Compliance with Interstate Motor Carrier Noise Emission Standards: Exhaust Systems, 55822-55823 [06-8156]

Download as PDF 55822 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 185 / Monday, September 25, 2006 / Notices exemption is consistent with the requirements at 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315. However, FMCSA requests that interested parties with specific data concerning the safety records of these drivers submit comments by October 25, 2006. FMCSA believes that the requirements for a renewal of an exemption under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 can be satisfied by initially granting the renewal and then requesting and evaluating, if needed, subsequent comments submitted by interested parties. As indicated above, the Agency previously published Notices of final disposition announcing its decision to exempt these 17 individuals from the vision requirement in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10). That final decision to grant the exemption to each of these individuals was based on the merits of each case and only after careful consideration of the comments received to its Notices of applications. Those Notices of applications stated in detail the qualifications, experience, and medical condition of each applicant for an exemption from the vision requirements. That information is available by consulting the above cited Federal Register publications. Interested parties or organizations possessing information that would otherwise show that any, or all of these drivers, are not currently achieving the statutory level of safety should immediately notify FMCSA. The Agency will evaluate any adverse evidence submitted and, if safety is being compromised or if continuation of the exemption would not be consistent with the goals and objectives of 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315, FMCSA will take immediate steps to revoke the exemption of a driver. Issued on: September 13, 2006. Rose A. McMurray, Associate Administrator, Policy and Program Development. [FR Doc. 06–8119 Filed 9–22–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration rwilkins on PROD1PC63 with NOTICES [Docket No. FMCSA–2005–24231] Hours of Service of Drivers: Withdrawal of Application for Exemption; FedEx Ground Package System, Inc. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. AGENCY: 17:46 Sep 22, 2006 SUMMARY: The FMCSA announces that it is withdrawing its notice of an application for exemption upon the request of the applicant, FedEx Ground Package System, Inc. (FedEx). DATES: The notice of application with request for comments published on July 31, 2006 is withdrawn, effective immediately. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Thomas Yager, Chief, Driver and Carrier Operations Division, Office of Bus and Truck Standards and Operations, MCPSD, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590. Telephone: 202–366–4009. E-mail: MCPSD@dot.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On July 31, 2006, FMCSA published a notice requesting public comment on FedEx’s application for an exemption from certain hours-of-service requirements for truck drivers (71 FR 43277). FedEx sought a limited exemption from the definition of ‘‘on duty’’ under FMCSA’s hours-of-service regulations governing drivers who operate commercial motor vehicles. FedEx subsequently withdrew its exemption application. The FedEx letter requesting withdrawal of this matter has been placed in the docket identified in the caption of this notice. Issued on: September 15, 2006. John H. Hill, Administrator. [FR Doc. 06–8123 Filed 9–22–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2006–24065] Compliance with Interstate Motor Carrier Noise Emission Standards: Exhaust Systems Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice; request for comments. AGENCY: DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION VerDate Aug<31>2005 Notice of application for exemption; withdrawal. ACTION: Jkt 208001 SUMMARY: FMCSA requests public comment on the merits of a petition for rulemaking filed by the Truck Manufacturers Association. This trade association, whose members include all of the major North American manufacturers of medium and heavyduty trucks, has petitioned FMCSA to amend the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations to eliminate turbochargers from the list of equipment considered to be noise dissipative devices. The Truck PO 00000 Frm 00049 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Manufacturers Association contends that virtually all trucks are now equipped with turbochargers. Hence, these trucks cannot be cited for failure to meet the visual exhaust system inspection requirements of FMCSA’s safety regulations if they have no muffler. Comments must be received on or before October 25, 2006. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments [identified by DOT DMS Docket No. FMCSA–2006–24065] by any of the following methods: • Web site: http://dms.dot.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments on the DOT electronic docket site. • Fax: 1–202–493–2251. • Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Nassif Building, Room PL–401, Washington, DC 20590– 0001. • Hand Delivery: Room PL–401 on the Plaza Level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Instructions: All submissions must include the Agency name and docket number for this notice. Note that all comments received will be posted without change (including any personal information provided) to http:// dms.dot.gov. See the Privacy Act heading for further information. Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to http:// dms.dot.gov at any time or to Room PL– 401 on the Plaza Level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Docket Management System (DMS) is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. If you want to be notified that we received your comments, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope or postcard or print the acknowledgement page that appears after submitting comments online. Privacy Act: Anyone may search the electronic form of all comments received into any of DOT’s dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or of the person signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, or other entity). You may review DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, DATES: E:\FR\FM\25SEN1.SGM 25SEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 185 / Monday, September 25, 2006 / Notices 2000 (65 FR 19476). This statement is also available at http://dms.dot.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Michael Huntley, Division Chief, Vehicle and Roadside Operations Division (MC–PSV), Office of Bus and Truck Standards and Operations, phone (202) 366–4001, e-mail MCPSV@dot.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: rwilkins on PROD1PC63 with NOTICES Background On October 21, 1974, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued final regulations establishing the Interstate Motor Carrier Noise Emission Standards for maximum external noise emissions of motor vehicles having a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) or a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of more than 10,000 pounds that are operated by commercial motor carriers engaged in interstate commerce (39 FR 38208). These regulations were issued under the authority of section 18 of the Noise Control Act of 1972, which also directed the Secretary of Transportation to promulgate regulations to ensure compliance with the EPA standards. On February 28, 1975, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) published in the Federal Register (40 FR 8658) a text of proposed regulations establishing measurement methodologies for determining whether commercial motor vehicles (CMV) conform to the Interstate Motor Carrier Noise Emission Standards published by the EPA at 40 CFR part 202. FHWA published final regulations on September 12, 1975 (40 FR 42432). The new requirements, found at 29 CFR 325.91, became effective on October 15, 1975. The current requirements of § 325.91—unchanged since their adoption in 1975—were established to support enforcement of EPA’s Interstate Motor Carrier Noise Emission Standards. While the corresponding section of the EPA regulation requires CMVs with a GVWR or GCWR of more than 10,000 pounds which are operated by interstate motor carriers to be ‘‘ * * * equipped with a muffler or other noise dissipative device; * * *’’, the language adopted by FHWA in § 325.91 requires the same vehicles to be ‘‘ * * * equipped with either a muffler or other noise dissipative device, such as a turbocharger (supercharger driven by exhaust gases) * * *.’’ It is not clear why the language that was adopted in § 325.91 is largely identical to that established by EPA except that it additionally considers a turbocharger to be a noise dissipative device under § 325.91(b). There is no VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:46 Sep 22, 2006 Jkt 208001 discussion in the preambles to either the February 1975 notice of proposed rulemaking or in the September 1975 final rule explaining why turbochargers were specifically included in the list of noise dissipative devices. In its petition, the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) noted: At the time these regulations were written, many diesel engines were naturally aspirated, and coincidently much louder than then-comparable turbocharged equipped engines/trucks. In that context, it made sense to include turbochargers with mufflers as acceptable noise dissipative devices, since both devices quieted trucks appreciably compared to trucks with naturally aspirated engines and totally unmuffled exhaust systems. All newly manufactured trucks are currently equipped and certified to meet EPA’s Transportation Equipment Noise Emission Controls requirement of 80 dB(A) (40 CFR part 205) when they are placed into initial service. Section 325.91 provides a simple inspection protocol to assist Federal and State safety inspectors in confirming compliance with the EPA exhaust system requirements of the Interstate Motor Carrier Noise Emission Standards (40 CFR 202.22). While FMCSA believes that the vast majority of CMV operators currently comply with § 325.91, the TMA petition notes that the regulatory language of § 325.91, as currently written, conceivably permits vehicle operators to remove mufflers or other noise dissipative devices and still meet the Federal inspection requirements merely because the CMV engine is equipped with a turbocharger. In its petition, TMA noted that * * * removing the muffler can cause the truck to be 10–20 dB(A) louder; a 10 to 100 fold increase in the emitted sound power level of the vehicle. Additionally, TMA stated that it is * * * not aware of any other credible, satisfactorily performing, and commercially available exhaust noise dissipative device other than mufflers. Petition for Rulemaking In its June 17, 2005 petition for rulemaking, TMA requested that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) be amended to eliminate turbochargers from the list of equipment considered to be noise dissipative devices. TMA proposes that the phrase ‘‘, such as a turbocharger (supercharger driven by exhaust gases)’’ be removed from 49 CFR 325.91(b). Request for Comments FMCSA requests public comment on TMA’s petition for rulemaking to amend PO 00000 Frm 00050 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 55823 49 CFR 325.91(b). Specifically, FMCSA requests that commenters indicate whether they believe the FMCSRs should be amended as requested by the petitioner and whether there is any data or other relevant information to suggest the need for such a change. FMCSA also requests information concerning the impact of the requested change on motor carriers’ ability to achieve compliance with the requirements of section 325.91. FMCSA will consider all comments received by close of business on October 25, 2006. Comments will be available for examination in the docket at the location listed under the ADDRESSES section of this notice. FMCSA will file comments received after the comment closing date in the public docket and will consider them 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 monitor the public docket for new material. Issued on: September 8, 2006. John H. Hill, Administrator. [FR Doc. 06–8156 Filed 9–22–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Railroad Administration Docket No. [FRA–2000–7257; Notice No. 37] Railroad Safety Advisory Committee (RSAC); Working Group Activity Update Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Announcement of Railroad Safety Advisory Committee (RSAC) Working Group Activities. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The FRA is updating its announcement of RSAC’s Working Group activities to reflect its current status. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Patricia Butera or Lydia Leeds, RSAC Coordinator, FRA, 1120 Vermont Avenue, NW., Mailstop 25, Washington, DC 20590, (202) 493–6212/6213 or Grady Cothen, Deputy Associate Administrator for Safety, FRA, 1120 Vermont Avenue, NW., Mailstop 25, Washington, DC 20590, (202) 493–6302. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice serves to update FRA’s last announcement of working group activities and status reports of May 12, E:\FR\FM\25SEN1.SGM 25SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 185 (Monday, September 25, 2006)]
[Notices]
[Pages 55822-55823]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 06-8156]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2006-24065]


Compliance with Interstate Motor Carrier Noise Emission 
Standards: Exhaust Systems

AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: FMCSA requests public comment on the merits of a petition for 
rulemaking filed by the Truck Manufacturers Association. This trade 
association, whose members include all of the major North American 
manufacturers of medium and heavy-duty trucks, has petitioned FMCSA to 
amend the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations to eliminate 
turbochargers from the list of equipment considered to be noise 
dissipative devices. The Truck Manufacturers Association contends that 
virtually all trucks are now equipped with turbochargers. Hence, these 
trucks cannot be cited for failure to meet the visual exhaust system 
inspection requirements of FMCSA's safety regulations if they have no 
muffler.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before October 25, 2006.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments [identified by DOT DMS Docket No. 
FMCSA-2006-24065] by any of the following methods:
     Web site: http://dms.dot.gov. Follow the instructions for 
submitting comments on the DOT electronic docket site.
     Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
     Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Nassif Building, Room PL-401, 
Washington, DC 20590-0001.
     Hand Delivery: Room PL-401 on the Plaza Level of the 
Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC, between 9 
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://
www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting 
comments.
    Instructions: All submissions must include the Agency name and 
docket number for this notice. Note that all comments received will be 
posted without change (including any personal information provided) to 
http://dms.dot.gov. See the Privacy Act heading for further 
information.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received, go to http://dms.dot.gov at any time or to Room PL-
401 on the Plaza Level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., 
Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, 
except Federal holidays. The Docket Management System (DMS) is 
available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. If you want to be 
notified that we received your comments, please include a self-
addressed, stamped envelope or postcard or print the acknowledgement 
page that appears after submitting comments online.
    Privacy Act: Anyone may search the electronic form of all comments 
received into any of DOT's dockets by the name of the individual 
submitting the comment (or of the person signing the comment, if 
submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, or other 
entity). You may review DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the 
Federal Register published on April 11,

[[Page 55823]]

2000 (65 FR 19476). This statement is also available at http://
dms.dot.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Michael Huntley, Division Chief, 
Vehicle and Roadside Operations Division (MC-PSV), Office of Bus and 
Truck Standards and Operations, phone (202) 366-4001, e-mail 
MCPSV@dot.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    On October 21, 1974, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 
issued final regulations establishing the Interstate Motor Carrier 
Noise Emission Standards for maximum external noise emissions of motor 
vehicles having a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) or a gross 
combination weight rating (GCWR) of more than 10,000 pounds that are 
operated by commercial motor carriers engaged in interstate commerce 
(39 FR 38208). These regulations were issued under the authority of 
section 18 of the Noise Control Act of 1972, which also directed the 
Secretary of Transportation to promulgate regulations to ensure 
compliance with the EPA standards.
    On February 28, 1975, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) 
published in the Federal Register (40 FR 8658) a text of proposed 
regulations establishing measurement methodologies for determining 
whether commercial motor vehicles (CMV) conform to the Interstate Motor 
Carrier Noise Emission Standards published by the EPA at 40 CFR part 
202. FHWA published final regulations on September 12, 1975 (40 FR 
42432). The new requirements, found at 29 CFR 325.91, became effective 
on October 15, 1975.
    The current requirements of Sec.  325.91--unchanged since their 
adoption in 1975--were established to support enforcement of EPA's 
Interstate Motor Carrier Noise Emission Standards. While the 
corresponding section of the EPA regulation requires CMVs with a GVWR 
or GCWR of more than 10,000 pounds which are operated by interstate 
motor carriers to be `` * * * equipped with a muffler or other noise 
dissipative device; * * *'', the language adopted by FHWA in Sec.  
325.91 requires the same vehicles to be `` * * * equipped with either a 
muffler or other noise dissipative device, such as a turbocharger 
(supercharger driven by exhaust gases) * * *.''
    It is not clear why the language that was adopted in Sec.  325.91 
is largely identical to that established by EPA except that it 
additionally considers a turbocharger to be a noise dissipative device 
under Sec.  325.91(b). There is no discussion in the preambles to 
either the February 1975 notice of proposed rulemaking or in the 
September 1975 final rule explaining why turbochargers were 
specifically included in the list of noise dissipative devices. In its 
petition, the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) noted:

    At the time these regulations were written, many diesel engines 
were naturally aspirated, and coincidently much louder than then-
comparable turbocharged equipped engines/trucks. In that context, it 
made sense to include turbochargers with mufflers as acceptable 
noise dissipative devices, since both devices quieted trucks 
appreciably compared to trucks with naturally aspirated engines and 
totally unmuffled exhaust systems.

    All newly manufactured trucks are currently equipped and certified 
to meet EPA's Transportation Equipment Noise Emission Controls 
requirement of 80 dB(A) (40 CFR part 205) when they are placed into 
initial service. Section 325.91 provides a simple inspection protocol 
to assist Federal and State safety inspectors in confirming compliance 
with the EPA exhaust system requirements of the Interstate Motor 
Carrier Noise Emission Standards (40 CFR 202.22).
    While FMCSA believes that the vast majority of CMV operators 
currently comply with Sec.  325.91, the TMA petition notes that the 
regulatory language of Sec.  325.91, as currently written, conceivably 
permits vehicle operators to remove mufflers or other noise dissipative 
devices and still meet the Federal inspection requirements merely 
because the CMV engine is equipped with a turbocharger.
    In its petition, TMA noted that

    * * * removing the muffler can cause the truck to be 10-20 dB(A) 
louder; a 10 to 100 fold increase in the emitted sound power level 
of the vehicle.
    Additionally, TMA stated that it is * * * not aware of any other 
credible, satisfactorily performing, and commercially available 
exhaust noise dissipative device other than mufflers.

Petition for Rulemaking

    In its June 17, 2005 petition for rulemaking, TMA requested that 
the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) be amended to 
eliminate turbochargers from the list of equipment considered to be 
noise dissipative devices. TMA proposes that the phrase ``, such as a 
turbocharger (supercharger driven by exhaust gases)'' be removed from 
49 CFR 325.91(b).

Request for Comments

    FMCSA requests public comment on TMA's petition for rulemaking to 
amend 49 CFR 325.91(b). Specifically, FMCSA requests that commenters 
indicate whether they believe the FMCSRs should be amended as requested 
by the petitioner and whether there is any data or other relevant 
information to suggest the need for such a change. FMCSA also requests 
information concerning the impact of the requested change on motor 
carriers' ability to achieve compliance with the requirements of 
section 325.91.
    FMCSA will consider all comments received by close of business on 
October 25, 2006. Comments will be available for examination in the 
docket at the location listed under the ADDRESSES section of this 
notice. FMCSA will file comments received after the comment closing 
date in the public docket and will consider them 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 monitor the 
public docket for new material.

    Issued on: September 8, 2006.
John H. Hill,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 06-8156 Filed 9-22-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P