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Hours of Service (HOS) of Drivers; Application for Renewal and Expansion of American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) Exemption From the 14-Hour Rule During Independence Day Celebrations

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Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.


Notice of application for renewal and expansion of exemption; request for comments.


The American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) has requested a renewal for 50 APA member-companies of its exemption from FMCSA's regulation prohibiting drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) from driving after the 14th hour after coming on duty, and the expansion of its exemption to 5 additional carriers. The exemption would apply solely to the operation of CMVs by these 55 APA-member companies in conjunction with staging fireworks shows celebrating Independence Day during the periods June 28-July 8, 2015, and June 28-July 8, 2016, inclusive. During these two periods, approximately 3,200 CMVs and drivers employed by these companies would be allowed to exclude off-duty and sleeper-berth time of any length from the calculation of the 14-hour driving window. These drivers would not be allowed to drive after accumulating a total of 14 hours of on-duty time, following 10 consecutive hours off duty, and would continue to be subject to the 11-hour driving time limit, and the 60- and 70-hour on-duty limits.

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If granted, this exemption would be effective during the periods of June 28, 2015, through July 8, 2015, inclusive, and June 28, 2016, through July 8, 2016, inclusive. The exemption would expire on July 8, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. Comments must be received on or before May 7, 2015.


You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Docket ID FMCSA-2007-28043 using any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.
  • Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
  • Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays.
  • Fax: 1-202-493-2251.

Each submission must include the Agency name and the docket number for this notice. Note that DOT posts all comments received without change to, including any personal information included in a comment. Please see the Privacy Act heading below.

Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments, go to at any time or visit Room W12-140 on the ground level of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The online Federal document management system is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. If you want acknowledgment that we received your comments, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope or postcard or print the acknowledgment page that appears after submitting comments on-line.

Privacy Act: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information the commenter provides, to, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at​privacy.

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Ms. Pearlie Robinson, FMCSA Driver and Carrier Operations Division; Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety Standards; Telephone: 202-366-4325. Email: If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, contact Docket Services, telephone (202) 366-9826.

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APA Application for Exemption

The hours-of-service (HOS) rule in 49 CFR 395.3(a)(2) prohibits a property-carrying CMV driver from driving after the 14th hour after coming on duty following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Under 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e), FMCSA may grant an exemption from the HOS requirements in 49 CFR 395.3(a)(2) for a period of up to 2 years if it finds such exemption would likely achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved absent such exemption. The procedures for requesting an exemption (including renewals) are prescribed in 49 CFR part 381.

The APA, a trade association representing the domestic fireworks industry, was previously granted an exemption for 50 of the 55 APA member-companies during the Independence Day periods in 2013 and 2014. The APA held similar 2-year exemptions during Independence Day periods from 2005 through 2014. The 2013-2014 exemption expired on July 9, 2014. Like the other 50 member-companies that operated under the 2013-2015 exemption, the 5 additional member-companies would be subject to all of the terms and conditions of the exemption.

The initial APA exemption application for relief from the 14-hour rule was submitted in 2004; a copy of the application is in the docket. That application fully describes the nature of the pyrotechnic operations of the CMV drivers employed by APA member-companies during a typical Independence Day period.

As stated in APA's 2004 request, the CMV drivers employed by APA member-companies are trained pyro-technicians who hold commercial driver's licenses (CDLs) with hazardous materials (HM) endorsements. They transport fireworks and related equipment by CMVs on a very demanding schedule during a brief Independence Day period, often to remote locations. After they arrive, the drivers are responsible for set-up and staging of the fireworks shows.

The APA states that it is seeking an HOS exemption for the 2015 and 2016 Independence Day periods because compliance with the current 14-hour rule in 49 CFR 395.3(a)(2) by its members would impose a substantial economic hardship on numerous cities, towns and municipalities, as well as its member-companies. To meet the demand for fireworks under the current HOS rules, APA states that its member-companies would be required to hire a second driver for most trips. The APA advises that the result would be a substantial increase in the cost of the fireworks shows—beyond the means of many of its members' customers—and that many Americans would be denied this important component of the celebration of Independence Day. The 55 APA-member companies within the scope of this exemption request are listed in an appendix to this notice. A copy of the request for the exemption is included in the docket referenced at the beginning of this notice.

Method To Ensure an Equivalent or Greater Level of Safety

The APA believes that renewal of the exemption will not adversely affect the safety of the fireworks transportation provided by these motor carriers. According to APA, its member-companies have operated under this exemption for 10 previous Independence Day periods without a reported motor carrier safety incident. Moreover, it asserts, without the extra time provided by the exemption, safety would decline because APA drivers would be unable to return to their home base after each show. They would be forced to park the CMVs carrying HM 1.1G, 1.3G and 1.4G products in areas less secure than the motor carrier's home base. As a condition of holding the exemption, each motor carrier would be required to notify FMCSA within 5 business days of any accident (as defined in 49 CFR 390.5) involving the operation of any its CMVs while under this exemption. To date, FMCSA has received no accident notifications, nor is the Agency aware of any accidents reportable under terms of the prior APA exemptions.

In its exemption request, APA asserts that the operational demands of this unique industry minimize the risks of CMV crashes. In the last few days before the Independence Day holiday, these drivers transport fireworks over relatively short routes from distribution points to the site of the fireworks display, and normally do so in the early morning when traffic is light. At the site, they spend considerable time installing, wiring, and safety-checking the fireworks displays, followed by several hours off duty in the late afternoon and early evening prior to the event. During this time, the drivers are able to rest and nap, thereby reducing or eliminating the fatigue accumulated during the day. Before beginning Start Printed Page 18692another duty day, these drivers must take 10 consecutive hours off duty, the same as other CMV drivers.

Terms and Conditions of the Exemption

Period of the Exemption

The requested exemption from the requirements of 49 CFR 395.3(a)(2) is proposed to be effective June 28 through July 8, 2015, inclusive, and from June 28 through July 8, 2016, inclusive. The exemption would expire on July 8, 2016, at 11:59 p.m. local time.

Extent of the Exemption

This exemption would be restricted to drivers employed by the 55 motor carriers listed in the appendix to this notice. The drivers would be given a limited exemption from the requirements of 49 CFR 395.3(a)(2). This regulation prohibits a driver from driving a CMV after the 14th hour after coming on duty and does not permit off-duty periods to extend the 14-hour limit. Drivers covered by this exemption would be able to exclude off-duty and sleeper-berth time of any length from the calculation of the 14-hour limit. This exemption would be contingent on each driver driving no more than 11 hours in the 14-hour period after coming on duty, as extended by any off-duty or sleeper-berth time in accordance with this exception. The exemption would be further contingent on each driver having a full 10 consecutive hours off duty following 14 hours on duty prior to beginning a new driving period. The carriers and drivers must comply with all other requirements of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (49 CFR parts 350-399) and Hazardous Materials Regulations (49 CFR parts 105-180).


During the periods the exemption would be in effect, no State would be allowed to enforce any law or regulation that conflicted with or with inconsistent with this exemption with respect to a person or entity operating under the exemption (49 U.S.C. 31315(d)).

FMCSA Notification

Exempt motor carriers would be required to notify FMCSA within 5 business days of any accidents (as defined by 49 CFR 390.5) involving the operation of any of their CMVs while under this exemption. The notification must include the following information:

a. Date of the accident,

b. City or town, and State, in which the accident occurred, or which is closest to the scene of the accident,

c. Driver's name and driver's license number,

d. Vehicle number and State license number,

e. Number of individuals suffering physical injury,

f. Number of fatalities,

g. The police-reported cause of the accident,

h. Whether the driver was cited for violation of any traffic laws, or motor carrier safety regulations, and

i. The total driving time and the total on-duty time of the CMV driver at the time of the accident.


The FMCSA does not believe the motor carriers and drivers covered by this exemption, if granted, would experience any deterioration of their safety record. However, should this occur, FMCSA would take all steps necessary to protect the public interest, including revocation of the exemption. The FMCSA will immediately revoke the exemption for failure to comply with its terms and conditions. Exempt motor carriers and drivers would be subject to FMCSA monitoring while operating under this exemption.

Request for Comments

In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315(b)(4) and 31136(e), FMCSA requests public comments on the APA's requested exemption from the requirements of 49 CFR 395.3(a)(2). The FMCSA will review all comments received and determine whether approval of the exemption is consistent with the requirements of 49 U.S.C. 31315.

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Issued on: April 1, 2015.

Larry W. Minor,

Associate Administrator for Policy.

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Appendix to Notice of Application for Renewal of American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) Exemption From the 14-Hour HOS Rule During 2015 and 2016 Independence Day Celebrations for 50 Motor Carriers

Motor carrierStreet addressCity, state, zip codeDOT No.
1American Fireworks Company7041 Darrow RoadHudson, OH 44236103972
2American Fireworks Display, LLCP.O. Box 980Oxford, NY 138302115608
3AM Pyrotechnics, LLC2429 East 535th RdBuffalo, MO 656221034961
4Atlas PyroVision Entertainment Group, Inc136 Old Sharon RdJaffrey, NH 03452789777
5Central States Fireworks, Inc18034 Kincaid StreetAthens, IL 626131022659
6Colonial Fireworks Company5225 Telegraph RoadToledo, OH 43612177274
7East Coast Pyrotechnics, Inc4652 Catawba River RdCatawba, SC 29704545033
8Entertainment Fireworks, Inc13313 Reeder Road SWTenino, WA 98589680942
9Falcon Fireworks3411 Courthouse RoadGuyton, GA 313121037954
10Fireworks & Stage FX America12650 Hwy 67S. Suite BLakeside, CA 92040908304
11Fireworks by Grucci, Inc20 Pinehurst DriveBellport, NY 11713324490
12J&J Computing dba Fireworks Extravaganza174 Route 17 NorthRochelle Park, NJ 076622064141
13Fireworks West Internationale910 North 3200 WestLogan, UT 84321245423
14Garden State Fireworks, Inc383 Carlton RoadMillington, NJ 07946435878
15Gateway Fireworks DisplaysP.O. Box 39327St Louis, MO 631391325301
16Great Lakes Fireworks24805 MarineEastpointe, MI 480211011216
17Hamburg Fireworks Display, Inc2240 Horns Mill Road SELancaster, OH395079
18Hawaii Explosives & Pyrotechnics, Inc17-7850 N. Kulani RoadMountain View, HI 967711375918
19Hi-Tech FX, LLC18060 170th AveYarmouth, IA 526601549055
20Hollywood Pyrotechnics, Inc1567 Antler PointEagan, MN 551221061068
21Homeland Fireworks, IncP.O. Box 7Jamieson, OR 979091377525
22Island Fireworks Co., IncN1597 County Rd VVHager City, WI 54014414583
23J&M Displays, Inc18064 170th AveYarmouth, IA 52660377461
24Lantis Fireworks, Inc130 Sodrac Dr., Box 229N. Sioux City, SD 57049534052
25Legion Fireworks Co., Inc10 Legion LaneWappingers Falls, NY 12590554391
26Miand Inc. dba Planet Productions (Mad Bomber)P.O. Box 294, 3999 Hupp Road R31Kingsbury, IN 46345777176
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27Martin & Ware Inc. dba Pyro City Maine & Central Maine PyrotechnicsP.O. Box 322Hallowell, ME 04347734974
28Melrose Pyrotechnics, Inc1 Kinsgubury Industrial ParkKingsbury, IN 46345434586
29Precocious Pyrotechnics, Inc4420-278th Ave NWBelgrade, MN 56312435931
30Pyro Engineering Inc., dba/Bay Fireworks400 Broadhollow Rd. Ste #3Farmindale, NY 11735530262
31Pyro Shows IncP.O. Box 1776LaFollette, TN 37766456818
32Pyro Spectacluars, Inc3196 N Locust AveRialto, CA 92376029329
33Pyro Spectaculars North, Inc5301 Lang AvenueMcClellan, CA 956521671438
34Pyrotechnic Display, Inc8450 W. St. Francis RdFrankfort, IL 604231929883
35Pyrotecnico (S. Vitale Pyrotechnic Industries, Inc.)302 Wilson RdNew Castle, PA 16105526749
36Pyrotecnico, LLC60 West CtMandeville, LA 70471548303
37Pyrotecnico FX6965 Speedway Blvd. Suite 115Las Vegas, NV 891151610728
38Rainbow Fireworks, Inc76 Plum AveInman, KS 675461139643
39RES Specialty Pyrotechnics21595 286th StBelle Plaine, MN 56011523981
40Rozzi's Famous Fireworks, Inc11605 North Lebanon RdLoveland, OH 451400483686
41Skyworks, Ltd13513 W. Carrier RdCarrier, OK 737271421047
42Spielbauer Fireworks Co, Inc220 Roselawn BlvdGreen Bay, WI 54301046479
43Starfire Corporation682 Cole RoadCarrolltown, PA 15722554645
44Vermont Fireworks Co., Inc./Northstar Fireworks Co., Inc2235 Vermont Route 14 SouthEast Montpelier, VT 05651310632
45Western Display Fireworks, Ltd10946 S. New Era RdCanby, OR 97013498941
46Western Enterprises, IncP.O. Box 160Carrier, OK 73727203517
47Western Fireworks, Inc14592 Ottaway Road NEAurora, OR 97002838585
48Wolverine Fireworks Display, Inc205 W SeidlersKawkawlin, MI376857
49Young Explosives Corp.P.O. Box 18653Rochester, NY 14618450304
50Zambelli Fireworks MFG, Co., IncP.O. Box 1463New Castle, PA 16103033167

Appendix to Notice of Application for Renewal of American Pyrotechnics Association Exemption From the 14-Hour HOS Rule During 2015 and 2016 Independence Day Celebrations for 5 Motor Carriers Not Previously Exempted

Motor carrierStreet addressCity, state, zip codeDOT No.
1Pyro Shows of Texas, Inc6601 9 Mile Azle RdFort Worth, TX 761352432196
2Sorgi American Fireworks Michigan, LLC935 Wales Ridge RdWales, MI 480272475727
3Spirit of 766401 West Hwy 40Columbia, MO 652022138948
4USA Halloween Planet Inc. dba USA Fireworks7800 Record Street, Suite AIndianapolis, IN 46226725457
5Arthur Rozzi Pyrotechnics6607 Red Hawk CtMaineville, OH 450392008107
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[FR Doc. 2015-07906 Filed 4-6-15; 8:45 am]