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Notice

Hours of Service of Drivers: National Asphalt Pavement Association, Inc.; Application for Exemption

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AGENCY:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of application for exemption; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

FMCSA announces that it has received an application from the National Asphalt Pavement Association, (Inc.) (NAPA) requesting exemptions from two requirements of the hours-of-service (HOS) regulations for drivers of certain commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) operated by NAPA members, the 30-minute rest break provision and the requirement that short-haul drivers utilizing the record of duty status (RODS) exception return to their work-reporting location within 12 hours of coming on duty. The first exemption would enable drivers engaged in the transportation of asphalt and related materials to use 30 minutes or more of on-duty “waiting time” to satisfy the requirement for the 30-minute rest break, provided they do not perform any other work during the break. The second exemption would allow these drivers to use the short-haul exception but return to their work-reporting location within 14 hours instead of the usual 12 hours. Start Printed Page 42416FMCSA requests public comment on NAPA's application for exemptions.

DATES:

Comments must be received on or before October 10, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments identified by Federal Docket Management System Number FMCSA-2017-0197 by any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. See the Public Participation and Request for Comments section below for further information.
  • 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., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. E.T., 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 www.regulations.gov, 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 www.regulations.gov 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 on-line FDMS is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year.

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

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For information concerning this notice, please contact Mr. Tom Yager, Chief, FMCSA Driver and Carrier Operations Division; Telephone: (614) 942-6477; Email: MCPSD@dot.gov. If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, contact Docket Services, telephone (202) 366-9826.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Public Participation and Request for Comments

FMCSA encourages you to participate by submitting comments and related materials.

Submitting Comments

If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this notice (FMCSA-2017-0197), indicate the specific section of this document to which the comment applies, and provide a reason for suggestions or recommendations. You may submit your comments and material online or by fax, mail, or hand delivery, but please use only one of these means. FMCSA recommends that you include your name and a mailing address, an email address, or a phone number in the body of your document so the Agency can contact you if it has questions regarding your submission.

To submit your comment online, go to www.regulations.gov and put the docket number, “FMCSA-2017-0197” in the “Keyword” box, and click “Search.” When the new screen appears, click on “Comment Now!” button and type your comment into the text box in the following screen. Choose whether you are submitting your comment as an individual or on behalf of a third party and then submit. If you submit your comments by mail or hand delivery, submit them in an unbound format, no larger than 81/2 by 11 inches, suitable for copying and electronic filing. If you submit comments by mail and would like to know that they reached the facility, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope. FMCSA will consider all comments and material received during the comment period and may grant or not grant this application based on your comments.

II. Legal Basis

FMCSA has authority under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 to grant exemptions from certain Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). FMCSA must publish a notice of each exemption request in the Federal Register (49 CFR 381.315(a)). The Agency must provide the public an opportunity to inspect the information relevant to the application, including any safety analyses that have been conducted. The Agency must also provide an opportunity for public comment on the request.

The Agency reviews safety analyses and public comments submitted, and determines whether granting the exemption would likely achieve a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved by the current regulation (49 CFR 381.305). The decision of the Agency must be published in the Federal Register (49 CFR 381.315(b)) with the reasons for denying or granting the application and, if granted, the name of the person or class of persons receiving the exemption, and the regulatory provision from which the exemption is granted. The notice must also specify the effective period (up to 5 years) and explain the terms and conditions of the exemption. The exemption may be renewed (49 CFR 381.300(b)).

III. Request for Exemption

NAPA seeks exemptions for all drivers of member companies transporting asphalt and related materials and equipment from the HOS 30-minute rest break provision in 49 CFR 395.3(a)(3)(ii) and the restriction of the RODS exception for short-haul operations to drivers who return to their normal work-reporting location within 12 hours [49 CFR 395.1(e)(1)(ii)(A)].

The first exemption from the HOS rest break provision, if granted, would enable drivers engaged in the transportation of asphalt and related materials to use 30 minutes or more of on-duty “waiting time” to satisfy the requirement for the 30-minute rest break, provided they do not perform any other work during the break. According to NAPA, asphalt is a highly perishable product. It is loaded into the delivery truck at 280-300 degrees Fahrenheit and begins to cool immediately. If the asphalt is not delivered and placed on the paving site within two hours, the product hardens and is no longer vicous enough to be useable. Drivers of asphalt delivery vehicles typically drive approximately one-third of their workday; the rest of their day is spent waiting to load or unload their vehicles and in other non-driving duties such as paperwork and cleaning their trucks after each load.

The second exemption, if granted, would allow these same drivers to use the short-haul RODS exception but with a 14-hour duty period instead of 12 hours. NAPA advises that while some short-haul drivers will be able to take advantange of the exception from the 30-minute break, other drivers are often required to be on duty more than 12 hours in a day and therefore are not eligible to use the short-haul exception.

NAPA mentioned that drivers of ready-mixed concrete delivery vehicles were granted an exemption from the minimum 30-minute rest break provision.[1] NAPA states that “the same Start Printed Page 42417reasoning supporting the exemptions from the 30-minute break time rule and allowing a 14-hour daily on duty-period for drivers of ready-mixed concrete vehicles applies to drivers engaged in the transportation of asphalt and related materials and equipment. Both are perishable products that are not useable if they are not dropped and spread within a brief delivery window. Because of this short delivery window, the routes from the production facility to the delivery site for both products are limited to less than 40 miles, and the time spent actually driving a CMV is typically only a few hours per day. Thus in both cases, the drivers do not face the same fatigue factors as drivers of long-haul trucks, and therefore do not pose the same risk of a fatigue-related accident as long-haul drivers.”

NAPA requests that the operation of certain vehicles and equipment (Water Truck, Tack (tar) Distributor, Equipment Hauler and Pick-Sweeper (Street Sweeper)) be included in the definition of “transportation of asphalt and related materials and equipment” for purposes of these exemptions.

NAPA states in its application that drivers would remain subject to the HOS regulations and would receive sufficient rest due to the nature of their operations that limit driving to an average of six to seven hours per day or less during the paving season. NAPA believes that granting these exemptions would achieve the same level of safety provided by the two HOS rules. The requested exemptions are for 5 years with renewals. A copy of NAPA's application for exemptions is available for review in the docket for this notice.

Start Signature

Issued on: August 30, 2017.

Larry W. Minor,

Associate Administrator for Policy.

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Footnotes

1.  More precisely, section 5521 of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, exempts a “driver of a ready mixed concrete delivery vehicle” from all of the normal hours-of-service regulations, including the 30-minute break rule, who operates within a 100 air-mile radius of his/her normal work reporting location and meets certain other requirements [Pub. L. 114-94, 129 Stat. 1312, 1559, Dec. 4, 2015, codified at 49 U.S.C. 31502(f)]. In addition, FMCSA granted drivers of ready mixed concrete trucks an exemption from the 30-minute break requirement [80 FR 17819, April 2, 2015], which section 5206(b)(1)(A) of the FAST Act made into permanent law [129 Stat. 1312, 1537].

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[FR Doc. 2017-18985 Filed 9-6-17; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P