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Regulatory Updates – Oct. 28, 2016

Update on Relevant U.S. Regulations

DOT Issues Update on Significant Rulemakings

On Oct. 14, 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 is still scheduled for April 19, 2017.
  • CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Final Rule – Publication is scheduled for Nov. 23, 2016.
  • Motorcoach Rollover Structural Integrity Final Rule – Publication has been delayed one month, from Feb. 3, 2017, to March 3, 2017.
  • Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 150 – Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V) Communication NPRM – Publication is still scheduled for Nov. 26, 2016.
  • Entry-Level Driver Training Final Rule – Publication is still scheduled for Nov. 10, 2016.

FMCSA Announces Multi-year CVSP Program

On Oct. 27, 2016, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a notice seeking comment on the agency’s intent to move to a multi-year Commercial Vehicle Safety Plan (CVSP) system for the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) grants. This change was one of CVSA’s reauthorization priorities and was included in the FAST Act. The intent is to provide states with increased flexibility in continuing initiatives for safety purposes as well as reduce administrative burdens. Comments are due by Nov. 28, 2016.

FMCSA Issues Decision on Use of Medical Examination Report and Medical Examiner’s Certificate Forms

Also on Oct. 27, 2016, FMCSA announced its decision to allow certified medical examiners to use current medical examination report (MER) form MCSA-5875 and medical examiner’s certificate (MEC) form MCSA-5876 with October, November and December 2015 dates until existing stock is depleted. The agency has determined that all changes to the MER and MEC forms since Aug. 15, 2015, are non-substantial.

PHMSA Publishes Updates on Special Permits

On Oct. 25, 2016, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published updates on special permit applications:

DOT Establishes Advisory Committee on Automation in Transportation

On Oct. 20, 2016, DOT announced the establishment of the Advisory Committee on Automation in Transportation (ACAT). The committee will develop technical advice and conduct information-gathering activities to inform DOT policies on aircraft, road, freight and railroad automated technologies. The deadline for nominations is Nov. 4, 2016.

FMCSA Seeking Comment on Operating Authority Licensing Applications

On Oct. 19, 2016, 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. The collection involves an extension to a currently-approved ICR related to licensing applications for motor carrier operating authority. The information collected will be used by for-hire motor carriers of regulated commodities, motor passenger carriers, freight forwarders, property brokers and Mexico-domiciled motor carriers to register their operations with the agency. Comments are due by Nov. 19, 2016.

PHMSA Announces Meeting on International Standards in the Transportation of Dangerous Goods

On Oct. 18, 2016, PHMSA announced it would conduct a public meeting on Nov. 15, 2016, to prepare for the 50th session of the United Nations Sub-Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (UNSCOE TDG), held from Nov. 28-Dec. 6, 2016, in Geneva, Switzerland. Topics on the agenda include listing, classification and packing, transport of gases, and harmonization of dangerous goods regulations. Attendance is open to the public.

CVSA Petitions and Comments to Rulemakings

CVSA Submits Comments to PHMSA on Hazardous Materials Harmonization

On Oct. 24, 2016, CVSA submitted comments responding to a proposed rulemaking from PHMSA to amend the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) to maintain consistency with international regulations and standards by incorporating various amendments, including changes to proper shipping names, hazard classes, packing groups, special provisions, packaging authorizations, air transport quantity limitations and vessel stowage requirements. While supportive of the proposed rulemaking, CVSA’s comments urge PHMSA to require access to materials at no charge for enforcement and government purposes. Further, CVSA has concerns about the ability of states to comply with the Jan. 1, 2017, effective date and suggests a broader timeline for training and uniform state adoption of federal regulatory changes.

Update on Exemptions

FMCSA Grants Missouri DOR Exemption Request from CDL Standards

On Oct. 27, 2016, FMCSA announced its decision to grant a limited exemption to the Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR) and other state driver licensing agencies from the commercial driver’s license (CDL) regulations. These regulations allow a state to waive the CDL skills test for applicants regularly employed or previously employed within the last 90 days in a military position requiring operation of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). FMCSA granted the exemption citing the training provided by specialized military programs and the fact that the hours of training in military programs is in excess of the training required in the agency’s entry-level driver training rule.

American Concrete Pumping Association Hours-of-Service Exemption Request

On Oct. 25, 2016, FMCSA announced receipt of an application from the American Concrete Pumping Association (ACPA) for an exemption from the 30-minute rest break provision of the agency’s hours-of-service (HOS) regulations. ACPA requests an exemption for all concrete pump operators, concrete pumping companies and drivers who operate concrete pumps. Comments are due by Nov. 25, 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.