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Notice

Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Hearing

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AGENCY:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of final disposition.

SUMMARY:

FMCSA announces its decision to renew exemptions for 11 individuals from the hearing requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) for interstate commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. The exemptions enable these hard of hearing and deaf individuals to continue to operate CMVs in interstate commerce.

DATES:

Each group of renewed exemptions were applicable on the dates stated in the discussions below and will expire on the dates provided below.

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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 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. If you have questions regarding viewing or submitting material to the docket, contact Docket Operations, (202) 366-9826.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Public Participation

A. Viewing Documents and Comments

To view comments, as well as any documents mentioned in this notice as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov. Insert the docket number, FMCSA-2012-0332, FMCSA-2015-0329, FMCSA-2016-0003, or FMCSA-2017-0058, in the keyword box, and click “Search.” Next, click the “Open Docket Folder” button and choose the document to review. If you do not have access to the internet, you may view the docket online by visiting the Docket Operations 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., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

B. 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.transportation.gov/​privacy.

II. Background

On January 15, 2020, FMCSA published a notice announcing its decision to renew exemptions for 11 individuals from the hearing standard in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(11) to operate a CMV in interstate commerce and requested comments from the public (85 FR 2484). The public comment period ended on February 14, 2020, and no comments were received.

FMCSA has evaluated the eligibility of these applicants and determined that renewing these exemptions would achieve a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved by complying with § 391.41(b)(11).

The physical qualification standard for drivers regarding hearing found in § 391.41(b)(11) states that a person is physically qualified to drive a CMV if that person first perceives a forced whispered voice in the better ear at not less than 5 feet with or without the use of a hearing aid or, if tested by use of an audiometric device, does not have an average hearing loss in the better ear greater than 40 decibels at 500 Hz, 1,000 Hz, and 2,000 Hz with or without a hearing aid when the audiometric device is calibrated to American National Standard (formerly ASA Standard) Z24.5—1951.Start Printed Page 12965

This standard was adopted in 1970 and was revised in 1971 to allow drivers to be qualified under this standard while wearing a hearing aid, 35 FR 6458, 6463 (April 22, 1970) and 36 FR 12857 (July 3, 1971).

III. Discussion of Comments

FMCSA received no comments in this proceeding.

IV. Conclusion

Based upon its evaluation of the 11 renewal exemption applications, FMCSA announces its decision to exempt the following drivers from the hearing requirement in § 391.41 (b)(11).

In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b), the following groups of drivers received renewed exemptions in the month of January and are discussed below:

As of January 6, 2020, and in accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b), the following six individuals have satisfied the renewal conditions for obtaining an exemption from the hearing requirement in the FMCSRs for interstate CMV drivers (85 FR 2484):

Steven P. Andrews (FL)

John Brown (MN)

Jerry Doose (MN)

Andrew Hippler (ID)

Donald Howton, Jr. (NC)

Jonathan Ramos (NE)

The drivers were included in docket number FMCSA-2015-0329, FMCSA-2015-0326, and FMCSA-2017-0058. Their exemptions are applicable as of January 6, 2020, and will expire on January 6, 2022.

As of January 8, 2020, and in accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b), the following five individuals have satisfied the renewal conditions for obtaining an exemption from the hearing requirement in the FMCSRs for interstate CMV drivers (85 FR 2484):

Matthew Burgoyne (ID)

Mark Cole (MD)

Joshua Gelona (OK)

Reginald Holmes (AZ)

Eduardo Pedregal (TX)

The drivers were included in docket number FMCSA-2012-0332 and FMCSA-2016-0003. Their exemptions are applicable as of January 8, 2020, and will expire on January 8, 2022.

In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315(b), each exemption will be valid for 2 years from the effective date unless revoked earlier by FMCSA. The exemption will be revoked if the following occurs: (1) The person fails to comply with the terms and conditions of the exemption; (2) the exemption has resulted in a lower level of safety than was maintained prior to being granted; or (3) continuation of the exemption would not be consistent with the goals and objectives of 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b).

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Issued on: February 28, 2020.

Larry W. Minor,

Associate Administrator for Policy.

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[FR Doc. 2020-04532 Filed 3-4-20; 8:45 am]

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