Regulatory Update – March 8, 2019

Update on Relevant Canadian Regulations

Transport Canada Requests Comments on Updates to TDGR
On March 4, 2019, Transport Canada published a request for comments on proposed updates to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDGR). The changes aim to harmonize the TDGR with international standards. Comments are due by May 27.

Update on Relevant U.S. Regulations

FMCSA Requests Comments on ICR for RODS
On March 8, 2019, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a request for comments on an information collection request (ICR) for the collection of records of duty status (RODS) of drivers. The ICR allows for the collection of electronic and paper logs to enforce the hours-of-service (HOS) rule. Comments are due by May 7.

FMCSA Updates CDL Guidance and Requests Comments
Also on March 8, 2019, FMCSA published an update to existing commercial driver’s license (CDL) guidance documents. FMCSA requests comments on the changes that were made and on any other changes that should be made to CDL guidance. The updated guidance is effective March 7, 2019, and comments are due by May 7.

FMCSA Publishes ANPRM on Driver Employment Application Requirement
Also on March 8, 2019, FMCSA published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) on the value of the driver employment application requirement. FMCSA is seeking input on how to lessen the burden of the requirement to industry, including potentially eliminating the requirement. Comments are due by May 7.

U.S. DOT Extends Comment Period on Notice of Review of Guidance
On March 8, 2019, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced a 30-day extension of the comment period on the notice of review of guidance originally published on Feb. 6, 2019. The review seeks feedback on existing regulatory guidance that needs to be updated or revised. Comments are now due on May 8.

FMCSA Published Final Rule Amending ELDT Regulations
On March 6, 2019, FMCSA published a final rule amending the entry-level driver training (ELDT) regulations originally published on Dec. 8, 2016. The change adopts a new Class A CDL upgrade curriculum to reduce the training time required to upgrade from a Class B CDL to a Class A CDL. The final rule is effective May 6, 2019, and the compliance date is Feb. 7, 2020. Petitions for reconsideration of the final rule must be submitted by April 5.

Department of Agriculture Announces Listening Session on Implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill Provisions on Hemp
On March 5, 2019, the Agricultural Marketing Service, a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, announced a listening session on the implementation of the hemp provisions in the Agricultural Improvements Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill.) The listening session seeks to gather public input on how to regulate hemp production. The session will be hosted by webinar on March 13.

U.S. DOT Announces Meeting of the Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking
On Feb. 26, 2019, the U.S. DOT announced that the Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking will hold a meeting on March 12 at U.S. DOT headquarters in Washington, D.C.

PHMSA Requests Comments on ICRs
On Feb. 25, 2019, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) requested comments on three ICRs that the agency intends to submit for approval. The ICRs pertain to radioactive transportation requirements, the hazardous materials public sector training and planning grants and subsidiary hazardous class requirements on shipping papers. Comments are due by April 26.

Update on Exemptions

FMCSA Requests Comments on Joint Railroad HOS Exemption Request
On March 8, 2019, FMCSA requested comments on R.J. Corman Railroad Services, Cranemasters Inc. and the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association’s application for exemption from the HOS requirements when drivers are responding to unplanned events, such as the derailment of a train. Comments are due by April 8.

NHTSA Grants Window Glazing Exemption
On March 1, 2019, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) granted Forest River Inc.’s petition for inconsequential noncompliance of certain model year 2017-2018 buses owned by Forest River Inc. The buses’ entry doors do not fully comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 205 on glazing materials.

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 portal and clicking on the “Exemptions” tab at the top of the page.

CVSA Letters, Petitions and Comments to Rulemakings

CVSA Submits Comments on Joint Livestock and Insect Industry Exemption Request
On March 7, 2019, CVSA submitted comments to FMCSA in opposition to a joint HOS exemption application from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Livestock Marketing Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Beekeeping Federation, American Honey Producers Association and the National Aquaculture Association. The application requests that transporters of livestock, insects and aquatic animals be allowed to drive 15 hours in a 16-hour period instead of 11 hours in a 14-hour period.

Legislative Update – March 8, 2019

Legislative Update

Stop Underrides Act Introduced in U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives
On March 5, 2019, Senators Gillibrand (D-NY) and Rubio (R-FL) and Representatives Cohen (D-TN) and DeSaulnier (D-CA) introduced the Stop Underrides Act. The bill seeks to improve underride protection on commercial motor vehicles by improving performance standards. Additionally, the bill would add underride guards to the list of parts and accessories required to be inspected under Appendix G of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and establishes a Committee on Underride Protection to oversee underride rulemakings and requirements.

Legislative Update – Feb. 22, 2019

Legislative Update

116th Congress Takes Shape and Outlines Priorities
With almost two months complete, the 116th Congress has finished committee and subcommittee assignments for the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which handle the majority of commercial motor vehicle issues. The committees are beginning to lay out a roadmap for the next two years and outline priorities. CVSA staff is meeting with legislative offices to discuss the needs of enforcement. In discussions, HOS, automated driving systems, ELDs, the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program and commercial driver’s license age requirements are common topics of interest.

Farm Bill Includes Provision on the Interstate Transportation of Hemp
On Dec. 13, 2018, the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, commonly referred to as the Farm Bill, was passed. The bill includes a provision on the interstate transportation of hemp. As outlined in section 10114, the bill allows for legal interstate transportation of hemp that has a delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of .3 percent or less and was produced under an approved federal or state regulatory plan. This topic will be on the agenda for the Driver-Traffic Enforcement Committee at the 2019 CVSA Workshop in St. Louis, Missouri, as jurisdictions discuss how to enforce the new policy.

Regulatory Update – Feb. 22, 2019

Update on Exemptions

FMCSA Requests Comment on WestRock HOS Exemption
On Feb. 21, 2019, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a notice and request for comment on an application from WestRock to renew their existing hours-of-service (HOS) exemption. The application requests that employees continue to be exempt from the 14-hour rule when transporting materials on a 275-foot stretch of public road between its shipping and receiving locations. Comments are due by March 25.

FMCSA Announces Approval of Stoneridge’s Rear-Vision Mirror Exemption Request
Also on Feb. 21, 2019, FMCSA announced approval of Stoneridge, Inc.’s (Stoneridge) five-year limited exemption allowing motor carriers to utilize the company’s Mirror Eye Camera Monitoring System instead of two rear-vision mirrors. The exemption is effective Feb. 21, 2019-Feb. 13, 2024.

FMCSA Grants APA ELD Exemption
On Feb. 19, 2019, FMCSA granted an electronic logging device (ELD) exemption for the American Pyrotechnics Association (APA). The exemption allows APA member companies that currently hold an HOS exemption for the Independence Day season to utilize paper records instead of an ELD between June 28-July 8 of each year. The exemption is effective for the Independence Day period in 2019 and 2020.

FMCSA Grants ACC Warning Flag Exemption
On Feb. 15, 2019, FMCSA granted a warning flag exemption for the Automobile Carriers Conference (ACC) of the American Trucking Associations. The exemption allows motor carriers of stinger steered automobile transporters to operate with projecting loads that don’t have the required warning flags. The exemption is effective Feb. 15, 2019-Feb.15, 2024 .

FMCSA Grants Additional APA 14-Hour Rule Exemption
On Feb. 12, 2019, FMCSA granted a 14-hour exemption for three additional APA member companies. Artisan Pyrothechnics, Montana Display Fireworks and ZY Pyrotechnics are now included in the existing APA exemption that allows their member’s drivers to drive beyond the 14-hour window during the Independence Day period of June 28-July 8 each year. The exemption is effective for the Independence Day period in 2019 and 2020.

FMCSA Renews Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles Federal SPE Exemption
Also on Feb. 12, 2019, FMCSA announced renewal of the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles’ federal skills performance evaluation (SPE) exemption. The exemption allows drivers who hold a Virginia issued commercial driver’s license and would normally be subject the federal SPE requirements for alternative physical qualifications for loss or impairment of limbs to operate in interstate commerce with a state-issued SPE. The exemption is effective July 8, 2018-July 8, 2023.

Active Exemption Tracker
CVSA maintains a list of active exemptions issued by FMCSA. Members can access the document by logging into their CVSA member portal and clicking on the “Exemptions” tab at the top of the page.

Congress Passes Fiscal 2019 Transportation Funding

On Feb. 14, 2019, Congress passed a funding bill that included transportation funding for fiscal 2019. The bill includes full funding for commercial motor vehicle-related grants at or above the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act levels, with a $1 million increase to the commercial motor vehicle operator’s grant program.

  • MCSAP Formula – $304.3 million
  • High Priority – $44 million
  • CDL – $32.5 million
  • CMV Operators – $2 million

In addition, the bill has several policy riders included.

  • Section 130 directs the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to send notice of Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations § 385.308 violations by a form of delivery that records notice of receipt. § 385.308 outlines violations that if committed by a new entrant may trigger an expedited safety audit or compliance review.
  • Section 131 prevents the U.S. Department of Transportation from enforcing electronic logging device requirements for motor carriers transporting livestock or insects through Sept. 30, 2019.
  • Section 131 prevents FMCSA from enforcing the May 27, 2015, final rule on the lease and interchange of vehicles for passenger-carrying motor carriers.

Legislative Update – Feb. 8, 2019

Legislative Update

Continuing Resolution Passed to Open Federal Government Until Feb. 15
On Jan. 26, 2019, Congress passed a continuing resolution that allowed the federal government to reopen at current funding levels until Feb. 15 while negotiations continue on border wall funding. A permanent funding bill or another continuing resolution will need to be passed by Feb. 15 for the portions of federal government without approved fiscal 2019 spending bills in place to remain open.

CVSA staff continues to meet with legislative offices to discuss the needs of enforcement. In discussions, hours of service, automated driving systems, electronic logging devices, the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program and commercial driver’s license age requirements are common topics of interest.

Regulatory Update – Feb. 8, 2019

Update on Relevant U.S. Regulations

FHWA Requests Comment on NPRM that Allows South Dakota to Revise LCV Routes
On Feb. 6, 2019, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that allows South Dakota the opportunity to update routes for longer combination vehicles (LCV) and commercial motor vehicles with two or more cargo-carrying units. The NPRM is a result of a provision in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act. Comments are due by March 8.

FMCSA Requests Comment on Motor Carrier Identification Report ICR
On Feb. 6, 2019, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a notice requesting comment on an information collection request (ICR) for motor carrier identification. The ICR is used to identify regulated carriers to prioritize agency activities and assess safety outcomes. Comments are due by April 8.

PHMSA Publishes Updates on Special Permits
On Feb. 6, 2019, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published updates on special permit applications:

OST Requests Comment on Regulatory Guidance
On Feb. 5, 2019, the Office of the Secretary of Transportation (OST) published a notice and request for comment on the use of existing regulatory guidance at the U.S. Department of Transportation. The OST requests feedback on any guidance that is a good candidate for repeal, replacement or modification. All guidance pertaining to commercial driver’s licenses will be addressed in a separate notice. Comments are due by April 8.

Update on Exemptions

FMCSA Grants ACPA 30-Minute Rest Break and RODS Exemption
On Feb. 6, 2019, FMCSA granted an hours-of-service (HOS) exemption for the American Concrete Pavement Association (ACPA). The exemption allows drivers transporting ready-mixed concrete, related materials and equipment in vehicles other than those equipped with rotating mixer drums, to use 30 minutes of on-duty “waiting time” to satisfy the 30-minute rest break requirement and return to their work reporting location within 14 hours, instead of 12 hours, while still utilizing the short-haul records of duty status (RODS) exemption. The exemption is effective Feb. 6, 2019-Feb. 6, 2024.

FMCSA Requests Comment on Joint HOS Exemption
Also on Feb. 6, 2019, FMCSA published a notice and request for comment on a joint HOS exemption application from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Livestock Marketing Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Beekeeping Federation, American Honey Producers Association and the National Aquaculture Association. The application requests that transporters of livestock, insects and aquatic animals be allowed to drive 15 hours in a 16-hour period instead of 11 hours in a 14-hour period. Comments are due by March 8.

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 portal and clicking on the “Exemptions” tab at the top of the page.

CVSA Letters, Petitions and Comments to Rulemakings

CVSA Submits Comments on NPRM to Update the Incorporation by Reference of the CVSA Level VI OOSC
On Jan. 29, 2019, CVSA submitted comments to FMCSA supporting the amendment of the hazardous materials safety permit regulations to update the incorporation by reference of CVSA’s “North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria and Level VI Inspection Procedures and Out-of-Service Criteria for Commercial Highway Vehicles Transporting Transuranics and Highway Route Controlled Quantities of Radioactive Materials as Defined in 49 CFR Part 173.403.” The NPRM would update the regulations to reference the 2018 version of the Level VI Out-of-Service Criteria (OOSC).

Deal Made to Open Federal Government Until Feb. 15

Legislative Update

Deal Made to Open Federal Government Until Feb. 15
Earlier this afternoon, lawmakers and the president came to an agreement to reopen the government until Feb. 15. The Senate and House of Representatives passed a continuing resolution that will allow the government to reopen at current funding levels while negotiations continue on border wall funding.

Legislative Update – Jan. 25, 2019

Legislative Update

Partial Federal Government Shutdown Enters Day 35
Today marks the 35th day of the partial federal government shutdown that began on Dec. 21, 2018, when a continuing resolution funding several federal agencies expired, making it the longest federal government shutdown in history. Little progress has been made on passing a fiscal 2019 spending bill or continuing resolution that would reopen the government and debate over border wall funding continues. The president stated that he will veto any spending bills that are passed without an increase in border security funding. The now Democrat-controlled House of Representatives passed several spending bills that do not include border wall funding, which Republican Senate leaders refuse to consider because of the president’s veto threats. Likewise, the Senate is considering funding bills that will not receive consideration in the House of Representatives.

Formation of committees and subcommittees for the 116th Congress continue. Announcements of which members will serve on the House Transportation and Infrastructure and Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committees, which handle the majority of commercial motor vehicle issues, have been made.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is among the federal agencies whose funding expired on Dec. 21, 2018. As long as the shutdown does not continue for an extended period of time, we do not anticipate a large impact on commercial motor vehicle enforcement at DOT. For more information on how the shutdown will impact DOT, review U.S. DOT’s shutdown plan.

Regulatory Update – Jan. 25, 2019

CVSA Letters, Petitions and Comments to Rulemakings

CVSA Submits Comments on ABA and IDFA HOS Exemption Request
On Jan. 17, 2019, CVSA submitted comments to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in opposition to a joint exemption request from the American Bakers Association (ABA) and the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) for exemption from various hours-of-service (HOS) requirements. The application from ABA and IDFA requests that drivers of “essential food staples” be exempt from HOS requirements prior to, during and after an “anticipated disaster event.”

CVSA Submits Comments on NSEC HOS Exemption Request
Also on Jan. 17, 2019, CVSA submitted comments to FMCSA in opposition to an exemption request from North Shore Environmental Construction Inc. (NSEC) for exemption from the 14-hour on-duty period. The application from NSEC requests that the company’s drivers be exempt from the 14-hour on-duty period when responding to an environmental emergency.

CVSA Submits Comments on AAR and ASLRRA HOS Exemption Request
Also on Jan. 17, 2019, CVSA submitted comments to FMCSA in opposition to a joint exemption request from the Association of American Railroads (AAR) and the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) for exemption from the 14-hour on-duty period, required 10 hours off-duty period, 30-minute rest break and the maximum of 60/70 hours on duty in a 7/8-day work week requirement. The application from AAR and ASLRRA requests that drivers be exempt when responding to “unplanned events” that impact interstate commerce.

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 portal and clicking on the “Exemptions” tab at the top of the page.