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Hours of Service of Drivers: Application for Exemption; American Pyrotechnics Association

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Notice of final disposition.


FMCSA announces its decision to grant the American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) an exemption from the hours-of-service (HOS) regulations that require a motor carrier to install and require each of its drivers to use an electronic logging device (ELD) to record the driver's HOS. APA requested the exemption for APA member companies currently holding an exemption from the HOS 14-hour rule during the Independence Day season. These member companies will continue to use paper records of duty status (RODS) in lieu of an ELD during the designated Independence Day periods. 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.


The exemption is effective from June 28 through July 8, at 11:59 p.m. local time, in 2019 and 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 acknowledgement 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; Telephone: (202) 366-9220, 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-2018-0140” 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.

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For information concerning this notice, contact Ms. Pearlie Robinson, FMCSA Driver and Carrier Operations Division; Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety Standards; Telephone: 202-366-4225. Email: If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, contact Docket Services, telephone (202) 366-9826.

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

The APA reports that it is a national safety and trade association of the U.S. fireworks industry, representing manufacturers, importers, distributors, wholesalers, retailers, suppliers and professional display companies. APA has over 250 member companies. Along with their subsidiaries, APA's member companies are responsible for nearly 90 percent of the fireworks manufactured, imported, distributed and professionally displayed in the United States.

The Agency published a notice of APA's exemption application on April 24, 2018 (83 FR17877). APA sought a limited exemption from the ELD requirements to allow member companies currently holding an exemption from the 14-hour rule to continue to maintain paper RODs in lieu of ELDs. Various APA members have held 2-year exemptions during Independence Day periods from 2005 through 2014. On May 9, 2016, the current exemption for APA members was extended to July 8, 2020, pursuant to section 5206(b)(2)(A) of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act (81 FR 28115).

APA asserted that granting this exemption would be appropriate because there is no basis to believe that continuing to allow paper record keeping for this limited subset of the regulated community, and for a limited period of time, would impact operational safety in any regard. In addition, due to the unique nature of the fireworks industry, requiring the use of Start Printed Page 4897ELDs for this limited seasonal delivery period would impose a substantial financial burden on members because it would require them to purchase/lease ELD systems for use for only a short period every year.

APA explained that its members rely upon intermittent casual drivers periodically throughout the year and particularly during the busy Independence Day season when the industry depends upon short-term rental trucks. The fireworks industry is unique in that it rents or leases approximately 90% of its vehicles throughout the year for less than 30 days at a time. However, most rental companies require a minimum rental period of 14 to 21 days, although APA member companies may only use the trucks in commerce for up to 11 days. The mix of vehicles rented includes pick-up trucks, cargo vans, city vans and straight trucks with a GVW of less than 26,000 pounds. The industry relies heavily upon short-term rental trucks to transport and deliver 98% of the 16,000 Independence Day fireworks displays nationwide. This exemption would only apply when the carriers designated in the APA HOS exemption, including revisions, are operating within the specified Independence Day periods.

IV. Public Comments

The Agency received 27 comments in response to the application published on April 24. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) and 20 individuals supported the exemption. The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates) and four individuals opposed it. One individual took no position on the exemption request.

OOIDA stated that “the current ELD marketplace does not adequately support the needs of the entire trucking industry. Since the December 2017 implementation, professional drivers have shared the real-world problems they have experienced because of malfunctioning devices, lack of connectivity in rural areas, and false claims made by ELD vendors. For these reasons, along with APA's prior exemption history, FMCSA should grant the exemption request.”

The Advocates said “the application does not meet the statutory and regulatory requirements for the exemption. The application fails to consider practical alternatives, justify the need for the exemption, provide an analysis of the safety impacts the requested exemption may cause, and provide information on the specific countermeasures to be undertaken to ensure that the exemption will achieve an equivalent or greater level of safety than would be achieved absent the exemption.”

V. FMCSA Decision

FMCSA has determined that granting an ELD exemption to APA for a limited period of 11 days during Independence Day celebrations will achieve a level of safety equivalent to or greater than the level that compliance with the ELD rule would ensure. Prior to publishing the Federal Register notice announcing the receipt of APA's application request for the exemption, FMCSA ensured that each APA member currently holding a limited exemption from the 14-hour rule 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 of each of those motor carriers. 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 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.

VI. Terms and Conditions of the Exemption

Period of the Exemption

The exemption from 49 CFR 395.8(a)(1)(i) is effective from June 28 through July 8, at 11:59 p.m. local time, in 2019 and 2020, for the 53 carriers identified in the appendix to this notice.

Terms and Conditions of the Exemption

This exemption from the ELD provisions in 49 CFR 395.8(a)(1)(i) is restricted to drivers employed by the APA motor carriers already covered by the multi-year exemption from the Agency's 14-hour rule listed in the appendix table of this notice. Drivers covered by the exemption may continue to use paper logs to record their record of duty status instead of using an ELD. Motor 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 their CMVs operating under this exemption. The notification must be by email to MCPSD@DOT.GOV and include the following information:

a. Name of the Exemption: “APA ELD”

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 Start Printed Page 4898drivers are subject to FMCSA monitoring while operating under this exemption.

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Issued on: February 8, 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 ELD Rule in Hours of Service for Drivers Regulations for Independence Day Periods

[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, Inc82 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 Mfg700 E Van Buren StreetMitchell, IA 50461420413
14. J&J Computing dba Fireworks Extravaganza174 Route 17 NorthRochelle Park, NJ 076622064141
15. Gateway Fireworks DisplaysPO 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)PO Box 294, 3999 Hupp Road R31Kingsbury, IN 46345777176
25. Martin & Ware Inc. dba Pyro City Maine & Central Maine PyrotechnicsP.P. Box 322Hallowell, ME 04347734974
26. Melrose Pyrotechnics, Inc1 Kingsbury Industrial ParkKingsbury, IN 46345434586
27. Montana Display Fireworks, Inc9480 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 35005 550632859710
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, IncPO 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., IncPO Box 1463New Castle, PA 16103033167
53. ZY Pyrotechnics, LLC dba Skyshooter Displays, Inc1014 Slocum RoadWapwallopen, PA 186601030231
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[FR Doc. 2019-02661 Filed 2-15-19; 8:45 am]