses that transport passengers, clarifying regulations which have been revised due to legislative and regulatory changes. The guidance also clarifies the scope of FMCSA jurisdiction over passenger motor carriers and provides a resource page for businesses to determine whether FMCSA regulations and requirements apply. Comments on the guidance will be due 60 days after publication in the “Federal Register.”

FMCSA Revises Training Requirements for Entry-Level Drivers
Also on Jan. 10, 2017, FMCSA issued a correction of its December final rule which created new minimum training standards for entry-level drivers. Specifically, the corrections ensure the applicability of the recently finalized rule establishing a commercial driver’s license (CDL) drug and alcohol clearinghouse. The correction is effective Feb. 6, 2017.

TSA Information Request on CDL Hazardous Materials Endorsement
On Jan. 9, 2017, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issued a notice of its plan to submit an ICR to the OMB for its review and approval. The collection involves revising a currently approved ICR to reflect applicants’ criminal history and biometric information. Comments are due by Feb. 8, 2017.

Update on Exemptions

Trucking Companies Request Urine Testing Exemption
On Jan. 19, 2017, FMCSA announced receipt of applications from J.B. Hunt, Schneider, Werner, Knight Transportation, Dupre Logistics and Maverick Transportation requesting exemptions from urine testing requirements for CDL holders. Instead, the trucking companies ask to use hair analysis, arguing that it more accurately detects the presence of controlled substances. Comments are due by Feb. 19, 2017.

Hino Motors Requests Exemption from Parts and Accessories Regulations
Also on Jan. 19, 2017, FMCSA announced receipt of an application from Hino Motors Manufacturing (Hino) to allow an automated emergency braking system and a lane departure warning camera to be mounted lower than is currently allowed. Comments are due by Feb. 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.

Other Items of Interest

FMCSA Releases Safety Guidance for Onboard Safety Monitoring
On Jan. 10, 2017, FMCSA released a guidance manual on the use of onboard safety monitoring devices (OSM). The guidance includes steps for industry to implement an OSM program as well as best-practice methods to develop a safety culture limiting risky driving behavior.