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Notice

Hours of Service of Drivers: Mountain Blade Runner Helicopters, LLC; 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 requests public comment on Mountain Blade Runner Helicopters, LLC's (MBR Helicopters) application for an exemption from two provisions of the hours-of-service (HOS) regulations for its ground support equipment operators. MBR Helicopters requested relief from the 14-hour rule and the requirement that drivers have 10 consecutive hours off duty at the end of the work shift. The exemption would allow MBR Helicopters' ground support equipment operators a 16-hour window within which to complete all driving and enable these operators to use an 8-consecutive hour off-duty break, combined with at least 2 other off-duty hours during the 16-hour window within which driving would be completed, in lieu of taking 10 consecutive hours off duty.

DATES:

Comments must be received on or before January 19, 2021.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments identified by Federal Docket Management System Number FMCSA-2020-0144 by any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
  • Mail: Send comments to Dockets Operations, 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: Deliver comments to Dockets Operations, West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 366-9317 or (202) 366-9826 before visiting Dockets Operations.
  • 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 Dockets Operations, 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. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 366-9317 or (202) 366-9826 before visiting Docket Operations.

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.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For information concerning this notice, contact Mr. Richard Clemente, FMCSA Driver and Carrier Operations Division; Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety Standards; Telephone: (202) 366-4225. 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-2020-0144), 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-2020-0144” 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.

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 and explain the terms and conditions of the exemption. The exemption may be renewed (49 CFR 381.300(b)).

III. Background

Under 49 CFR 395.3(a)(1), a driver may not drive without first taking 10 consecutive hours off duty, and 49 CFR 395.3 (a)(2) provides that a driver may drive only during a period of 14 consecutive hours after coming on duty following 10 consecutive hours off duty. The driver may not drive after the end of the 14-consecutive-hour period, without first taking 10 consecutive hours off duty.

MBR Helicopters requested relief from the 14-hour rule and the requirement that drivers have 10 consecutive hours off duty at the end of the work shift. The exemption would allow MBR Helicopters' ground support equipment operators a 16-hour window within which to complete all driving and enable these operators to use an 8-consecutive hour off-duty break, combined with at least 2 other off-duty hours during the 16-hour window Start Printed Page 82575within which driving would be completed, in lieu of taking 10 consecutive hours off duty. If granted, the exemption would cover MBR Helicopters' commercial motor vehicle (CMV) operators only when they are responding to or returning from an active incident as requested by an officer of a safety agency or public utility commission or service. A copy of the application is included in the docket referenced at the beginning of this notice.

Request for Comments

In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315, FMCSA requests public comment from all interested persons on MBR's application for an exemption. All comments received before the close of business on the comment closing date indicated at the beginning of this notice will be considered and will be available for examination in the docket at the location listed under the Addresses section of this notice. Comments received after the comment closing date will be filed in the public docket and will be considered to the extent practicable. In addition to late comments, FMCSA will also continue to file, in the public docket, relevant information that becomes available after the comment closing date. Interested persons should continue to examine the public docket for new material.

Start Signature

Larry W. Minor,

Associate Administrator for Policy.

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[FR Doc. 2020-27966 Filed 12-17-20; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P