Regulatory Updates – March 17, 2017

Update on Relevant U.S. Regulations

FMCSA Seeks Comments on Class I Passenger Carriers ICR
On March 16, 2017, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a notice of its plan to submit an information collection request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for its review and approval. FMCSA requests renewal of an ICR titled “Annual Report of Class I Motor Carriers of Passengers” for three additional years. Comments are due by May 15, 2017.

TSA Reopens Comment Period for Input on Surface Transportation Vulnerability Assessment
On March 14, 2017, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reopened the comment period for 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. Comments are due by May 15, 2017.

PHMSA Publishes Updates on Special Permits
On March 6, 2017, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published updates on special permit applications:

CVSA Petitions and Comments to Rulemakings

CVSA Submits Request to FMCSA for Guidance on Electronic Instructions
On March 6, 2017, CVSA submitted a letter to FMCSA requesting guidance on allowing the use of an electronic instruction sheet or user manual as part of drivers’ requirement to keep instructions on how electronic data may be retrieved from electronic logging devices (ELDs). In response, FMCSA indicated that in accordance with guidance published in the “Federal Register,” ELD instruction sheets and manuals can be kept electronically. The clarification will also appear in the next agency update of the ELD FAQ.

CVSA Submits Comments to PHMSA on Cargo Tank Identification Numbers
On Feb. 17, 2017, CVSA submitted comments responding to an ANPRM from PHMSA requesting stakeholder input regarding requirements that a cargo tank marked with an identification number of a specific hazardous material may not be used to transport any other material unless the marking is removed or changed. CVSA’s comments cited burdensome training costs and the possibility of discrepancies in the enforcement of the regulation as areas of concern with the ANPRM.

Update on Exemptions

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

TRB Issues Letter to FMCSA on Strengthening Research and Technology Program
On March 9, 2017, the Motor Carrier Safety Research Analysis Committee of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) submitted its report to FMCSA aimed at strengthening the agency’s research and technology (R&T) program. The recommendations in the report arose from the committee’s first meeting in December 2016 and encompass enhanced crash data, conviction data and wireless roadside inspections.

FMCSA Confirms Suspension of Hours-of-Service Rules
Also on March 9, 2017, FMCSA confirmed that two provisions of the hours-of-service (HOS) rule that have been suspended since December 2014 will remain suspended. The provisions placed restrictions on the use of the 34-hour restart rule. Under the restrictions, the 34-hour off-duty period was required to include two off-duty periods from 1-5 a.m. and drivers were restricted to using the restart provision once per week. This decision follows the issuance of a Department of Transportation (DOT) study and report to Congress that concludes truck drivers operating under the 2013 HOS provisions demonstrated no greater level of safety than those operating under previous HOS regulations.