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Notice

Denial of Exemption Applications; Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders

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AGENCY:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of denial.

SUMMARY:

FMCSA announces its decision to deny applications from 10 individuals who requested an exemption from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) prohibiting persons with a clinical diagnosis of epilepsy or any other condition that is likely to cause a loss of consciousness or any loss of ability to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) from operating CMVs in interstate commerce.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ms. Christine A. Hydock, Chief, Medical Programs Division, (202) 366-4001, fmcsamedical@dot.gov, FMCSA, Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Room W64-224, Washington, DC 20590-0001. Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. If you have questions regarding viewing or submitting material to the docket, contact Docket Services, telephone (202) 366-9826.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Electronic Access

You may see all the comments online through the Federal Document Management System (FDMS) at: http://www.regulations.gov.

Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments, go to http://www.regulations.gov and/or 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., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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 http://www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at http://www.dot.gov/​privacy.

II. Background

On May 9, 2016, FMCSA published a notice announcing receipt of applications from 27 individuals requesting an exemption from the prohibition against persons with a clinical diagnosis of epilepsy or any other condition that is likely to cause a loss of consciousness or any loss of ability to operate a CMV in interstate commerce and requested comments from the public (81 FR 28131). The public comment period closed on June 8, 2016, and three comments were received. One commenter supports granting seizure exemptions in general. One commenter expressed concern for the risk of seizure while driving and the Minnesota Department of Public Safety expressed support for three of the applicants and concern about health issues and the driving record of an applicant Shaen Smith. In response to this comment, Mr. Smith has been seizure-free over 18 years and meets the physical qualification standards to drive commercially. His five-year driving record includes no violations or accidents and the Agency has reviewed his ten-year driving history and concludes that he meets the requisite level of safety to drive commercially within the terms and conditions of his exemption.

FMCSA has evaluated the eligibility of these applicants and concluded that granting 10 of the 27 exemptions would not provide a level of safety that would be equivalent to or greater than the level of safety that would be obtained by complying with the regulation 49 CFR 391.41(b)(8). A final notice announcing a decision on the remaining 17 requests will be published at a later date.

III. Basis for Exemption Determination

Under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b), FMCSA may grant an exemption from the Federal epilepsy standard for a renewable two-year period if it finds “such exemption is likely achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to or greater than the level that would be achieved absent such exemption.”

The Agency's decision regarding these exemption applications is based on an individualized assessment of each applicant's medical information, including the root cause of the respective seizure(s) and medical information about the applicant's seizure history, the length of time that has elapsed since the individual's last seizure, the stability of each individual's Start Printed Page 67425treatment regimen and the duration of time on or off of anti-seizure medication. The Agency considered the 2007 recommendations of the Agency's Medical Expert Panel (MEP). The January 15, 2013, Federal Register notice (78 FR 3069) provides the current MEP recommendations which is the criteria the Agency uses to make decisions regarding seizure exemptions.

IV. Conclusion

The Agency has determined that these 10 applicants do not satisfy the criteria eligibility or meet the terms and conditions for a Federal exemption and granting these exemptions would not provide a level of safety that would be equivalent to or greater than, the level of safety that would be obtained by complying with the regulation 49 CFR 391.41(b)(8). Therefore, the applicants in this notice have been denied an exemption from the physical qualification standards in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(8).

Each applicant has, prior to this notice, received a letter of final disposition regarding his/her exemption request. Those decision letters fully outlined the basis for the denial and constitutes final action by the Agency. This notice summarizes the Agency's recent denials as required under 49 U.S.C. 31315(b)(4) by publishing names periodically and reasons for denial. The following 10 applicants do not meet the minimum time requirement for being seizure-free, either on or off of anti-seizure medication:

William E. Beaver

Paul V. Carlson

Tommy Joe Cox

William Garvin

Jeremiah Gonzales

Roderick Haslip

Doug William Outfleet

David J. Parris

Shawn E. Sands

Robert B. Skinner

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Issued on: September 22, 2016.

Larry W. Minor,

Associate Administrator for Policy.

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[FR Doc. 2016-23651 Filed 9-29-16; 8:45 am]

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