Pilot Program on NAFTA Long-Haul Trucking Provisions, 20807-20819 [2011-8846]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 71 / Wednesday, April 13, 2011 / Notices within its existing east-west corridor along SE Tacoma Street and construct a new interchange with Oregon 43 on the west end. The actions by the Federal agencies, and the laws under which such actions were taken, are described in the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the project, approved on July 26, 2010, in the FHWA Record of Decision (ROD) issued September 30, 2010, and in other [FR Doc. 2011–8857 Filed 4–12–11; 8:45 am] documents in the FHWA project files. BILLING CODE 4910–13–P The FEIS, ROD, and other project records are available by contacting the DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION FHWA or the Oregon Department of Transportation at the addresses Federal Highway Administration provided above. The FHWA FEIS and ROD can be viewed and downloaded Notice of Final Federal Agency Actions from the project Web site at http:// on the Sellwood Bridge Project, SE www.sellwoodbridge.org or viewed at Tacoma Street and Oregon Highway public libraries in the project area. 43, Multnomah County, OR This notice applies to all Federal agency final actions taken after the AGENCY: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Department of issuance date of the FHWA Federal Register notice described above. The Transportation. laws under which actions were taken ACTION: Notice of limitation on claims include, but are not limited to: for judicial review of actions by FHWA 1. General: National Environmental and other Federal agencies. Policy Act (NEPA) [42 U.S.C. 4321– SUMMARY: This notice announces actions 4351]; Federal-Aid Highway Act (FAHA) [23 U.S.C. 109 and 23 U.S.C. taken by the FHWA and other Federal 128]. agencies that are final within the 2. Air: Clean Air Act (CAA) [42 U.S.C. meaning of 23 U.S.C. 139(l)(1). The 7401–7671(q)]. actions relate to a proposed highway 3. Land: Section 4(f) of the project, Sellwood Bridge, SE Tacoma Department of Transportation Act of Street and Oregon 43, in Multnomah 1966 (4f) [49 U.S.C. 303]. County, Oregon. This action grants 4. Wildlife: Endangered Species Act approval for the project. (ESA) [16 U.S.C. 1531–1544 and Section DATES: By this notice, the FHWA is 1536]; Fish and Wildlife Coordination advising the public of final agency Act [16 U.S.C. 661–667(d)]; Migratory actions subject to 23 U.S.C. 139(l)(1). A Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) [16 U.S.C. 703– claim seeking judicial review of the 712]. Federal agency actions that are covered 5. Historic and Cultural Resources: by this notice will be barred unless the Section 106 of the National Historic claim is filed on or before October 11, Preservation Act of 1966, as amended 2011. If the Federal law that authorizes (106) [16 U.S.C. 470(f) et seq.]; judicial review of a claim provides a Archeological Resources Protection Act time period of less than 180 days for of 1977 (ARPA) [16 U.S.C. 470(aa)– filing such claim, then that shorter time 470(ll)]; Archeological and Historic period still applies. Preservation Act (AHPA) [16 U.S.C. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeff 469–469(c)]. Graham, Operations Engineer, Federal 6. Social and Economic: Civil Rights Highway Administration, 530 Center Act of 1964 (Civil Rights) [42 U.S.C. Street, NE., Suite 100, Salem, Oregon 2000(d)–2000(d)(1)]. 97301; (503) 399–5749; 7. Wetlands and Water Resources: Jeffrey.Graham@dot.gov. The FHWA Clean Water Act (Section 404, Section Oregon Division’s Office’s normal 401, Section 319) [33 U.S.C. 1251– business hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. 1377]; Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (Pacific time). (RHA) [33 U.S.C. 401–406]; Wetlands SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Notice is Mitigation (Sections 103 and 133) [23 hereby given that the FHWA and other U.S.C. 103(b)(6)(M) and 133(b)(11)]. 8. Executive Orders: E.O. 11990 Federal agencies have taken final agency Protection of Wetlands; E.O. 11988 actions subject to 23 U.S.C. 139(l)(1) by issuing licenses, permits, and approvals Floodplain Management; E.O. 11514 for the following highway project in the Protection and Enhancement of State of Oregon: Sellwood Bridge Project Environmental Quality; E.O. 12898, Federal Actions to Address in Multnomah County, Oregon. The Environmental Justice in Minority project will replace the existing bridge mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with NOTICES Petitioner: NetJets Aviation, Inc. Section of 14 CFR Affected: § 43.3(g). Description of Relief Sought: NetJets requests relief from the requirements of § 43.3(g) to allow its pilots that are properly trained and qualified under an approved training program, to perform supervised updates of navigational software databases of installed flight management systems. VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:37 Apr 12, 2011 Jkt 223001 PO 00000 Frm 00185 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 20807 Populations and Low Income Populations. (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Number 20.205, Highway Planning and Construction. The regulations implementing Executive Order 12372 regarding intergovernmental consultation on Federal programs and activities apply to this program.) Authority: 23 U.S.C. 139(l)(1). Issued on: April 5, 2011. Jeff Graham, Operations Engineer, Salem, Oregon. [FR Doc. 2011–8835 Filed 4–12–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–22–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No FMCSA–2011–0097] Pilot Program on NAFTA Long-Haul Trucking Provisions Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice; request for public comment. AGENCY: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announces its proposal for the initiation of a United States-Mexico cross-border long-haul trucking pilot program to test and demonstrate the ability of Mexicobased motor carriers to operate safely in the United States beyond the municipalities and commercial zones along the United States-Mexico border. The pilot program is part of FMCSA’s implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) crossborder long-haul trucking provisions. This pilot program would allow Mexicodomiciled motor carriers to operate throughout the United States for up to 3 years. U.S.-domiciled motor carriers would be granted reciprocal rights to operate in Mexico for the same period. Participating Mexican carriers and drivers would be required to comply with all applicable U.S. laws and regulations, including those concerned with motor carrier safety, customs, immigration, vehicle registration and taxation, and fuel taxation. The safety of the participating carriers would be tracked closely by FMCSA with input from a Federal Advisory Committee. DATES: Comments must be received on or before May 13, 2011. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by Docket Number FMCSA– 2011–0097 using any one of the following methods: SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\13APN1.SGM 13APN1 mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with NOTICES 20808 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 71 / Wednesday, April 13, 2011 / Notices • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. • Fax: 1–202–493–2251. • Mail: Docket Management Facility, (M–30), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., West Building, Ground Floor, Room 12–140, Washington, DC 20590–0001. • Hand Delivery: Same as mail address above, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone number is 202–366–9329. To avoid duplication, please use only one of these four methods. All submissions must include the Agency name and docket number for this notice. See the ‘‘Public Participation’’ heading below for instructions on submitting comments and additional information. Note that all comments received, including any personal information provided, will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov. Please see the ‘‘Privacy Act’’ heading below. Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to http:// www.regulations.gov at any time or to Room W12–140 on the ground floor of the DOT Headquarters Building at 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT’s Privacy Act System of Records Notice for the DOT Federal Docket Management System published in the Federal Register on January 17, 2008 (73 FR 3316), or you may visit http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/pdf/ E8–785.pdf. Public Participation: The http:// www.regulations.gov Web site is generally available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. You can get electronic submission and retrieval help and guidelines under the ‘‘help’’ section of the http://www.regulations.gov Web site. Comments received after the comment closing date will be included in the docket, and will be considered to the extent practicable. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Marcelo Perez, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590– 0001. Telephone (512) 916–5440, ext 228; e-mail marcelo.perez@dot.gov. VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:37 Apr 12, 2011 Jkt 223001 SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Legal Basis Section 6901(a) of the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans’ Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act, 2007 [Pub. L. 110– 28, 121 Stat. 112, 183, May 25, 2007] provides that before DOT may obligate or expend any funds to grant authority for Mexico-domiciled trucks to engage in cross-border long-haul operations, DOT must first test granting such authority through a pilot program that meets the standards of 49 U.S.C. 31135(c). In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315(c), the Secretary of Transportation has general authority to have safety measures ‘‘that are designed to achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety that would otherwise be achieved * * *.’’ In a pilot program, DOT collects specific data for evaluating alternatives to the regulations or innovative approaches to safety while ensuring that the goals of the regulations are satisfied. A pilot program may not last more than 3 years, and the number of participants in a pilot program must be large enough to ensure statistically valid findings. Pilot programs must include an oversight plan to ensure that participants comply with the terms and conditions of participation, and procedures to protect the health and safety of study participants and the general public. A pilot program may be initiated only after DOT publishes a detailed description of it in the Federal Register and provides an opportunity for public comment. This notice and request for public comment complies with this requirement. While, a pilot program may provide temporary regulatory relief from one or more regulations to a person or class of persons subject to the regulations, or a person or class of persons who intends to engage in an activity that would be subject to the regulations, in this pilot program DOT does not propose to exempt or relieve Mexico-domiciled motor carriers from any safety regulation. Mexico-domiciled motor carriers participating in the program will be required to comply with the existing motor carrier safety regulatory regime plus certain additional requirements associated with acceptance into and participation in the program. Section 350 of the Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2002 [Pub. L. 107– 87, 115 Stat. 833, 864, December 18, 2001] (section 350) prohibited FMCSA from using funds made available in that PO 00000 Frm 00186 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Act to review or process applications from Mexico-domiciled motor carriers to operate beyond limited commercial zones along the United States-Mexico border until certain preconditions and safety requirements were met. The terms of section 350 have been reenacted in each subsequent DOT appropriations act. Section 350 required FMCSA to perform a pre-authorization safety audit (PASA) of any Mexico-domiciled carrier before that carrier is allowed to engage in long-haul operations in the United States. Vehicles the carrier will operate beyond the commercial zones of the United States-Mexico border that do not already have a Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) decal would be required to be inspected, and any vehicle that did not display a decal would be required to pass an inspection at the border port of entry before being allowed to proceed. DOT was also directed to give a distinctive identification number to each Mexicodomiciled carrier that would operate beyond the border commercial zones to assist inspectors in enforcing motor carrier safety regulations. Additionally, every driver that will operate in the United States must have a valid commercial driver’s license issued by Mexico. Section 350 also required DOT’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) to conduct a comprehensive review of the adequacy of inspection capacity, information infrastructure, enforcement capability and other specific factors relevant to safe operations by Mexico-domiciled carriers, and required the Secretary of Transportation to address the OIG’s findings and certify that the opening of the border poses no safety risk. The OIG was also directed to conduct similar reviews at least annually thereafter. A number of the section 350 requirements were addressed by FMCSA in rulemakings published on March 19, 2002 (67 FR 12653, 67 FR 12702, 67 FR 12758, 67 FR 12776) and on May 13, 2002 (67 FR 31978). Section 136 of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2009 [Division I of the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009, Pub. L., 111– 8, 123 Stat. 524, 932, March 11, 2009] prohibited DOT from expending funds made available in that Act to establish, implement or continue a cross-border motor carrier pilot program to allow Mexican-domiciled motor carriers to operate beyond the border commercial zones. The Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010 [Division A of the Consolidated E:\FR\FM\13APN1.SGM 13APN1 mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 71 / Wednesday, April 13, 2011 / Notices Appropriations Act, 2010, Pub. L. 111– 117, 123 Stat. 3034, December 16, 2009] did not bar DOT or FMCSA from using funds on a cross-border long-haul program, but, pursuant to section 135 (123 Stat. at 3053) did continue the requirements of section 350. FMCSA continues to operate under the terms and conditions in its fiscal year 2010 appropriations act, as extended under various short-term continuing resolutions. Section 6901 of the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans’ Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act, 2007 also provides that simultaneous and comparable authority to operate within Mexico must be made available to U.S. carriers. Further, before the required pilot program may begin, the Department’s OIG must submit a report to Congress verifying that DOT has complied with the requirements of section 350(a), and DOT must take any actions that are necessary to address issues raised by the OIG and must detail those actions in a report to Congress. Section 6901 also directed the OIG to submit an interim report to Congress 6 months after the initiation of a cross-border long-haul Mexican trucking pilot program and a final report after the pilot program is completed. The statute further specified that the report address the program’s adequacy as a test of safety. Also as a precondition to beginning the pilot program, section 6901 requires that DOT provide an opportunity for public comment by publishing in the Federal Register information on the PASA’s conducted. DOT must also publish for comment the standards that will be used to evaluate the pilot program, as well as a list of Federal motor carrier safety laws and regulations, including commercial driver’s license requirements, for which the Secretary of Transportation will accept compliance with corresponding Mexican law or regulation as the equivalent to compliance with the U.S. law or regulation including an analysis of how the corresponding United States and Mexican laws and regulations differ. Further discussion of relevant U.S. and Mexican safety laws and regulations is provided in the section of this notice entitled ‘‘List of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Laws and Regulations for Which FMCSA Will Accept Compliance with a Corresponding Mexican Law or Regulation.’’ Background Before 1982, Mexico- and Canadadomiciled motor carriers could apply to the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) for authority to operate within the VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:37 Apr 12, 2011 Jkt 223001 United States. As a result of complaints that U.S. motor carriers were not allowed the same access to Mexican and Canadian markets that carriers from those nations enjoyed in this country, the Bus Regulatory Reform Act of 1982 imposed a moratorium on the issuance of new operating authority to motor carriers domiciled, or owned or controlled by persons domiciled in Canada or Mexico. While the disagreement with Canada was quickly resolved, the issue of trucking reciprocity with Mexico was not. Currently, most Mexican carriers are allowed to operate only within the border commercial zones extending up to 25 miles into the United States. Every year Mexico-domiciled commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) cross into the United States about 4.5 million times. Mexico granted reciprocal authority to 10 U.S.-domiciled motor carriers to operate throughout Mexico during the time of FMCSA’s previous demonstration project conducted between September 2007 and March 2009. Four of these motor carriers continue to operate in Mexico. Trucking issues at the United StatesMexico border were not fully addressed until NAFTA was negotiated in the early 1990s. NAFTA required the United States to incrementally lift the moratorium on licensing Mexicodomiciled motor carriers to operate beyond the commercial zones. On January 1, 1994, the President modified the moratorium and the ICC began accepting applications from Mexicodomiciled passenger carriers to conduct international charter and tour bus operations in the United States. On December 13, 1995, the ICC published a rule and a revised application form for the processing of Mexico-domiciled property carrier applications (Form OP– 1(MX)) (60 FR 63981). The ICC rules anticipated the implementation of the second phase of NAFTA, providing Mexican motor carriers of property with access to California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, and the third phase, providing access throughout the United States. However, at the end of 1995, the United States announced an indefinite delay in opening the border to long-haul Mexican CMVs. In 1998, Mexico filed a claim against the United States, claiming that the United States’ refusal to grant authority to Mexican trucking companies constituted a breach of the obligations in the NAFTA. On February 6, 2001, the Arbitration Panel issued its final report and ruled in Mexico’s favor, concluding that the United States was in breach of its obligations, and Mexico could impose tariffs on U.S. exports to Mexico PO 00000 Frm 00187 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 20809 up to an amount commensurate with the loss of business resulting from the lack of U.S. compliance. The Panel noted that the United States could establish a safety oversight regime to ensure the safety of Mexican carriers entering the United States, but that the safety oversight regime could not be discriminatory and must be justified by safety data. After the Administration announced its intent to resume the process for opening the border in 2001, Congress included section 350 in the Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2002, as discussed in the ‘‘Legal Basis’’ section above. In November 2002, former Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta certified, as required by section 350(c)(2), that authorizing Mexicodomiciled motor carrier operations beyond the border commercial zones does not pose an unacceptable safety risk to the American public. Later that month, the President modified the moratorium to permit Mexico-domiciled motor carriers to provide cross-border cargo and scheduled passenger transportation beyond the border commercial zones. (Memorandum of November 27, 2002, for the Secretary of Transportation, ‘‘Determination under the Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act of 1995,’’ 67 FR 71795, December 2, 2002). The Secretary’s certification was made in response to the June 25, 2002, DOT OIG report on the implementation of safety requirements at the United StatesMexico border. In a January 2005 follow-up report, the OIG concluded that FMCSA had sufficient staff, facilities, equipment, and procedures in place to substantially meet the eight section 350 requirements that the OIG was required to review. The above reports are available in the docket to this notice. Former Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters and Mexico’s former Secretaria de Comunicaciones y ´ Transportes (SCT) Luis Tellez Kuenzler announced a demonstration project to implement certain trucking provisions of NAFTA on February 23, 2007. The demonstration project was initiated on September 6, 2007, after the DOT complied with a number of conditions imposed by section 6901 of the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans’ Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Act, 2007, as discussed further in the ‘‘Legal Basis’’ section above. The demonstration project was initially expected to last 1 year (see 72 FR 23883, May 1, 2007). On August 6, 2008, FMCSA announced that the demonstration project was being E:\FR\FM\13APN1.SGM 13APN1 20810 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 71 / Wednesday, April 13, 2011 / Notices extended from 1 year to the full 3 years allowed by section 31315(c)(2)(A) of title 49 United States Code (73 FR 45796) after Secretaries Peters and ´ Tellez exchanged letters on the extension. On March 11, 2009, President Obama signed into law the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009. Section 136 of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2009 (Division I, title I of the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009) provides that: mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with NOTICES [N]one of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available under this Act may be used, directly or indirectly, to establish, implement, continue, promote, or in any way permit a cross-border motor carrier pilot program to allow Mexican-domiciled motor carriers to operate beyond the commercial zones along the international border between the United States and Mexico, including continuing, in whole or in part, any such program that was initiated prior to the date of the enactment of this Act. (123 Stat. at 932). In accordance with section 136, FMCSA terminated the cross-border demonstration project that began on September 6, 2007. The Agency ceased processing applications by prospective project participants and took other necessary steps to comply with the provision. (74 FR 11628, March 18, 2009). On March 19, 2009, Mexico announced that it was exercising its rights under the 2001 NAFTA Arbitration Panel decision to impose retaliatory tariffs for the failure to allow Mexico-domiciled carriers to provide long-haul service into the United States. The tariffs affect approximately 90 U.S. export commodities at an estimated annual cost of $2.4 billion. The President directed DOT to work with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the Department of State, along with leaders in Congress and Mexican officials, to propose legislation creating a new cross-border trucking project, to address the legitimate safety concerns of Congress while fulfilling our obligations under NAFTA. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood met with numerous members of Congress to gather their input. FMCSA tasked the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee (MCSAC) with providing advice and guidance on essential elements that the Agency should consider when drafting proposed legislation to permit Mexico-domiciled trucks beyond the commercial zones along the United States-Mexico border. The MCSAC final report on this tasking is available on FMCSA’s MCSAC Web page at http://mcsac.fmcsa.dot.gov/ VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:37 Apr 12, 2011 Jkt 223001 Reports.htm. Additionally, DOT formed a team to draft principles that would guide the creation of the draft legislation. The President signed the DOT Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 Appropriations Act December 16, 2009. As mentioned previously in the ‘‘Legal Basis’’ section, unlike the previous year’s appropriations, this Act did not prohibit the use of fiscal year 2010 funds on a cross border long-haul program. However, it continues the requirements of section 350 and section 6901 of Public Law 110–28. FMCSA continues to operate under the terms and conditions in its FY 2010 appropriations act, as extended under various shortterm continuing resolutions. On April 12, 2010, Secretary LaHood met with Mexico’s former Secretary of Communications and Transport, Juan Molinar Horcasitas, and announced a plan to establish a working group to consider the next steps in implementing a cross-border trucking program. On May 19, 2010, President Obama and Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon Hinojosa issued a joint statement acknowledging that safe, efficient, secure, and compatible transportation is a prerequisite for mutual economic growth. They committed to continue their countries’ cooperation in system planning, operational coordination, and technical cooperation in key modes of transportation. On January 6, 2011, Secretary LaHood shared with Congress and the Government of Mexico an initial concept document for a cross-border long-haul Mexican trucking pilot program that prioritizes safety, while satisfying the U.S.’ international obligations. Also, on the same day, the Department posted the concept documents on its Web site for public viewing. See http://www.dot.gov/affairs/ 2011/dot0111.html. The initial concept document was the starting point for renewed negotiations with Mexico. Discussions with the Government of Mexico commenced on January 18, 2011. The preliminary agreement between DOT and the Secretariat of Communications and Transport is reflected in the program description and details provided below. On March 3, 2011, President Obama met with Mexico’s President Calderon and announced that there is a clear path forward to resolving the trucking between the United States and Mexico. Pilot Program Description Duration. As specified in section 31315(c)(2)(A) of title 49, United States Code, the scheduled life of this pilot program will not exceed 3 years. PO 00000 Frm 00188 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Staged pilot program. The Mexicodomiciled motor carriers that participate in this pilot program would proceed through a series of stages prior to issuance of a permanent operating authority. Stage 1 would begin when the motor carrier is issued a provisional operating authority. The motor carrier’s vehicles and drivers would be inspected each time they enter the United States for at least 3 months. This initial 3month period may be extended if the motor carrier does not receive at least three vehicle inspections. FMCSA would also conduct an evaluation of the motor carrier’s performance during Stage 1. This evaluation is described more fully later in this notice. After a minimum of 3 months of operations in Stage 1, Mexico-domiciled carriers may be permitted to proceed to Stage 2 of the pilot program after FMCSA completes an evaluation of each carrier’s performance in Stage 1. During Stage 2, the motor carrier’s vehicles would be inspected at a rate comparable to other Mexico-domiciled motor carriers that cross the United StatesMexico border. The motor carrier’s safety data would be monitored to assure the motor carrier is operating in a safe manner. The motor carrier would continue to operate under a provisional operating authority. Within 18 months after a Mexico-domiciled motor carrier is issued provisional operating authority, FMCSA would conduct a compliance review on the motor carrier. If the motor carrier obtains a satisfactory safety rating, has no pending enforcement or safety improvement actions, and has operated under its provisional operating authority for at least 18 months, the provisional operating authority will become permanent, moving the carrier into Stage 3. If the motor carrier obtains a less than satisfactory safety rating, FMCSA would take action as required by 49 CFR part 385 to suspend and/or revoke the motor carrier’s operating authority. Stage 3 of the pilot program would begin for each motor carrier upon eceipt of permanent operating authority. The motor carrier must continue to operate in accordance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) and the requirements set forth in this notice. Reciprocity with Mexico. Consistent with section 6901(a)(3) of Public law 110–28, FMCSA will not grant operating authority to Mexico-domiciled motor carriers to operate beyond the U.S. municipalities and commercial zones along the United States-Mexico border unless the Government of Mexico simultaneously permits comparable E:\FR\FM\13APN1.SGM 13APN1 mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 71 / Wednesday, April 13, 2011 / Notices authority to be granted to U.S.domiciled motor carriers to transport international cargo in Mexico. Previous Demonstration Program Participants. A Mexico-domiciled motor carrier that participated in the 2007– 2009 demonstration project and operated under provisional operating authority in that pilot would receive credit for the amount of time it operated under authority in calculating the 18 month provisional operating authority period. Hazardous Materials and Passenger Transportation. Consistent with section 6901(d) of Public Law 110–28, operating authority granted under the pilot program excludes the transportation of placardable quantities of hazardous materials and passengers. Hazardous materials means any material that has been designated as hazardous under 49 U.S.C. 5103 and is required to be placarded under subpart F of 49 CFR part 172. Drivers and Vehicles. Mexicodomiciled motor carriers participating in the pilot program would designate the vehicles and drivers they wish to use in the pilot program. All designated vehicles and drivers must be approved by FMCSA prior to the participating motor carrier using the vehicles or drivers for transportation beyond the commercial zones along the United States-Mexico border. The requirements for FMCSA approval of drivers and vehicles are described in this notice. License Checks.—In compliance with section 350(a)(3), FMCSA will ensure that at least 50 percent of participating drivers’ licenses are checked when crossing the border. This may be accomplished during Level I, II or III inspections. International Cargo. The operating authority granted under this pilot program would authorize the motor carrier to transport international cargo in the United States. As specified in 49 CFR 365.501(b), Mexico-domiciled carriers participating in the pilot program may not provide point-to-point transportation services, including express delivery services, within the United States for goods other than international cargo. Therefore, a carrier that would provide point-to-point transportation services in the United States would be operating beyond the scope of its operating authority and would be in violation of 49 CFR 392.9a(a). Additionally, participating motor carriers must comply with regulations prohibiting the transportation of domestic cargo (cabotage) including, but not limited to, 19 CFR 123.14 (U.S. Customs and Border Protection regulations VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:37 Apr 12, 2011 Jkt 223001 concerning entry of foreign-based trucks, buses, and taxicabs in international traffic) and 8 CFR 214.2(b)(4)(i)(E)(1) (U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations concerning cabotage. (See further discussion below under the section entitled ‘‘Point-to-Point Transportation Prohibited.’’). Security Screening. FMCSA would submit information on the applicant motor carriers and their drivers designated for long-haul operations in the pilot program to DHS for security screening. Motor carriers and/or drivers that fail DHS’s security screening would not be eligible for participation in the pilot program. Reasons a motor carrier or driver may not pass DHS security screening may include: Providing false or incomplete information; conviction of any criminal offense or pending criminal charges or outstanding warrants; violation of any customs, immigration or agriculture regulations or laws; the carrier or driver is the subject of an ongoing investigation by any Federal, State or local law enforcement agency; the motor carrier or driver is inadmissible to the United States under immigration regulations, including applicants with approved waivers of inadmissibility or parole documentation; DHS is not satisfied concerning the motor carrier’s or driver’s low-risk status; DHS cannot determine an applicant’s criminal, residence or employment history; or the motor carrier or driver is subject to National Security Entry Exit Registration System or other special registration programs. Liability Insurance. Mexico-domiciled motor carriers participating in the pilot program must maintain a certificate of insurance or surety bond on file with FMCSA, as prescribed in 49 CFR 387.313, throughout the pilot program. The insurance or surety bond must be underwritten by a U.S. insurance or surety bond company. Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance Safety (CVSA) Decal. The motor carrier must maintain a valid CVSA decal on each vehicle it enrolls in this pilot program in accordance with 49 CFR 365.511. Emission Control Label. Any vehicle with a diesel engine to be used by a motor carrier in this pilot program must have an emission control label as described in 40 CFR 86.007–35 that indicates the engine conforms to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations applicable to 1998 or later. Alternatively, the motor carrier may present documentation from the engine manufacturer indicating the PO 00000 Frm 00189 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 20811 engine conforms to the EPA regulations applicable to 1998 or later. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS). Any vehicle used by a motor carrier in this pilot program must display a FMVSS certification label or Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (CMVSS) certification label affixed by the original vehicle manufacturer at the time the vehicle was built. Alternatively, a motor carrier may use a vehicle manufactured for use in Mexico that does not possess an FMVSS or CMVSS label, if the vehicle is of model year 1996 or newer and it is equipped with all the safety equipment and features required by the FMVSSs in effect on the date of manufacture, such as automatic slack adjusters and antilock braking systems (ABS) if applicable. Information available to FMCSA from the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) indicates that most trucks manufactured in Mexico since 1993 were built to the FMVSSs, even if they were not specifically certified as such. (70 FR 50273) A copy of TMA’s letter that provided this information is available in the docket for this notice. Electronic Monitoring Device. FMCSA would equip each vehicle approved for use by Mexico-domiciled motor carriers in this pilot program with an electronic monitoring device such as a global positioning system and/or electronic on board recording device. As part of participating in this pilot program, the device must be operational on the vehicle throughout the duration of the pilot program. General Qualifications of Drivers. A driver may not participate in this pilot program unless the driver can read and speak the English language sufficiently to understand highway traffic signs and signals in the English language, to respond to official inquiries, and to make entries on reports and records required by FMCSA. Environmental Review. FMCSA will prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA) for this pilot program prior to its commencement and seek comments on the draft EA in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). Measures To Protect the Health and Safety of the Public. The FMCSA has developed an extensive oversight system to protect the health and safety of the public and FMCSA will apply it to Mexico-domiciled motor carriers. These measures are outlined in 49 CFR parts 350–396 and include providing grants to States for commercial vehicle enforcement activities, regulations outlining the application procedures, regulations explaining how FMCSA will E:\FR\FM\13APN1.SGM 13APN1 20812 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 71 / Wednesday, April 13, 2011 / Notices assess safety ratings and civil penalties as well as amounts of possible civil penalties, insurance requirements, drug and alcohol testing requirements, commercial driver’s license (CDL) requirements, general operating requirements, driver qualification requirements, vehicle parts and maintenance requirements, and hoursof-service requirements. These requirements apply to Mexicodomiciled carriers operating in this pilot program, just as they do to any commercial motor vehicle, driver, or carrier operating in the United States. The description below focuses on the main features of FMCSA’s system to protect the health and safety of the public that are unique to this pilot program, but is not intended to imply that all regulations outlined above do not apply at all times. Other Federal and State Laws and Regulations. Mexico-domiciled motor carriers participating in the pilot program are required to comply with all applicable Federal and State laws and regulations including, but not limited to, vehicle size and weight, environmental, tax, and vehicle registration requirements. mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with NOTICES Process for Applying for OP–1(MX) Operating Authority The process for applying for participation in the pilot program begins with a 28-page application that gathers specific information about the carrier, its affiliations, its insurance, its safety programs, and its compliance with U.S. laws. In addition to providing general information, the carrier must complete up to 35 safety and compliance certifications and provide information regarding its systems for monitoring hours of service and crashes and complying with DOT drug and alcohol testing requirements. To participate in the pilot program, a Mexico-domiciled motor carrier must, pursuant to existing regulations, submit (1) Form OP–1(MX), ‘‘Application to Register Mexican Carriers for Motor Carrier Authority to Operate Beyond U.S. Municipalities and Commercial Zones on the U.S.-Mexico Border’’; (2) Form MCS–150, the ‘‘Motor Carrier Identification Report’’; and (3) notification of the means used to designate agents for service of legal process, either by submitting Form BOC–3, ‘‘Designation of Agents—Motor Carriers, Brokers and Freight Forwarders,’’ or a letter stating that the applicant will use a process agent service that will submit Form BOC–3 electronically. The forms are available on the Internet at http:// VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:37 Apr 12, 2011 Jkt 223001 www.fmcsa.dot.gov/forms/print/r-lforms.htm. FMCSA would compare the information and certifications provided in the application with information maintained in databases of the governments of Mexico and the United States. The appropriate fee must be submitted, as applicable. FMCSA developed special rules that govern Mexico-domiciled motor carriers during the application process and for several years after receiving OP–1(MX) operating authority. They are codified in 49 CFR 365.501 through 365.511. These rules impose requirements on Mexicodomiciled motor carriers in addition to those imposed on U.S.-domiciled motor carriers seeking operating authority. Pre-Authorization Safety Audit A Mexico-domiciled carrier must satisfactorily complete the FMCSAadministered PASA required under FMCSA regulations before it is granted provisional authority to operate in the United States beyond the border commercial zones. The PASA is a review of the carrier’s safety management systems including written procedures and records to validate the accuracy of the information and certifications provided in the application. The PASA will determine whether the carrier has established and exercises the basic safety management controls necessary to ensure safe operations. The carrier would not be granted provisional operating authority if FMCSA determines that its safety management controls are inadequate, using the standards in Appendix A to subpart E of 49 CFR part 365. Vehicles designated for cross-border long-haul operations within the United States would be inspected; if the vehicle passes the inspection, a CVSA decal would be affixed by the inspector. Each PASA would be conducted in accordance with 49 CFR part 365. The carrier would be denied provisional operating authority if FMCSA cannot: 1. Verify available performance data and safety management programs. 2. Verify the existence of a controlled substances and alcohol testing program consistent with 49 CFR part 40. FMCSA would ensure that the carrier has information on collection sites and laboratories it intends to use. 3. Verify a system of compliance with hours-of-service rules in 49 CFR part 395, including recordkeeping and retention. 4. Verify the carrier has the ability to obtain financial responsibility as required by 49 CFR part 387, including the ability to obtain insurance in the United States. PO 00000 Frm 00190 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 5. Verify records of periodic vehicle inspections, as required by 49 CFR part 396. 6. Verify that each driver the carrier intends to assign to operate under the pilot program meets the requirements of 49 CFR parts 383 and 391. This would include confirmation of the validity of each driver’s Licencia Federal de Conductor (LF) through the Mexican driver license information system and a check of the Mexican State licensing records and the Commercial Driver’s License Information System (CDLIS) for violations, suspensions, etc. 7. Review of available data concerning safety history and other information necessary to determine familiarity with and preparedness to comply with the FMCSRs and Federal Hazardous Materials Regulations that apply to the transportation of non-placardable hazardous materials. 8. Evaluate safety inspection, maintenance, and repair facilities or management systems, including verification of records of periodic vehicle inspections. 9. Inspect each vehicle the carrier intends to operate under the pilot program unless the vehicle has received and displays a current CVSA decal. 10. Interview carrier officials to review safety management controls and evaluate any written safety oversight policies and practices. 11. Obtain any other information required by the FMCSA to complete the PASA. Applicant carriers would designate and identify drivers and vehicles that will perform cross-border long-haul operations in the pilot program.1 FMCSA would verify driver qualifications, including confirming the validity of the driver’s LF and review any Federal and State driver license history for traffic violations that would disqualify the driver for operations in the United States. FMCSA would also conduct an English Language Proficiency assessment of each participating driver to ensure compliance with 49 CFR 391.11(b)(2). The assessment would be conducted orally, in English, and would include a test on knowledge of U.S. traffic signs. At the time of the PASA, FMCSA will inspect participating vehicles to determine whether they: a. Comply with the FMVSSs; and 1 Carriers’ selection of specific vehicles to participate is limited to the new program only. Once the new program ends, carriers will not have the option of selecting specific vehicles. Instead, all vehicles that may enter the United States for carriers with OP–1 authority will be required to comply with all FMCSRs. E:\FR\FM\13APN1.SGM 13APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 71 / Wednesday, April 13, 2011 / Notices b. Display an EPA emission control label indicating the engine conforms to the EPA regulations applicable to 1998 or later. Alternatively, the Mexicodomiciled motor carrier can present documents from the engine manufacturer indicating the engine conforms to the EPA regulations applicable to 1998 or later. FMCSA will also obtain the following information but will not consider the information in its evaluation of the motor carrier for entry into the program: a. Whether environmental posttreatment equipment or other emissionsrelated equipment has been installed on any vehicle designated for participating in the pilot program; and b. The primary ports of entry the applicant Mexico-domiciled motor carrier intends to use. (There is no restriction on which ports of entry the carrier may use during the program. This information would be used to allocate FMCSA resources.) mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with NOTICES Issuance of Operating Authority If a carrier successfully completes the PASA and FMCSA approves its application, the Agency will publish a summary of the application as a provisional grant of authority in the FMCSA Register, at http://lipublic.fmcsa.dot.gov/LIVIEW/ pkg_html.prc_limain. In addition, FMCSA will publish comprehensive data and information on the PASAs conducted of Mexico-domiciled motor carriers that are granted authority to operate beyond the commercial zones on the U.S. Mexico border. However, no carrier would be authorized to conduct any cross-border long-haul transportation until it has made the insurance filings required by 49 CFR 365.507(e)(1) and designated a process agent as required by 49 CFR 365.503(a)(3). Additionally, no Mexicodomiciled motor carrier will be authorized to operate beyond the commercial zones of the United StatesMexico border until this notice-andcomment procedure is completed. Upon granting provisional operating authority, FMCSA will assign a unique USDOT Number, including an ‘‘X’’ suffix, which identifies the CMVs authorized to operate beyond the municipalities and commercial zones on the United States-Mexico border. Termination of the Pilot Program The pilot program would operate for up to 3 years from the date FMCSA grants the first provisional certificate, unless the Agency collects sufficient data to draw statistically valid conclusions before 3 years elapse or if it is determined the continuation of the VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:37 Apr 12, 2011 Jkt 223001 pilot program would not be consistent with the goals and objectives of the pilot, in which case the pilot may be terminated earlier. Provisional or permanent operating authority may be suspended or revoked at any time during the pilot program if FMCSA determines that the carrier has failed to comply with the terms and conditions of the pilot program or if the carrier’s safety performance does not meet the standards established in 49 CFR part 385. Operating authority may also be suspended or revoked if the motor carrier is found to have transported passengers or placardable quantities of hazardous materials in the United States, or is operating beyond the scope of its operating authority. Operating in the United States Under OP–1(MX) Provisional Operating Authority Mexico-domiciled motor carriers with provisional operating authority are subject to the enhanced safety monitoring program of 49 CFR part 385, subpart B, and would be monitored on an on-going basis. Carriers committing any violations specified in 49 CFR 385.105(a) and identified through roadside inspections, or other means, may be subject to a compliance review, required to submit documentation of corrective action, and/or subject to enforcement action. Permanent Operating Authority Mexico-domiciled carriers that receive a satisfactory rating after a compliance review, complete at least 18 months of operation, and have no pending enforcement or safety improvement actions, are eligible for permanent authority in the pilot program. To maintain permanent authority, carriers must comply with all FMCSRs and continue to renew the CVSA safety decal every 90 days for 3 years. During the duration of the pilot program, carriers must update driver and vehicle records with FMCSA. Any additional vehicles or drivers the motor carrier wishes to include in the pilot program must be approved by FMCSA before the carrier may use the driver or vehicle for long-haul transportation. Mexico-domiciled carriers that participate are eligible to convert their permanent authority granted during the pilot program to standard permanent authority, similar to U.S.-domiciled carriers, upon the completion of the pilot program. FMCSA intends this to be an administrative process that would occur once the pilot program ends. PO 00000 Frm 00191 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 20813 Point-to-Point Transportation Prohibited Mexico-domiciled motor carriers are also subject to DHS and DOT cabotage requirements and are prohibited from providing domestic point-to-point transportation while operating in the United States. Vehicles and drivers violating the prohibition on domestic point-to-point transportation will be placed out of service under the DOT regulations and may be subject to civil penalties. DHS may also prohibit the driver from entering the United States in the future. FMCSA, in coordination with the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), developed and is providing training to State and local law enforcement agencies on the cabotage requirements. Monitoring, Oversight and Enforcement FMCSA would monitor the operational safety of all Mexicodomiciled motor carriers participating in the pilot program. To accomplish this, FMCSA would work closely with State CMV safety agencies, the lead Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program agencies, IACP, CVSA, DHS, and others. Field monitoring would include inspections of vehicles, verification of compliance with the terms of the motor carrier’s operating authority, driver license checks, crash reporting, and initiation of enforcement actions, when appropriate. Monitoring and oversight of carriers and drivers participating in the pilot program would vary depending on the experience and safety record of the carrier. Stage 1 of the program would require the motor carrier’s participating trucks and drivers to be inspected every time a vehicle crosses the border northbound. Stage 1 vehicles must display current CVSA decals. Carriers would progress to Stage 2 only after FMCSA evaluates the performance of the carrier during Stage 1. A carrier will be permitted to progress to Stage 2 in the pilot program if FMCSA determines that the carrier has out-of-service rates that are at or below the U.S. national averages and its Safety Management System (SMS) scores for trucks operating in the pilot program are below the FMCSA threshold levels. Once a motor carrier is in Stage 2, inspections at the border crossings would be at a rate similar to that of other Mexico-domiciled motor carriers that cross the United States-Mexico border. Stage 2 vehicles still must display current CVSA decals. After the motor carrier successfully completes a compliance review and receives a satisfactory rating within 18 E:\FR\FM\13APN1.SGM 13APN1 mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with NOTICES 20814 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 71 / Wednesday, April 13, 2011 / Notices months of beginning cross-border longhaul operations, and completes 18 months of operation with provisional operating authority, the motor carrier would be granted permanent authority. The vehicles and drivers would be inspected at the border crossings at the same rate as commercial zone carriers. CMVs operating in the United States must display current CVSA decals for 3 years from the date the carrier is granted permanent operating authority. All participating long-haul vehicles must have a FMCSA-issued electronic monitoring device installed and activated at all times. These devices would allow FMCSA to monitor compliance with pilot program requirements, including hours of service requirements and domestic point-topoint transportation prohibitions. Monitoring would also include electronic data collection and analysis. Data collected as a result of field monitoring and other activities would be entered into FMCSA databases and made available for public review on FMCSA’s Web site. The data would be tracked and analyzed to identify potential compliance and safety issues. Appropriate action would be taken to resolve identified compliance and safety issues. This could include suspension, revocation of operating authority, or the initiation of other enforcement action against a motor carrier or driver. FMCSA will conduct ongoing monitoring to determine if the pilot program is having adverse effects on motor carrier safety. Enforcement is a key component of the monitoring and oversight effort. FMCSA is providing ongoing training and guidance to Federal and State auditors, inspectors and investigators to ensure the adequacy of their knowledge and understanding of the pilot program and the procedures for taking enforcement actions against carriers or drivers participating in the pilot. To ensure carrier compliance with operating authority limitations, including the prohibition of domestic point-to-point transportation of cargo in the United States, FMCSA and IACP developed and implemented a training program that provides State and local officials detailed information on cabotage regulations and enforcement procedures. FMCSA would require roadside enforcement officers to follow DHS guidance concerning the enforcement of DHS cabotage regulations. This material is incorporated into the CVSA North American Standard Inspection Course and previously provided to roadside enforcement officers. VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:37 Apr 12, 2011 Jkt 223001 FMCSA will also monitor the insurance filings of participating carriers to ensure that there are no lapses in coverage. List of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Laws and Regulations for Which FMCSA Will Accept Compliance With a Corresponding Mexican Law or Regulation The Secretary of Transportation will accept only three areas of Mexican regulations as being equivalent to U.S. regulations. The first area is the set of regulations governing Mexican Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDL). The United States’ acceptance of a Mexican LF dates back to November 21, 1991, when the Federal Highway Administrator determined that the Mexican CDLs are equivalent to the standards of the U.S. regulations and entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Mexico. FMCSA is in the process of updating this MOU.2 As part of this process, on February 17, 2011, representatives from FMCSA, CVSA and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators visited a Mexican driver license facility, medical qualification facility, and test and inspection location. During these site visits FMCSA and its partner organizations observed Mexico to have rigorous requirements for knowledge and skills testing that are similar to those in the United States. In addition, Mexico requires that all new commercial drivers undergo training prior to testing and requires additional retraining each time the license is renewed. In contrast, U.S. regulations do not currently require any specific training prior to testing for, or renewal of, a U.S. CDL. Mexico will disqualify a driver’s LF for safety infractions or testing positive for the use of drugs. Because Mexico’s disqualification standards are not identical to U.S. standards, FMCSA has developed a system to monitor the performance of Mexico-licensed drivers while operating in the United States and to disqualify these drivers if they incur violations that would result in a U.S. driver’s license being suspended. In addition, the United States has access to traffic violation data for violations that occur in Mexico and are associated with the Mexican LF. Finally, FMCSA would require that any driver designated by a Mexico-domiciled carrier for long-haul transportation provide the United States with a copy of the driving record for any Mexican State driver’s license he or she may also hold. FMCSA would combine 2 FMCSA notes it is also updating a similar MOU with Canada. PO 00000 Frm 00192 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 any violations from the driver’s record in the United States, the driver’s Mexican federal record, and the driver’s Mexican State record to determine if the driver would be disqualified from driving under the standards set forth in 49 CFR 383.51. Therefore, FMCSA is not relying solely on Mexico’s disqualification standards, but is imposing its own standards in addition to any disqualifications that may be taken by the Mexican government. Second, the Secretary of Transportation will also consider that physical examinations conducted by Mexican doctors and drug testing specimens collected by Mexican medical collection facilities are equivalent to the process for examinations conducted, and test specimens collected, in the United States. In Mexico, in order to obtain the LF a driver must meet the requirements established by the Ley de Caminos, Puentes y Autotransporte Federal (LCPAF or Roads, Bridges and Federal Motor Carrier Transportation Act) Article 36, and Reglamento de Autotransporte Federal y Servicios Auxiliares (RAFSA, or Federal Motor Carrier Transportation Act) Article 89, which states that a Mexican driver must pass the medical examination required by Mexico’s Transport and Communications Ministry (SCT), Directorship General of Protection and Prevention Medicine in Transportation (DGPMPT). This is the same medical exam performed on applicants in all modes of transportation (airline pilots, merchant mariners, and locomotive operators). The medical examination may be completed by government doctors or certified private physicians. FMCSA examined the Mexican medical fitness for duty requirements and has found that the Mexican physical qualification regulations are more prescriptive, detailed, and stricter than those in the United States. For example, Mexican regulations address body mass index, cancers and tumors, skin and appendages, psychiatric and psychological disorders, and have specific standards for evaluation of the ear, nose and throat and the genitourinary system. These are all areas for which the United States has no regulatory standards. The only notable difference involves vision. Mexico only requires red color vision while the United States requires a color vision test for at least red, green, and yellow. FMCSA believes that, taken as a whole, Mexico’s medical regulations are comparable to those in the United States, and provide a level of safety at least equivalent to the U.S. regulations. FMCSA also notes that Mexico’s E:\FR\FM\13APN1.SGM 13APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 71 / Wednesday, April 13, 2011 / Notices medical examinations are performed almost exclusively by physicians at Mexican government facilities, and when performed by private doctors, those doctors are specifically approved by the SCT. Third, controlled substances testing in Mexico is conducted by personnel from SCT. DOT and SCT have implemented a MOU, under which Mexico has agreed to collect drug testing specimens using U.S. specimen collection procedures, including chain of custody requirements, and U.S. collection forms to ensure the integrity of the sample. DOT has translated its drug testing collection forms into Spanish as part of this MOU. Although most Mexican carriers that participated in the previous pilot program sent its drivers to U.S. collection facilities, the Secretary of Transportation would accept a drug test using a specimen collected in Mexico using our forms and procedures. 20815 Samples collected in Mexico would be tested at laboratories located in the United States that are certified by the Department of Health and Human Services under its National Laboratory Certification Program. Table 1 below outlines the specific U.S. and Mexican regulations in the three areas where the Mexican regulations or processes are being accepted as meeting U.S. requirements. TABLE 1 Description United States Mexico Drug and Alcohol Testing Procedures—Random Testing.. • 49 CFR part 382 .......................................... Drug and Alcohol Testing Procedures—Collection of Samples. • 49 CFR part 40 ............................................ • Reglamento del Servicio de Medicina Preventiva del Transporte. • Requires random drug testing by motor carrier at a 50 percent rate. • Government conducts random drug testing at terminals, ports of entry, and specific areas along corridors. • Reglamento del Servicio de Medicina Preventiva del Transporte. • DGPMPT–IT–02–01; DGPMPT–PE–02–F– 01. • DGPMPT–PE–02. • DGPMPT–IT–02–01 thru 08. • Collection procedures have been ISO certified. • The United States and Mexico have a Memorandum of Understanding that Mexico will, when collecting samples to satisfy U.S. drug testing regulations, use U.S. collection procedures and forms. These forms have been translated into Spanish and provided to Mexico. • Reglamento del Servicio de Medicina Preventiva del Transporte. • DGPMPT–PE–01–IE–01. • Regulations and procedures are equivalent to U.S. standards. • Laboratory is not certified due to lack of proper equipment and other procedural requirements. • Ley de Caminos, Puentes y Autotransporte Federal. • Articlos 89 y 90, Reglamento de Autotransportes Federal y Servicio Auxilares. • Driver must provide proof of medical qualification, proof of address, and training (both skills and knowledge). • Must be renewed every 5 years (every 3 years for hazardous material category). • Articulo 36, 37, y 57 Ley de Caminos, Puentes y Autotransporte Federal. • Articlos 89 y 90, Reglamento de Autotransportes Federal y Servicio Auxilares. • Programa Minimo de Capacitacion para Conductores del Servicios de Autotransporte Federal y Transporte Privado, Para Referendo de Carga General (Tractorcamion Quinta Rueda y Camion Utitario). • Collection procedures outlined and detailed description of the custody. Drug and Alcohol Testing Procedures—Laboratory Testing. • 49 CFR part 40 ............................................ • Laboratories approved by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Commercial Driver’s License—Issuance ............ • 49 CFR part 383 .......................................... • Outlines the knowledge, skills and testing procedures required to obtain a commercial driver’s license. Commercial Driver’s License— Training ............ • 49 CFR part 380 .......................................... mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with NOTICES • Outlines special training requirements for longer combination vehicle drivers on basic operation, safe operating practices, advanced operations and non-driving activities training and an orientation. VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:37 Apr 12, 2011 Jkt 223001 PO 00000 Frm 00193 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\13APN1.SGM 13APN1 20816 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 71 / Wednesday, April 13, 2011 / Notices TABLE 1—Continued Description United States • Outlines special training requirements for entry level drivers on driver qualifications, hours of service, driver wellness, and whistleblower protection training. Commercial Driver’s License—Disqualifications Mexico • Outlines 41 hours of training requirements (theory) for new drivers transporting general cargo on General Introduction to Driving, Road Safety Education, Defensive Driving, Vehicle Operations, Preventive Maintenance and Emergency Repair, Latest Regulations, plus 100 hours of practical driving (behind the wheel), Practical Defensive driving (8 hours) and practical emergency repair (6 hours). • Outlines 58 (theory and practical) hours of continued training for returning drivers transporting general cargo on General Introduction, Health and Safety, Road Safety Education, Human Relations, Family and Lifestyle, Latest Rules and Technological Advances. • Outlines 16 hours of continuing education for drivers with a licencia federal de conductor. • Ley de Caminos, Puentes y Autotransporte Federal. • Reglamento del Servicio de Medicina Preventiva del Transporte. • Provides for the disqualification of drivers for major and serious traffic violations. • License can be canceled by a judge. • License can be canceled for three speeding violations in a one year period. • License can be canceled for leaving the scene of an accident without notifying the closest authority or abandoning the vehicle. • License can be canceled for altering the license. • License can be canceled for failing a drug test. • License cannot be obtained after failing a drug test without proof of success completion of a rehabilitation program. • License can be suspended for failing to provide accurate information on application. • Cancellation is valid for 10 years—cannot obtain a license for 10 years. • Reglamento del Servicio de Medicina Preventiva del Transporte. • Requires a comprehensive physical and psychological examination. • Medical examination is a pre-requisite to obtaining an LF. • Medical examination may be required while the driver is ‘‘in operation’’ (on duty) to determine if the driver is still qualified to drive. • 49 CFR part 383 .......................................... • Outlines CDL disqualifications for major and serious traffic violations. Medical Standards .............................................. • 49 CFR part 391 .......................................... mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with NOTICES • US—Requires a comprehensive physical and psychological examination. • Medical examination is currently separate from the CDL issuance process. Information and Reporting FMCSA is committed to transparency during this pilot program. As a result, the Agency would be maintaining data on the pilot program on its Web site at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov. FMCSA would use this site to post current information about the pilot program including, but not limited to, PASAs, the carriers participating, the vehicles approved for cross-border long-haul transportation, the results of roadside inspections for each carrier, and the number of trips into the United States beyond the commercial zones and the VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:37 Apr 12, 2011 Jkt 223001 States traveled by program participants. FMCSA would also publish in the Federal Register comprehensive data and information on PASAs conducted on Mexico-domiciled carriers that are granted authority to operate beyond the border commercial zones. The Department and Mexico’s SCT would establish a monitoring group to supervise the implementation of the pilot program and to find solutions to issues affecting the operational performance of the pilot. The group would generally convene monthly in person, by video conference or by PO 00000 Frm 00194 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 telephone. This group, composed of DOT and SCT employees, would discuss any issues that arise for carriers of either country, as they participate in the pilot program, and recommend changes as needed. FMCSA is also establishing an oversight and monitoring mechanism by utilizing a Federal advisory committee. This committee would be made up of stakeholders and will be a subcommittee of the MCSAC. The monitoring group’s objective is to review the implementation of the pilot program and recommend solutions to E:\FR\FM\13APN1.SGM 13APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 71 / Wednesday, April 13, 2011 / Notices issues affecting the operational performance of the pilot program. The Department would be providing reports to Congress regarding this pilot program on an annual basis. These reports will be posted on FMCSA’s Web site. Additionally, at the conclusion of the pilot program the Department would report to Congress the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of the program. Additionally, the Department’s OIG will be completing reviews of the pilot program within 6 months of its start and within 6 months of its completion. These reports would be posted on the Web site. mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with NOTICES Program Evaluation The objective of the pilot program is to collect and evaluate data on the safety performance of Mexico-domiciled carriers interested in and qualified to take advantage of the cross-border longhaul provisions of NAFTA. This study is to be completed to satisfy the requirement in the Agency’s pilot program authority that requires ‘‘[a] specific data collection and safety analysis plan that identifies a method of comparison.’’ (49 U.S.C. 31315(c)(2)(B)). Safety performance would be measured primarily in terms of violations assessed at the roadside, as a result of inspections conducted at traditional weigh stations, ports of entry, or during traffic enforcement activities. From these data, violation rates would be calculated for participating carriers, measuring the percentage of inspections having a particular type of violation. These violations rates include overall vehicle and driver out-of-service rates, as well as other violation rates pertaining to specific requirements of the FMCSRs. Many of these violation rates would capture information currently captured in the Agency’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability program metrics. Using the performance metrics described above, and up to 3 years of data collected during the pilot program, statistical tests would be performed to compare the safety performance of the Mexico-domiciled carriers participating in the pilot program with the overall performance of carriers domiciled in the United States. Specifically, using commonly accepted statistical practices VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:37 Apr 12, 2011 Jkt 223001 for each metric, the Agency would test the ‘‘null hypothesis’’ that Mexicodomiciled carriers that may take future advantage of NAFTA’s cross-border long-haul provisions will perform as well or better than the average carrier domiciled in the United States. Based on the data during the pilot program, FMCSA will either reject this null hypothesis (i.e., conclude that the Mexico-domiciled carriers interested in and qualified to receive long-haul operating authority in the United States will perform worse than the average U.S.-domiciled carrier), or will conclude that the data collected do not allow one to reject this null hypothesis. The degree to which differences in safety performance can be detected between the two populations depends, in part, on the total number of inspections performed on the carriers participating in the pilot program. The Agency seeks to detect statistically significant differences in the violation rates between the two populations when such differences are two percentage points in magnitude or greater, at a level of 90 percent confidence (see discussion below under the section heading ‘‘Target Number of Inspections’’). Differences less than two percentage points in magnitude between the two populations would not be considered meaningful by the Agency. Target Number of Inspections A sample size of 4,100 roadside inspections performed on pilot program participants will allow the Agency to detect differences in violation rates of two percentage points or greater at the 90% level of confidence. This confidence level can be interpreted as follows: for each metric being compared, there is a less than or equal to 10% chance of concluding from the study that there is at least a two percentage point difference in the violation rates between the two populations when, in fact, there is not; or not concluding from the study that there is at least a two percentage point difference when, in fact, there is. We also note that a 90% confidence level is a commonly used level of confidence for statistical studies. This sample size of 4,100 inspections will allow the Agency to detect two PO 00000 Frm 00195 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 20817 percentage point differences in any violation rate. For many metrics, however, fewer inspections will be required to achieve the same level of statistical power. This stems from the fact that for a violation rate, which is a proportion, the precision of the sample estimate depends on the value of the violation rate itself. Violation rates calculated from the study that are at or close to 50% will have the lowest level of precision, and rates that are larger or smaller than 50% will have higher levels of precision. For example, the average vehicle out-of-service rate for U.S. carriers is approximately 20%. As a result, a two percentage point difference in the vehicle out-of-service rates between the two populations can be detected with a sample size of approximately 2,800 inspections. This same sample size of 2,800 inspections will also allow the Agency to detect a two percentage point difference in the driver out-of-service rates (which is currently approximately 5% for U.S. carriers). Target Number of Carriers FMCSA anticipates that carriers participating in the pilot program will perform, on average, one long-haul border crossing per week per truck, and will have, on average, two trucks participating in the pilot program. Based on these characteristics, and an assumed attrition rate of 25% after 18 months of participation in the pilot program, the Agency calculates that a total of 46 carriers participating in the program will be sufficient to achieve a target of 4,100 inspections within 3 years. A total of 31 participating carriers will be sufficient for achieving a target of 2,800 inspections. However, if participating carriers have fewer average crossings per week or fewer vehicles enrolled in the pilot program, more carriers would be needed to achieve the desired target level of inspections. Conversely, if participating carriers have more crossings per week, or more vehicles enrolled, fewer carriers would be needed. Table 2 below provides estimates for the number of carriers needed to participate in the pilot, in order to achieve an inspection target of 4,100 inspections within 3 years: E:\FR\FM\13APN1.SGM 13APN1 20818 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 71 / Wednesday, April 13, 2011 / Notices TABLE 2—NUMBER OF PILOT PROGRAM CARRIERS REQUIRED TO ACHIEVE A TARGET OF 4,100 INSPECTIONS, BY VEHICLES ENROLLED PER CARRIER AND CROSSINGS PER WEEK PER CARRIER Average number of carrier crossings per week Average Number Enrolled Vehicles 0.5 mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with NOTICES 1 2 3 4 5 ............................................................................................................................................................................... ............................................................................................................................................................................... ............................................................................................................................................................................... ............................................................................................................................................................................... ............................................................................................................................................................................... The Agency recognizes that the stipulated number of carriers needed for this analysis is lower than the target sample size originally cited for the previous demonstration project. A lower number of carriers will be needed in this program for two reasons. First, the target sample size stipulated for the earlier demonstration project was based on an effort to estimate differences in crash rates between U.S. carriers and program participants. Sample size requirements for estimating differences in crash rates are difficult to determine because the exposure (i.e., vehicle miles traveled) for the program participants, as well as the variability in this exposure, is unknown. Moreover, crashes are, in fact, rare events, and it is not likely that many, if any, will be recorded during this current effort. For these reasons, the current study focuses on measuring safety performance primarily in terms of violation rates. When estimating violation rates, the sampling unit is an inspection, rather than a carrier. The number of required carriers stipulated herein is merely an estimate of the number of carriers needed to achieve the target level of inspections. It is also noted that this pilot program would run for up to 3 years, rather than the one and a half year duration of the demonstration project. As a result, it is anticipated that there may be more data collected from the participating carriers. The Agency does not know how many Mexico-domiciled carriers are interested in taking advantage of the cross-border long-haul provisions of NAFTA and capable of satisfactorily completing a PASA and security screening. Currently, there are approximately 6,900 Mexican carriers operating strictly within the border commercial zones as well as approximately 1,000 U.S.-wned ‘‘certificate’’ carriers domiciled in Mexico and having limited operating authority in the United States. Although it is conceivable that a large number of these carriers would be interested in taking advantage of the NAFTA cross border provisions, and qualified to do VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:37 Apr 12, 2011 Jkt 223001 so, based on experience to date, such a level of participation is not anticipated. In the 2007 demonstration project, for example, there were 775 initial applicants, of which only 29, or 4%, completed all of the required paperwork and passed the required vetting process. Based on this data, one might set an upper limit on the total number of Mexico-domiciled carriers both capable of and interested in taking advantage of the NAFTA cross-border long-haul provision at 316 carriers (.04 × 7,900). Representativeness of Data from the Pilot Study If this pilot program demonstrates that Mexico-domiciled carriers are as safe as the average U.S. domiciled carrier, FMCSA would expect to use the same application and screening process for post-pilot program Mexico-domiciled carriers seeking long haul authority. Thus, carriers participating in the pilot program would be representative of carriers seeking and receiving such authority in the future. It has also been argued that using roadside inspection data to compare carriers domiciled in the United States with Mexico-domiciled carriers participating in the pilot program is not valid because inspections performed on U.S. carriers are targeted. That is, inspectors often use recommendations generated from computer software, or perform a cursory visual inspection of the vehicle, to determine which vehicles to inspect. Hence these roadside inspections are not truly random, and violation rates (such as out-of-service rates) generated from such data are biased. Studies completed more than 15 years ago suggested that this bias in U.S. carrier out-of-service rates is minimal. To assess if such a bias currently exists, and to determine its extent, the Agency would concurrently conduct a study of U.S. carrier violation rates, using inspection data collected on a random basis from U.S. carriers for a 2-week period during the course of the pilot program. PO 00000 Frm 00196 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 182 91 61 46 36 1 2 3 91 46 30 .......... .......... 46 .......... .......... .......... .......... 30 .......... .......... .......... .......... Independent Data FMCSA plans to conduct an independent analysis of data collected from the 4 currently active Mexican carriers with ‘‘grandfathered,’’ pre-1982 operating authority in the United States, the 501 Mexican-owned carriers with current operating authority as a result of being domiciled in the United States, and the 1336 Mexico-domiciled private and exempt motor carriers that received a certificate of registration to operate beyond the commercial zones between 1988 and 2002. A separate analysis of these carriers’ safety performance would be conducted to supplement the analysis of the carriers operating under the pilot program. Request for Comments FMCSA requests public comment from all interested persons on the pilot program outlined in this notice. The Agency intends the pilot program to be the means of validating its safety oversight regime for a cross-border longhaul trucking program. 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 address 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. Section 6901(b)(2)(B) of the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans’ Care, Katrina recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act, 2007, provides that FMCSA must request public comment on five specific aspects of the pilot program. For the convenience of the reader, these items are listed below. A complete copy of E:\FR\FM\13APN1.SGM 13APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 71 / Wednesday, April 13, 2011 / Notices section 6901 is included in the docket for this notice. 1. Comprehensive data and information on the pre-authorization safety audits conducted before and after the date of enactment of this Act of motor carriers domiciled in Mexico that are granted authority to operate beyond the United States municipalities and commercial zones on the United StatesMexico border; 2. Specific measures to be required to protect the health and safety of the public, including enforcement measures and penalties for noncompliance; 3. Specific measures to be required to ensure compliance with section 391.11(b)(2) of title 49, CFR, concerning FMCSA’s English language proficiency requirement, and section 365.501(b) of title 49, CFR, concerning FMCSA’s prohibition against Mexico-domiciled drivers engaging in the transportation of domestic freight within the U.S.; 4. Specific standards to be used to evaluate the pilot program and compare any change in the level of motor carrier safety as a result of the pilot program; and 5. A list of Federal motor carrier safety laws and regulations, including the commercial driver’s license requirements, for which the Secretary of Transportation will accept compliance with a corresponding Mexican law or regulation as the equivalent to compliance with the United States law or regulation, including for each law or regulation an analysis as to how the corresponding United States and Mexican laws and regulations differ. Issued on: April 8, 2011. Anne S. Ferro, Administrator. [FR Doc. 2011–8846 Filed 4–8–11; 2:00 pm] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Surface Transportation Board [Docket No. AB–1075X] mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with NOTICES Manufacturers Railway Company— Discontinuance Exemption—in St. Louis County, MO On March 24, 2011, Manufacturers Railway Company (MRS) 1 filed with the Surface Transportation Board a petition under 49 U.S.C. 10502 for exemption from the prior approval requirements of 49 U.S.C. 10903 to discontinue service over all tracks and yards located within the area bordered by Cedar Street on the north to Zepp Street on the south; and 1 MRS is owned by Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc. VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:37 Apr 12, 2011 Jkt 223001 Mississippi River flood wall on the east to U.S. Interstate 55 on the west, in St. Louis, Mo. The lines traverse U.S. Postal Service Zip Code 63118. MRS intends to discontinue service over its lines but does not intend, at this point, to remove the trackage or rail assets comprising the lines. According to MRS, the lines do not contain any Federally granted rights-ofway. Any documentation in MRS’s possession will be made available promptly to those requesting it. MRS asserts that, because its petition seeks discontinuance covering MRS’s entire rail system and because MRS has no corporate affiliate that will continue substantially similar rail operations or a corporate parent that will realize substantial financial benefits over and above relief from the burden of deficit operations by its subsidiary railroad, labor protective conditions should not be imposed. MRS requests that the Board follow its established practice regarding labor conditions in entire system discontinuances. The United Transportation Union, the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division-International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers have filed separate statements or comments in opposition to the petition, asserting that affected employees are entitled to labor protection. The Board will consider and address comments on the petition, including comments regarding labor protection, in its final decision on the merits. By issuance of this notice, the Board is instituting an exemption proceeding pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 10502(b). A final decision will be issued by July 12, 2011. Because this is a discontinuance proceeding and not an abandonment, OFAs to purchase the line for continued rail service are not appropriate. Any offer of financial assistance (OFA) under 49 CFR 1152.27(b)(2) to subsidize continued rail service will be due no later than 10 days after service of a decision granting the petition for exemption. Each offer must be accompanied by a $1,500 filing fee. See 49 CFR 1002.2(f)(25). Because this is a discontinuance proceeding and not an abandonment, a trail use/rail banking condition, under 16 U.S.C. 1247(d), and a public use condition, under 49 U.S.C. 10905, are not appropriate. Additionally, no environmental or historic documentation is required under 49 CFR 1105.6(c)(2) and 1105.8. All filings in response to this notice must refer to Docket No. AB–1075X, and must be sent to: (1) Surface PO 00000 Frm 00197 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 20819 Transportation Board, 395 E Street, SW., Washington, DC 20423–0001; and (2) Paul A. Cunningham, Harkins Cunningham LLP, 1700 K Street, NW., Suite 400, Washington, DC 20006–3804. Replies to the petition are due on or before May 3, 2011. Persons seeking further information concerning discontinuance procedures may contact the Board’s Office of Public Assistance, Governmental Affairs, and Compliance at (202) 245–0230 or refer to the full abandonment and discontinuance regulations at 49 CFR part 1152. Questions concerning environmental issues may be directed to the Board’s Office of Environmental Analysis (OEA) at (202) 245–0305. Assistance for the hearing impaired is available through the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1– 800–877–8339. Board decisions and notices are available on our Web site at http:// www.stb.dot.gov. Decided: April 8, 2011. By the Board, Rachel D. Campbell, Director, Office of Proceedings. Andrea Pope-Matheson, Clearance Clerk. [FR Doc. 2011–8863 Filed 4–12–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4915–01–P DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Departmental Offices; Debt Management Advisory Committee Meeting Notice is hereby given, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. App. 2, § 10(a)(2), that a meeting will be held at the Hay-Adams Hotel, 16th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC, on May 3, 2011 at 11:30 a.m. of the following debt management advisory committee: Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee of The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association. The agenda for the meeting provides for a charge by the Secretary of the Treasury or his designate that the Committee discuss particular issues and conduct at working session. Following the working session, the Committee will present a written report of its recommendations. The meeting will be closed to the public, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. App. 2, § 10(d) and Public Law 103–202, § 202(c)(1)(B) (31 U.S.C. 3121 note). This notice shall constitute my determination, pursuant to the authority placed in heads of agencies by 5 U.S.C. App. 2, § 10(D) and vested me by Treasury Department Order No. 101–05, that the meeting will consist of E:\FR\FM\13APN1.SGM 13APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 71 (Wednesday, April 13, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 20807-20819]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-8846]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No FMCSA-2011-0097]


Pilot Program on NAFTA Long-Haul Trucking Provisions

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

ACTION: Notice; request for public comment.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) 
announces its proposal for the initiation of a United States-Mexico 
cross-border long-haul trucking pilot program to test and demonstrate 
the ability of Mexico-based motor carriers to operate safely in the 
United States beyond the municipalities and commercial zones along the 
United States-Mexico border. The pilot program is part of FMCSA's 
implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) 
cross-border long-haul trucking provisions. This pilot program would 
allow Mexico-domiciled motor carriers to operate throughout the United 
States for up to 3 years. U.S.-domiciled motor carriers would be 
granted reciprocal rights to operate in Mexico for the same period. 
Participating Mexican carriers and drivers would be required to comply 
with all applicable U.S. laws and regulations, including those 
concerned with motor carrier safety, customs, immigration, vehicle 
registration and taxation, and fuel taxation. The safety of the 
participating carriers would be tracked closely by FMCSA with input 
from a Federal Advisory Committee.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before May 13, 2011.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by Docket Number FMCSA-
2011-0097 using any one of the following methods:

[[Page 20808]]

     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
     Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
     Mail: Docket Management Facility, (M-30), U.S. Department 
of Transportation (DOT), 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., West Building, 
Ground Floor, Room 12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
     Hand Delivery: Same as mail address above, between 9 a.m. 
and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The 
telephone number is 202-366-9329.

To avoid duplication, please use only one of these four methods. All 
submissions must include the Agency name and docket number for this 
notice. See the ``Public Participation'' heading below for instructions 
on submitting comments and additional information.
    Note that all comments received, including any personal information 
provided, will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov. 
Please see the ``Privacy Act'' heading below.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov at any time or to 
Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the DOT Headquarters Building at 
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., 
ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all 
comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual 
submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf 
of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT's 
Privacy Act System of Records Notice for the DOT Federal Docket 
Management System published in the Federal Register on January 17, 2008 
(73 FR 3316), or you may visit http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/pdf/E8-785.pdf.
    Public Participation: The http://www.regulations.gov Web site is 
generally available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. You can get 
electronic submission and retrieval help and guidelines under the 
``help'' section of the http://www.regulations.gov Web site. Comments 
received after the comment closing date will be included in the docket, 
and will be considered to the extent practicable.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Marcelo Perez, Federal Motor Carrier 
Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 
20590-0001. Telephone (512) 916-5440, ext 228; e-mail 
marcelo.perez@dot.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Legal Basis

    Section 6901(a) of the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Care, 
Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act, 2007 
[Pub. L. 110-28, 121 Stat. 112, 183, May 25, 2007] provides that before 
DOT may obligate or expend any funds to grant authority for Mexico-
domiciled trucks to engage in cross-border long-haul operations, DOT 
must first test granting such authority through a pilot program that 
meets the standards of 49 U.S.C. 31135(c). In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 
31315(c), the Secretary of Transportation has general authority to have 
safety measures ``that are designed to achieve a level of safety that 
is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety that would 
otherwise be achieved * * *.''
    In a pilot program, DOT collects specific data for evaluating 
alternatives to the regulations or innovative approaches to safety 
while ensuring that the goals of the regulations are satisfied. A pilot 
program may not last more than 3 years, and the number of participants 
in a pilot program must be large enough to ensure statistically valid 
findings. Pilot programs must include an oversight plan to ensure that 
participants comply with the terms and conditions of participation, and 
procedures to protect the health and safety of study participants and 
the general public. A pilot program may be initiated only after DOT 
publishes a detailed description of it in the Federal Register and 
provides an opportunity for public comment. This notice and request for 
public comment complies with this requirement. While, a pilot program 
may provide temporary regulatory relief from one or more regulations to 
a person or class of persons subject to the regulations, or a person or 
class of persons who intends to engage in an activity that would be 
subject to the regulations, in this pilot program DOT does not propose 
to exempt or relieve Mexico-domiciled motor carriers from any safety 
regulation. Mexico-domiciled motor carriers participating in the 
program will be required to comply with the existing motor carrier 
safety regulatory regime plus certain additional requirements 
associated with acceptance into and participation in the program.
    Section 350 of the Department of Transportation and Related 
Agencies Appropriations Act, 2002 [Pub. L. 107-87, 115 Stat. 833, 864, 
December 18, 2001] (section 350) prohibited FMCSA from using funds made 
available in that Act to review or process applications from Mexico-
domiciled motor carriers to operate beyond limited commercial zones 
along the United States-Mexico border until certain preconditions and 
safety requirements were met. The terms of section 350 have been 
reenacted in each subsequent DOT appropriations act. Section 350 
required FMCSA to perform a pre-authorization safety audit (PASA) of 
any Mexico-domiciled carrier before that carrier is allowed to engage 
in long-haul operations in the United States. Vehicles the carrier will 
operate beyond the commercial zones of the United States-Mexico border 
that do not already have a Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) 
decal would be required to be inspected, and any vehicle that did not 
display a decal would be required to pass an inspection at the border 
port of entry before being allowed to proceed. DOT was also directed to 
give a distinctive identification number to each Mexico-domiciled 
carrier that would operate beyond the border commercial zones to assist 
inspectors in enforcing motor carrier safety regulations. Additionally, 
every driver that will operate in the United States must have a valid 
commercial driver's license issued by Mexico. Section 350 also required 
DOT's Office of the Inspector General (OIG) to conduct a comprehensive 
review of the adequacy of inspection capacity, information 
infrastructure, enforcement capability and other specific factors 
relevant to safe operations by Mexico-domiciled carriers, and required 
the Secretary of Transportation to address the OIG's findings and 
certify that the opening of the border poses no safety risk. The OIG 
was also directed to conduct similar reviews at least annually 
thereafter. A number of the section 350 requirements were addressed by 
FMCSA in rulemakings published on March 19, 2002 (67 FR 12653, 67 FR 
12702, 67 FR 12758, 67 FR 12776) and on May 13, 2002 (67 FR 31978).
    Section 136 of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, 
and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2009 [Division I of the 
Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009, Pub. L., 111-8, 123 Stat. 524, 932, 
March 11, 2009] prohibited DOT from expending funds made available in 
that Act to establish, implement or continue a cross-border motor 
carrier pilot program to allow Mexican-domiciled motor carriers to 
operate beyond the border commercial zones. The Transportation, Housing 
and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010 
[Division A of the Consolidated

[[Page 20809]]

Appropriations Act, 2010, Pub. L. 111-117, 123 Stat. 3034, December 16, 
2009] did not bar DOT or FMCSA from using funds on a cross-border long-
haul program, but, pursuant to section 135 (123 Stat. at 3053) did 
continue the requirements of section 350. FMCSA continues to operate 
under the terms and conditions in its fiscal year 2010 appropriations 
act, as extended under various short-term continuing resolutions.
    Section 6901 of the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Care, Katrina 
Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act, 2007 also 
provides that simultaneous and comparable authority to operate within 
Mexico must be made available to U.S. carriers. Further, before the 
required pilot program may begin, the Department's OIG must submit a 
report to Congress verifying that DOT has complied with the 
requirements of section 350(a), and DOT must take any actions that are 
necessary to address issues raised by the OIG and must detail those 
actions in a report to Congress. Section 6901 also directed the OIG to 
submit an interim report to Congress 6 months after the initiation of a 
cross-border long-haul Mexican trucking pilot program and a final 
report after the pilot program is completed. The statute further 
specified that the report address the program's adequacy as a test of 
safety. Also as a precondition to beginning the pilot program, section 
6901 requires that DOT provide an opportunity for public comment by 
publishing in the Federal Register information on the PASA's conducted. 
DOT must also publish for comment the standards that will be used to 
evaluate the pilot program, as well as a list of Federal motor carrier 
safety laws and regulations, including commercial driver's license 
requirements, for which the Secretary of Transportation will accept 
compliance with corresponding Mexican law or regulation as the 
equivalent to compliance with the U.S. law or regulation including an 
analysis of how the corresponding United States and Mexican laws and 
regulations differ. Further discussion of relevant U.S. and Mexican 
safety laws and regulations is provided in the section of this notice 
entitled ``List of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Laws and Regulations 
for Which FMCSA Will Accept Compliance with a Corresponding Mexican Law 
or Regulation.''

Background

    Before 1982, Mexico- and Canada-domiciled motor carriers could 
apply to the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) for authority to 
operate within the United States. As a result of complaints that U.S. 
motor carriers were not allowed the same access to Mexican and Canadian 
markets that carriers from those nations enjoyed in this country, the 
Bus Regulatory Reform Act of 1982 imposed a moratorium on the issuance 
of new operating authority to motor carriers domiciled, or owned or 
controlled by persons domiciled in Canada or Mexico. While the 
disagreement with Canada was quickly resolved, the issue of trucking 
reciprocity with Mexico was not.
    Currently, most Mexican carriers are allowed to operate only within 
the border commercial zones extending up to 25 miles into the United 
States. Every year Mexico-domiciled commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) 
cross into the United States about 4.5 million times. Mexico granted 
reciprocal authority to 10 U.S.-domiciled motor carriers to operate 
throughout Mexico during the time of FMCSA's previous demonstration 
project conducted between September 2007 and March 2009. Four of these 
motor carriers continue to operate in Mexico.
    Trucking issues at the United States-Mexico border were not fully 
addressed until NAFTA was negotiated in the early 1990s. NAFTA required 
the United States to incrementally lift the moratorium on licensing 
Mexico-domiciled motor carriers to operate beyond the commercial zones. 
On January 1, 1994, the President modified the moratorium and the ICC 
began accepting applications from Mexico-domiciled passenger carriers 
to conduct international charter and tour bus operations in the United 
States. On December 13, 1995, the ICC published a rule and a revised 
application form for the processing of Mexico-domiciled property 
carrier applications (Form OP-1(MX)) (60 FR 63981). The ICC rules 
anticipated the implementation of the second phase of NAFTA, providing 
Mexican motor carriers of property with access to California, Arizona, 
New Mexico and Texas, and the third phase, providing access throughout 
the United States. However, at the end of 1995, the United States 
announced an indefinite delay in opening the border to long-haul 
Mexican CMVs.
    In 1998, Mexico filed a claim against the United States, claiming 
that the United States' refusal to grant authority to Mexican trucking 
companies constituted a breach of the obligations in the NAFTA. On 
February 6, 2001, the Arbitration Panel issued its final report and 
ruled in Mexico's favor, concluding that the United States was in 
breach of its obligations, and Mexico could impose tariffs on U.S. 
exports to Mexico up to an amount commensurate with the loss of 
business resulting from the lack of U.S. compliance. The Panel noted 
that the United States could establish a safety oversight regime to 
ensure the safety of Mexican carriers entering the United States, but 
that the safety oversight regime could not be discriminatory and must 
be justified by safety data.
    After the Administration announced its intent to resume the process 
for opening the border in 2001, Congress included section 350 in the 
Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 
2002, as discussed in the ``Legal Basis'' section above.
    In November 2002, former Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta 
certified, as required by section 350(c)(2), that authorizing Mexico-
domiciled motor carrier operations beyond the border commercial zones 
does not pose an unacceptable safety risk to the American public. Later 
that month, the President modified the moratorium to permit Mexico-
domiciled motor carriers to provide cross-border cargo and scheduled 
passenger transportation beyond the border commercial zones. 
(Memorandum of November 27, 2002, for the Secretary of Transportation, 
``Determination under the Interstate Commerce Commission Termination 
Act of 1995,'' 67 FR 71795, December 2, 2002). The Secretary's 
certification was made in response to the June 25, 2002, DOT OIG report 
on the implementation of safety requirements at the United States-
Mexico border. In a January 2005 follow-up report, the OIG concluded 
that FMCSA had sufficient staff, facilities, equipment, and procedures 
in place to substantially meet the eight section 350 requirements that 
the OIG was required to review. The above reports are available in the 
docket to this notice.
    Former Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters and Mexico's 
former Secretaria de Comunicaciones y Transportes (SCT) Luis 
T[eacute]llez Kuenzler announced a demonstration project to implement 
certain trucking provisions of NAFTA on February 23, 2007. The 
demonstration project was initiated on September 6, 2007, after the DOT 
complied with a number of conditions imposed by section 6901 of the 
U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq 
Accountability Act, 2007, as discussed further in the ``Legal Basis'' 
section above. The demonstration project was initially expected to last 
1 year (see 72 FR 23883, May 1, 2007). On August 6, 2008, FMCSA 
announced that the demonstration project was being

[[Page 20810]]

extended from 1 year to the full 3 years allowed by section 
31315(c)(2)(A) of title 49 United States Code (73 FR 45796) after 
Secretaries Peters and T[eacute]llez exchanged letters on the 
extension.
    On March 11, 2009, President Obama signed into law the Omnibus 
Appropriations Act, 2009. Section 136 of the Transportation, Housing 
and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2009 
(Division I, title I of the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009) provides 
that:

    [N]one of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available 
under this Act may be used, directly or indirectly, to establish, 
implement, continue, promote, or in any way permit a cross-border 
motor carrier pilot program to allow Mexican-domiciled motor 
carriers to operate beyond the commercial zones along the 
international border between the United States and Mexico, including 
continuing, in whole or in part, any such program that was initiated 
prior to the date of the enactment of this Act.

(123 Stat. at 932).

    In accordance with section 136, FMCSA terminated the cross-border 
demonstration project that began on September 6, 2007. The Agency 
ceased processing applications by prospective project participants and 
took other necessary steps to comply with the provision. (74 FR 11628, 
March 18, 2009).
    On March 19, 2009, Mexico announced that it was exercising its 
rights under the 2001 NAFTA Arbitration Panel decision to impose 
retaliatory tariffs for the failure to allow Mexico-domiciled carriers 
to provide long-haul service into the United States. The tariffs affect 
approximately 90 U.S. export commodities at an estimated annual cost of 
$2.4 billion. The President directed DOT to work with the Office of the 
U.S. Trade Representative and the Department of State, along with 
leaders in Congress and Mexican officials, to propose legislation 
creating a new cross-border trucking project, to address the legitimate 
safety concerns of Congress while fulfilling our obligations under 
NAFTA. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood met with numerous members 
of Congress to gather their input. FMCSA tasked the Motor Carrier 
Safety Advisory Committee (MCSAC) with providing advice and guidance on 
essential elements that the Agency should consider when drafting 
proposed legislation to permit Mexico-domiciled trucks beyond the 
commercial zones along the United States-Mexico border. The MCSAC final 
report on this tasking is available on FMCSA's MCSAC Web page at http://mcsac.fmcsa.dot.gov/Reports.htm. Additionally, DOT formed a team to 
draft principles that would guide the creation of the draft 
legislation.
    The President signed the DOT Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 Appropriations 
Act December 16, 2009. As mentioned previously in the ``Legal Basis'' 
section, unlike the previous year's appropriations, this Act did not 
prohibit the use of fiscal year 2010 funds on a cross border long-haul 
program. However, it continues the requirements of section 350 and 
section 6901 of Public Law 110-28. FMCSA continues to operate under the 
terms and conditions in its FY 2010 appropriations act, as extended 
under various short-term continuing resolutions.
    On April 12, 2010, Secretary LaHood met with Mexico's former 
Secretary of Communications and Transport, Juan Molinar Horcasitas, and 
announced a plan to establish a working group to consider the next 
steps in implementing a cross-border trucking program. On May 19, 2010, 
President Obama and Mexico's President Felipe Calderon Hinojosa issued 
a joint statement acknowledging that safe, efficient, secure, and 
compatible transportation is a prerequisite for mutual economic growth. 
They committed to continue their countries' cooperation in system 
planning, operational coordination, and technical cooperation in key 
modes of transportation.
    On January 6, 2011, Secretary LaHood shared with Congress and the 
Government of Mexico an initial concept document for a cross-border 
long-haul Mexican trucking pilot program that prioritizes safety, while 
satisfying the U.S.' international obligations. Also, on the same day, 
the Department posted the concept documents on its Web site for public 
viewing. See http://www.dot.gov/affairs/2011/dot0111.html. The initial 
concept document was the starting point for renewed negotiations with 
Mexico. Discussions with the Government of Mexico commenced on January 
18, 2011. The preliminary agreement between DOT and the Secretariat of 
Communications and Transport is reflected in the program description 
and details provided below.
    On March 3, 2011, President Obama met with Mexico's President 
Calderon and announced that there is a clear path forward to resolving 
the trucking between the United States and Mexico.

Pilot Program Description

    Duration. As specified in section 31315(c)(2)(A) of title 49, 
United States Code, the scheduled life of this pilot program will not 
exceed 3 years.
    Staged pilot program. The Mexico-domiciled motor carriers that 
participate in this pilot program would proceed through a series of 
stages prior to issuance of a permanent operating authority. Stage 1 
would begin when the motor carrier is issued a provisional operating 
authority. The motor carrier's vehicles and drivers would be inspected 
each time they enter the United States for at least 3 months. This 
initial 3-month period may be extended if the motor carrier does not 
receive at least three vehicle inspections. FMCSA would also conduct an 
evaluation of the motor carrier's performance during Stage 1. This 
evaluation is described more fully later in this notice.
    After a minimum of 3 months of operations in Stage 1, Mexico-
domiciled carriers may be permitted to proceed to Stage 2 of the pilot 
program after FMCSA completes an evaluation of each carrier's 
performance in Stage 1. During Stage 2, the motor carrier's vehicles 
would be inspected at a rate comparable to other Mexico-domiciled motor 
carriers that cross the United States-Mexico border. The motor 
carrier's safety data would be monitored to assure the motor carrier is 
operating in a safe manner. The motor carrier would continue to operate 
under a provisional operating authority. Within 18 months after a 
Mexico-domiciled motor carrier is issued provisional operating 
authority, FMCSA would conduct a compliance review on the motor 
carrier. If the motor carrier obtains a satisfactory safety rating, has 
no pending enforcement or safety improvement actions, and has operated 
under its provisional operating authority for at least 18 months, the 
provisional operating authority will become permanent, moving the 
carrier into Stage 3. If the motor carrier obtains a less than 
satisfactory safety rating, FMCSA would take action as required by 49 
CFR part 385 to suspend and/or revoke the motor carrier's operating 
authority.
    Stage 3 of the pilot program would begin for each motor carrier 
upon eceipt of permanent operating authority. The motor carrier must 
continue to operate in accordance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety 
Regulations (FMCSRs) and the requirements set forth in this notice.
    Reciprocity with Mexico. Consistent with section 6901(a)(3) of 
Public law 110-28, FMCSA will not grant operating authority to Mexico-
domiciled motor carriers to operate beyond the U.S. municipalities and 
commercial zones along the United States-Mexico border unless the 
Government of Mexico simultaneously permits comparable

[[Page 20811]]

authority to be granted to U.S.-domiciled motor carriers to transport 
international cargo in Mexico.
    Previous Demonstration Program Participants. A Mexico-domiciled 
motor carrier that participated in the 2007-2009 demonstration project 
and operated under provisional operating authority in that pilot would 
receive credit for the amount of time it operated under authority in 
calculating the 18 month provisional operating authority period.
    Hazardous Materials and Passenger Transportation. Consistent with 
section 6901(d) of Public Law 110-28, operating authority granted under 
the pilot program excludes the transportation of placardable quantities 
of hazardous materials and passengers. Hazardous materials means any 
material that has been designated as hazardous under 49 U.S.C. 5103 and 
is required to be placarded under subpart F of 49 CFR part 172.
    Drivers and Vehicles. Mexico-domiciled motor carriers participating 
in the pilot program would designate the vehicles and drivers they wish 
to use in the pilot program. All designated vehicles and drivers must 
be approved by FMCSA prior to the participating motor carrier using the 
vehicles or drivers for transportation beyond the commercial zones 
along the United States-Mexico border. The requirements for FMCSA 
approval of drivers and vehicles are described in this notice.
    License Checks.--In compliance with section 350(a)(3), FMCSA will 
ensure that at least 50 percent of participating drivers' licenses are 
checked when crossing the border. This may be accomplished during Level 
I, II or III inspections.
    International Cargo. The operating authority granted under this 
pilot program would authorize the motor carrier to transport 
international cargo in the United States. As specified in 49 CFR 
365.501(b), Mexico-domiciled carriers participating in the pilot 
program may not provide point-to-point transportation services, 
including express delivery services, within the United States for goods 
other than international cargo. Therefore, a carrier that would provide 
point-to-point transportation services in the United States would be 
operating beyond the scope of its operating authority and would be in 
violation of 49 CFR 392.9a(a). Additionally, participating motor 
carriers must comply with regulations prohibiting the transportation of 
domestic cargo (cabotage) including, but not limited to, 19 CFR 123.14 
(U.S. Customs and Border Protection regulations concerning entry of 
foreign-based trucks, buses, and taxicabs in international traffic) and 
8 CFR 214.2(b)(4)(i)(E)(1) (U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) 
regulations concerning cabotage. (See further discussion below under 
the section entitled ``Point-to-Point Transportation Prohibited.'').
    Security Screening. FMCSA would submit information on the applicant 
motor carriers and their drivers designated for long-haul operations in 
the pilot program to DHS for security screening. Motor carriers and/or 
drivers that fail DHS's security screening would not be eligible for 
participation in the pilot program. Reasons a motor carrier or driver 
may not pass DHS security screening may include: Providing false or 
incomplete information; conviction of any criminal offense or pending 
criminal charges or outstanding warrants; violation of any customs, 
immigration or agriculture regulations or laws; the carrier or driver 
is the subject of an ongoing investigation by any Federal, State or 
local law enforcement agency; the motor carrier or driver is 
inadmissible to the United States under immigration regulations, 
including applicants with approved waivers of inadmissibility or parole 
documentation; DHS is not satisfied concerning the motor carrier's or 
driver's low-risk status; DHS cannot determine an applicant's criminal, 
residence or employment history; or the motor carrier or driver is 
subject to National Security Entry Exit Registration System or other 
special registration programs.
    Liability Insurance. Mexico-domiciled motor carriers participating 
in the pilot program must maintain a certificate of insurance or surety 
bond on file with FMCSA, as prescribed in 49 CFR 387.313, throughout 
the pilot program. The insurance or surety bond must be underwritten by 
a U.S. insurance or surety bond company.
    Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance Safety (CVSA) Decal. The motor 
carrier must maintain a valid CVSA decal on each vehicle it enrolls in 
this pilot program in accordance with 49 CFR 365.511.
    Emission Control Label. Any vehicle with a diesel engine to be used 
by a motor carrier in this pilot program must have an emission control 
label as described in 40 CFR 86.007-35 that indicates the engine 
conforms to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations 
applicable to 1998 or later. Alternatively, the motor carrier may 
present documentation from the engine manufacturer indicating the 
engine conforms to the EPA regulations applicable to 1998 or later.
    Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS). Any vehicle used by 
a motor carrier in this pilot program must display a FMVSS 
certification label or Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (CMVSS) 
certification label affixed by the original vehicle manufacturer at the 
time the vehicle was built. Alternatively, a motor carrier may use a 
vehicle manufactured for use in Mexico that does not possess an FMVSS 
or CMVSS label, if the vehicle is of model year 1996 or newer and it is 
equipped with all the safety equipment and features required by the 
FMVSSs in effect on the date of manufacture, such as automatic slack 
adjusters and antilock braking systems (ABS) if applicable. Information 
available to FMCSA from the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) 
indicates that most trucks manufactured in Mexico since 1993 were built 
to the FMVSSs, even if they were not specifically certified as such. 
(70 FR 50273) A copy of TMA's letter that provided this information is 
available in the docket for this notice.
    Electronic Monitoring Device. FMCSA would equip each vehicle 
approved for use by Mexico-domiciled motor carriers in this pilot 
program with an electronic monitoring device such as a global 
positioning system and/or electronic on board recording device. As part 
of participating in this pilot program, the device must be operational 
on the vehicle throughout the duration of the pilot program.
    General Qualifications of Drivers. A driver may not participate in 
this pilot program unless the driver can read and speak the English 
language sufficiently to understand highway traffic signs and signals 
in the English language, to respond to official inquiries, and to make 
entries on reports and records required by FMCSA.
    Environmental Review. FMCSA will prepare an Environmental 
Assessment (EA) for this pilot program prior to its commencement and 
seek comments on the draft EA in accordance with the National 
Environmental Policy Act, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).
    Measures To Protect the Health and Safety of the Public. The FMCSA 
has developed an extensive oversight system to protect the health and 
safety of the public and FMCSA will apply it to Mexico-domiciled motor 
carriers. These measures are outlined in 49 CFR parts 350-396 and 
include providing grants to States for commercial vehicle enforcement 
activities, regulations outlining the application procedures, 
regulations explaining how FMCSA will

[[Page 20812]]

assess safety ratings and civil penalties as well as amounts of 
possible civil penalties, insurance requirements, drug and alcohol 
testing requirements, commercial driver's license (CDL) requirements, 
general operating requirements, driver qualification requirements, 
vehicle parts and maintenance requirements, and hours-of-service 
requirements. These requirements apply to Mexico-domiciled carriers 
operating in this pilot program, just as they do to any commercial 
motor vehicle, driver, or carrier operating in the United States. The 
description below focuses on the main features of FMCSA's system to 
protect the health and safety of the public that are unique to this 
pilot program, but is not intended to imply that all regulations 
outlined above do not apply at all times.
    Other Federal and State Laws and Regulations. Mexico-domiciled 
motor carriers participating in the pilot program are required to 
comply with all applicable Federal and State laws and regulations 
including, but not limited to, vehicle size and weight, environmental, 
tax, and vehicle registration requirements.

Process for Applying for OP-1(MX) Operating Authority

    The process for applying for participation in the pilot program 
begins with a 28-page application that gathers specific information 
about the carrier, its affiliations, its insurance, its safety 
programs, and its compliance with U.S. laws. In addition to providing 
general information, the carrier must complete up to 35 safety and 
compliance certifications and provide information regarding its systems 
for monitoring hours of service and crashes and complying with DOT drug 
and alcohol testing requirements.
    To participate in the pilot program, a Mexico-domiciled motor 
carrier must, pursuant to existing regulations, submit (1) Form OP-
1(MX), ``Application to Register Mexican Carriers for Motor Carrier 
Authority to Operate Beyond U.S. Municipalities and Commercial Zones on 
the U.S.-Mexico Border''; (2) Form MCS-150, the ``Motor Carrier 
Identification Report''; and (3) notification of the means used to 
designate agents for service of legal process, either by submitting 
Form BOC-3, ``Designation of Agents--Motor Carriers, Brokers and 
Freight Forwarders,'' or a letter stating that the applicant will use a 
process agent service that will submit Form BOC-3 electronically. The 
forms are available on the Internet at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/forms/print/r-l-forms.htm.
    FMCSA would compare the information and certifications provided in 
the application with information maintained in databases of the 
governments of Mexico and the United States. The appropriate fee must 
be submitted, as applicable.
    FMCSA developed special rules that govern Mexico-domiciled motor 
carriers during the application process and for several years after 
receiving OP-1(MX) operating authority. They are codified in 49 CFR 
365.501 through 365.511. These rules impose requirements on Mexico-
domiciled motor carriers in addition to those imposed on U.S.-domiciled 
motor carriers seeking operating authority.

Pre-Authorization Safety Audit

    A Mexico-domiciled carrier must satisfactorily complete the FMCSA-
administered PASA required under FMCSA regulations before it is granted 
provisional authority to operate in the United States beyond the border 
commercial zones. The PASA is a review of the carrier's safety 
management systems including written procedures and records to validate 
the accuracy of the information and certifications provided in the 
application. The PASA will determine whether the carrier has 
established and exercises the basic safety management controls 
necessary to ensure safe operations. The carrier would not be granted 
provisional operating authority if FMCSA determines that its safety 
management controls are inadequate, using the standards in Appendix A 
to subpart E of 49 CFR part 365. Vehicles designated for cross-border 
long-haul operations within the United States would be inspected; if 
the vehicle passes the inspection, a CVSA decal would be affixed by the 
inspector.
    Each PASA would be conducted in accordance with 49 CFR part 365. 
The carrier would be denied provisional operating authority if FMCSA 
cannot:
    1. Verify available performance data and safety management 
programs.
    2. Verify the existence of a controlled substances and alcohol 
testing program consistent with 49 CFR part 40. FMCSA would ensure that 
the carrier has information on collection sites and laboratories it 
intends to use.
    3. Verify a system of compliance with hours-of-service rules in 49 
CFR part 395, including recordkeeping and retention.
    4. Verify the carrier has the ability to obtain financial 
responsibility as required by 49 CFR part 387, including the ability to 
obtain insurance in the United States.
    5. Verify records of periodic vehicle inspections, as required by 
49 CFR part 396.
    6. Verify that each driver the carrier intends to assign to operate 
under the pilot program meets the requirements of 49 CFR parts 383 and 
391. This would include confirmation of the validity of each driver's 
Licencia Federal de Conductor (LF) through the Mexican driver license 
information system and a check of the Mexican State licensing records 
and the Commercial Driver's License Information System (CDLIS) for 
violations, suspensions, etc.
    7. Review of available data concerning safety history and other 
information necessary to determine familiarity with and preparedness to 
comply with the FMCSRs and Federal Hazardous Materials Regulations that 
apply to the transportation of non-placardable hazardous materials.
    8. Evaluate safety inspection, maintenance, and repair facilities 
or management systems, including verification of records of periodic 
vehicle inspections.
    9. Inspect each vehicle the carrier intends to operate under the 
pilot program unless the vehicle has received and displays a current 
CVSA decal.
    10. Interview carrier officials to review safety management 
controls and evaluate any written safety oversight policies and 
practices.
    11. Obtain any other information required by the FMCSA to complete 
the PASA.
    Applicant carriers would designate and identify drivers and 
vehicles that will perform cross-border long-haul operations in the 
pilot program.\1\ FMCSA would verify driver qualifications, including 
confirming the validity of the driver's LF and review any Federal and 
State driver license history for traffic violations that would 
disqualify the driver for operations in the United States. FMCSA would 
also conduct an English Language Proficiency assessment of each 
participating driver to ensure compliance with 49 CFR 391.11(b)(2). The 
assessment would be conducted orally, in English, and would include a 
test on knowledge of U.S. traffic signs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Carriers' selection of specific vehicles to participate is 
limited to the new program only. Once the new program ends, carriers 
will not have the option of selecting specific vehicles. Instead, 
all vehicles that may enter the United States for carriers with OP-1 
authority will be required to comply with all FMCSRs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    At the time of the PASA, FMCSA will inspect participating vehicles 
to determine whether they:
    a. Comply with the FMVSSs; and

[[Page 20813]]

    b. Display an EPA emission control label indicating the engine 
conforms to the EPA regulations applicable to 1998 or later. 
Alternatively, the Mexico-domiciled motor carrier can present documents 
from the engine manufacturer indicating the engine conforms to the EPA 
regulations applicable to 1998 or later.
    FMCSA will also obtain the following information but will not 
consider the information in its evaluation of the motor carrier for 
entry into the program:
    a. Whether environmental post-treatment equipment or other 
emissions-related equipment has been installed on any vehicle 
designated for participating in the pilot program; and
    b. The primary ports of entry the applicant Mexico-domiciled motor 
carrier intends to use. (There is no restriction on which ports of 
entry the carrier may use during the program. This information would be 
used to allocate FMCSA resources.)

Issuance of Operating Authority

    If a carrier successfully completes the PASA and FMCSA approves its 
application, the Agency will publish a summary of the application as a 
provisional grant of authority in the FMCSA Register, at http://li-public.fmcsa.dot.gov/LIVIEW/pkg_html.prc_limain. In addition, FMCSA 
will publish comprehensive data and information on the PASAs conducted 
of Mexico-domiciled motor carriers that are granted authority to 
operate beyond the commercial zones on the U.S. Mexico border. However, 
no carrier would be authorized to conduct any cross-border long-haul 
transportation until it has made the insurance filings required by 49 
CFR 365.507(e)(1) and designated a process agent as required by 49 CFR 
365.503(a)(3). Additionally, no Mexico-domiciled motor carrier will be 
authorized to operate beyond the commercial zones of the United States-
Mexico border until this notice-and-comment procedure is completed.
    Upon granting provisional operating authority, FMCSA will assign a 
unique USDOT Number, including an ``X'' suffix, which identifies the 
CMVs authorized to operate beyond the municipalities and commercial 
zones on the United States-Mexico border.

Termination of the Pilot Program

    The pilot program would operate for up to 3 years from the date 
FMCSA grants the first provisional certificate, unless the Agency 
collects sufficient data to draw statistically valid conclusions before 
3 years elapse or if it is determined the continuation of the pilot 
program would not be consistent with the goals and objectives of the 
pilot, in which case the pilot may be terminated earlier.
    Provisional or permanent operating authority may be suspended or 
revoked at any time during the pilot program if FMCSA determines that 
the carrier has failed to comply with the terms and conditions of the 
pilot program or if the carrier's safety performance does not meet the 
standards established in 49 CFR part 385. Operating authority may also 
be suspended or revoked if the motor carrier is found to have 
transported passengers or placardable quantities of hazardous materials 
in the United States, or is operating beyond the scope of its operating 
authority.

Operating in the United States Under OP-1(MX) Provisional Operating 
Authority

    Mexico-domiciled motor carriers with provisional operating 
authority are subject to the enhanced safety monitoring program of 49 
CFR part 385, subpart B, and would be monitored on an on-going basis. 
Carriers committing any violations specified in 49 CFR 385.105(a) and 
identified through roadside inspections, or other means, may be subject 
to a compliance review, required to submit documentation of corrective 
action, and/or subject to enforcement action.

Permanent Operating Authority

    Mexico-domiciled carriers that receive a satisfactory rating after 
a compliance review, complete at least 18 months of operation, and have 
no pending enforcement or safety improvement actions, are eligible for 
permanent authority in the pilot program. To maintain permanent 
authority, carriers must comply with all FMCSRs and continue to renew 
the CVSA safety decal every 90 days for 3 years. During the duration of 
the pilot program, carriers must update driver and vehicle records with 
FMCSA. Any additional vehicles or drivers the motor carrier wishes to 
include in the pilot program must be approved by FMCSA before the 
carrier may use the driver or vehicle for long-haul transportation.
    Mexico-domiciled carriers that participate are eligible to convert 
their permanent authority granted during the pilot program to standard 
permanent authority, similar to U.S.-domiciled carriers, upon the 
completion of the pilot program. FMCSA intends this to be an 
administrative process that would occur once the pilot program ends.

Point-to-Point Transportation Prohibited

    Mexico-domiciled motor carriers are also subject to DHS and DOT 
cabotage requirements and are prohibited from providing domestic point-
to-point transportation while operating in the United States. Vehicles 
and drivers violating the prohibition on domestic point-to-point 
transportation will be placed out of service under the DOT regulations 
and may be subject to civil penalties. DHS may also prohibit the driver 
from entering the United States in the future. FMCSA, in coordination 
with the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), 
developed and is providing training to State and local law enforcement 
agencies on the cabotage requirements.

Monitoring, Oversight and Enforcement

    FMCSA would monitor the operational safety of all Mexico-domiciled 
motor carriers participating in the pilot program. To accomplish this, 
FMCSA would work closely with State CMV safety agencies, the lead Motor 
Carrier Safety Assistance Program agencies, IACP, CVSA, DHS, and 
others. Field monitoring would include inspections of vehicles, 
verification of compliance with the terms of the motor carrier's 
operating authority, driver license checks, crash reporting, and 
initiation of enforcement actions, when appropriate.
    Monitoring and oversight of carriers and drivers participating in 
the pilot program would vary depending on the experience and safety 
record of the carrier. Stage 1 of the program would require the motor 
carrier's participating trucks and drivers to be inspected every time a 
vehicle crosses the border northbound. Stage 1 vehicles must display 
current CVSA decals.
    Carriers would progress to Stage 2 only after FMCSA evaluates the 
performance of the carrier during Stage 1. A carrier will be permitted 
to progress to Stage 2 in the pilot program if FMCSA determines that 
the carrier has out-of-service rates that are at or below the U.S. 
national averages and its Safety Management System (SMS) scores for 
trucks operating in the pilot program are below the FMCSA threshold 
levels. Once a motor carrier is in Stage 2, inspections at the border 
crossings would be at a rate similar to that of other Mexico-domiciled 
motor carriers that cross the United States-Mexico border. Stage 2 
vehicles still must display current CVSA decals.
    After the motor carrier successfully completes a compliance review 
and receives a satisfactory rating within 18

[[Page 20814]]

months of beginning cross-border long-haul operations, and completes 18 
months of operation with provisional operating authority, the motor 
carrier would be granted permanent authority. The vehicles and drivers 
would be inspected at the border crossings at the same rate as 
commercial zone carriers. CMVs operating in the United States must 
display current CVSA decals for 3 years from the date the carrier is 
granted permanent operating authority.
    All participating long-haul vehicles must have a FMCSA-issued 
electronic monitoring device installed and activated at all times. 
These devices would allow FMCSA to monitor compliance with pilot 
program requirements, including hours of service requirements and 
domestic point-to-point transportation prohibitions.
    Monitoring would also include electronic data collection and 
analysis. Data collected as a result of field monitoring and other 
activities would be entered into FMCSA databases and made available for 
public review on FMCSA's Web site. The data would be tracked and 
analyzed to identify potential compliance and safety issues. 
Appropriate action would be taken to resolve identified compliance and 
safety issues. This could include suspension, revocation of operating 
authority, or the initiation of other enforcement action against a 
motor carrier or driver. FMCSA will conduct ongoing monitoring to 
determine if the pilot program is having adverse effects on motor 
carrier safety.
    Enforcement is a key component of the monitoring and oversight 
effort. FMCSA is providing ongoing training and guidance to Federal and 
State auditors, inspectors and investigators to ensure the adequacy of 
their knowledge and understanding of the pilot program and the 
procedures for taking enforcement actions against carriers or drivers 
participating in the pilot.
    To ensure carrier compliance with operating authority limitations, 
including the prohibition of domestic point-to-point transportation of 
cargo in the United States, FMCSA and IACP developed and implemented a 
training program that provides State and local officials detailed 
information on cabotage regulations and enforcement procedures.
    FMCSA would require roadside enforcement officers to follow DHS 
guidance concerning the enforcement of DHS cabotage regulations. This 
material is incorporated into the CVSA North American Standard 
Inspection Course and previously provided to roadside enforcement 
officers.
    FMCSA will also monitor the insurance filings of participating 
carriers to ensure that there are no lapses in coverage.

List of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Laws and Regulations for Which 
FMCSA Will Accept Compliance With a Corresponding Mexican Law or 
Regulation

    The Secretary of Transportation will accept only three areas of 
Mexican regulations as being equivalent to U.S. regulations. The first 
area is the set of regulations governing Mexican Commercial Driver's 
Licenses (CDL). The United States' acceptance of a Mexican LF dates 
back to November 21, 1991, when the Federal Highway Administrator 
determined that the Mexican CDLs are equivalent to the standards of the 
U.S. regulations and entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) 
with Mexico.
    FMCSA is in the process of updating this MOU.\2\ As part of this 
process, on February 17, 2011, representatives from FMCSA, CVSA and the 
American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators visited a Mexican 
driver license facility, medical qualification facility, and test and 
inspection location. During these site visits FMCSA and its partner 
organizations observed Mexico to have rigorous requirements for 
knowledge and skills testing that are similar to those in the United 
States. In addition, Mexico requires that all new commercial drivers 
undergo training prior to testing and requires additional retraining 
each time the license is renewed. In contrast, U.S. regulations do not 
currently require any specific training prior to testing for, or 
renewal of, a U.S. CDL.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ FMCSA notes it is also updating a similar MOU with Canada.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Mexico will disqualify a driver's LF for safety infractions or 
testing positive for the use of drugs. Because Mexico's 
disqualification standards are not identical to U.S. standards, FMCSA 
has developed a system to monitor the performance of Mexico-licensed 
drivers while operating in the United States and to disqualify these 
drivers if they incur violations that would result in a U.S. driver's 
license being suspended. In addition, the United States has access to 
traffic violation data for violations that occur in Mexico and are 
associated with the Mexican LF. Finally, FMCSA would require that any 
driver designated by a Mexico-domiciled carrier for long-haul 
transportation provide the United States with a copy of the driving 
record for any Mexican State driver's license he or she may also hold. 
FMCSA would combine any violations from the driver's record in the 
United States, the driver's Mexican federal record, and the driver's 
Mexican State record to determine if the driver would be disqualified 
from driving under the standards set forth in 49 CFR 383.51. Therefore, 
FMCSA is not relying solely on Mexico's disqualification standards, but 
is imposing its own standards in addition to any disqualifications that 
may be taken by the Mexican government.
    Second, the Secretary of Transportation will also consider that 
physical examinations conducted by Mexican doctors and drug testing 
specimens collected by Mexican medical collection facilities are 
equivalent to the process for examinations conducted, and test 
specimens collected, in the United States. In Mexico, in order to 
obtain the LF a driver must meet the requirements established by the 
Ley de Caminos, Puentes y Autotransporte Federal (LCPAF or Roads, 
Bridges and Federal Motor Carrier Transportation Act) Article 36, and 
Reglamento de Autotransporte Federal y Servicios Auxiliares (RAFSA, or 
Federal Motor Carrier Transportation Act) Article 89, which states that 
a Mexican driver must pass the medical examination required by Mexico's 
Transport and Communications Ministry (SCT), Directorship General of 
Protection and Prevention Medicine in Transportation (DGPMPT). This is 
the same medical exam performed on applicants in all modes of 
transportation (airline pilots, merchant mariners, and locomotive 
operators). The medical examination may be completed by government 
doctors or certified private physicians.
    FMCSA examined the Mexican medical fitness for duty requirements 
and has found that the Mexican physical qualification regulations are 
more prescriptive, detailed, and stricter than those in the United 
States. For example, Mexican regulations address body mass index, 
cancers and tumors, skin and appendages, psychiatric and psychological 
disorders, and have specific standards for evaluation of the ear, nose 
and throat and the genitourinary system. These are all areas for which 
the United States has no regulatory standards. The only notable 
difference involves vision. Mexico only requires red color vision while 
the United States requires a color vision test for at least red, green, 
and yellow. FMCSA believes that, taken as a whole, Mexico's medical 
regulations are comparable to those in the United States, and provide a 
level of safety at least equivalent to the U.S. regulations. FMCSA also 
notes that Mexico's

[[Page 20815]]

medical examinations are performed almost exclusively by physicians at 
Mexican government facilities, and when performed by private doctors, 
those doctors are specifically approved by the SCT.
    Third, controlled substances testing in Mexico is conducted by 
personnel from SCT. DOT and SCT have implemented a MOU, under which 
Mexico has agreed to collect drug testing specimens using U.S. specimen 
collection procedures, including chain of custody requirements, and 
U.S. collection forms to ensure the integrity of the sample. DOT has 
translated its drug testing collection forms into Spanish as part of 
this MOU. Although most Mexican carriers that participated in the 
previous pilot program sent its drivers to U.S. collection facilities, 
the Secretary of Transportation would accept a drug test using a 
specimen collected in Mexico using our forms and procedures. Samples 
collected in Mexico would be tested at laboratories located in the 
United States that are certified by the Department of Health and Human 
Services under its National Laboratory Certification Program.
    Table 1 below outlines the specific U.S. and Mexican regulations in 
the three areas where the Mexican regulations or processes are being 
accepted as meeting U.S. requirements.

                                 Table 1
------------------------------------------------------------------------
         Description              United States            Mexico
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Drug and Alcohol Testing       49 CFR part   Reglamento
 Procedures--Random Testing..  382.                  del Servicio de
                                                     Medicina Preventiva
                                                     del Transporte.
                                                     Requires
                                                     random drug testing
                                                     by motor carrier at
                                                     a 50 percent rate.
                                                     Government
                                                     conducts random
                                                     drug testing at
                                                     terminals, ports of
                                                     entry, and specific
                                                     areas along
                                                     corridors.
Drug and Alcohol Testing       49 CFR part   Reglamento
 Procedures--Collection of     40.                   del Servicio de
 Samples.                                            Medicina Preventiva
                                                     del Transporte.
                               Collection    DGPMPT-IT-
                               procedures outlined   02-01; DGPMPT-PE-02-
                               and detailed          F-01.
                               description of the    DGPMPT-PE-
                               custody.              02.
                                                     DGPMPT-IT-
                                                     02-01 thru 08.
                                                     Collection
                                                     procedures have
                                                     been ISO certified.
                                                     The United
                                                     States and Mexico
                                                     have a Memorandum
                                                     of Understanding
                                                     that Mexico will,
                                                     when collecting
                                                     samples to satisfy
                                                     U.S. drug testing
                                                     regulations, use
                                                     U.S. collection
                                                     procedures and
                                                     forms. These forms
                                                     have been
                                                     translated into
                                                     Spanish and
                                                     provided to Mexico.
Drug and Alcohol Testing       49 CFR part   Reglamento
 Procedures--Laboratory        40.                   del Servicio de
 Testing.                                            Medicina Preventiva
                                                     del Transporte.
                                             DGPMPT-PE-
                               Laboratories          01-IE-01.
                               approved by the       Regulations
                               U.S. Department of    and procedures are
                               Health and Human      equivalent to U.S.
                               Services.             standards.
                                                     Laboratory
                                                     is not certified
                                                     due to lack of
                                                     proper equipment
                                                     and other
                                                     procedural
                                                     requirements.
Commercial Driver's License--  49 CFR part   Ley de
 Issuance.                     383.                  Caminos, Puentes y
                                                     Autotransporte
                                                     Federal.
                               Outlines      Articlos 89
                               the knowledge,        y 90, Reglamento de
                               skills and testing    Autotransportes
                               procedures required   Federal y Servicio
                               to obtain a           Auxilares.
                               commercial driver's   Driver must
                               license.              provide proof of
                                                     medical
                                                     qualification,
                                                     proof of address,
                                                     and training (both
                                                     skills and
                                                     knowledge).
                                                     Must be
                                                     renewed every 5
                                                     years (every 3
                                                     years for hazardous
                                                     material category).
Commercial Driver's License--  49 CFR part   Articulo
  Training.                    380.                  36, 37, y 57 Ley de
                                                     Caminos, Puentes y
                                                     Autotransporte
                                                     Federal.
                               Outlines      Articlos 89
                               special training      y 90, Reglamento de
                               requirements for      Autotransportes
                               longer combination    Federal y Servicio
                               vehicle drivers on    Auxilares.
                               basic operation,      Programa
                               safe operating        Minimo de
                               practices, advanced   Capacitacion para
                               operations and non-   Conductores del
                               driving activities    Servicios de
                               training and an       Autotransporte
                               orientation.          Federal y
                                                     Transporte Privado,
                                                     Para Referendo de
                                                     Carga General
                                                     (Tractorcamion
                                                     Quinta Rueda y
                                                     Camion Utitario).

[[Page 20816]]

 
                               Outlines      Outlines 41
                               special training      hours of training
                               requirements for      requirements
                               entry level drivers   (theory) for new
                               on driver             drivers
                               qualifications,       transporting
                               hours of service,     general cargo on
                               driver wellness,      General
                               and whistleblower     Introduction to
                               protection training.  Driving, Road
                                                     Safety Education,
                                                     Defensive Driving,
                                                     Vehicle Operations,
                                                     Preventive
                                                     Maintenance and
                                                     Emergency Repair,
                                                     Latest Regulations,
                                                     plus 100 hours of
                                                     practical driving
                                                     (behind the wheel),
                                                     Practical Defensive