Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Exemption Renewal for Ford Motor Company, 53556-53558 [2017-24826]

Download as PDF 53556 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 220 / Thursday, November 16, 2017 / Notices degrees 37 minutes 11 seconds West, 608.13 feet to the Point of Beginning, containing 26.67 acres, more or less. Notice of renewal of exemption, request for comments. ACTION: Part of the Northeast Quarter of Section 18, Township 38 North, Range 7 East of the Fourth Principal Meridian, Kane County, IL. Commencing at the Northwest Corner of said Northeast Quarter of Section 18; thence North 89 degrees 34 minutes 19 seconds East along the North Line of said Northeast Quarter, a distance of 133.53 feet to the Point of Beginning; thence North 89 degrees 34 minutes 19 seconds East along said North Line, a distance of 868.30 feet; thence 75.00 feet along a curve concave to the Southeast, having a radius of 508.72 feet, a central angle of 8 degrees 26 minutes 50 seconds and the long chord of said bears South 63 degrees 42 minutes 36 seconds West, a chord distance of 74.93 feet; thence South 59 degrees 29 minutes 12 seconds West, a distance of 204.31 feet; thence South 30 degrees 30 minutes 48 seconds East, a distance of 1.00 foot; thence South 59 degrees 29 minutes 12 seconds West, a distance of 16.00 feet; thence North 30 degrees 30 minutes 48 seconds West, a distance of 1.00 foot; thence South 59 degrees 29 minutes 12 seconds West, a distance of 28.95 feet; thence 650.32 feet along a curve concave to the North, having a radius of 426.72 feet, a central angle of 87 degrees 19 minutes 08 seconds and the long chord of said curve bears North 76 degrees 51 minutes 15 seconds West, a chord distance of 589.19 feet; thence North 33 degrees 11 minutes 41 seconds West, a distance of 23.02 feet to the Point of Beginning, containing 2.759 acres, more or less. Issued in Des Plaines, IL, on November 1, 2017. Deb Bartell, Manager, Chicago Airports District Office, FAA, Great Lakes Region. [FR Doc. 2017–24867 Filed 11–15–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P asabaliauskas on DSKBBXCHB2PROD with NOTICES DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2015–0111] Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Exemption Renewal for Ford Motor Company Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. AGENCY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:52 Nov 15, 2017 Jkt 244001 FMCSA announces its decision to renew for a period of 5 years Ford Motor Company’s (Ford) current exemption allowing motor carriers to operate Ford’s Transit-based commercial motor vehicles (CMV) that do not meet the exhaust system location requirements in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR). The FMCSRs require (1) the exhaust system of a bus powered by a gasoline engine to discharge to the atmosphere at or within 6 inches forward of the rearmost part of the bus and (2) the exhaust system of every truck and truck tractor to discharge to the atmosphere at a location to the rear of the cab or, if the exhaust projects above the cab, at a location near the rear of the cab. Although the Ford Transit does not meet these requirements, it has undergone performance-based testing that demonstrates that the exhaust system achieves a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety that would be obtained by complying with the regulation. Ford performed carbon monoxide (CO) concentration tests, which used CO monitors at various locations within the vehicle to measure the concentration of CO ingress into the occupant compartment (from the vehicles’ own powertrain and exhaust system), under various driving conditions including idle and top speed. The tests showed that the resulting CO concentration is below every threshold used by Federal Agencies. The Agency has concluded that granting this exemption renewal will maintain a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety provided by the rule restricting the location of exhaust systems on CMVs to ensure that exhaust fumes will not affect the driver’s alertness or health or the health of passengers. DATES: The renewal outlined in this notice extends the exemption from August 15, 2017, through August 15, 2022. Comments on the decision must be received on or before December 18, 2017. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Docket ID FMCSA– 2015–0111 using any of the following methods: • Web site: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments on the Federal electronic docket site. • Fax: 1–202–493–2251. • Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey SUMMARY: Parcels 10–2 & 11–2—Subject Portion of Parcels 10 & 11 (Legal Description) PO 00000 Frm 00107 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590– 0001. • Hand Delivery: Ground Floor, Room W12–140, DOT Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. e.t., Monday– Friday, except Federal holidays. Instructions: All submissions must include the Agency name and docket number for this notice. For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional information on the exemption process, see the ‘‘Public Participation’’ heading below. Note that all comments received will be posted without change to http:// www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. Please see the ‘‘Privacy Act’’ heading for further information. Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to http:// www.regulations.gov or to Room W12– 140, DOT Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Privacy Act: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information the commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL–14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at www.dot.gov/privacy. Public participation: The http:// www.regulations.gov Web site is generally available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. You may find electronic submission and retrieval help and guidelines under the ‘‘help’’ section of the http://www.regulations.gov Web site as well as the DOT’s http:// docketsinfo.dot.gov Web site. If you would like notification that we received your comments, please include a selfaddressed, stamped envelope or postcard or print the acknowledgment page that appears after submitting comments online. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Luke Loy, Vehicle and Roadside Operations Division, Office of Carrier, Driver, and Vehicle Safety, MC–PSV, (202) 366–0676, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590– 0001. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background Section 4007 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA– 21) [Pub. L. 105–178, June 9, 1998, 112 Stat. 401] amended 49 U.S.C. 31315 and E:\FR\FM\16NON1.SGM 16NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 220 / Thursday, November 16, 2017 / Notices asabaliauskas on DSKBBXCHB2PROD with NOTICES 31136(e) to provide authority to grant exemptions from certain portions of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). On August 20, 2004, FMCSA published a final rule (69 FR 51589) implementing section 4007. Under this rule, FMCSA must publish a notice of each exemption request in the Federal Register (49 CFR 381.315(a)). The Agency must provide the public with an opportunity to inspect the information relevant to the application, including any safety analyses that have been conducted. The Agency must also provide an opportunity for public comment on the request. The Agency reviews the safety analyses and the public comments and determines whether granting the exemption would likely achieve a level of safety equivalent to or greater than the level that would be achieved by the current regulation (49 CFR 381.305). The decision of the Agency must be published in the Federal Register (49 CFR 381.315(b)). If the Agency denies the request, it must state the reason for doing so. If the decision is to grant the exemption, the notice must specify the person or class of persons receiving the exemption and the regulatory provision or provisions from which an exemption is granted. The notice must specify the effective period of the exemption (up to 5 years) and explain the terms and conditions of the exemption. The exemption may be renewed (49 CFR 381.315(c) and 49 CFR 381.300(b)). Ford’s Application for Exemption On December 1, 2014, Ford applied for an exemption from 49 CFR 393.83 to allow motor carriers to operate Fordmanufactured Transit-based CMVs that do not comply with the exhaust system location requirements. Section 393.83, ‘‘Exhaust systems,’’ includes requirements regarding the location of exhaust systems on CMVS to ensure that exhaust fumes will not affect the driver’s alertness or health or the health of passengers. Specifically, § 393.83(c) states that ‘‘[t]he exhaust system of a bus powered by a gasoline engine shall discharge to the atmosphere at or within 6 inches forward of the rearmost part of the bus’’; and § 393.83(e) states that ‘‘[t]he exhaust system of every truck and truck tractor shall discharge to the atmosphere at a location to the rear of the cab or, if the exhaust projects above the cab, at a location near the rear of the cab.’’ According to the 2014 exemption application: Although Ford Transit vehicles may not satisfy the exhaust system location requirements of § 393.83, Ford has several internal requirements applicable to the design of the tailpipe system that ensure the VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:52 Nov 15, 2017 Jkt 244001 system will provide high levels of safety for its customers. Ford’s requirements address passenger compartment exhaust gas intrusion and management of high temperature components. These requirements include testing of the system and basic design requirements for the location of the tailpipe in relation to underbody components like the brake lines and fuel lines. Most significantly Ford uses internal performance based tests that demonstrate the system achieves a level of safety equivalent to or greater than, the level of safety that would be obtained by complying with the regulation. The main test of interest is the Carbon Monoxide Concentration test. This performance based test uses CO monitors at various locations in the vehicle to measure the concentration of CO ingress into the occupant compartment (from vehicles’ own powertrain and exhaust system) under various driving conditions including idle and top speed. Ford tested the 2015 model year Transit in accordance with ‘‘Ford global common engineering test procedures,’’ which limits CO levels to 27 parts-permillion (ppm) for a 30 minute Time Weighted Average (TWA) during continuous driving. Ford stated that the 27 ppm limit is based on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Acute Exposure Guideline Level limits for CO exposure for 8 hour TWA, which is more severe than both the Occupational Safety & Health Administration’s (OSHA) permissible exposure limit of 50 ppm for an 8 hour TWA and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health’s (NIOSH) permissible exposure limit of 35 ppm for a 10 hour TWA. Under ‘‘worst-case conditions,’’ Ford measured the CO level to be 17 ppm for the model year 2015 Transit, well below the EPA, OSHA, and NIOSH limits. Additionally, Ford stated that it has internal requirements to establish the appropriate clearance required between a vehicle and the ground to meet a minimum level of on-road functionality. Ford has specific departure angle requirements for the vehicle to reduce tailpipe contact with the ground, curbs, ramps, etc., during various driving modes, thus avoiding damage to the exhaust system that may adversely affect the exhaust function. FMCSA published a notice of the application in the Federal Register on April 17, 2015, and asked for public comment (80 FR 21294). FMCSA granted the exemption on August 12, 2015 (80 FR 48408). The Agency concluded that granting the temporary exemption to allow the operation of model year 2015 Ford Transit-based gas bus models (of all gross vehicle weight ratings), vans over 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating, and corresponding future Transit-based PO 00000 Frm 00108 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 53557 models of the same design produced during the effective period of the exemption will provide a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety achieved without the exemption. Ford conducted performance-based testing that demonstrates that the design of the exhaust system for the model year 2015 and later Fort Transit CMVs (1) results in CO exposure limits that are well below EPA, OSHA, and NIOSH established thresholds, and (2) will maintain a level of safety that is equivalent to the level of safety achieved without the exemption. The exemption was granted for a 2-year period, beginning August 12, 2015 and ending August 14, 2017. Ford’s Request To Renew the Exemption At the time the exemption was granted, the term of temporary exemptions was limited by statute to a maximum of 2 years. However, on December 4, 2015, President Obama signed the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which now allows an exemption to be granted for a period of 5 years (49 U.S.C. 31315(b)(2)) if FMCSA finds ‘‘such exemption would likely achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved absent such exemption’’ (31315(b)(1)). Ford has requested a 5-year extension for the exemption from 49 CFR 393.83 to allow motor carriers to operate model year 2015 Ford-manufactured Transit-based CMVs, and later model year Transitbased models that do not comply with the exhaust system location requirements. Basis for Renewing Exemption FMCSA is not aware of any evidence showing that the operation of model year 2015, 2016, or 2017 Ford Transitbased gas bus models (all gross vehicle weight ratings), vans over 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating, and Transit-based models of the same design produced during the current exemption has resulted in any degradation of safety. The Agency believes that extending the exemption for a period of 5 years will likely achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety achieved without the exemption. Performancebased testing conducted by Ford has demonstrated that the design of the exhaust system for the model year 2015 and later Ford Transit CMVs (1) results in CO exposure limits that are well below EPA, OSHA, and NIOSH established thresholds, and (2) will maintain a level of safety that is E:\FR\FM\16NON1.SGM 16NON1 53558 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 220 / Thursday, November 16, 2017 / Notices equivalent to the level of safety achieved without the exemption. The renewal outlined in this notice extends the exemption from August 12, 2017 through August 12, 2022, and requests public comment. The exemption will be valid for 5 years unless rescinded earlier by FMCSA. The exemption will be rescinded if: (1) Motor carriers and/or commercial motor vehicles fail to comply with the terms and conditions of the exemption; (2) the exemption has resulted in a lower level of safety than was maintained before it was granted; or (3) continuation of the exemption would not be consistent with the goals and objectives of 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315. Preemption In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31313(d), as implemented by 49 CFR 381.600, during the period this exemption is in effect, no State shall enforce any law or regulation applicable to interstate commerce that conflicts with or is inconsistent with this exemption with respect to a firm or person operating under the exemption. States may, but are not required to, adopt the same exemption with respect to operations in intrastate commerce. Request for Comments FMCSA requests comments from parties with data concerning the safety record of motor carriers operating Model Year 2015 Ford-manufactured Transit based CMVs, and corresponding future Transit-based models of the same design in accordance with the conditions of the exemption. The Agency will evaluate adverse evidence submitted during the comment period and at any time during the 5-year period of the exemption. If safety is being compromised or if continuation of the exemption would not be consistent with the goals and objectives of 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b)(1), FMCSA will take immediate steps to revoke the Ford exemption. asabaliauskas on DSKBBXCHB2PROD with NOTICES Issued on: November 8, 2017. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy. [FR Doc. 2017–24826 Filed 11–15–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:52 Nov 15, 2017 Jkt 244001 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [Docket No. NHTSA–2017–0092; Notice 1] Mazda Motor Corporation, Receipt of Petition for Determination of Inconsequentiality of Takata’s Defect Information Report Filing Under NHTSA Campaign Number 17E–034 for PSDI–5 Desiccated Driver Air Bag Inflators and Decision Denying Request for Deferral of Determination National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation. ACTION: Notice of receipt of petition; notice of receipt of request for deferral and of decision denying request for deferral. AGENCY: On July 10, 2017, Takata Corporation (‘‘Takata’’) filed a defect information report (‘‘DIR’’) in which it determined that a safety-related defect exists in certain phase-stabilized ammonium nitrate (‘‘PSAN’’) driver-side airbag inflators that it manufactured with a calcium sulfate desiccant, including inflators that it supplied to Ford Motor Company (‘‘Ford’’), Mazda North American Operations (‘‘Mazda’’), and Nissan North America Inc. (‘‘Nissan’’) for use in certain vehicles. Mazda’s vehicles identified by Takata’s DIR were designed by Ford and were built on the same platform and using the same airbag inflators as the affected Ford vehicles. Mazda has petitioned the Agency—in part through a purported joint petition with Ford (see DOCKET NO. NHTSA–2017–0093)—for a decision that because analysis of inflators installed in certain Ford vehicles does not demonstrate propellant-tablet density degradation or increased inflation pressure, and because there are design differences between the inflators installed in Ford and Mazda vehicles and an inflator variant installed in Nissan vehicles, the equipment defect determined to exist by Takata is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety in the Mazda vehicles affected by Takata’s DIR. Mazda requests relief from its notification and remedy obligations under the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 and its applicable regulations, and further requests that the Agency defer a decision on the petition until March 31, 2018 to allow Ford to complete certain analysis and testing. DATES: The closing date for comments is December 18, 2017. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00109 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments regarding this petition for inconsequentiality. Comments must refer to the docket and notice number cited in the title of this notice and be submitted by one of the following methods: • Internet: Go to http:// www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for submitting comments. • Mail: Docket Management Facility, M–30, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building, Room W12– 140, Washington, DC 20590. • Hand Delivery or Courier: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. • Facsimile: (202) 493–2251. You may call the Docket at (202) 366– 9324. Note that all comments received will be posted without change to http:// www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. Thus, submitting such information makes it public. You may wish to read the Privacy Act notice, which can be viewed by clicking on the ‘‘Privacy and Security Notice’’ link in the footer of http://www.regulations.gov. DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement is available for review in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477–78). The petition, supporting materials, and all comments received before the close of business on the closing date indicated above will be filed in the docket and will be considered. Comments and supporting materials received after the closing date will also be filed and will be considered to the extent possible. When the petition is granted or denied, notice of the decision will also be published in the Federal Register pursuant to the authority indicated at the end of this notice. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For legal issues: Stephen Hench, Office of the Chief Counsel, NCC–100, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590 (telephone: (202) 366–5263). For general information regarding NHTSA’s investigation into Takata airbag inflator ruptures and the related recalls, visit https://www.nhtsa.gov/ recall-spotlight/takata-air-bags. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: ADDRESSES: E:\FR\FM\16NON1.SGM 16NON1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 220 (Thursday, November 16, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 53556-53558]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-24826]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2015-0111]


Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Exemption 
Renewal for Ford Motor Company

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

ACTION: Notice of renewal of exemption, request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: FMCSA announces its decision to renew for a period of 5 years 
Ford Motor Company's (Ford) current exemption allowing motor carriers 
to operate Ford's Transit-based commercial motor vehicles (CMV) that do 
not meet the exhaust system location requirements in the Federal Motor 
Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR). The FMCSRs require (1) the exhaust 
system of a bus powered by a gasoline engine to discharge to the 
atmosphere at or within 6 inches forward of the rearmost part of the 
bus and (2) the exhaust system of every truck and truck tractor to 
discharge to the atmosphere at a location to the rear of the cab or, if 
the exhaust projects above the cab, at a location near the rear of the 
cab. Although the Ford Transit does not meet these requirements, it has 
undergone performance-based testing that demonstrates that the exhaust 
system achieves a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the 
level of safety that would be obtained by complying with the 
regulation. Ford performed carbon monoxide (CO) concentration tests, 
which used CO monitors at various locations within the vehicle to 
measure the concentration of CO ingress into the occupant compartment 
(from the vehicles' own powertrain and exhaust system), under various 
driving conditions including idle and top speed. The tests showed that 
the resulting CO concentration is below every threshold used by Federal 
Agencies. The Agency has concluded that granting this exemption renewal 
will maintain a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the 
level of safety provided by the rule restricting the location of 
exhaust systems on CMVs to ensure that exhaust fumes will not affect 
the driver's alertness or health or the health of passengers.

DATES: The renewal outlined in this notice extends the exemption from 
August 15, 2017, through August 15, 2022. Comments on the decision must 
be received on or before December 18, 2017.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket 
Management System (FDMS) Docket ID FMCSA-2015-0111 using any of the 
following methods:
     Web site: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the 
instructions for submitting comments on the Federal electronic docket 
site.
     Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
     Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, 
DC 20590-0001.
     Hand Delivery: Ground Floor, Room W12-140, DOT Building, 
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. 
e.t., Monday-Friday, except Federal holidays.
    Instructions: All submissions must include the Agency name and 
docket number for this notice. For detailed instructions on submitting 
comments and additional information on the exemption process, see the 
``Public Participation'' heading below. Note that all comments received 
will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including 
any personal information provided. Please see the ``Privacy Act'' 
heading for further information.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov or to Room W12-140, 
DOT Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    Privacy Act: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits 
comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT 
posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information 
the commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the 
system of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at 
www.dot.gov/privacy.
    Public participation: The http://www.regulations.gov Web site is 
generally available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. You may find 
electronic submission and retrieval help and guidelines under the 
``help'' section of the http://www.regulations.gov Web site as well as 
the DOT's http://docketsinfo.dot.gov Web site. If you would like 
notification that we received your comments, please include a self-
addressed, stamped envelope or postcard or print the acknowledgment 
page that appears after submitting comments online.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Luke Loy, Vehicle and Roadside 
Operations Division, Office of Carrier, Driver, and Vehicle Safety, MC-
PSV, (202) 366-0676, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 1200 
New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    Section 4007 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century 
(TEA- 21) [Pub. L. 105-178, June 9, 1998, 112 Stat. 401] amended 49 
U.S.C. 31315 and

[[Page 53557]]

31136(e) to provide authority to grant exemptions from certain portions 
of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). On August 20, 
2004, FMCSA published a final rule (69 FR 51589) implementing section 
4007. Under this rule, FMCSA must publish a notice of each exemption 
request in the Federal Register (49 CFR 381.315(a)). The Agency must 
provide the public with an opportunity to inspect the information 
relevant to the application, including any safety analyses that have 
been conducted. The Agency must also provide an opportunity for public 
comment on the request.
    The Agency reviews the safety analyses and the public comments and 
determines whether granting the exemption would likely achieve a level 
of safety equivalent to or greater than the level that would be 
achieved by the current regulation (49 CFR 381.305).
    The decision of the Agency must be published in the Federal 
Register (49 CFR 381.315(b)). If the Agency denies the request, it must 
state the reason for doing so. If the decision is to grant the 
exemption, the notice must specify the person or class of persons 
receiving the exemption and the regulatory provision or provisions from 
which an exemption is granted. The notice must specify the effective 
period of the exemption (up to 5 years) and explain the terms and 
conditions of the exemption. The exemption may be renewed (49 CFR 
381.315(c) and 49 CFR 381.300(b)).

Ford's Application for Exemption

    On December 1, 2014, Ford applied for an exemption from 49 CFR 
393.83 to allow motor carriers to operate Ford-manufactured Transit-
based CMVs that do not comply with the exhaust system location 
requirements. Section 393.83, ``Exhaust systems,'' includes 
requirements regarding the location of exhaust systems on CMVS to 
ensure that exhaust fumes will not affect the driver's alertness or 
health or the health of passengers. Specifically, Sec.  393.83(c) 
states that ``[t]he exhaust system of a bus powered by a gasoline 
engine shall discharge to the atmosphere at or within 6 inches forward 
of the rearmost part of the bus''; and Sec.  393.83(e) states that 
``[t]he exhaust system of every truck and truck tractor shall discharge 
to the atmosphere at a location to the rear of the cab or, if the 
exhaust projects above the cab, at a location near the rear of the 
cab.'' According to the 2014 exemption application:

    Although Ford Transit vehicles may not satisfy the exhaust 
system location requirements of Sec.  393.83, Ford has several 
internal requirements applicable to the design of the tailpipe 
system that ensure the system will provide high levels of safety for 
its customers. Ford's requirements address passenger compartment 
exhaust gas intrusion and management of high temperature components. 
These requirements include testing of the system and basic design 
requirements for the location of the tailpipe in relation to 
underbody components like the brake lines and fuel lines. Most 
significantly Ford uses internal performance based tests that 
demonstrate the system achieves a level of safety equivalent to or 
greater than, the level of safety that would be obtained by 
complying with the regulation. The main test of interest is the 
Carbon Monoxide Concentration test. This performance based test uses 
CO monitors at various locations in the vehicle to measure the 
concentration of CO ingress into the occupant compartment (from 
vehicles' own powertrain and exhaust system) under various driving 
conditions including idle and top speed.

    Ford tested the 2015 model year Transit in accordance with ``Ford 
global common engineering test procedures,'' which limits CO levels to 
27 parts-per-million (ppm) for a 30 minute Time Weighted Average (TWA) 
during continuous driving. Ford stated that the 27 ppm limit is based 
on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Acute Exposure Guideline 
Level limits for CO exposure for 8 hour TWA, which is more severe than 
both the Occupational Safety & Health Administration's (OSHA) 
permissible exposure limit of 50 ppm for an 8 hour TWA and the National 
Institute of Occupational Safety and Health's (NIOSH) permissible 
exposure limit of 35 ppm for a 10 hour TWA. Under ``worst-case 
conditions,'' Ford measured the CO level to be 17 ppm for the model 
year 2015 Transit, well below the EPA, OSHA, and NIOSH limits.
    Additionally, Ford stated that it has internal requirements to 
establish the appropriate clearance required between a vehicle and the 
ground to meet a minimum level of on-road functionality. Ford has 
specific departure angle requirements for the vehicle to reduce 
tailpipe contact with the ground, curbs, ramps, etc., during various 
driving modes, thus avoiding damage to the exhaust system that may 
adversely affect the exhaust function.
    FMCSA published a notice of the application in the Federal Register 
on April 17, 2015, and asked for public comment (80 FR 21294). FMCSA 
granted the exemption on August 12, 2015 (80 FR 48408). The Agency 
concluded that granting the temporary exemption to allow the operation 
of model year 2015 Ford Transit-based gas bus models (of all gross 
vehicle weight ratings), vans over 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight 
rating, and corresponding future Transit-based models of the same 
design produced during the effective period of the exemption will 
provide a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the 
level of safety achieved without the exemption. Ford conducted 
performance-based testing that demonstrates that the design of the 
exhaust system for the model year 2015 and later Fort Transit CMVs (1) 
results in CO exposure limits that are well below EPA, OSHA, and NIOSH 
established thresholds, and (2) will maintain a level of safety that is 
equivalent to the level of safety achieved without the exemption. The 
exemption was granted for a 2-year period, beginning August 12, 2015 
and ending August 14, 2017.

Ford's Request To Renew the Exemption

    At the time the exemption was granted, the term of temporary 
exemptions was limited by statute to a maximum of 2 years. However, on 
December 4, 2015, President Obama signed the Fixing America's Surface 
Transportation (FAST) Act, which now allows an exemption to be granted 
for a period of 5 years (49 U.S.C. 31315(b)(2)) if FMCSA finds ``such 
exemption would likely achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, 
or greater than, the level that would be achieved absent such 
exemption'' (31315(b)(1)). Ford has requested a 5-year extension for 
the exemption from 49 CFR 393.83 to allow motor carriers to operate 
model year 2015 Ford-manufactured Transit-based CMVs, and later model 
year Transit-based models that do not comply with the exhaust system 
location requirements.

Basis for Renewing Exemption

    FMCSA is not aware of any evidence showing that the operation of 
model year 2015, 2016, or 2017 Ford Transit-based gas bus models (all 
gross vehicle weight ratings), vans over 10,000 pounds gross vehicle 
weight rating, and Transit-based models of the same design produced 
during the current exemption has resulted in any degradation of safety. 
The Agency believes that extending the exemption for a period of 5 
years will likely achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or 
greater than, the level of safety achieved without the exemption. 
Performance-based testing conducted by Ford has demonstrated that the 
design of the exhaust system for the model year 2015 and later Ford 
Transit CMVs (1) results in CO exposure limits that are well below EPA, 
OSHA, and NIOSH established thresholds, and (2) will maintain a level 
of safety that is

[[Page 53558]]

equivalent to the level of safety achieved without the exemption.
    The renewal outlined in this notice extends the exemption from 
August 12, 2017 through August 12, 2022, and requests public comment. 
The exemption will be valid for 5 years unless rescinded earlier by 
FMCSA. The exemption will be rescinded if: (1) Motor carriers and/or 
commercial motor vehicles fail to comply with the terms and conditions 
of the exemption; (2) the exemption has resulted in a lower level of 
safety than was maintained before it was granted; or (3) continuation 
of the exemption would not be consistent with the goals and objectives 
of 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315.

Preemption

    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31313(d), as implemented by 49 CFR 
381.600, during the period this exemption is in effect, no State shall 
enforce any law or regulation applicable to interstate commerce that 
conflicts with or is inconsistent with this exemption with respect to a 
firm or person operating under the exemption. States may, but are not 
required to, adopt the same exemption with respect to operations in 
intrastate commerce.

Request for Comments

    FMCSA requests comments from parties with data concerning the 
safety record of motor carriers operating Model Year 2015 Ford-
manufactured Transit based CMVs, and corresponding future Transit-based 
models of the same design in accordance with the conditions of the 
exemption. The Agency will evaluate adverse evidence submitted during 
the comment period and at any time during the 5-year period of the 
exemption. If safety is being compromised or if continuation of the 
exemption would not be consistent with the goals and objectives of 49 
U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b)(1), FMCSA will take immediate steps to 
revoke the Ford exemption.

    Issued on: November 8, 2017.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2017-24826 Filed 11-15-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P