Hours of Service of Drivers: RockTenn, Exemption Application, 31684-31685 [2012-12819]

Download as PDF 31684 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 103 / Tuesday, May 29, 2012 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration Withdrawal of Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston, TX Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The FAA is issuing this notice to advise federal, state, and local government agencies and the public that the FAA is withdrawing its Notice of Intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for proposed capacity improvements at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH). The Houston Airport System (HAS), the sponsor of the proposed improvements, has requested that the EIS be terminated because the need for the proposed capacity improvements no longer exists. The HAS noted that arrival and departure delays at IAH have been decreasing and stated that IAH is currently one of the least delayed large hub airports in the United States. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Paul Blackford, by mail at Federal Aviation Administration, Airports Division, Attn: Paul Blackford, ASW–650, 2601 Meacham Boulevard, Fort Worth, Texas 76137, email at paul.blackford@faa.gov, or by telephone (817) 222–5607. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On April 9, 2009, the FAA issued a Notice of Intent in the Federal Register [74 FR 16255–16256] to prepare an EIS for proposed airfield improvements at IAH. The Airport Master Plan (AMP) prepared by the HAS documented that improvements were needed to increase airfield capacity and reduce projected delays. The FAA proceeded with preparing the EIS in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended. On July 30, 2010, the FAA received a letter from the HAS requesting that the preparation of the EIS be delayed. The HAS indicated that additional planning work was necessary to ensure that the assumptions used to develop the AMP remained valid. The HAS cited several reasons that contributed to their decision to conduct additional planning including the potential merger of United and Continental Airlines, the economic downturn, potential changes to aircraft fleet mix due to the airline merger, and the need to update the existing terminal concept. Therefore, the FAA suspended the preparation of the EIS and published a notice in the Federal Register stating srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:12 May 25, 2012 Jkt 226001 such on September 16, 2010 [75 FR 56653]. On January 3, 2012, the HAS sent a letter to the FAA requesting that the EIS be terminated. The HAS cited statistics that show delays at IAH have been decreasing, stated that they do not expect significant increases in the number of aircraft operations at IAH, and did not wish to pursue a new runway at this time. In response to the HAS letter, the FAA is terminating the EIS. Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on May 16, 2012. Kelvin L. Solco, Manager, Airports Division. [FR Doc. 2012–12947 Filed 5–25–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2010–0027] Hours of Service of Drivers: RockTenn, Exemption Application Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of final disposition; grant of application for exemption. AGENCY: FMCSA announces its decision to grant RockTenn an exemption from the driver hours-ofservice (HOS) provisions of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). This limited exemption is for RockTenn’s shipping department employees and occasional substitute commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders who transport paper mill products short distances between its shipping and receiving locations on a public road. The exemption is restricted to a specific route. RockTenn requested an exemption from the HOS regulation that prohibits drivers from operating property-carrying commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) after the 14th hour of coming on duty. This exemption will allow these individuals to occasionally work up to 16 consecutive hours and be allowed to return to work with less than the mandatory 10 consecutive hours off duty. DATES: This exemption is effective from April 17, 2012 (12:01 a.m.), through April 16, 2014 (11:59 p.m.). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Richard Clemente, FMCSA Driver and Carrier Operations Division, Office of Bus and Truck Standards and Operations, Telephone: 202–366–4325. Email: MCPSD@dot.gov. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00121 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background Under 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e), FMCSA may grant an exemption from many of the safety regulations, including the HOS requirements in 49 CFR part 395, for a two-year period if it finds ‘‘such exemption would likely achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety that would be achieved absent such exemption’’ (49 CFR 381.305(a)). Request for Exemption Under 49 CFR 395.3(a)(2), a propertycarrying CMV driver is prohibited from operating a CMV on a public road after the end of the 14th hour after coming on duty following 10 or more consecutive hours off duty. RockTenn operates a paper mill located in Chattanooga, Tennessee, its principal place of business. Its shipping and receiving departments are on opposite sides of the paper mill, requiring driver-employees to travel on a public road to shuttle trailers as needed. These drivers utilize a public road—Compress Street—an average of forty times per day to travel between its manufacturing facility, and shipping and receiving docks. These drivers do not transport any material farther than the paper mill lots and/or Compress Street. The distance traveled on Compress Street is approximately 275 feet in one direction, and one tractor is used to perform this work. RockTenn requires all shipping department CMV drivers to have the required 10 hours off duty prior to returning to work and only allows them to work a maximum of 14 consecutive hours in any given duty period. It has three 8-hour shifts up to 7 days a week, and there are two shipping employees on each shift. One employee drives a fork-lift truck loading trailers with finished goods, and the other operates the tractor shuttling trailers. These employees do not drive the CMV continuously during their shift(s). According to RockTenn, the problem arises because they use a backwardrotating shift schedule, and also on occasion when a shipping department driver does not report for work as scheduled. On a Monday, for example, if an individual worked the weekend, his or her shift would normally have to ‘‘hurry back’’ within 8 hours. As a result of the mandatory 10 hours off-duty requirement, RockTenn schedules these drivers’ shifts to start later than other employees. This creates at least 2 hours when the company cannot load or transport trailers with finished goods due to the absence of the drivers. E:\FR\FM\29MYN1.SGM 29MYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 103 / Tuesday, May 29, 2012 / Notices Furthermore, as a result of the maximum 14 consecutive-hour duty period rule, they may ‘‘work short,’’ creating on-time delivery issues for other employees in the department, as they are not allowed to work an entire ‘‘double shift’’ (16 hours) when necessary. RockTenn requested a limited exemption from 49 CFR part 395 for its shipping department CMV drivers, as well as others with a valid CDL who on occasion must substitute, allowing all such drivers to work up to 16 hours in a day and return to work with a minimum of at least 8 hours off duty. If exempt from the normal HOS requirements, these employees can follow the same work schedule as other RockTenn employees on their shift, and will be able to work for the full 16 hours of a ‘‘double shift.’’ RockTenn can therefore minimize the chances of delayed shipments that may occur when their drivers are not allowed to work the same schedule as other employees. RockTenn acknowledged in its application that these drivers would still be subject to all of the other Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs), including possessing a CDL, random drug testing, medical certification, and other driverqualification requirements. A copy of RockTenn’s application for exemption is available for review in the docket for this notice. Comments On June 14, 2010, FMCSA published notice of this application, and asked for public comment (75 FR 33664). One set of comments was received to the public docket. The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates) claimed that there is nothing in RockTenn’s application demonstrating that directing workers to work 16 hours in a shift with 8 hours off duty would produce a safety outcome that is equivalent to or greater than the safety secured by adhering to the 14-hour rule. Advocates further indicated that approval of their request would be for the convenience of the applicant, with no assurance of safety benefit or equivalency. srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES FMCSA Decision The FMCSA has evaluated RockTenn’s application for exemption and the public comments. The Agency believes that RockTenn’s overall safety performance as reflected in its ‘‘satisfactory’’ safety rating, as well as a number of other factors discussed below, will likely enable it to achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety achieved VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:12 May 25, 2012 Jkt 226001 without the exemption (49 CFR 381.305(a)). This exemption is being granted under extremely narrow conditions. The exemption is restricted to CDL holders employed by RockTenn who are exclusively assigned to a specific route. This specific route is entirely on one street (Compress Street), between their shipping and receiving departments— approximately 275 feet in one direction. The CMVs operated by RockTenn’s shipping department shuttle drivers will only be exposed to travel on a public road for very brief periods of time. The exemption enables RockTenn’s shipping department employees and occasional substitute CDL holders who transport paper mill products between their shipping and receiving locations to work up to 16 consecutive hours in a duty period and return to work with a minimum of at least 8 hours off duty when necessary. This is comparable to current HOS regulations that allow certain ‘‘short-haul’’ drivers a 16-hour driving ‘‘window’’ once a week and other non-CDL short-haul drivers two 16-hour duty periods per week, provided specified conditions are met. Furthermore, 49 CFR 381.305(a) specifies that motor carriers ‘‘* * * may apply for an exemption if one or more FMCSR prevents you from implementing more efficient or effective operations that would maintain a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level achieved without the exemption.’’ Terms of the Exemption Period of the Exemption The exemption from the requirements of 49 CFR 395.3(a)(2) (the ‘‘14-hour rule’’) is granted for the period from 12:01 a.m. on April 17, 2012, through 11:59 p.m. on April 16, 2014, for drivers employed by RockTenn operating CMVs on Compress Street between the company’s shipping and receiving departments. Extent of the Exemption The exemption is restricted to drivers employed by RockTenn operating CMVs on the route specified above. This exemption is limited strictly to the provisions of 49 CFR 395.3(a)(2) (Maximum driving time for propertycarrying vehicles), commonly referred to as the ‘‘14-hour rule’’. In addition, on each trip, the CMV must only travel on Compress Street—approximately 275 feet in one direction—between RockTenn’s shipping and receiving departments. These drivers must comply will all other applicable provisions of the FMCSRs. PO 00000 Frm 00122 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 31685 Preemption In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315(d), during the period this exemption is in effect, no State shall enforce any law or regulation that conflicts with or is inconsistent with this exemption with respect to a firm or person operating under the exemption. Notification to FMCSA RockTenn must notify FMCSA within 5 business days of any accident (as defined in 49 CFR 390.5), involving any of the motor carrier’s CMVs operating under the terms of this exemption. The notification must include the following information: a. Date of the accident, b. City or town, and State, in which the accident occurred, or closest to the accident scene, c. Driver’s name and license number, d. Vehicle number and state license number, e. Number of individuals suffering physical injury, f. Number of fatalities, g. The police-reported cause of the accident, h. Whether the driver was cited for violation of any traffic laws, motor carrier safety regulations, and i. The total driving time and total onduty time period prior to the accident. Reports filed under this provision shall be emailed to MCPSD@DOT.GOV. Termination FMCSA does not believe the drivers covered by this exemption will experience any deterioration of their safety record. However, should this occur, FMCSA will take all steps necessary to protect the public interest, including revocation of the exemption. The FMCSA will immediately revoke the exemption for failure to comply with its terms and conditions. RockTenn and each driver may be subject to periodic monitoring by FMCSA during the period of the exemption. Issued on: May 21, 2012. Anne S. Ferro, Administrator. [FR Doc. 2012–12819 Filed 5–25–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation Advisory Board; Notice of Meeting Pursuant to Section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92–463; 5 U.S.C. App. I), notice is E:\FR\FM\29MYN1.SGM 29MYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 103 (Tuesday, May 29, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 31684-31685]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-12819]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2010-0027]


Hours of Service of Drivers: RockTenn, Exemption Application

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

ACTION: Notice of final disposition; grant of application for 
exemption.

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

SUMMARY: FMCSA announces its decision to grant RockTenn an exemption 
from the driver hours-of-service (HOS) provisions of the Federal Motor 
Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). This limited exemption is for 
RockTenn's shipping department employees and occasional substitute 
commercial driver's license (CDL) holders who transport paper mill 
products short distances between its shipping and receiving locations 
on a public road. The exemption is restricted to a specific route. 
RockTenn requested an exemption from the HOS regulation that prohibits 
drivers from operating property-carrying commercial motor vehicles 
(CMVs) after the 14th hour of coming on duty. This exemption will allow 
these individuals to occasionally work up to 16 consecutive hours and 
be allowed to return to work with less than the mandatory 10 
consecutive hours off duty.

DATES: This exemption is effective from April 17, 2012 (12:01 a.m.), 
through April 16, 2014 (11:59 p.m.).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Richard Clemente, FMCSA Driver and 
Carrier Operations Division, Office of Bus and Truck Standards and 
Operations, Telephone: 202-366-4325. Email: MCPSD@dot.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Under 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e), FMCSA may grant an exemption 
from many of the safety regulations, including the HOS requirements in 
49 CFR part 395, for a two-year period if it finds ``such exemption 
would likely achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or 
greater than, the level of safety that would be achieved absent such 
exemption'' (49 CFR 381.305(a)).

Request for Exemption

    Under 49 CFR 395.3(a)(2), a property-carrying CMV driver is 
prohibited from operating a CMV on a public road after the end of the 
14th hour after coming on duty following 10 or more consecutive hours 
off duty.
    RockTenn operates a paper mill located in Chattanooga, Tennessee, 
its principal place of business. Its shipping and receiving departments 
are on opposite sides of the paper mill, requiring driver-employees to 
travel on a public road to shuttle trailers as needed. These drivers 
utilize a public road--Compress Street--an average of forty times per 
day to travel between its manufacturing facility, and shipping and 
receiving docks. These drivers do not transport any material farther 
than the paper mill lots and/or Compress Street. The distance traveled 
on Compress Street is approximately 275 feet in one direction, and one 
tractor is used to perform this work.
    RockTenn requires all shipping department CMV drivers to have the 
required 10 hours off duty prior to returning to work and only allows 
them to work a maximum of 14 consecutive hours in any given duty 
period. It has three 8-hour shifts up to 7 days a week, and there are 
two shipping employees on each shift. One employee drives a fork-lift 
truck loading trailers with finished goods, and the other operates the 
tractor shuttling trailers. These employees do not drive the CMV 
continuously during their shift(s).
    According to RockTenn, the problem arises because they use a 
backward-rotating shift schedule, and also on occasion when a shipping 
department driver does not report for work as scheduled. On a Monday, 
for example, if an individual worked the weekend, his or her shift 
would normally have to ``hurry back'' within 8 hours. As a result of 
the mandatory 10 hours off-duty requirement, RockTenn schedules these 
drivers' shifts to start later than other employees. This creates at 
least 2 hours when the company cannot load or transport trailers with 
finished goods due to the absence of the drivers.

[[Page 31685]]

Furthermore, as a result of the maximum 14 consecutive-hour duty period 
rule, they may ``work short,'' creating on-time delivery issues for 
other employees in the department, as they are not allowed to work an 
entire ``double shift'' (16 hours) when necessary.
    RockTenn requested a limited exemption from 49 CFR part 395 for its 
shipping department CMV drivers, as well as others with a valid CDL who 
on occasion must substitute, allowing all such drivers to work up to 16 
hours in a day and return to work with a minimum of at least 8 hours 
off duty. If exempt from the normal HOS requirements, these employees 
can follow the same work schedule as other RockTenn employees on their 
shift, and will be able to work for the full 16 hours of a ``double 
shift.'' RockTenn can therefore minimize the chances of delayed 
shipments that may occur when their drivers are not allowed to work the 
same schedule as other employees.
    RockTenn acknowledged in its application that these drivers would 
still be subject to all of the other Federal Motor Carrier Safety 
Regulations (FMCSRs), including possessing a CDL, random drug testing, 
medical certification, and other driver-qualification requirements.
    A copy of RockTenn's application for exemption is available for 
review in the docket for this notice.

Comments

    On June 14, 2010, FMCSA published notice of this application, and 
asked for public comment (75 FR 33664). One set of comments was 
received to the public docket. The Advocates for Highway and Auto 
Safety (Advocates) claimed that there is nothing in RockTenn's 
application demonstrating that directing workers to work 16 hours in a 
shift with 8 hours off duty would produce a safety outcome that is 
equivalent to or greater than the safety secured by adhering to the 14-
hour rule. Advocates further indicated that approval of their request 
would be for the convenience of the applicant, with no assurance of 
safety benefit or equivalency.

FMCSA Decision

    The FMCSA has evaluated RockTenn's application for exemption and 
the public comments. The Agency believes that RockTenn's overall safety 
performance as reflected in its ``satisfactory'' safety rating, as well 
as a number of other factors discussed below, will likely enable it to 
achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the 
level of safety achieved without the exemption (49 CFR 381.305(a)).
    This exemption is being granted under extremely narrow conditions. 
The exemption is restricted to CDL holders employed by RockTenn who are 
exclusively assigned to a specific route. This specific route is 
entirely on one street (Compress Street), between their shipping and 
receiving departments--approximately 275 feet in one direction. The 
CMVs operated by RockTenn's shipping department shuttle drivers will 
only be exposed to travel on a public road for very brief periods of 
time.
    The exemption enables RockTenn's shipping department employees and 
occasional substitute CDL holders who transport paper mill products 
between their shipping and receiving locations to work up to 16 
consecutive hours in a duty period and return to work with a minimum of 
at least 8 hours off duty when necessary. This is comparable to current 
HOS regulations that allow certain ``short-haul'' drivers a 16-hour 
driving ``window'' once a week and other non-CDL short-haul drivers two 
16-hour duty periods per week, provided specified conditions are met. 
Furthermore, 49 CFR 381.305(a) specifies that motor carriers ``* * * 
may apply for an exemption if one or more FMCSR prevents you from 
implementing more efficient or effective operations that would maintain 
a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level achieved 
without the exemption.''

Terms of the Exemption

Period of the Exemption

    The exemption from the requirements of 49 CFR 395.3(a)(2) (the 
``14-hour rule'') is granted for the period from 12:01 a.m. on April 
17, 2012, through 11:59 p.m. on April 16, 2014, for drivers employed by 
RockTenn operating CMVs on Compress Street between the company's 
shipping and receiving departments.

Extent of the Exemption

    The exemption is restricted to drivers employed by RockTenn 
operating CMVs on the route specified above. This exemption is limited 
strictly to the provisions of 49 CFR 395.3(a)(2) (Maximum driving time 
for property-carrying vehicles), commonly referred to as the ``14-hour 
rule''. In addition, on each trip, the CMV must only travel on Compress 
Street--approximately 275 feet in one direction--between RockTenn's 
shipping and receiving departments. These drivers must comply will all 
other applicable provisions of the FMCSRs.

Preemption

    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315(d), during the period this 
exemption is in effect, no State shall enforce any law or regulation 
that conflicts with or is inconsistent with this exemption with respect 
to a firm or person operating under the exemption.

Notification to FMCSA

    RockTenn must notify FMCSA within 5 business days of any accident 
(as defined in 49 CFR 390.5), involving any of the motor carrier's CMVs 
operating under the terms of this exemption. The notification must 
include the following information:
    a. Date of the accident,
    b. City or town, and State, in which the accident occurred, or 
closest to the accident scene,
    c. Driver's name and license number,
    d. Vehicle number and state license number,
    e. Number of individuals suffering physical injury,
    f. Number of fatalities,
    g. The police-reported cause of the accident,
    h. Whether the driver was cited for violation of any traffic laws, 
motor carrier safety regulations, and
    i. The total driving time and total on-duty time period prior to 
the accident.
    Reports filed under this provision shall be emailed to 
MCPSD@DOT.GOV.

Termination

    FMCSA does not believe the drivers covered by this exemption will 
experience any deterioration of their safety record. However, should 
this occur, FMCSA will take all steps necessary to protect the public 
interest, including revocation of the exemption. The FMCSA will 
immediately revoke the exemption for failure to comply with its terms 
and conditions. RockTenn and each driver may be subject to periodic 
monitoring by FMCSA during the period of the exemption.

    Issued on: May 21, 2012.
Anne S. Ferro,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2012-12819 Filed 5-25-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P