Regulatory Updates – June 23, 2017

Update on Relevant U.S. Regulations

PHMSA Publishes Updates on Special Permits
On June 16 and 21, 2017, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published updates on special permit applications:

FHWA Requests Information on Crash Criteria
On June 19, 2017, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued a notice of its plan to submit an information collection request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) intended to assess states’ ability to report serious injuries using the federal definition included in the fourth edition of the Model Minimum Uniform Crash Criteria (MMUCC). Comments are due by Aug. 18, 2017.

FMCSA Extends Bus Leasing Rule
On June 16, 2017, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a one-year extension of the compliance date of the final rule governing the lease and interchange of passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). The final rule identifies the motor carriers responsible for compliance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) and ensures that FMCSA assigns responsibility for violations to the correct entity. The new effective date is June 16, 2017 and the new compliance date is Jan. 1, 2019.

FMCSA Requests Comments on Revisions to Bus Leasing Rule
Also on June 16, 2017, FMCSA announced a proposal to revise portions of the final rule governing passenger-carrying CMV leasing. In response to stakeholder comments that making a carrier responsible for a subcontractor’s fleet and drivers would make short-term subcontracts impossible, FMCSA is considering a less burdensome regulatory requirement to exclude subcontracting from the leasing requirements of the rule as well as extending the emergency 48-hour delay in preparing a lease. Comments are due by July 31, 2017.

FMCSA Proposes Rule Extending CLP Expiration Date
On June 12, 2017, FMCSA issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to allow states to issue a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) with an expiration date of up to one year from the date of issuance. Currently, states may issue CLPs for no more than 180 days with a permissible renewal of an additional 180 days at the state’s discretion. Comments are due by Aug. 11, 2017.

FMCSA Issues Rule Exempting Military Personnel from CDL Knowledge Test Requirements
Also on June 12, 2017, FMCSA issued an NPRM to waive the requirement for the commercial driver’s license (CDL) knowledge and skills tests for applicants who were employed in the previous year in a military position that required the operation of a CMV. The rule is intended to help former military drivers more quickly transition to civilian driving careers. Comments are due by Aug. 11, 2017.

Update on Exemptions

FMCSA Grants C.R. England CLP Exemption
On June 12, 2017, FMCSA announced its decision to renew an exemption for C.R. England Inc. allowing CLP holders who have passed the skills test but have not received CDL documents to drive a C.R. England CMV while accompanied by another CDL holder who does not need to sit in the front seat. The exemption is effective June 13, 2017-June 12, 2022. Comments are due by July 12, 2017.

CVSA Active Exemptions Tracker
CVSA maintains a list of active exemptions issued by FMCSA. Members can access the document by logging into their CVSA member portal and clicking on the “Exemptions Tracker” tab at the top of the page.

Other Items of Interest

House Highway Subcommittee Leadership Sends Letter on Highway Trust Fund Solvency
On June 13, 2017, Representatives Sam Graves and Eleanor Holmes Norton, chairman and ranking member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Highways and Transit Subcommittee, respectively, sent a bipartisan letter with more than 200 signatures from House members to the leadership of the House Ways and Means Committee. The letter urges the Ways and Means Committee to address the Highway Trust Fund and ensure its solvency to support transportation and infrastructure investment.

Supreme Court Declines to Hear Challenge to ELD Rule
On June 12, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a lawsuit filed by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) arguing that mandated Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) violate truck drivers’ Fourth Amendment rights. OOIDA’s petition had previously been denied by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. The ELD mandate will be effective Dec. 18, 2017.