Regulatory Updates – Jan. 11, 2013

Update on Relevant Regulations

Federal Court to Hear HOS Case Arguments

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has announced that it will hear arguments in the ongoing challenge to FMCSA’s latest hours-of-service rule on March 15th. The case combines two different challenges to the rule, one saying the rule goes too far and one saying it does not go far enough. The rule, which was issued in December of 2011, is scheduled to go into effect this July.

PHMSA Issues Two Final Rules Making Changes to HazMat Regs

On January 7th, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued a Final Rule making changes to the Hazardous Materials Regulations to “maintain alignment with international standards by incorporating various amendments”. Changes were made to proper shipping names, hazard classes, packing groups, special provisions, packaging authorizations, etc. Also included in the changes is the reinstatement of Special Provision 101 for certain explosives and a new minimum size for non-bulk package marking in 172.301 with a phase-in to January 1, 2017.The rule was effective January 1, 2013, which is also the date PHMSA had designated for voluntary compliance. Compliance is required by January 1, 2014.

Also on January 7th, PHMSA issued a Final Rule responding to administrative appeals submitted in response to various amendments adopted in a January 19, 2011 Final Rule. Among other things, the rule extends the ORM-D phase-out to December 31, 2020.


Other Items of Interest

ATRI Surveys Drivers on 34-Hour Restart Provision

In early January, the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) released a survey to collect data from CMV drivers on the impacts of FMCSA’s 34-hour restart rule, which goes into effect later this year. ATRI has recently completed a similar survey of motor carriers. Drivers who would like to complete the anonymous survey will find it here.

UCR Board to Meeting New Orleans January 14th

On Wednesday, January 9th, FMCSA announced that the Unified Carrier Registration Plan Board of Directors would be meeting January 14th in New Orleans, LA. At the meeting, the Board plans to continue its work in developing and implementing the Unified Carrier Registration Plan and Agreement. The meeting is open to the public.