Update on Relevant U.S. Regulations
FMCSA Request for Comments on CMV Driver Medication Form
On July 8, 2016, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced its plan to submit the Information Collection Request (ICR) described below to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for its review and approval and invites public comment on the approval of a new Information Collection (IC) titled, 391.41 CMV Driver Medication Form. This IC is voluntary and may be utilized by medical examiners (MEs) responsible for issuing Medical Examiner’s Certificates (MECs) to commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. MEs that choose to use this IC will do so in an effort to communicate with treating healthcare professionals who are responsible for prescribing certain medications, so that the ME fully understands the reasons the medications have been prescribed. The information obtained by the ME when utilizing this IC will assist the ME in determining if the driver is medically certified according to the physical qualifications standards and to ensure that there are no disqualifying medical conditions or underlying medical conditions and prescribed medications that could adversely affect their safe driving ability or cause incapacitation constituting a risk to the public. Comments are due by Aug. 8, 2016.
PHMSA Publishes Updates on Special Permits
On July 8, 2016, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published updates on special permit applications.
- List of Applications for Special Permits – Comments are due by Aug. 8, 2016.
- List of Applications for Modification of Special Permits – Comments are due by Aug. 8, 2016.
FMCSA Seeks Comment on Crash Preventability Demonstration Program
On July 7, 2016, FMCSA announced its plan to develop and implement a crash preventability demonstration program for certain types of crashes. FMCSA proposes to accept requests for data reviews (RDRs) that seek to establish the non-preventability of certain crashes through the DataQs system. Under the program, FMCSA would accept an RDR when documentation established that the crash was not preventable by the motor carrier or commercial driver. The proposed minimum time period for this crash preventability demonstration program would be 24 months. Comments are due 60 days after the proposal appears in the “Federal Register”.
FMCSA Issues Correction to Use of Seat Belt Final Rule
On July 6, 2016, FMCSA issued a correction to an error published in its June 7, 2016, final rule “Driving of Commercial Motor Vehicles: Use of Seat Belts.” The language in the final rule inadvertently limited the applicability of the requirement for drivers to use their seat belts to operators of property-carrying vehicles. The correction fixes the error, clarifying that drivers of passenger-carrying vehicles will continue to be required to wear their seat belts. The final rule is still effective Aug. 8, 2016.
FMCSA Announces UCR Board Meeting
On July 5, 2016, FMCSA announced 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 July 14, 2016, from noon to 3 p.m. EDT.
PHMSA Issues NPRM to Amend Sections of the Hazardous Materials Regulations
On June 30, 2016, PHMSA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in response to a number of petitions for rulemaking. PHMSA proposes to amend various sections of the hazardous materials regulations to update, clarify or provide relief from miscellaneous regulatory requirements. Specifically, PHMSA is proposing amendments that include, but are not limited to, the following: incorporating by reference (IBR) multiple publications from the Compressed Gas Association (CGA) and the Chlorine Institute; addressing inconsistencies with domestic and international labels and placards; permitting alternative testing for aerosols; no longer mandating that excepted quantities comply with the emergency response telephone requirement; allowing electronic signatures for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) manifest forms; and no longer requiring the service pressure to be marked on Department of Transportation (DOT) 8 and 8L cylinders. Comments to the NPRM are due by Aug. 29, 2016.
PHMSA Issues Interim Final Rule on Maximum and Minimum Civil Penalties
On June 29, 2016, PHMSA announced an interim final rule revising the maximum and minimum civil penalties for a knowing violation of the federal hazardous material transportation law or a regulation, order, special permit or approval issued under that law. The maximum civil penalty for a knowing violation is now $77,114, except for violations that result in death, serious illness, or severe injury to any person or substantial destruction of property, for which the maximum civil penalty is $179,933. In addition, the minimum civil penalty amount for a violation relating to training is now $463. The interim final rule is effective Aug. 1, 2016.
FMCSA Interim Final Rule on Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment of 2015
On June 27, 2016, FMCSA announced an interim final rule to the civil penalties listed in its regulations to ensure that the civil penalties assessed or enforced by FMCSA reflect the statutorily mandated ranges as adjusted for inflation. Pursuant to the 2015 Act, FMCSA is required to promulgate a catch-up adjustment through an interim final rule. Pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act, FMCSA finds that good cause exists for immediate implementation of this interim final rule because prior notice and comment are unnecessary, per the specific provisions of the 2015 Act. The interim final rule is effective Aug. 1, 2016.
PHMSA Notice and Request for Comment to Hazardous Materials Incident Report
On June 27, 2016, PHMSA announced a notice and request for comment to shippers and carriers of hazardous materials. The collection is applicable upon occurrence of an incident as prescribed in §§ 171.15 and 171.16. A Hazardous Materials Incident Report, DOT Form F 5800.1, must be completed by a person in physical possession of a hazardous material at the time a hazardous material incident occurs in transportation, such as a release of materials, serious accident, evacuation or closure of a main artery. Incidents meeting criteria in § 171.15 also require a telephonic report. The requirements apply to all interstate and intrastate carriers engaged in the transportation of hazardous materials by rail, air, water and highway. Comments due by Aug. 26, 2016.
CVSA Comments to Rulemakings
CVSA Submits Comments to PHMSA SNPRM on the Incorporation of ASME Code Section XII
On June 22, 2016, CVSA submitted comments to PHMSA’s supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM) to incorporate and allow the use of the 2015 edition of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) “Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, Section XII—Rules for Construction and Continued Service of Transport Tanks” for the construction and continued service of cargo tank motor vehicles (CTMVs), cryogenic portable tanks and multi-unit tank car tanks (ton tanks). PHMSA also proposed to incorporate and authorize the use of the 2015 edition of the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors “National Board Inspection Code” as it applies to the continued service of CTMVs, cryogenic portable tanks and ton tanks constructed to ASME Section XII standards, as well as for existing CTMVs constructed in accordance with the current hazardous materials regulations.
Update on Exemptions
Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles Exemption Request Renewal
On July 8, 2016, FMCSA announced its decision to renew the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) exemption on behalf of truck and bus drivers who are licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia and need a Skill Performance Evaluation (SPE) certificate from FMCSA to operate a CMV in interstate commerce. The exemption enables interstate CMV drivers who are licensed in Virginia and are subject to the federal SPE to continue to fulfill the federal requirements with a State-issued SPE and to operate CMVs in interstate commerce anywhere in the United States. The exemption is effective July 9, 2016-July 9, 2018.
Illumination Fireworks LLC and ACE Pyro LLC Exemption Request Granted
On July 5, 2016, FMCSA announced its decision to grant exemption renewals to Illumination Fireworks LLC and ACE Pyro LLC from the prohibition on driving CMVs after the 14th hour after coming on duty. The exemption is effective June 28, 2016-July 8, 2020.
American Pyrotechnics Association Exemption Request Granted
On July 5, 2016, FMCSA announced its decision to grant an exemption for 51 member companies of the American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) from the hours-of-service (HOS) regulation prohibiting drivers of CMVs from driving after the 14th hour after coming on duty. The exemption is effective June 28, 2016-July 8, 2020.
Missouri DOR Exemption Request Granted
On June 29, 2016, FMCSA announced its decision to grant the Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR) and all other state driver licensing agencies (SDLAs) a limited exemption allowing 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 CMV. The exemption extends the 90-day timeline to one year following the driver’s separation from military service. The exemption is effective July 8, 2016-July 8, 2018.
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.