Hours of Service (HOS) of Drivers; Applications for Exemption From the Electronic Logging Device Rule, 63194-63196 [2018-26597]

Download as PDF 63194 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 235 / Friday, December 7, 2018 / Notices relevant state law requirements, engineering and risk evaluations, financial considerations, as well as the resolution of ongoing litigation concerning Gallatin. TVA anticipates holding a community meeting near the plant after releasing the Draft EIS. Meeting details will be posted on TVA’s website. TVA expects to release the Draft EIS in the Fall 2019. Authority: 40 CFR 1501.7. M. Susan Smelley, Director, Environmental Compliance and Operations. [FR Doc. 2018–26531 Filed 12–6–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8120–08–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Dockets No. FMCSA–2017–0243, FMCSA– 2017–0296, FMCSA–2017–0337, FMCSA– 2017–0340, FMCSA–2017–0342, FMCSA– 2017–0356, FMCSA–2017–0361, FMCSA– 2017–0373, FMCSA–2018–0003, FMCSA– 2017–0336] Hours of Service (HOS) of Drivers; Applications for Exemption From the Electronic Logging Device Rule Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of final disposition; denial of applications for exemption. AGENCY: As required by statute, FMCSA announces denials of 10 applications for exemptions from the hours-of service (HOS) electronic logging device (ELD) rule. The applicants are as follows: Power and Construction Contractors Association; Western Equipment Dealers Association; Association of Energy Service Companies; Cudd Energy Services, Inc.; SikhsPAC and North American Punjabi Trucker Association; Owner- Operator Independent Drivers Association, Inc.; American Disposal Service; Towing and Recovery Association of America; National Electrical Contractors Association; and the Agricultural Retailers Association. The Agency reviewed each application and any comments received and rendered each decision based upon the merits of the application. DATES: On June 16, 2018, FMCSA denied 9 applications for exemption and on July 26, 2018, the Agency denied the application of the Agricultural Retailers Association. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Pearlie Robinson, FMCSA Driver and Carrier Operations Division; Office of amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:56 Dec 06, 2018 Jkt 247001 Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety Standards; Telephone: 202–366–4325. Email: MCPSD@dot.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background FMCSA has authority under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 to grant exemptions from certain parts of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. 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 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. In the case of denials, 49 U.S.C. 31315 explicitly states that the Agency may meet the requirements by periodically publishing in the Federal Register the names of persons denied exemptions and the reasons for the denials. Applications for Exemption The current hours-of-service (HOS) regulations in 49 CFR 395.8(a) require motor carriers subject to the regulation to ensure their drivers use ELDs in place of written logs to record their duty status for each 24-hour period. Additionally, Part 395 lists certain ELD exceptions for short-haul operations within a 100 air-mile radius and agricultural operations within a 150 airmile radius. The 10 applicants cited below applied for an exemption from the requirement to use an ELD to record HOS for drivers subject to the regulation for various reasons. FMCSA published Federal Register notices requesting public comment on each application. Each notice established a docket to provide the public an opportunity to inspect the application and other docketed information, such as comments of others submitted to the docket. Details of the Agency’s analysis follows. PO 00000 Frm 00047 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Power and Construction Association (PCCA) The PCCA requested that motor carriers and drivers operating commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in the power and communication construction industry be allowed to use paper records of duty status (RODS) instead of ELDs. PCCA noted that construction contractors spend considerable time off-road on varying jobsites; a single CMV may have several different drivers over the course of a day, moving the vehicle short distances around the jobsite. Due to the limited time that their drivers spend driving on public roads within a workday, PCCA states that the ELD and RODS requirements for drivers in its industries do not result in a significant safety benefit. FMCSA reviewed the application and the 259 public comments submitted. On June 16, 2018, FMCSA denied PCCA’s application for exemption because the Agency could not ensure that the exemption would provide the requisite level of safety. A copy of the denial letter is available for review in the docket (FMCSA–2017–0243). Western Equipment Dealers Association (WEDA) WEDA requested this exemption from ELD use on behalf of several organizations and their members. Effectively, the requested exemption would eliminate the requirement for agricultural equipment dealers to install ELDs on their CMVs. WEDA stated that equipment dealer operations in agriculture present unique circumstances that warrant the requested exemption and that the failure to grant it would pose an undue burden on equipment dealers and their customers without a measurable safety benefit. FMCSA reviewed the application and the 125 public comments submitted. On June 16, 2018, FMCSA denied WEDA’s application for exemption because the Agency could not ensure that the exemption would provide the requisite level of safety. A copy of the denial letter is available for review in the docket (FMCSA–2017–0296). Association of Energy Service Companies (AESC) AESC requested this exemption to allow all drivers of well service rigs to complete paper RODS instead of using an ELD whenever the drivers exceeded the requirements of the short-haul exception. According to AESC, complying with the ELD requirement would be overly burdensome for well E:\FR\FM\07DEN1.SGM 07DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 235 / Friday, December 7, 2018 / Notices service rig contractors without providing any measurable safety benefit. AESC further explained that well service rig drivers spend very little time on public roads, in contrast to long-haul truck drivers who spend most of their on-duty hours driving on public roads. FMCSA reviewed the application and the 8 public comments submitted. On June 16, 2018, FMCSA denied AESC’s application for exemption because the Agency could not ensure that the exemption would provide the requisite level of safety. A copy of the denial letter is available for review in the docket (FMCSA–2017–0337). amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES Cudd Energy Services, Inc. (CES) CES requested an exemption from the ELD requirements for its specially trained drivers of specially constructed CMVs used in oilfield operations to allow drivers of these infrequently driven CMVs to complete paper RODS instead of using an ELD. FMCSA regulations prohibit these drivers from using the short-haul exceptions to the HOS rules. CES believes that the exemption would not have any adverse impacts on operational safety because drivers would remain subject to the HOS regulations as well as the requirements to maintain paper RODS. FMCSA reviewed the application and the 8 comments submitted. None of the comments supported the exemption. On June 16, 2018, FMCSA denied AESC’s application for exemption because the Agency could not ensure that the exemption would provide the requisite level of safety. A copy of the denial letter is available for review in the docket (FMCSA–2017–0340). SikhsPAC and North American Punjabi Trucker Association (Applicants) These applicants requested an exemption from the ELD requirements on behalf of their members (fresh produce shippers and small truck businesses). According to the applicants, many of their members were not fully prepared to meet the December 18, 2017, compliance date. The exemption would allow members involved in segments of America’s agricultural transportation industry to delay using ELDs for one year. The applicants asserted that the exemption, if granted, would give the marketplace time necessary to develop cost-effective and practical solutions for the specific needs of impacted stakeholders and would allow FMCSA time to address training programs with compliant ELD options. FMCSA reviewed the application and the 41 comments submitted. On June 16, 2018, FMCSA denied the application. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:56 Dec 06, 2018 Jkt 247001 The information provided by the applicants failed to distinguish the drivers who would be included under the exemption. The applicants failed to indicate how they could ensure that the exemption would achieve a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety that would be obtained by compliance with the HOS regulation. A copy of the denial letter is available for review in the docket (FMCSA–2017– 0342). Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, Inc. (OOIDA) OOIDA requested a five-year exemption from the ELD rule for certain motor carriers considered to be a small transportation trucking business under 13 CFR 121.201. If granted, the exemption would cover small trucking businesses that do not have a carrier safety rating of ‘‘unsatisfactory,’’ and that can document a proven history of safety performance with no attributable at-fault crashes. FMCSA reviewed the application and approximately 4,090 comments submitted. An estimated 96 percent of the comments were from owneroperators in favor of the exemption. Approximately 4 percent of the comments were in opposition to the proposed exemption. On June 16, 2018, FMCSA denied the application. FMCSA noted that most of the content of the application challenges the basis of the ELD rule itself, rather than justifying an exemption for a specific segment of drivers under applicable statutory standards. FMCSA noted further that the application provided no consideration of the significant difficulty that would be encountered in trying to identify and validate drivers who meet the proposed exemption criteria, especially during roadside inspections. A copy of the denial letter is available for review in the docket (FMCSA–2017–0356). American Disposal Service (ADS) ADS is a trash hauling and recycling company operating in four States, with over 300 drivers who hold CDLs. ADS has been using the multiple stop rule, ‘‘treating all the stops in a village, town or city as one.’’ ADS operations fall under the 100 air-mile short haul exemption in Section 395.1(e)(1). When drivers exceed the 12-hour limitation more than 8 times in any 30 consecutive days, ADS is required to install and use ELDs in its CMVs. ADS applied for the exemption from the ELD and paper RODS requirements because the company does not believe ELDs can accurately record driving time when the CMV makes constant short PO 00000 Frm 00048 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 63195 movements with the driver often exiting the vehicle. FMCSA reviewed the application and the 10 comments submitted. On June 16, 2018, FMCSA denied the application. FMCSA concluded that ADS had not clearly explained how its non-use of ELDs and its discontinued use of paper RODS would reach the current level of safety that compliance with the HOS rules provides. A copy of the denial letter is available for review in the docket (FMCSA–2017–0361). Towing and Recovery Association of America (TRAA) TRAA is the national towing association representing more than 35,000 towing companies in all 50 states. TRAA has requested a 5-year exemption for all operators of CMVs owned or leased to providers of motor vehicle towing, recovery, and roadside repair services while providing such services. TRAA states that towing industry operations represent a unique and vital segment of the overall transportation industry in America that warrants exemption from the ELD regulations. TRAA believes that failure to grant the exemption will cause confusion and create an overly complex regulatory framework that will pose an undue burden on towers and their customers without any measurable benefit to public safety. FMCSA reviewed the application and the 250 comments submitted. On June 16, 2018, FMCSA denied the application. FMCSA concluded that TRAA’s plan for the continued use of paper RODS and the process for reviewing the RODS to verify accuracy would be comparable to the level of safety provided by paper RODS prior to the implementation of the ELD rule but would not achieve the equivalent level of safety that would be achieved by the use of ELDs. A copy of the denial letter is available for review in the docket (FMCSA–2017–0373). National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) NECA requested an exemption from the requirement to use an ELD on CMVs used by 4,000 contractor members who install, repair, and maintain the infrastructure of electrical utilities. NECA believes the ELD requirement burdens its members’ operations unnecessarily. It proposed to continue to use paper logs to record their HOS. FMCSA reviewed the application and the 275 comments submitted. Many of the comments were form letters in support of the application. On June 16, 2018, FMCSA denied the application. FMCSA was unable to determine from E:\FR\FM\07DEN1.SGM 07DEN1 63196 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 235 / Friday, December 7, 2018 / Notices amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES the application and the public comments whether operations under the requested exemption would provide a requisite level of safety. A copy of the denial letter is available for review in the docket (FMCSA–2018–0003). 4. Purpose of the Meeting: The purpose of this meeting is to: (a) Introduce the new Academy Superintendent and Academic Dean/ Provost. (b) Provide a briefing on the Critical Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) Infrastructure Plan, the infrastructure ARA applied for exemption from the spending plan and ongoing capital ELD requirement on behalf of its improvements. members who are retailers and (c) Provide an update on the general distributors of farm-related products state of the Academy, Class of 2022 and services. ARA members rely on performance, and status of incoming CMVs to deliver their products and class of 2023. services to farms. ARA asserted that its (d) Provide an update on the Sexual members were not prepared to meet the December 18, 2017 deadline for Assault/Sexual Harassment program complying with the ELD rule and sought progress. to obtain postponement of the deadline. (e) Provide an update on the status of FMCSA reviewed the application and implementing the 5-year Strategic Plan. the 117 comments submitted. On July (f) Establish the meeting schedule for 26, 2018, FMCSA denied the CY 2019. application. FMCSA was unable to determine from the application and the 5. Public Access to the Meeting: This public comments whether operations meeting is open to the public. Seating is under the requested exemption would on a first-come basis. Members of the provide a requisite level of safety. A public wishing to attend the meeting copy of the denial letter is available for will need to show photo identification review in the docket (FMCSA–2017– to gain access to the meeting location. 0336). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The Conclusion BOV’s Designated Federal Officer and FMCSA has reviewed these Point of Contact Brian Blower, 202– applications carefully and the 366–2765 or Brian.Blower@dot.gov. comments received and has concluded SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Any that each application lacks sufficient member of the public is permitted to file merit to justify the exemptions sought. a written statement with the Academy Accordingly, FMCSA denies each BOV. Written statements should be sent application. to the Designated Federal Officer at: Issued on: November 30, 2018. Brian Blower; 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE Raymond A. Martinez, W28–314, Washington, DC 20590 or via Administrator. email at Brian.Blower@Dot.gov. (Please [FR Doc. 2018–26597 Filed 12–6–18; 8:45 am] contact the Designated Federal Officer BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P for information on submitting comments via fax.) Written statements must be received no later than three working DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION days prior to the meeting in order to provide time for member consideration. Maritime Administration Only written statements will be U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Board considered by the BOV, no member of of Visitors the public will be allowed to present questions from the floor or speak to any AGENCY: Maritime Administration, DOT. issue under consideration by the BOV ACTION: Notice of U.S. Merchant Marine unless requested to do so by a member Academy Board Public Meeting. of the Board. SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of (Authority: 46 U.S.C. 51312; 5 U.S.C. app. Transportation, Maritime 552b; 41 CFR parts 102–3.140 through 102– Administration (MARAD) announces 3.165). that the following U.S. Merchant Marine Dated: December 3, 2018. Academy (Academy) Board of Visitors By Order of the Maritime Administrator. (BOV) meeting will take place: 1. Date: December 14, 2018. T. Mitchell Hudson, Jr., 2. Time: 9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. Secretary, Maritime Administration. 3. Location: U.S. Merchant Marine [FR Doc. 2018–26529 Filed 12–6–18; 8:45 am] Academy, Kings Point, NY, Crabtree BILLING CODE 4910–81–P Room, Schuyler Otis Bland Memorial Library. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:56 Dec 06, 2018 Jkt 247001 PO 00000 Frm 00049 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration [Docket No. PHMSA–2018–0100; Notice No. 2018–22] Hazardous Materials: Emergency Waiver No. 11 Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of emergency waiver order. AGENCY: PHMSA is issuing an emergency waiver order to persons conducting operations under the direction of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 10 or United States Coast Guard (USCG) Seventeenth District within the emergency area affected by the November 30, 2018 Alaska earthquake. The Waiver is granted to support the EPA and USCG in taking appropriate actions to prepare for, respond to, and recover from a threat to public health, welfare, or the environment caused by actual or potential oil and hazardous materials incidents resulting from the Alaska earthquake. This Waiver Order is effective immediately and shall remain in effect for 30 days from the date of issuance. SUMMARY: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Adam Horsley, Deputy Assistant Chief Counsel for Hazardous Materials Safety, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, telephone: (202) 366– 4400. In accordance with the provisions of 49 U.S.C. 5103(c), the Administrator for PHMSA hereby declares that an emergency exists that warrants issuance of a Waiver of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR, 49 CFR parts 171– 180) to persons conducting operations under the direction of EPA Region 10 or USCG Seventeenth District within the emergency area affected by the November 30, 2018 Alaska earthquake. The Waiver is granted to support the EPA and USCG in taking appropriate actions to prepare for, respond to, and recover from a threat to public health, welfare, or the environment caused by actual or potential oil and hazardous materials incidents resulting from the Alaska earthquake. On November 30, 2018, the President issued an Emergency Declaration for the Alaska earthquake (EM–3410) for Anchorage Municipality, Kenai Peninsula Borough, and MatanuskaSusitna Borough. This Waiver Order SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: E:\FR\FM\07DEN1.SGM 07DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 235 (Friday, December 7, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 63194-63196]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-26597]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Dockets No. FMCSA-2017-0243, FMCSA-2017-0296, FMCSA-2017-0337, FMCSA-
2017-0340, FMCSA-2017-0342, FMCSA-2017-0356, FMCSA-2017-0361, FMCSA-
2017-0373, FMCSA-2018-0003, FMCSA-2017-0336]


Hours of Service (HOS) of Drivers; Applications for Exemption 
From the Electronic Logging Device Rule

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

ACTION: Notice of final disposition; denial of applications for 
exemption.

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

SUMMARY: As required by statute, FMCSA announces denials of 10 
applications for exemptions from the hours-of service (HOS) electronic 
logging device (ELD) rule. The applicants are as follows: Power and 
Construction Contractors Association; Western Equipment Dealers 
Association; Association of Energy Service Companies; Cudd Energy 
Services, Inc.; SikhsPAC and North American Punjabi Trucker 
Association; Owner- Operator Independent Drivers Association, Inc.; 
American Disposal Service; Towing and Recovery Association of America; 
National Electrical Contractors Association; and the Agricultural 
Retailers Association. The Agency reviewed each application and any 
comments received and rendered each decision based upon the merits of 
the application.

DATES: On June 16, 2018, FMCSA denied 9 applications for exemption and 
on July 26, 2018, the Agency denied the application of the Agricultural 
Retailers Association.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Pearlie Robinson, FMCSA Driver and 
Carrier Operations Division; Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle 
Safety Standards; Telephone: 202-366-4325. Email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    FMCSA has authority under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 to grant 
exemptions from certain parts of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety 
Regulations. 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 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. In the case of denials, 49 U.S.C. 31315 explicitly states that 
the Agency may meet the requirements by periodically publishing in the 
Federal Register the names of persons denied exemptions and the reasons 
for the denials.

Applications for Exemption

    The current hours-of-service (HOS) regulations in 49 CFR 395.8(a) 
require motor carriers subject to the regulation to ensure their 
drivers use ELDs in place of written logs to record their duty status 
for each 24-hour period. Additionally, Part 395 lists certain ELD 
exceptions for short-haul operations within a 100 air-mile radius and 
agricultural operations within a 150 air-mile radius.
    The 10 applicants cited below applied for an exemption from the 
requirement to use an ELD to record HOS for drivers subject to the 
regulation for various reasons. FMCSA published Federal Register 
notices requesting public comment on each application. Each notice 
established a docket to provide the public an opportunity to inspect 
the application and other docketed information, such as comments of 
others submitted to the docket. Details of the Agency's analysis 
follows.

Power and Construction Association (PCCA)

    The PCCA requested that motor carriers and drivers operating 
commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in the power and communication 
construction industry be allowed to use paper records of duty status 
(RODS) instead of ELDs. PCCA noted that construction contractors spend 
considerable time off-road on varying jobsites; a single CMV may have 
several different drivers over the course of a day, moving the vehicle 
short distances around the jobsite. Due to the limited time that their 
drivers spend driving on public roads within a workday, PCCA states 
that the ELD and RODS requirements for drivers in its industries do not 
result in a significant safety benefit.
    FMCSA reviewed the application and the 259 public comments 
submitted. On June 16, 2018, FMCSA denied PCCA's application for 
exemption because the Agency could not ensure that the exemption would 
provide the requisite level of safety. A copy of the denial letter is 
available for review in the docket (FMCSA-2017-0243).

Western Equipment Dealers Association (WEDA)

    WEDA requested this exemption from ELD use on behalf of several 
organizations and their members. Effectively, the requested exemption 
would eliminate the requirement for agricultural equipment dealers to 
install ELDs on their CMVs. WEDA stated that equipment dealer 
operations in agriculture present unique circumstances that warrant the 
requested exemption and that the failure to grant it would pose an 
undue burden on equipment dealers and their customers without a 
measurable safety benefit.
    FMCSA reviewed the application and the 125 public comments 
submitted. On June 16, 2018, FMCSA denied WEDA's application for 
exemption because the Agency could not ensure that the exemption would 
provide the requisite level of safety. A copy of the denial letter is 
available for review in the docket (FMCSA-2017-0296).

Association of Energy Service Companies (AESC)

    AESC requested this exemption to allow all drivers of well service 
rigs to complete paper RODS instead of using an ELD whenever the 
drivers exceeded the requirements of the short-haul exception. 
According to AESC, complying with the ELD requirement would be overly 
burdensome for well

[[Page 63195]]

service rig contractors without providing any measurable safety 
benefit. AESC further explained that well service rig drivers spend 
very little time on public roads, in contrast to long-haul truck 
drivers who spend most of their on-duty hours driving on public roads.
    FMCSA reviewed the application and the 8 public comments submitted. 
On June 16, 2018, FMCSA denied AESC's application for exemption because 
the Agency could not ensure that the exemption would provide the 
requisite level of safety. A copy of the denial letter is available for 
review in the docket (FMCSA-2017-0337).

Cudd Energy Services, Inc. (CES)

    CES requested an exemption from the ELD requirements for its 
specially trained drivers of specially constructed CMVs used in 
oilfield operations to allow drivers of these infrequently driven CMVs 
to complete paper RODS instead of using an ELD. FMCSA regulations 
prohibit these drivers from using the short-haul exceptions to the HOS 
rules. CES believes that the exemption would not have any adverse 
impacts on operational safety because drivers would remain subject to 
the HOS regulations as well as the requirements to maintain paper RODS.
    FMCSA reviewed the application and the 8 comments submitted. None 
of the comments supported the exemption. On June 16, 2018, FMCSA denied 
AESC's application for exemption because the Agency could not ensure 
that the exemption would provide the requisite level of safety. A copy 
of the denial letter is available for review in the docket (FMCSA-2017-
0340).

SikhsPAC and North American Punjabi Trucker Association (Applicants)

    These applicants requested an exemption from the ELD requirements 
on behalf of their members (fresh produce shippers and small truck 
businesses). According to the applicants, many of their members were 
not fully prepared to meet the December 18, 2017, compliance date. The 
exemption would allow members involved in segments of America's 
agricultural transportation industry to delay using ELDs for one year. 
The applicants asserted that the exemption, if granted, would give the 
marketplace time necessary to develop cost-effective and practical 
solutions for the specific needs of impacted stakeholders and would 
allow FMCSA time to address training programs with compliant ELD 
options.
    FMCSA reviewed the application and the 41 comments submitted. On 
June 16, 2018, FMCSA denied the application. The information provided 
by the applicants failed to distinguish the drivers who would be 
included under the exemption. The applicants failed to indicate how 
they could ensure that the exemption would achieve a level of safety 
equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety that would be 
obtained by compliance with the HOS regulation. A copy of the denial 
letter is available for review in the docket (FMCSA-2017-0342).

Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, Inc. (OOIDA)

    OOIDA requested a five-year exemption from the ELD rule for certain 
motor carriers considered to be a small transportation trucking 
business under 13 CFR 121.201. If granted, the exemption would cover 
small trucking businesses that do not have a carrier safety rating of 
``unsatisfactory,'' and that can document a proven history of safety 
performance with no attributable at-fault crashes.
    FMCSA reviewed the application and approximately 4,090 comments 
submitted. An estimated 96 percent of the comments were from owner-
operators in favor of the exemption. Approximately 4 percent of the 
comments were in opposition to the proposed exemption. On June 16, 
2018, FMCSA denied the application. FMCSA noted that most of the 
content of the application challenges the basis of the ELD rule itself, 
rather than justifying an exemption for a specific segment of drivers 
under applicable statutory standards. FMCSA noted further that the 
application provided no consideration of the significant difficulty 
that would be encountered in trying to identify and validate drivers 
who meet the proposed exemption criteria, especially during roadside 
inspections. A copy of the denial letter is available for review in the 
docket (FMCSA-2017-0356).

American Disposal Service (ADS)

    ADS is a trash hauling and recycling company operating in four 
States, with over 300 drivers who hold CDLs. ADS has been using the 
multiple stop rule, ``treating all the stops in a village, town or city 
as one.'' ADS operations fall under the 100 air-mile short haul 
exemption in Section 395.1(e)(1). When drivers exceed the 12-hour 
limitation more than 8 times in any 30 consecutive days, ADS is 
required to install and use ELDs in its CMVs.
    ADS applied for the exemption from the ELD and paper RODS 
requirements because the company does not believe ELDs can accurately 
record driving time when the CMV makes constant short movements with 
the driver often exiting the vehicle. FMCSA reviewed the application 
and the 10 comments submitted. On June 16, 2018, FMCSA denied the 
application. FMCSA concluded that ADS had not clearly explained how its 
non-use of ELDs and its discontinued use of paper RODS would reach the 
current level of safety that compliance with the HOS rules provides. A 
copy of the denial letter is available for review in the docket (FMCSA-
2017-0361).

Towing and Recovery Association of America (TRAA)

    TRAA is the national towing association representing more than 
35,000 towing companies in all 50 states. TRAA has requested a 5-year 
exemption for all operators of CMVs owned or leased to providers of 
motor vehicle towing, recovery, and roadside repair services while 
providing such services. TRAA states that towing industry operations 
represent a unique and vital segment of the overall transportation 
industry in America that warrants exemption from the ELD regulations. 
TRAA believes that failure to grant the exemption will cause confusion 
and create an overly complex regulatory framework that will pose an 
undue burden on towers and their customers without any measurable 
benefit to public safety.
    FMCSA reviewed the application and the 250 comments submitted. On 
June 16, 2018, FMCSA denied the application. FMCSA concluded that 
TRAA's plan for the continued use of paper RODS and the process for 
reviewing the RODS to verify accuracy would be comparable to the level 
of safety provided by paper RODS prior to the implementation of the ELD 
rule but would not achieve the equivalent level of safety that would be 
achieved by the use of ELDs. A copy of the denial letter is available 
for review in the docket (FMCSA-2017-0373).

National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA)

    NECA requested an exemption from the requirement to use an ELD on 
CMVs used by 4,000 contractor members who install, repair, and maintain 
the infrastructure of electrical utilities. NECA believes the ELD 
requirement burdens its members' operations unnecessarily. It proposed 
to continue to use paper logs to record their HOS.
    FMCSA reviewed the application and the 275 comments submitted. Many 
of the comments were form letters in support of the application. On 
June 16, 2018, FMCSA denied the application. FMCSA was unable to 
determine from

[[Page 63196]]

the application and the public comments whether operations under the 
requested exemption would provide a requisite level of safety. A copy 
of the denial letter is available for review in the docket (FMCSA-2018-
0003).

Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA)

    ARA applied for exemption from the ELD requirement on behalf of its 
members who are retailers and distributors of farm-related products and 
services. ARA members rely on CMVs to deliver their products and 
services to farms. ARA asserted that its members were not prepared to 
meet the December 18, 2017 deadline for complying with the ELD rule and 
sought to obtain postponement of the deadline.
    FMCSA reviewed the application and the 117 comments submitted. On 
July 26, 2018, FMCSA denied the application. FMCSA was unable to 
determine from the application and the public comments whether 
operations under the requested exemption would provide a requisite 
level of safety. A copy of the denial letter is available for review in 
the docket (FMCSA-2017-0336).

Conclusion

    FMCSA has reviewed these applications carefully and the comments 
received and has concluded that each application lacks sufficient merit 
to justify the exemptions sought. Accordingly, FMCSA denies each 
application.

    Issued on: November 30, 2018.
Raymond A. Martinez,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2018-26597 Filed 12-6-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P