May 1, 2017: Concerns Over ELD and Speed-Limiter Rules

Over a dozen trucking stakeholder groups worked together to submit a letter to Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao asking her to delay the implementation of the Electronic Logging Device and speed limiter rulings that are due to be in effect in December 2017. The letter explains that implementing ELD and speed limiters will cost the industry $2.845 billion.

ELD is primarily used by companies who are managing large fleets of vehicles as a way to monitor their productivity. The letter, in part, stated “While we are adamant the ELD mandate must be repealed, we are also concerned by serious complications associated with its implementation, which is currently scheduled for December 2017. We understand many significant technological concerns remain unresolved, including the certification of devices, connectivity problems in remote areas of the country, cybersecurity vulnerabilities and the ability of law enforcement to access information. For example, ELD manufacturers are currently able to self-certify technology without validation by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), creating vast uncertainty within the regulated community. This uncertainty has forced many of our members to delay the purchase and installation of ELDs until they can be guaranteed the technology will be compliant“.

In September 2016 the Obama Administration disregarded numerous highway studies that proved the use of speed limiters on heavy vehicles would make the roads less safe for all drivers and released a proposed rule that would make them mandatory. Experts warn that states with speed limits that exceed the maximum level proposed by FMCSA will see an increase in traffic accidents due to the extreme speed differences between automobiles and heavy vehicles. More trucks will be needed to move the same amount of goods which in turn leads to an increase in highway congestion.

The letter concluded by saying “President Trump’s desire to create a regulatory environment that enables businesses of all sizes to grow is commendable and welcomed. However, to do so this administration must eliminate the most egregious regulations developed under the haphazard, one-size-fits-all approach to rulemaking embraced by its predecessor.
The delay and removal of the ELD mandate, as well as the elimination of the proposed speed limiter rule, will provide immediate and overdue regulatory relief to a wide variety of industries, allowing them to devote greater resources to growth. Of all the regulations your department will consider repealing under the Executive Order, none will have a greater positive impact on American businesses than these two costly and burdensome rules. We encourage you to prioritize the ELD mandate and proposed speed limiter rule when identifying regulations for elimination”.  

Letter to Secretary of Transportation
(as reported by NITL)

 

February 27, 2017: PHMSA Issues Notice Regarding IMDG Code and ICAO Technical Instructions

PHMSA has issued a notice to offerors and carriers of hazardous materials regarding the 2017-2018 ICAO Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air and Amendment 38-16 of the IMDG Code.
At this time, PHMSA has not made a final decision on whether or not it will be adopting the recent changes to the international standards. Until a decision has been made offerers and carriers will be permitted to use either the 2015-2016 or 2017-2018 standards for markings and labeling. The FAA, FRA, FMCSA, and PHMSA will be following this enforcement discretion until such time as this notice has been modified or rescinded.

PHMSAs Notice Regarding the IMDG Code and ICAO Technical Instructions

August 3, 2016: (SA) Safety Advisory Related to the Possession and Use of Battery-Powered Portable Electronic Smoking Devices in or Around Commercial Motor Vehicles

FMCSA has issued a Safety Advisory to owners and operators of commercial motor vehicles regarding electronic smoking devices. The use of battery-powered portable devices has caused explosions, serious personal injury, and fires. Explosions were frequently caused by the ejection of a burning battery case or other components of the portable smoking device coming in contact with flammable or combustible materials. While regulations do not specifically address any potential risks involving such devices, motor carriers and drivers are being asked to be cautious and use good judgement when using, storing, or charging these devices while loading, unloading, or operating vehicles transporting hazardous materials.

Safety Advisory Related to the Possession and Use of Battery-Powered Portable Electronic Smoking Devices in or Around Commercial Motor Vehicles

August 8, 2016: National Hazardous Materials Route Registry Revisions and Procedures

The National Hazardous Materials Route Registry (NHMRR) is a list of designated and restricted road and preferred highway routes for those transporting Class 7 radioactive materials and non-radioactive hazardous materials. The updated revisions and procedures will be effective August 8, 2016.

FR Doc. 2016–18729

July 22, 2016: Amendments to Regulatory Guidance Concerning Periodic Inspection of Commercial Motor Vehicles

FMCSA has revised the periodic inspection of commercial motor vehicles regulations. Motor carriers will no longer be permitted to satisfy the annual inspection requirement by receiving a violation-free roadside inspection. The revisions will be effective as of July 22, 2016.

 Docket No. FMCSA–2015–0176

July 22, 2016: (FR) Amendments To Implement Certain Provisions of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act

As as result of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, FMCSA was required to conform its regulations in order to ensure they remain current and consistent with the statutory requirements. The final rule containing the changes will be effective as of July 22, 2016. All petitions for reconsideration must be turned in no later than August 22, 2016.

Docket No. FMCSA–2016–0091

June 17, 2016: (FR) Incorporation by Reference; North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria; Hazardous Materials Safety Permits

The Hazardous Materials Safety Permits rules have been updated to incorporate the April 1, 2016 edition of the out-of-service criteria. This final rule is effective as of June 17, 2016.

Docket No. FMCSA–2016–0120

May 27, 2016: (SA) Safety Advisory Issued Regarding TYTAL Cargo Tank Motor Vehicles

A safety advisory has been issued to owners and operators of TYTAL cargo tank motor vehicles with capacities of 8,400, 8,717, and 10,500 gallons. These CTMVs, which are primarily used to transport Petroleum Crude Oil (UN1267),  are not compliant with Hazardous Materials Regulations and do not meet DOT 407 specification requirements. The 8,400 and 8,717 gallon cargo tanks have proven to provide inadequate damage protection during an accident. 10,500 gallon cargo tanks have also been shown to provide inadequate damage protection during an accident and are inadequate in venting capacity of pressure relief systems.
TYTAL has informed their customers of the deficiencies and is providing free repairs. FMCSA has advised owners and operators that these cargo tanks are not authorized for transporting hazardous materials until repaired in compliance with the HMR. FMCSA will initiate enforcement actions against any owner or operator found to be transporting hazardous materials in a non-compliant cargo tank as of June 1, 2016.

 Safety Advisory: Immediate Repair and Retesting of Cargo Tank Motor Vehicles Manufactured by Trailers Y Tanques De Aluminio (TYTAL)

April 20, 2016: (SA) Immediate Re-inspection and Retesting of Certain Cargo Tank Motor Vehicles Required

A safety advisory has been issued by FMCSA to inform owners and operators of some cargo tanks that their tanks may have been improperly inspected and tested. FMCSA urges owners and operators who received inspections from April 2011 through March 2016 by either H&W Tank Testing, CT # 8083, Ohatchee Alabama or Christopher Humphries, CT # 13131, Jacksonville Alabama to have their tanks re-inspected and retested.
Prior to operating any cargo tank vehicle that has been covered by the safety advisory documentation showing that the required inspection and testing has been completed needs to be provided to FMCSA.

Additional Information on Safety Advisory

March 7, 2016: (NPRM) FMCSA Proposes New Training Rules for Hazmat CDL Endorsements

In response to the Congressional mandate that was imposed under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, FMCSA is proposing new training standards for some groups obtaining a CDL.
The new standards would apply to those who are applying for their initial CDL, upgrading their current CDL, and those applying for hazardous materials, passenger, or school bus endorsements. The effected groups must meet entry-level driver training requirements and will be required to complete a course of instruction given by approved entities. Approved entities must have training instructors that meet the minimum required qualifications, cover the curriculum, be listed on FMCSA’s proposed Training Provider Registry, and submit the training certificates electronically to FMCSA.
Interested parties may submit comments until April 6, 2016.

FMCSA–2007–27748

August 21, 2015: Hours of Service of Drivers: Application for Exemption; American Trucking Associations, Inc.

FMCSA has granted an exemption from the federal hours of service regulations to motor carriers transporting security sensitive hazardous materials requiring a security plan. The federal hours of service regulation prevents CMV drivers from driving if more than 8 consecutive hours have passed since the driver’s last off duty or sleeper berth period of 30 or more minutes. The security plans would normally require drivers to attend such cargo while stopped. That is considered an on-duty activity under the hours of service regulation. As a result of the exemption drivers will now be permitted to count their on-duty attendance of hazardous materials cargo towards their required 30 minute rest break as long as they do not perform any other on-duty activities during that time.

Hours of Service of Drivers: Application for Exemption; American Trucking Associations, Inc.

June 15, 2015: FMCSA Shuts Down Two Trucking Companies as Imminent Hazards to Public Safety

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has ordered Rhino Displays of Payson, Illinois and Prudential Carriers Inc. of Hampton Georgia to shut down immediately as a result of federal investigations that have uncovered multiple widespread violations of critical safety for both companies.
Rhino, a fireworks display company, notified FMSA in writing that they had closed the commercial fireworks transportation portion of its business in July of 2010. However, on May 30, 2015 FMCSA safety inspectors found out that Rhino delivered fireworks to a baseball stadium located in Hannibal, Missouri. During the course of their investigation of the cargo, the driver and the truck the safety inspectors discovered multiple safety violations. Those violations included opened and improperly secured packages of fireworks, absence of federally required fire extinguisher in the vehicle, presence of alcohol in the vehicle, driver did not posses a commercial driver’s license, lack of hazardous materials endorsement or valid medical certificate, no record of duty status, no Hazardous Materials Safety Permit, no hazmat placarding on the vehicle and the absence of the required shipping documents.
The federal out of service order was issued on June 4, 2015 and stated “These widespread violations substantially increased the likelihood of serious injury or death to Rhino Display’s drivers and the public.”

FMCSA safety inspectors began an investigation of Prudential in late May of 2015 as a direct result of the multiple accidents the carrier has been involved in, to include the May 12, 2015 incident where Prudential instructed one of their drivers to continue operating the vehicle that was transporting a damaged and leaking load of canola oil on Interstate 75 in Georgia. As a result of the oil leaking on the interstate four separate vehicles were involved in accidents because the road was slick with oil. The violations uncovered by the safety inspectors include failing to ensure its leased and company owned vehicles were systematically inspected, repaired and maintained, failing to ensure its drivers complied with federal hours of service regulations designed to prevent fatigued driving, failing to comply with driver qualification requirements and allowing unqualified drivers to operate a commercial motor vehicle, failing to comply with FMCSA mandated random alcohol and controlled substances testing of its drivers.
The federal out of service order was issued on June 5, 2015 and states “…uncovered widespread regulatory violations demonstrating Prudential’s repeated and egregious non-compliance with federal safety regulations and a management philosophy indifferent to motor carrier safety.”

FMCSA Shuts Down Two Trucking Companies as Imminent Hazards to Public Safety

June 19, 2015: FMCSA Amends Enforcement Policy on Safety Measurement System

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) amended its enforcement policy regarding the use of Safety Measurement System (SMS) in reviews of hazmat carriers under the Hazardous Materials Safety Permit (HMSP) program. In addition, FMCSA will requirement to conduct compliance reviews for HMSP motor carriers who are unable to use SMS due to insufficient data.
FMCSA is using the SMS scores to improve its oversight of HMSP holders by identifying poor performing carriers for safety fitness compliance review and by providing grounds for suspension or revocation. These recommendations are being implemented under the existing Safety Fitness Procedure regulations and will be effective August 18, 2015.

Hazardous Materials Safety Permit (HMSP) Program: Amendment to Enforcement Policy

 

 

April 29, 2015: Current Listing of Designated and Restricted Routes for Hazardous Materials

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Department of Transportation (DOT) have issued a notice that contains the current National Hazardous Materials Route Registry (NHMRR). The NHMRR is a complete list, as reported by both the State and Tribal Government routing officials, of designated and restricted road/highway routes for the transportation of highway route controlled quantities (HRCQ) of Class 7 materials (RAM) and non-radioactive hazardous materials (NRHMs).
The current list contained in this notice will supersede the NHMRR that was published on July 14, 2014.

National Hazardous Materials Route Registry

HAZMAT Endorsement (HME)

The TSA Hazardous Materials Endorsement (HME) Threat Assessment Program (HTAP) was designed to meet the requirements set forth in the USA Patriot Act, which requires all states to ensure that any driver who intends to transport hazardous materials in commerce has been determined not to be a security risk. Part of that investigation process into a potential hazmat driver shall include a criminal history check, verification of legal status and review of any relevant international databases.

Do you need to obtain, renew or transfer an HME on your CDL? Don't forget TSA requires you to begin the application process no less than 30 days prior to the expiration date listed on your CDL.

For more information, you can contact your state's Department of Motor Vehicles. STARS does not offer fingerprinting services or HazMat Endorsement Services but we can help you find the information you need.

 

October 2,2014: (FR) FMCSA Issues Final Rule to Amend Various Sections of the Code of Federal Regulations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has made technical corrections throughout title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, subtitle B, chapter III. The final rule, effective October 2, 2014, does not make any substantive changes to the regulations. The minor changes are intended to correct errors and omissions, update references, improve the overall clarity and consistency of certain regulatory provisions, as well as to ensure conformity with Office of the Federal Register style guidelines.
To read the entire final rule visit Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 191

September 16, 2014: (EO) Hazardous Materials: Emergency Restriction/Prohibition Order

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued an Emergency Restriction/Prohibition and Out-of-Order CA-2014-9002-EMRG which prohibits the filling, offering, transportation and welded repair of cargo tank vehichles by National Distribution Services, Inc., TankServices LLC and Carl Johansson. Furthermore, these parties are also prohibited from conducting inspections and/or testing of any cargo tank or cargo tank motor vehicle unless the inspections or testing are conducted by a Registered Inspector. This Emergency Restriction/Prohibition Order has been in effect since August 14, 2014.
To read the complete Emergency Order please visit Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 179

July 14, 2014: Comments Requested on Updated National Hazardous Materials Route Registry

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is requesting comments on the updated National Hazardous Materials Route Registry. The NHMRR is a complete list of both restricted and designated roads and highway routes for the transportation of controlled quantities of Class 7 radioactive and non-radioactive hazardous materials. Provided they meet the standards established by 49 CFR of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, State and Tribal Governments are permitted to designate and limit highway routes that hazardous materials may be transported per section 5112 of the Federal Hazardous Materials Transportation Law.
FMCSA is requesting comments on the new route ordering approach, table structure and content, or other related specific route issues from the following states: Alaska, California, Colorado, Texas and the District of Columbia. All comments must be submitted no later than September 12, 2014.
Read the full notice and obtain instructions on submitting comments here

April 28, 2014: (NPRM) FMCSA – Use of Electronic Records and Signatures

FMCSA issued a proposed rule to allow the use of electronic records and signatures to satisfy certain FMCSA documentation requirements. The amendments would permit the use of electronic methods to sign, certify, generate, exchange or maintain records so long as the documents accurately reflect the information in the record and can be used for their intended purpose. This proposed rule would apply only to those documents that FMCSA’s regulations obligate entities or individuals to retain; it would not apply to forms or other documents that must be submitted directly to FMCSA.

The following parts have been amended to facilitate electronic records:

• 370 Principles and practices for the investigation and voluntary disposition of loss and damage claims and processing salvage
• 371 Brokers of property
• 375 Transportation of household goods in interstate commerce; consumer protection regulations
• 376 Lease and interchange of vehicles
• 378 Procedures governing the processing, investigation, and disposition of overcharge, duplicate payment, or over collection claims
• 379 Preservation of records
• 387 Minimum levels of financial responsibility for motor carriers
• 389 Rulemaking procedures—Federal motor carrier safety regulations
• 390 Federal motor carrier safety regulations; general
• 391 Qualifications of drivers and longer combination vehicle (LCV) driver instructors
• 395 Hours of service of drivers
• 396 Inspection, repair, and maintenance

For example, Paragraph (b)(1) of § 387.7 requires insurers and motor carriers to give 35 days’ notice prior to cancelling the financial responsibility policies required in § 387.9. Currently, this section establishes mail as the only method of communicating cancellations. FMCSA proposes to amend this section by replacing the word ‘‘mailed’’ with the more technologically neutral term ‘‘transmitted,’’ and ‘‘Proof of mailing’’ with ‘‘Proof of transmittal’’ thus establishing parity between mailing and other methods of transmission as proof of cancellation.

Part 397, Transportation Of Hazardous Materials; Driving And Parking Rules, was not amended. This may be because the authority to modify this part is required to be done under the hazardous materials transportation law by the federal motor carrier law. DGAC is evaluating whether to comment to FMCSA and/or PHMSA to similarly amend Part 397, and what documentation requirements in Part 397 might be within the scope or beneficial to change.

This proposed rule responds in part to the President’s January 2011 Regulatory Review and Reform initiative and would implement the Government Paperwork Elimination Act (GPEA) and the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E–SIGN). Comments are due on or before June 27, 2014.

PP 23306 – 23316, Docket No. FMCSA–2012–0376, FR Doc. 2014–09376, Affecting 49 CFR Parts 370, 371, 373, 375, 376, 378, 379, 387, 389, 390, 391, 395, 396, and 398
Click here to see entire proposed rule

September 25, 2013: (FR) FMCSA & PHMSA – Highway-Grade Crossing Safe Clearance

(HM-255) (effective 10/25/2013)

FMCSA and PHMSA amend the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) and Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMRs), respectively, to prohibit a driver of a commercial motor vehicle or of a motor vehicle transporting certain hazardous materials or certain agents or toxins (hereafter collectively referenced as “regulated motor vehicle”) from entering onto a highway-rail grade crossing unless there is sufficient space to drive completely through the grade crossing without stopping. This action is in response to section 112 of the Hazardous Materials Transportation Authorization Act of 1994, as amended by section 32509 of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). The intent of this rulemaking is to reduce highway-rail grade crossing crashes.