Hours of Service of Drivers: National Mobile Shower and Catering Association; Application for Exemption, 60943-60945 [2018-25821]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 228 / Tuesday, November 27, 2018 / Notices requires devices with vehicle safety technologies to be mounted (1) not more than 100 mm (4 inches) below the upper edge of the area swept by the windshield wipers or (2) not more than 175 mm (7 inches) above the lower edge of the area swept by the windshield wipers, and outside the driver’s sight lines to the road and highway signs and signals. In its application, SmartDrive states: SmartDrive is making this request so that it becomes possible to introduce Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) to our current vehicle safety platform. These new ADAS capabilities include forward collision warnings, short following distance warnings, lane detection and departure warnings, and active monitoring with real-time driver feedback. This system operates like many other similar systems for which FMCSA has granted exemptions. ADAS requires that a camera be mounted to the upper center area of the windshield in an area where the windshield is swept by the windshield wipers to provide a clear view to the lane markings on the road and other objects in front of the vehicle. This exemption will accommodate the ADAS camera and housing which is an integral part of our next-generation comprehensive vehicle safety system. The camera housing is approximately 3.71 inches wide (94MM) by 5.2 inches tall (132MM) and will be mounted in the approximate center of the windshield with the bottom edge of the camera housing approximately 8 inches below the upper edge of the area swept by the windshield wipers. The camera is mounted outside of the drivers and passenger’s normal sight lines to the road ahead, signs, signals, and mirrors. This location will allow for the optimal functionality of the advanced safety systems supported by the camera. SmartDrive has piloted the ADAS camera and functionality and found that all drivers and passengers agreed that there was no noticeable obstruction to the normal sight lines to the road ahead, highway signs, signals or any mirrors. amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES1 The exemption would apply to all CMV operators utilizing SmartDrive ADAS camera systems. SmartDrive’s believes that the installation of the ADAS systems camera within 8 inches below the upper edge of the area swept by the windshield wipers will maintain a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety achieved without the exemption. Request for Comments In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e), FMCSA requests public comment from all interested persons on SmartDrive application for an exemption from 49 CFR 393.60(e)(1). All comments received before the close of business on the comment closing date indicated at the beginning of this notice VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:45 Nov 26, 2018 Jkt 247001 will be considered and will be available for examination in the docket at the location listed under the ADDRESSES section of this notice. Comments received after the comment closing date will be filed in the public docket and will be considered to the extent practicable. In addition to late comments, FMCSA will also continue to file, in the public docket, relevant information that becomes available after the comment closing date. Interested persons should continue to examine the public docket for new material. Issued on: November 20, 2018. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy. [FR Doc. 2018–25825 Filed 11–26–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2018–0331] Hours of Service of Drivers: National Mobile Shower and Catering Association; Application for Exemption Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of application for exemption; request for comments. AGENCY: FMCSA announces that it has received an application for exemption from the National Mobile Shower and Catering Association (NMSCA) from various provisions of the Federal hoursof-service (HOS) rules for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. The NMSCA requests an exemption to allow their member companies operating under a ‘‘Resource Order’’ to: (1) Extend the 14-hour duty period to no more than 16 hours; (2) not include ‘‘waiting time’’ while not performing duties in the calculation of the 16-hour duty period; (3) not comply with the minimum 30minute rest break provision; (4) extend the maximum 60 hours on duty in any 7-day period to 80 hours on duty in any 7-day period; (5) extend the 11 hours of driving time to 12 hours; and, (6) extend the ‘‘8 days in 30’’ exception in the electronic logging device (ELD) rule to ‘‘12 days in 30.’’ The requested exemption is made on behalf of those drivers employed by NMSCA member companies engaged in the transportation of equipment that provides food and water services to Federally-contracted forest firefighters and similar emergency workers who establish temporary base camps and have immediate need of food SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00123 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 60943 and water services near fire scenes. FMCSA requests public comment on the NMSCA application for exemption. DATES: Comments must be received on or before December 27, 2018. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Number FMCSA–2018–0331 by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. See the Public Participation and Request for Comments section below for further information. • Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590–0001. • Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12– 140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. • Fax: 1–202–493–2251. Each submission must include the Agency name and the docket number for this notice. Note that DOT posts all comments received without change to www.regulations.gov, including any personal information included in a comment. Please see the Privacy Act heading below. Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments, go to www.regulations.gov at any time or visit Room W12–140 on the ground level of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The on-line FDMS is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. 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. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Richard Clemente, FMCSA Driver and Carrier Operations Division; Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety Standards; Telephone: 202–366–2722. Email: MCPSD@dot.gov. If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, contact Docket Services, telephone (202) 366–9826. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Public Participation and Request for Comments FMCSA encourages you to participate by submitting comments and related materials. E:\FR\FM\27NON1.SGM 27NON1 60944 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 228 / Tuesday, November 27, 2018 / Notices Submitting Comments If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this notice (FMCSA–2018–0331), indicate the specific section of this document to which the comment applies, and provide a reason for suggestions or recommendations. You may submit your comments and material online or by fax, mail, or hand delivery, but please use only one of these means. FMCSA recommends that you include your name and a mailing address, an email address, or a phone number in the body of your document so the Agency can contact you if it has questions regarding your submission. To submit your comment online, go to www.regulations.gov and put the docket number, ‘‘FMCSA–2018–0331’’ in the ‘‘Keyword’’ box, and click ‘‘Search.’’ When the new screen appears, click on ‘‘Comment Now!’’ button and type your comment into the text box in the following screen. Choose whether you are submitting your comment as an individual or on behalf of a third party and then submit. If you submit your comments by mail or hand delivery, submit them in an unbound format, no larger than 81⁄2 by 11 inches, suitable for copying and electronic filing. If you submit comments by mail and would like to know that they reached the facility, please enclose a stamped, selfaddressed postcard or envelope. FMCSA will consider all comments and material received during the comment period and may grant or not grant this application based on your comments. amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES1 II. Legal Basis FMCSA has authority under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 to grant exemptions from certain Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). FMCSA must publish a notice of each exemption request in the Federal Register (49 CFR 381.315(a)). The Agency must provide the public an opportunity to inspect the information relevant to the application, including any safety analyses that have been conducted. The Agency must also provide an opportunity for public comment on the request. The Agency reviews safety analyses and public comments submitted, and determines whether granting the exemption would likely achieve a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved by the current regulation (49 CFR 381.305). The decision of the Agency must be published in the Federal Register (49 CFR 381.315(b)) with the reasons for denying or granting the application and, if granted, the name of the person or class of persons receiving the VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:45 Nov 26, 2018 Jkt 247001 exemption, and the regulatory provision from which the exemption is granted. The notice must also specify the effective period and explain the terms and conditions of the exemption. The exemption may be renewed (49 CFR 381.300(b)). III. Request for Exemption The National Mobile Shower and Catering Association (NMSCA) requests an exemption from certain hours-ofservice (HOS) regulations for their member companies’ drivers who are responding under a ‘‘Resource Order.’’ A Resource Order is a task order issued by a Federal Agency directing firefighters and supporting personnel to respond to forest fires and similar emergencies. They specifically request that while operating under the exemption their drivers and carriers: (1) May extend the 14-hour duty period to no more than 16 hours; (2) need not include ‘‘waiting time’’ while performing duties in the calculation of the 16-hour period; (3) need not comply with the minimum 30-minute rest break provision; (4) may extend the maximum 60 hours on duty in any 7 days to 80 hours on duty in any 7 days; (5) may extend the 11 hours of driving time to 12 hours; and, (6) may extend the ‘‘8 days in 30’’ provision for exemption from use of an electronic logging device to ‘‘12 days in 30.’’ The NMSCA seeks the exemption for a group of approximately 30 member companies who are strategically positioned in the Western states. Wildfires occur frequently during certain months of the year, especially in Western states. To fight these fires, the National Forest Service and similar agencies call upon Federally-contracted private fire-fighting companies, who are exempt from the majority of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) [49 CFR 390.3T(f)(5)] when they respond. Upon arriving near the fire scene, the firefighters establish a base camp where they will remain for a period ranging from a few days to a month, and will quickly require food and drinking water. To meet that need, the responsible government agency will issue a Resource Order to the nearest mobile shower and catering company that is under contract. Most of the government contract work for these services is seasonal. According to NMSCA, the specialized equipment utilized by their member companies travels comparatively few miles per year, generally not exceeding 5,000 miles, and almost exclusively in response to government contract orders. As there are a limited number of private contractors who have the capability and PO 00000 Frm 00124 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 equipment to fulfill the government contract requirements, the territories covered by each contractor can be quite large. Wildfires and natural disasters are unpredictable and make it difficult to have assets prepositioned for an incident. When one contractor is called out to an incident, the nearest contractor must cover both their regional area and the one no longer covered by a contractor on an incident. At busy times of the year resources are stretched and travel distances are often increased, and therefore NMSCA contractors are often called on to travel hundreds of miles from their facilities at a moment’s notice. According to NMSCA, their member companies’ equipment does not qualify for the 49 CFR 390.3T(f)(5) exception for emergency equipment, so, while firefighters respond as emergency equipment and set up their base camps, they have little food or water until NMSCA members’ equipment arrives at a later time. The exemption is needed both to expedite response to the scene of an incident and to allow HOS flexibility for the crews while operating for days at the base camps. While there, the crew members often need to drive CMVs to obtain supplies and, in particular, to obtain tanker trucks of needed water. Although the crew members have substantial rest time and have sleeping quarters on-site, the current HOS regulations may at times hinder their mission support. The NMSCA requests that the exemption be issued under the following terms and conditions: (1) It would be in effect for periods of time when NMSCA members are operating under a ‘‘Resource Order’’ or other comparable order issued by a Federal government agency; (2) drivers operating under the exemption must be employed by the NMSCA companies; and (3) drivers must provide proof that they are operating for one of the designated NMSCA member companies, and must produce a copy of the relevant ‘‘Resource Order’’, upon request of a law enforcement officer. The NMSCA also indicated in their application, that when operating under the exemption, their drivers and carriers will comply with all other provisions of the FMCSRs—other than those for which they requested an exemption. Furthermore, the NMSCA member companies will mandate that drivers complete the appropriate modules of the North American Fatigue Management Program and will emphasize to all personnel that the CMVs may not be operated when the driver feels fatigued, regardless of the mission assignments, per 49 CFR 392.3. E:\FR\FM\27NON1.SGM 27NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 228 / Tuesday, November 27, 2018 / Notices By way of background, earlier in 2018, the NMSCA had requested a limited waiver from certain HOS regulations which was a nearly identical request to their recent application for exemption summarized in today’s Federal Register notice. The waiver requested was for drivers employed by NMSCA member companies that are under contract to and have been issued a ‘‘Resource Order’’ by a Federal government agency to provide food and water services to contracted private firefighting companies. The 90-day waiver was approved by the FMCSA, and recently expired on October 24, 2018. The Agency had determined that granting NMSCA this waiver was in the public interest, and that the waiver was likely to achieve a level of safety equivalent to the level of safety that would be obtained in the absence of the waiver. The NMSCA added in today’s exemption request that the 90-day waiver that had received from the Agency was very helpful due to the severity of wildfires in the Western states which allowed them to complete the mission of providing food, water and showers to the Nation’s first responders without any disruption to public safety. A copy of the NMSCA application for exemption is available for review in the docket for this notice. Issued on: November 20, 2018. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Public Participation A. Viewing Documents and Comments To view comments, as well as any documents mentioned in this notice as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov. Insert the docket number, FMCSA–2018–0135, in the keyword box, and click ‘‘Search.’’ Next, click the ‘‘Open Docket Folder’’ button and choose the document to review. If you do not have access to the internet, you may view the docket online by visiting the Docket Management Facility in Room W12–140 on the ground floor of the DOT West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. B. Privacy Act [FR Doc. 2018–25821 Filed 11–26–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration 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. [Docket No. FMCSA–2018–0135] II. Background Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Hearing On September 10, 2018, FMCSA published a notice announcing receipt of applications from 30 individuals requesting an exemption from the hearing requirement in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(11) to operate a CMV in interstate commerce and requested comments from the public (83 FR 45745). The public comment period ended on October 10, 2018, and two comments were received. FMCSA has evaluated the eligibility of these applicants and determined that granting exemptions to these individuals would achieve a level of safety equivalent to or greater than the level that would be achieved by complying with the current regulation 49 CFR 391.41(b)(11). Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of final disposition. AGENCY: FMCSA announces its decision to exempt 30 individuals from the hearing requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in interstate commerce. The exemptions enable these hard of hearing and deaf individuals to operate CMVs in interstate commerce. DATES: The exemptions were applicable on October 13, 2018. The exemptions expire on October 13, 2020. SUMMARY: amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES1 Ms. Christine A. Hydock, Chief, Medical Programs Division, (202) 366–4001, fmcsamedical@dot.gov, FMCSA, Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W64–224, Washington, DC 20590–0001. Office hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. If you have questions regarding viewing or submitting material to the docket, contact Docket Services, telephone (202) 366–9826. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:45 Nov 26, 2018 Jkt 247001 PO 00000 Frm 00125 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 60945 The physical qualification standard for drivers regarding hearing found in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(11) states that a person is physically qualified to driver a CMV if that person first perceives a forced whispered voice in the better ear at not less than 5 feet with or without the use of a hearing aid or, if tested by use of an audiometric device, does not have an average hearing loss in the better ear greater than 40 decibels at 500 Hz, 1,000 Hz, and 2,000 Hz with or without a hearing aid when the audiometric device is calibrated to American National Standard (formerly ASA Standard) Z24.5–1951. 49 CFR 391.41(b)(11) was adopted in 1970, with a revision in 1971 to allow drivers to be qualified under this standard while wearing a hearing aid, 35 FR 6458, 6463 (April 22, 1970) and 36 FR 12857 (July 3, 1971). III. Discussion of Comments FMCSA received two comments in this proceeding. Vicky Johnson, of Minnesota Department of Safety, wrote there are no objections to Thomas D. Sneer receiving a hearing exemption. An anonymous commenter indicated that Donald Reamsnyder of Florida, is seeking the exemption for a B CDL with Passenger/School Bus endorsement. The Agency’s Federal Hearing Exemption stipulates, that the driver granted a hearing exemption is prohibited from operating a motorcoach or bus with passengers in interstate commerce. IV. Basis for Exemption Determination Under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b), FMCSA may grant an exemption for up to five years from the hearing standard in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(11) if the exemption is likely to achieve an equivalent or greater level of safety than would be achieved without the exemption. The exemption allows the applicants to operate CMVs in interstate commerce. FMCSA grants exemptions from the FMCSRs for a twoyear period to align with the maximum duration of a driver’s medical certification. The Agency’s decision regarding these exemption applications is based on current medical information and literature, and the 2008 Evidence Report, ‘‘Executive Summary on Hearing, Vestibular Function and Commercial Motor Driving Safety.’’ The evidence report reached two conclusions regarding the matter of hearing loss and CMV driver safety: (1) No studies that examined the relationship between hearing loss and crash risk exclusively among CMV drivers were identified; and (2) evidence from studies of the private driver’s E:\FR\FM\27NON1.SGM 27NON1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 228 (Tuesday, November 27, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 60943-60945]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-25821]


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

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2018-0331]


Hours of Service of Drivers: National Mobile Shower and Catering 
Association; Application for Exemption

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

ACTION: Notice of application for exemption; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: FMCSA announces that it has received an application for 
exemption from the National Mobile Shower and Catering Association 
(NMSCA) from various provisions of the Federal hours-of-service (HOS) 
rules for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. The NMSCA requests an 
exemption to allow their member companies operating under a ``Resource 
Order'' to: (1) Extend the 14-hour duty period to no more than 16 
hours; (2) not include ``waiting time'' while not performing duties in 
the calculation of the 16-hour duty period; (3) not comply with the 
minimum 30-minute rest break provision; (4) extend the maximum 60 hours 
on duty in any 7-day period to 80 hours on duty in any 7-day period; 
(5) extend the 11 hours of driving time to 12 hours; and, (6) extend 
the ``8 days in 30'' exception in the electronic logging device (ELD) 
rule to ``12 days in 30.'' The requested exemption is made on behalf of 
those drivers employed by NMSCA member companies engaged in the 
transportation of equipment that provides food and water services to 
Federally-contracted forest firefighters and similar emergency workers 
who establish temporary base camps and have immediate need of food and 
water services near fire scenes. FMCSA requests public comment on the 
NMSCA application for exemption.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before December 27, 2018.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by Federal Docket 
Management System (FDMS) Number FMCSA-2018-0331 by any of the following 
methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. See the 
Public Participation and Request for Comments section below for further 
information.
     Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building, Ground Floor, 
Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
     Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building, Ground Floor, 
Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET, 
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
     Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
    Each submission must include the Agency name and the docket number 
for this notice. Note that DOT posts all comments received without 
change to www.regulations.gov, including any personal information 
included in a comment. Please see the Privacy Act heading below.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments, go to www.regulations.gov at any time or visit Room W12-140 
on the ground level of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, 
Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, 
except Federal holidays. The on-line FDMS is available 24 hours each 
day, 365 days each year.
    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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Richard Clemente, FMCSA Driver and 
Carrier Operations Division; Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle 
Safety Standards; Telephone: 202-366-2722. Email: [email protected]. If you 
have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, contact 
Docket Services, telephone (202) 366-9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Public Participation and Request for Comments

    FMCSA encourages you to participate by submitting comments and 
related materials.

[[Page 60944]]

Submitting Comments

    If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this 
notice (FMCSA-2018-0331), indicate the specific section of this 
document to which the comment applies, and provide a reason for 
suggestions or recommendations. You may submit your comments and 
material online or by fax, mail, or hand delivery, but please use only 
one of these means. FMCSA recommends that you include your name and a 
mailing address, an email address, or a phone number in the body of 
your document so the Agency can contact you if it has questions 
regarding your submission.
    To submit your comment online, go to www.regulations.gov and put 
the docket number, ``FMCSA-2018-0331'' in the ``Keyword'' box, and 
click ``Search.'' When the new screen appears, click on ``Comment 
Now!'' button and type your comment into the text box in the following 
screen. Choose whether you are submitting your comment as an individual 
or on behalf of a third party and then submit. If you submit your 
comments by mail or hand delivery, submit them in an unbound format, no 
larger than 8\1/2\ by 11 inches, suitable for copying and electronic 
filing. If you submit comments by mail and would like to know that they 
reached the facility, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard 
or envelope. FMCSA will consider all comments and material received 
during the comment period and may grant or not grant this application 
based on your comments.

II. Legal Basis

    FMCSA has authority under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 to grant 
exemptions from certain Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations 
(FMCSRs). FMCSA must publish a notice of each exemption request in the 
Federal Register (49 CFR 381.315(a)). The Agency must provide the 
public an opportunity to inspect the information relevant to the 
application, including any safety analyses that have been conducted. 
The Agency must also provide an opportunity for public comment on the 
request.
    The Agency reviews safety analyses and public comments submitted, 
and determines whether granting the exemption would likely achieve a 
level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be 
achieved by the current regulation (49 CFR 381.305). The decision of 
the Agency must be published in the Federal Register (49 CFR 
381.315(b)) with the reasons for denying or granting the application 
and, if granted, the name of the person or class of persons receiving 
the exemption, and the regulatory provision from which the exemption is 
granted. The notice must also specify the effective period and explain 
the terms and conditions of the exemption. The exemption may be renewed 
(49 CFR 381.300(b)).

III. Request for Exemption

    The National Mobile Shower and Catering Association (NMSCA) 
requests an exemption from certain hours-of-service (HOS) regulations 
for their member companies' drivers who are responding under a 
``Resource Order.'' A Resource Order is a task order issued by a 
Federal Agency directing firefighters and supporting personnel to 
respond to forest fires and similar emergencies. They specifically 
request that while operating under the exemption their drivers and 
carriers: (1) May extend the 14-hour duty period to no more than 16 
hours; (2) need not include ``waiting time'' while performing duties in 
the calculation of the 16-hour period; (3) need not comply with the 
minimum 30-minute rest break provision; (4) may extend the maximum 60 
hours on duty in any 7 days to 80 hours on duty in any 7 days; (5) may 
extend the 11 hours of driving time to 12 hours; and, (6) may extend 
the ``8 days in 30'' provision for exemption from use of an electronic 
logging device to ``12 days in 30.''
    The NMSCA seeks the exemption for a group of approximately 30 
member companies who are strategically positioned in the Western 
states. Wildfires occur frequently during certain months of the year, 
especially in Western states. To fight these fires, the National Forest 
Service and similar agencies call upon Federally-contracted private 
fire-fighting companies, who are exempt from the majority of the 
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) [49 CFR 390.3T(f)(5)] 
when they respond. Upon arriving near the fire scene, the firefighters 
establish a base camp where they will remain for a period ranging from 
a few days to a month, and will quickly require food and drinking 
water. To meet that need, the responsible government agency will issue 
a Resource Order to the nearest mobile shower and catering company that 
is under contract.
    Most of the government contract work for these services is 
seasonal. According to NMSCA, the specialized equipment utilized by 
their member companies travels comparatively few miles per year, 
generally not exceeding 5,000 miles, and almost exclusively in response 
to government contract orders. As there are a limited number of private 
contractors who have the capability and equipment to fulfill the 
government contract requirements, the territories covered by each 
contractor can be quite large. Wildfires and natural disasters are 
unpredictable and make it difficult to have assets prepositioned for an 
incident. When one contractor is called out to an incident, the nearest 
contractor must cover both their regional area and the one no longer 
covered by a contractor on an incident. At busy times of the year 
resources are stretched and travel distances are often increased, and 
therefore NMSCA contractors are often called on to travel hundreds of 
miles from their facilities at a moment's notice.
    According to NMSCA, their member companies' equipment does not 
qualify for the 49 CFR 390.3T(f)(5) exception for emergency equipment, 
so, while firefighters respond as emergency equipment and set up their 
base camps, they have little food or water until NMSCA members' 
equipment arrives at a later time. The exemption is needed both to 
expedite response to the scene of an incident and to allow HOS 
flexibility for the crews while operating for days at the base camps. 
While there, the crew members often need to drive CMVs to obtain 
supplies and, in particular, to obtain tanker trucks of needed water. 
Although the crew members have substantial rest time and have sleeping 
quarters on-site, the current HOS regulations may at times hinder their 
mission support.
    The NMSCA requests that the exemption be issued under the following 
terms and conditions: (1) It would be in effect for periods of time 
when NMSCA members are operating under a ``Resource Order'' or other 
comparable order issued by a Federal government agency; (2) drivers 
operating under the exemption must be employed by the NMSCA companies; 
and (3) drivers must provide proof that they are operating for one of 
the designated NMSCA member companies, and must produce a copy of the 
relevant ``Resource Order'', upon request of a law enforcement officer. 
The NMSCA also indicated in their application, that when operating 
under the exemption, their drivers and carriers will comply with all 
other provisions of the FMCSRs--other than those for which they 
requested an exemption. Furthermore, the NMSCA member companies will 
mandate that drivers complete the appropriate modules of the North 
American Fatigue Management Program and will emphasize to all personnel 
that the CMVs may not be operated when the driver feels fatigued, 
regardless of the mission assignments, per 49 CFR 392.3.

[[Page 60945]]

    By way of background, earlier in 2018, the NMSCA had requested a 
limited waiver from certain HOS regulations which was a nearly 
identical request to their recent application for exemption summarized 
in today's Federal Register notice. The waiver requested was for 
drivers employed by NMSCA member companies that are under contract to 
and have been issued a ``Resource Order'' by a Federal government 
agency to provide food and water services to contracted private fire-
fighting companies. The 90-day waiver was approved by the FMCSA, and 
recently expired on October 24, 2018. The Agency had determined that 
granting NMSCA this waiver was in the public interest, and that the 
waiver was likely to achieve a level of safety equivalent to the level 
of safety that would be obtained in the absence of the waiver. The 
NMSCA added in today's exemption request that the 90-day waiver that 
had received from the Agency was very helpful due to the severity of 
wildfires in the Western states which allowed them to complete the 
mission of providing food, water and showers to the Nation's first 
responders without any disruption to public safety.
    A copy of the NMSCA application for exemption is available for 
review in the docket for this notice.

    Issued on: November 20, 2018.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2018-25821 Filed 11-26-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P