Regulatory Updates – May 13, 2016

Update on Relevant U.S. Regulations

DOT Update on Significant Rulemakings

On May 13, 2016, the U.S. Department of Transportation (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 has been moved up 10 days from Jan. 28, 2017, to Jan. 18, 2017.
  • CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Final Rule – Publication has been delayed one week, from Aug. 16, 2016, to Aug. 29, 2016.
  • FMCSA/NHTSA Joint Rule on Heavy-Vehicle Speed Limiters – Publication is still scheduled for spring 2016.
  • Motorcoach Rollover Structural Integrity Final Rule – Publication has been delayed one month, from Oct. 3, 2016, to Nov. 3, 2016.
  • Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 150 – Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V) Communication NPRM – Publication has been delayed one month from May 18, 2016, to June 18, 2016.

FMCSA Announces UCR Board Meeting

On May 12, 2016, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a notice announcing a meeting of the Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) Plan Board of Directors. The board will continue its work in developing and implementing the UCR plan and agreement. The meeting is open to the public and will be held on June 8, 2016.

PHMSA Publishes Update on Special Permits

On May 12, 2016, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published updates on special permit applications:

FMCSA Issues Safety Advisory for the Immediate Repair and Retesting of TYTAL Cargo Tanks

On May 11, 2016, FMCSA issued a safety advisory to provide notice to owners and operators of cargo tank motor vehicles manufactured by Trailers Y Tanques De Aluminio (TYTAL), USDOT No. 2164338, CT-12407, with a capacity of 8,400, 8,717 and 10,500 gallons and primarily used for the transportation of petroleum crude oil.  Until such time as repairs and testing have been completed, the continued use of these cargo tanks in hazardous materials service is not authorized, regardless of the vehicle’s last test and inspection date. Owners and operators are subject to immediate enforcement and fines. A full list of cargo tanks included in the safety advisory can be found on FMCSA’s website.

NHTSA Issues NPRM on New FMVSS No. 217a

On May 6, 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)  issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to propose a new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 217a, “Anti-ejection glazing for bus portals,” to drive the installation of advanced glazing in high-occupancy buses. The new standard would specify impactor testing of glazing material. The impactor and impact speed would simulate the loading from an average size unrestrained adult male impacting a window on the opposite side of a large bus in a rollover. Performance requirements would apply to side and rear windows, and to glass panels and windows on the roof to mitigate partial and complete ejection of passengers from these windows and to ensure emergency exits remain operable after a rollover crash. NHTSA also proposes to limit the protrusions of emergency exit latches into emergency exit openings of windows to ensure they do not unduly hinder emergency egress. Comments to the NPRM are due by July 5, 2016.

Update on Exemptions

APA Exemption Extension from the 14th Hour Rule

On May 9, 2016, FMCSA announced the American Pyrotechnics Association (APA), on behalf of its member companies, requested additions to and deletions from the list of motor carriers previously granted exemptions for the 2015 and 2016 Independence Day fireworks shows. Fifty-one APA members currently hold such exemptions from the prohibition on driving commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) after the 14th hour after the driver comes on duty. APA requests discontinuance of the exemption for four carriers and new exemptions for four carriers, with the total therefore remaining at 51. The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act extended 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. This notice is therefore effective June 8, 2016 – July 8, 2020.

TransMontaigne Operating Company Request for Special Permit

On May 2, 2016, PHMSA announced its receipt of a special permit request from TransMontaigne Operating Company L.P., a hazardous liquid pipeline operator, seeking relief from compliance with certain requirements in the federal pipeline safety regulations. PHMSA is seeking public comments on this request, including comments on any safety or environmental impacts. Comments due by June 2, 2016.

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

NTSB Publishes Progress Report on its 2016 Most Wanted List

On May 9, 2016, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) published a progress report on its 2016 Most Wanted List. In January, the NTSB released six recommendations on its list which included: reducing fatigue-related accidents, promoting availability of collision avoidance technologies in highway vehicles, disconnecting drivers from distraction, ending impairment by vehicle operators, expanding medical fitness for truck drivers, and expanding the use of video and event recorders.