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Hours of Service (HOS) of Drivers; American Pyrotechnics Assn. (APA); Request To Add New Members to Current APA Exemption

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Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.


Notice of final disposition.


FMCSA announces its decision to grant an exemption to three additional member companies of the American Pyrotechnics Association (APA)—Artisan Pyrotechnics Inc., Montana Display Fireworks, Inc., and ZY Pyrotechnics, LLC dba Skyshooter Displays, Inc.—from the prohibition on driving commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) after the 14th hour after the driver comes on duty. During the 2017 Independence Day period 51 APA members held such an exemption, effective during the period June 28 through July 8 each year through 2020. APA advised FMCSA of the Start Printed Page 3534discontinuance of the exemption for one carrier; with the addition of the three new members the total increases to 53. The exemption granted to the three carriers will terminate at the same time as the other 50 exempted carriers. FMCSA has determined that the terms and conditions of the exemption ensure a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety achieved without the exemption.


These exemptions from 49 CFR 395.3(a)(2) are effective from June 28 through July 8, at 11:59 p.m. local time, each year through 2020.


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 on-line Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) 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. LaTonya Mimms, Chief, FMCSA Driver and Carrier Operations Division; Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety Standards; Email: If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, contact Docket Services, telephone (202) 366-9826.

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I. Public Participation

Viewing Comments and Documents

To view comments, as well as documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to and insert the docket number, “FMCSA-2007-28043” in the “Keyword” box and click “Search.” Next, click “Open Docket Folder” button and choose the document listed to review. If you do not have access to the internet, you may view the docket online by visiting the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the DOT West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., E.T., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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. 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 the safety analyses and the public comments, 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 reason for the grant or denial, and, if granted, the specific person or class of persons receiving the exemption, and the regulatory provision or provisions from which exemption is granted. The notice must also specify the effective period of the exemption (up to 5 years), and explain the terms and conditions of the exemption. The exemption may be renewed (49 CFR 381.300(b)).

III. APA Application for Exemption

The HOS rule in 49 CFR 395.3(a)(2) prohibits the driver of a property-carrying CMV from driving after the 14th hour after coming on duty following 10 consecutive hours off duty. During the 2017 Independence Day period 51 APA members held such an exemption, effective during the period June 28 through July 8 each year through 2020. APA has requested additional exemptions for Artisan Pyrotechnics Inc., DOT# 1898096, Montana Display Fireworks, Inc., DOT# 1030231, and ZY Pyrotechnics, LLC dba Skyshooter Displays, Inc., DOT# 2149202, and the discontinuance of an exemption for Island Fireworks, DOT# 414583, increasing the total to 53. Like the other 50 member companies, the three new companies would be subject to all the terms and conditions of the multi-year APA exemption that terminates on July 8, 2020. Although this is less than the 5-year exemption period authorized by 49 U.S.C. 31315(b)(2), FMCSA believes that the interests of the APA members and the Agency would best be served by harmonizing, as far as possible, the expiration dates of all such fireworks-related exemptions. On June 21, 2018, FMCSA granted waivers to these three APA members to allow them to participate in the 2018 Independence Day celebration.

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

As stated in the 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 additional exemption for the three new member companies because compliance with the current 14-hour rule in 49 CFR 395.3(a)(2) would impose a substantial economic hardship on numerous cities, towns and municipalities, as well as its member companies. To meet the demand for fireworks without the exemption, 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.

On June 21, 2018, FMCSA granted waivers to APA on behalf of Artisan Pyrotechnics Inc., Montana Display Fireworks, Inc., and ZY Pyrotechnics, LLC dba Skyshooter Displays, Inc., to allow these carriers to participate in the 2018 Independence Day celebration. The waiver also allowed the Agency time to complete the exemption process.

IV. Method To Ensure an Equivalent or Greater Level of Safety

The APA believes that the exemption would not adversely affect the safety of the fireworks transportation provided by this motor carrier. According to APA, its member-companies have operated under this Independence Day exemption for the past 10 years without a reported motor carrier safety incident. Moreover, it asserts that, without the Start Printed Page 3535extra 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 will be required to notify FMCSA within 5 business days of any accident (as defined in 49 CFR 390.5) involving the operation of any of 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 exemption.

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 July 4, 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 another duty day, these drivers must take 10 consecutive hours off duty, the same as other CMV drivers.

V. Public Comments

On June 8, 2018, FMCSA published notice of this application and requested public comments (83 FR 26742). The only comment submitted was not relevant to this notice.

VI. FMCSA Response

FMCSA has determined that granting an exemption to Artisan Pyrotechnics Inc., Montana Display Fireworks, Inc., and ZY Pyrotechnics, LLC dba Skyshooter Displays, Inc., will achieve a level of safety equivalent to or greater than the level that compliance with the 14-hour rule would ensure. Prior to publishing the Federal Register notice announcing the receipt of APA's application to add these three carriers to the current list of carriers operating under the exemption, FMCSA ensured that each motor carrier possessed an active USDOT registration, minimum required levels of insurance, and was not subject to any “imminent hazard” or other out-of-service (OOS) orders. The Agency conducted a comprehensive investigation of the safety performance history on each of the motor carriers listed in the appendix table during the review process. As part of this process, FMCSA reviewed its Motor Carrier Management Information System safety records, including inspection and accident reports submitted to FMCSA by State agencies.

With regard to safety statistics, none of the carriers, including the 3 new carriers proposed for exemption, was under an imminent hazard or OOS order, had any alerts in the Safety Management System (SMS), or was under investigation by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. All had “satisfactory” safety ratings based on compliance reviews, and all had valid Hazardous Materials Safety Permits.

VII. Terms and Conditions of the Exemption

Period of the Exemption

The exemption from 49 CFR 395.3(a)(2) is effective from June 28 through July 8, at 11:59 p.m. local time, each year through 2020 for the 53 carriers identified in this notice.

Terms and Conditions of the Exemption

The exemption from 49 CFR 395.3(a)(2) will be limited to drivers employed by the 50 motor carriers already covered by the multi-year exemption, and drivers employed by the three additional carriers identified by an asterisk in the appendix table of this notice. Section 395.3(a)(2) 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 may exclude off-duty and sleeper-berth time of any length from the calculation of the 14-hour limit. This exemption is 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 is 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).


In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315(d), as implemented by 49 CFR 381.600, during the period this exemption is in effect, no State shall enforce any law or regulation applicable to interstate commerce that conflicts with or is inconsistent with this exemption with respect to a firm or person operating under the exemption. States may, but are not required to, adopt the same exemption with respect to operations in intrastate commerce.

FMCSA Notification

Exempt motor carriers are 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 be by email to MCPSD@DOT.GOV and include the following information:

a. Name of the Exemption: “APA”

b. Date of the accident,

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

d. Driver's name and driver's license State, number, and class,

e. Co-Driver's name and driver's license State, number, and class,

f. Vehicle company number and power unit license plate State and number,

g. Number of individuals suffering physical injury,

h. Number of fatalities,

i. The police-reported cause of the accident,

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

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

In addition, if there are any injuries or fatalities, the carrier must forward the police accident report to MCPSD@DOT.GOV as soon as available.


The FMCSA does not believe the motor carriers and drivers covered by this exemption will experience any deterioration of their safety record. However, should this occur, FMCSA will 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.

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Issued on: February 1, 2019.

Raymond P. Martinez,


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Appendix to Notice of Application for Approval of Motor Carriers To Utilize American Pyrotechnics Association's (APA) Exemption From the 14-Hour Rule During Independence Day Celebrations

[June 28 through July 8, 2020]

Motor carrierStreet addressCity, state, zip codeDOT No.
1. American Fireworks Company7041 Darrow RoadHudson, OH 44236103972
2. American Fireworks Display, LLCP.O. Box 980Oxford, NY 138302115608
3. AM Pyrotechnics, LLC2429 East 535th RdBuffalo, MO 656221034961
4. Arthur Rozzi Pyrotechnics6607 Red Hawk CtMaineville, OH 450392008107
5. Artisan Pyrotechnics, Inc *82 Grace RoadWiggins, MS 395771898096
6. Atlas PyroVision Entertainment Group, Inc136 Old Sharon RdJaffrey, NH 03452789777
7. Central States Fireworks, Inc18034 Kincaid StreetAthens, IL 626131022659
8. East Coast Pyrotechnics, Inc4652 Catawba River RdCatawba, SC 29704545033
9. Entertainment Fireworks, Inc13313 Reeder Road SWTenino, WA 98589680942
10. Falcon Fireworks3411 Courthouse RoadGuyton, GA 313121037954
11. Fireworks & Stage FX America12650 Hwy. 67S, Suite BLakeside, CA 92040908304
12. Fireworks by Grucci, Inc20 Pinehurst DriveBellport, NY 11713324490
13. Flashing Thunder Fireworks dba Legal Aluminum King Mtg700 E Van Buren StreetMitchell, IA 50461420413
14. J&J Computing dba Fireworks Extravaganza174 Route 17 NorthRochelle Park, NJ 076622064141
15. Gateway Fireworks DisplaysP.O. Box 39327St Louis, MO 631391325301
16. Great Lakes Fireworks24805 MarineEastpointe, MI 480211011216
17. Hamburg Fireworks Display, Inc2240 Horns Mill Road SELancaster, OH395079
18. Hawaii Explosives & Pyrotechnics, Inc17-7850 N Kulani RoadMountain View, HI 967711375918
19. Hollywood Pyrotechnics, Inc1567 Antler PointEagan, MN 551221061068
20. Homeland Fireworks, IncP.O. Box 7Jamieson, OR 979091377525
21. J&M Displays, Inc18064 170th AveYarmouth, IA 52660377461
22. Lantis Fireworks, Inc130 Sodrac Dr., Box 229N Sioux City, SD 57049534052
23. Legion Fireworks Co., Inc10 Legion LaneWappingers Falls, NY 12590554391
24. Miand Inc. dba Planet Productions (Mad Bomber)P.O. Box 294, 3999 Hupp Road, R31Kingsbury, IN 46345777176
25. Martin & Ware Inc. dba Pyro City Maine & Central Maine PyrotechnicsP.O. Box 322Hallowell, ME 04347734974
26. Melrose Pyrotechnics, Inc1 Kingsbury Industrial ParkKingsbury, IN 46345434586
27. Montana Display Fireworks, Inc *9480 Inspiration RoadMissoula, MT 598081030231
28. Precocious Pyrotechnics, Inc4420-278th Ave. NWBelgrade, MN 56312435931
29. Pyro Shows, Inc115 N 1st StreetLaFollette, TN 37766456818
30. Pyro Shows of Alabama, Inc3325 Poplar LaneAdamsville, AL 350052859710
31. Pyro Shows of Texas, Inc6601 9 Mile Azle RdFort Worth, TX 761352432196
32. Pyro Engineering Inc., dba/Bay Fireworks400 Broadhollow Rd., Ste. #3Farmingdale, NY 11735530262
33. Pyro Spectaculars, Inc3196 N Locust AveRialto, CA 92376029329
34. Pyro Spectaculars North, Inc5301 Lang AvenueMcClellan, CA 956521671438
35. Pyrotechnic Display, Inc8450 W St. Francis RdFrankfort, IL 604231929883
36. Pyrotecnico (S. Vitale Pyrotechnic Industries, Inc.)302 Wilson RdNew Castle, PA 16105526749
37. Pyrotecnico FX6965 Speedway Blvd., Suite 115Las Vegas, NV 891151610728
38. Rainbow Fireworks, Inc76 Plum AveInman, KS 675461139643
39. RES Specialty Pyrotechnics21595 286th StBelle Plaine, MN 56011523981
40. Rozzi's Famous Fireworks, Inc11605 North Lebanon RdLoveland, OH 451400483686
41. Sky Wonder Pyrotechnics, LLC3626 CR 203Liverpool, TX 775771324580
42. Skyworks, Ltd13513 W Carrier RdCarrier, OK 737271421047
43. Sorgi American Fireworks Michigan, LLC935 Wales Ridge RdWales, MI 480272475727
44. Spielbauer Fireworks Co., Inc220 Roselawn BlvdGreen Bay, WI 54301046479
45. Spirit of 766401 West Hwy. 40Columbia, MO 652022138948
46. Starfire Corporation682 Cole RoadCarrolltown, PA 15722554645
47. Vermont Fireworks Co., Inc./Northstar Fireworks Co., Inc2235 Vermont Route 14 SouthEast Montpelier, VT 05651310632
48. Western Display Fireworks, Ltd10946 S New Era RdCanby, OR 97013498941
49. Western Enterprises, IncP.O. Box 160Carrier, OK 73727203517
50. Wolverine Fireworks Display, Inc205 W SeidlersKawkawlin, MI376857
51. Young Explosives CorpP.O. Box 18653Rochester, NY 14618450304
52. Zambelli Fireworks MFG, Co., IncP.O. Box 1463New Castle, PA 16103033167
53. ZY Pyrotechnics, LLC dba Skyshooter Displays, Inc *1014 Slocum RoadWapwallopen, PA 186601030231
* Not included in 2017-2020 list of approved carriers.
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[FR Doc. 2019-01994 Filed 2-11-19; 8:45 am]