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Notice

Hours of Service of Drivers: Application for Exemption; SikhsPAC and the North American Punjabiz Trucker Association

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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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 a joint application from SikhsPAC and the North American Punjabiz Trucker Association (applicants) on behalf of their members for an exemption from the electronic logging device (ELD) requirements. The exemption would allow members involved in segments of America's agricultural transportation industry to delay using ELDs. The applicants expressed their concerns about how the ELD mandate would negatively impact their industry if the exemption is not granted. According to the applicants, granting the exemption would achieve a level of safety equivalent to the level achieved by the ELD mandate. FMCSA requests public comment on the applicants' application for exemption.

DATES:

Comments must be received on or before February 26, 2018.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments identified by Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Number FMCSA-2017-0342 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., 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, contact Mr. Thomas Yager, Chief, FMCSA Driver and Carrier Operations Division; Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety Standards; 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-2017-0342), 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 comments online, go to www.regulations.gov and put the docket number, “FMCSA-2017-0342” Start Printed Page 3864in 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 parts of the 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 and explain the terms and conditions of the exemption. The exemption may be renewed (49 CFR 381.300(b)).

III. Request for Exemption

In addition to this exemption request, applicants have filed a request for a delay in ELD enforcement and a request for an ELD waiver. Those issues are being addressed through separate processes and will not be discussed further in this notice.

The applicants request an exemption from the ELD requirements on behalf of their members (fresh produce shippers and small truck businesses). According to the applicants, many of their members are not fully prepared to meet the December 18, 2017, compliance date. Additionally, the current ELD retail marketplace does not accommodate the needs of the applicant's industry segment, and does not factor in existing HOS exemptions currently used by members. The applicants question whether any ELD self-certified device would fully function given the lack of access to broadband in many rural areas. The applicants also expressed their concern about ELD security against cyber-attacks, enforcement, cost, and training.

The applicants assert that the exemption, if granted, would give the marketplace time necessary to develop cost-effective and practical solutions for the specific needs of impacted stakeholders and would allow FMCSA to properly address necessary training programs with compliant ELD options. The applicants believe that if the exemption is not granted the ELD rule will cause significant challenges and harm to fresh produce shippers and small truck businesses. According to the applicants, granting the exemption will achieve a level of safety equivalent to the level achieved by the ELD requirements.

A copy of the applicants' application for exemption is available for review in the docket for this notice.

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Issued on: January 19, 2018.

Larry W. Minor,

Associate Administrator for Policy.

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[FR Doc. 2018-01402 Filed 1-25-18; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P