Hours of Service of Drivers: National Mobile Shower and Catering Association; Application for Exemption, 52169-52172 [2019-21276]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 190 / Tuesday, October 1, 2019 / Notices Randy D. VanScoy (IA) The drivers were included in docket numbers FMCSA–2011–0141; FMCSA– 2017–0019. Their exemptions are applicable as of August 29, 2019, and will expire on August 29, 2021. In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315(b), each exemption will be valid for 2 years from the effective date unless revoked earlier by FMCSA. The exemption will be revoked if the following occurs: (1) The person fails to comply with the terms and conditions of the exemption; (2) the exemption has resulted in a lower level of safety than was maintained prior to being 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(b). Issued on: September 25, 2019. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy. [FR Doc. 2019–21284 Filed 9–30–19; 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. AGENCY: Notice of final disposition; grant of application for an exemption. jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with NOTICES ACTION: SUMMARY: FMCSA announces its decision to grant the National Mobile Shower and Catering Association’s (NMSCA) request for an exemption from various provisions of the Federal hoursof-service (HOS) rules for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. The requested exemption was 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 analyzed the exemption application and public comments, and determined that the applicant would achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved absent such exemption. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:10 Sep 30, 2019 This exemption is effective October 1, 2019 and expires October 1, 2024. 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: DATES: Jkt 250001 I. Public Participation Viewing Comments and Documents To view comments, as well as documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to www.regulations.gov and insert the docket number, FMCSA–2018–0331 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., e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. 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 (up to 5 years) and explain the terms and conditions of the exemption. The exemption may be renewed (49 CFR 381.300(b)). PO 00000 Frm 00110 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 52169 III. Request for Exemption 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. The NMSCA requested 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. NMSCA specifically requested that while operating under a ‘‘Resource Order’’ 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 not 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.’’ 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 and set up their base camps, they have little food or water until an NMSCA member’s equipment arrives at a later time. The exemption is needed both to expedite response to the 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, in particular, water. Although the crew members have substantial rest time and have sleeping quarters on site, the E:\FR\FM\01OCN1.SGM 01OCN1 52170 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 190 / Tuesday, October 1, 2019 / Notices current HOS regulations may at times hinder their mission support. A copy of NMSCA’s application for exemption is available for review in the docket for this notice. IV. Public Comments On November 27, 2018, FMCSA published notice of this application and requested public comment (83 FR 60943). The Agency received 5 comments. The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates) and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) opposed the exemption request. Excerpts from the Advocates’ comments are as follows: ‘‘Advocates [strongly] opposes the current petition as it is unnecessary and would substantially degrade public safety . . . NMSCA has provided no discussion of the regulatory relief presently available to motor carriers during an emergency under 49 CFR 390.23. Furthermore, the only countermeasures discussed by the Applicant indicate that their drivers will have, essentially, taken a short class on the dangers of fatigue and will comply with existing regulations which prohibit driving in a fatigued state. This description falls short of a complete analysis and ignores the underlying reasons for the HOS and electronic logging device (ELD) requirements.’’ CVSA opposed the exemption request, which it views as both unjustified and impractical. The CVSA believes exemptions from Federal safety regulations have the potential to undermine safety, while also complicating the enforcement process. The FMCSRs and the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) exist to ensure that those operating in the transportation industry are equipped to do so safely. CVSA added that, if granted, this exemption would place an excessive burden on the enforcement community and negatively impact safety. The remaining comments were filed by individuals expressing opposition to the NMSCA request. One said: ‘‘If NMSCA employees are responding to an emergency much of what they’re requesting is covered by Part 390; therefore, no exemption is required.’’ jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with NOTICES V. FMCSA Decision FMCSA has evaluated NMSCA’s application and the public comments and decided to grant parts of the request, while denying other parts. Although all comments filed to the docket opposed the exemption, the Agency believes that granting part of the request is appropriate and that the terms VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:10 Sep 30, 2019 Jkt 250001 and conditions of the exemption will achieve the requisite level of safety. The Agency believes that allowing drivers to extend the 14-hour duty period in § 395.3(a)(2) to no more than 16 hours would provide an equivalent level of safety because the drivers operating under the exemption would rarely be required to drive up to 11 hours during the work shift. The challenge drivers face when providing support for firefighting crews is that they would occasionally have to operate a CMV after the 14th hour of coming on duty. Driving significantly less than the maximum allowable hours ensures an equivalent level of safety, even when hours behind the wheel occur towards the end of the work shift. Although the exemption does not prohibit individuals from driving up to 11 hours during a work shift, the nature of the firefighting support operations is such that CMV drivers would spend most of their shift in the on-duty, not driving, status. The Agency believes that providing relief from the 30-minute rest break provision in § 395.3(a)(3)(ii) would achieve an equivalent level of safety because the drivers in question take numerous breaks during their work shift, and spend most of their time in the on-duty, not driving, status. While the breaks from the driving tasks are not off-duty breaks, the absence of long periods of continuous driving minimizes the risks of individuals operating while fatigued. With regard to relief from electronic records of duty status (RODS), the Agency notes that the existing regulations allow motor carriers and drivers to avoid the use of electronic logging devices (ELDs) if their operations do not require RODS more than 8 days in a 30-day period, which may be the case for short-haul operations under § 395.1(e)(1). NMSCA drivers would continue to comply with the driving time limits and the requirement to maintain accurate RODS and supporting documents which could be used to verify compliance with the terms and conditions of the exemption. The exemption would provide up to four additional days of relief from the ELD requirement (12 days instead of 8) during a 30-day period. Because the relief is applicable only when the NMSCA member companies are operating under a ‘‘Resource Order’’ or other comparable order issued by a Federal government agency, relief from the ELD rule would not be continuous throughout the year, and the retention of paper RODS and supporting documents during these periods for the limited number of NMSCA members provides an effective alternative for verifying PO 00000 Frm 00111 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 compliance with terms and conditions of the exemption and the applicable hours of service requirements. Finally, the requirement that drivers have 24 consecutive hours off-duty at the completion of camp activities/ demobilization before driving a CMV in operations not covered by the exemption, combined with North American Fatigue Management Program (NAFMP) training, ensures the individuals understand the importance of obtaining an adequate amount of rest, even under difficult operating conditions, and that they have the opportunity for rest when the firefighting support activities have ended. FMCSA notes that NMSCA has not notified the Agency of any reportable accidents while operating under the terms and conditions 2018 HOS waiver. With the imposed terms and conditions, the Agency believes that NMSCA drivers will likely achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to or greater than, the level of safety achieved without the exemption [49 CFR 381.305(a)]. FMCSA denies NMSCA’s request to allow ‘‘waiting time’’ to extend the window during which driving of CMVs is allowed because the Agency does not believe such relief would achieve an equivalent level of safety. While such relief was provided in the 2018 waiver, the waiver was limited to no more than 90 days to accommodate the urgency of the 2018 firefighting season. In the context of an exemption, the Agency does not believe the relief is appropriate because the frequency and time span of its possible use increase the risk of unsafe operations. As such, the Agency does not believe an exemption that excludes waiting time from the calculations of the driving time window would provide an equivalent level of safety. FMCSA also denies NMSCA’s request to extend the weekly limits for on-duty time. Currently, the Agency’s regulations prohibit driving a CMV after a driver accumulates 60 hours of onduty time within seven consecutive days (60-hour rule). Drivers may restart the calculations of the 60-hour rule at any time they have 34 consecutive hours off-duty. NMSCA requested that the Agency allow drivers up to 80 hours of on-duty time within seven consecutive days before the driver would be prohibited from operating CMVs. The Agency is not aware of any information that would support such an increase in the amount of on-duty time before the driver would be required to have at least 34 consecutive hours offduty. The increase would significantly E:\FR\FM\01OCN1.SGM 01OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 190 / Tuesday, October 1, 2019 / Notices increase the risk of drivers with cumulative fatigue operating CMVs on public roads. VI. Terms and Conditions for the Exemption This exemption is restricted to CMV drivers employed by NMSCA members transporting equipment to provide food and water services to contracted firefighters at designated base camps as follows: (1) The exemption is in effect only 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 listed in the attachment to this letter. (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, or other comparable order, upon request of law enforcement officers. (4) When operating under this exemption, drivers and carriers: a. May extend the 14-hour duty period in § 395.3(a)(2) to no more than 16 hours; b. Need not comply with the minimum 30-minute rest break provision in § 395.3(a)(3)(ii); c. May extend the ‘‘8 days in 30’’ provision in § 395.8(a)(1)(iii)(A)(1) to ‘‘12 days in 30’’; (5) Drivers must have at least 24 consecutive hours off-duty at the completion of camp activities/ demobilization before driving a commercial motor vehicle. (6) Drivers must complete the Driver Education Module 3 and the Driver Sleep Disorders and Management Module 8 of the North American Fatigue Management Program (NAFMP) (www.nafmp.org) prior to operating under the exemption; and (7) Motor carriers and drivers must comply with all other provisions of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. This exemption is contingent upon each carrier maintaining USDOT registration, minimum levels of public liability insurance, and not being subject to any ‘‘imminent hazard’’ or other out-of-service (OOS) order issued by FMCSA. Each driver covered by the exemption must be in possession of the exemption document and, if required, maintain a valid commercial driver’s license with required endorsements, not be subject to any OOS order or suspension of driving privileges, and meet all physical qualifications required by 49 CFR part 391. 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. Notification to FMCSA Under the exemption, each member company listed in the attachment of this letter must notify FMCSA within 5 business days of any accident (as defined in 49 CFR 390.5), involving any Company name of the motor carrier’s CMVs operating under the terms of this exemption. The notification must include the following information: a. Identifier of the Exemption: ‘‘NMSCA,’’ b. Name of operating carrier and USDOT number, c. Date of the accident, d. City or town, and State, in which the accident occurred, or closest to the accident scene, e. Driver’s name and license number, f. Co-driver’s name (if any) and license number g. Vehicle number and state license number, h. Number of individuals suffering physical injury, i. Number of fatalities, j. The police-reported cause of the accident, k. Whether the driver was cited for violation of any traffic laws, motor carrier safety regulations, and l. The total driving time and total onduty time prior to the accident. VIII. Termination The FMCSA does not believe the motor carriers and drivers covered by this exemption will experience any deterioration of their safety record. However, should this occur, FMCSA will take all steps necessary to protect the public interest, including revocation of the exemption. The FMCSA will immediately revoke the exemption for failure to comply with its terms and conditions. Issued on: September 25, 2019. Raymond P. Martinez, Administrator. DOT No. Address jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with NOTICES Emergency Mobile Kitchen Members Big Sky Mobile Catering ............................................................. Bishop Services .......................................................................... Cattlemen’s Meat Company ....................................................... D.F. Zee’s Firefighter Catering ................................................... For Stars Express ....................................................................... Houston’s Too ............................................................................. OK’S Cascade Company, LLC ................................................... Latitude Catering (R&G Food Service) ....................................... North Slope Catering .................................................................. NuWay Inc .................................................................................. Ridgeline Support Services ........................................................ Scofield Catering and Management, Inc .................................... Stewart’s Firefighter Food Catering, Inc ..................................... The Lake, Inc .............................................................................. Thunder Mountain Catering, Inc ................................................. Yellowstone Kelly’s Catering ...................................................... 362431 393418 0689015 767697 1023332 1262159 291137 683431 1123123 340104 1262159 1904003 443962 2408174 1764298 429821 224 N Higgins Ave., Missoula, MT 59802. P.O. Box 11, Goldendale, WA 98620. 12 East Main Street, Cut Bank, MT 59427. 987 Kruse Way, Springfield, OR 97477. 13124 Firestone Blvd., Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670. 20645 North 28th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85050. 1429 Avenue D, #166, Snohomish, WA 98290. 4650 S Coach Dr., Ste.110, Tucson, AZ 85714. 322 Culver Blvd., #352, Playa Del Rey, CA 90293. 955 N 4th St., Lander, WY 82520. 20645 North 28th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85050. 5450 Ralston St., Suite 104, Ventura, CA 93003. P.O. Box 818, Redmond, OR 97756. 9716 Pyramid Highway, Sparks, NV 89441. 5143 N Northwall Ave Boise, ID 83703. P.O. Box 80484, Billings, MT 59108. Emergency Mobile Shower Members A–1 Services PWMSGW ............................................................ A–1 Water ................................................................................... VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:10 Sep 30, 2019 Jkt 250001 PO 00000 Frm 00112 1744502 1745328 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 52171 P.O. Box 189, Oak City, UT 84649. P.O. Box 1552, Goleta, CA 93116. E:\FR\FM\01OCN1.SGM 01OCN1 52172 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 190 / Tuesday, October 1, 2019 / Notices Company name DOT No. AAA Mobile Showers .................................................................. Action Sanitary, Inc ..................................................................... Alan & Daryl’s Vacuum Truck Service, LLC ............................... B & D Mobile Support Inc ........................................................... Backcountry Support Systems .................................................... Big Sky Showers ......................................................................... Bishop Services, Inc ................................................................... Bush Fire Services ...................................................................... El Dorado Water & Showers ...................................................... NuWay, Inc ................................................................................. Ports on Site Services ................................................................ Western Emergency Services .................................................... [FR Doc. 2019–21276 Filed 9–30–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Railroad Administration [Docket Number FRA–2019–0079] jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with NOTICES Petition for Special Approval Under part 211 of title 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), this document provides the public notice that on September 17, 2019, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) petitioned the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) for a special approval pursuant to the requirements in 49 CFR part 238, Passenger Equipment Car Safety Standards. FRA assigned the petition Docket Number FRA–2019–0079. FRA notes that the equipment for which this special approval is sought is the subject of an existing waiver in Docket Number FRA– 2016–0076. Specifically, SEPTA seeks relief from 49 CFR 238.135(b), which requires that all passenger train exterior side doors and trap doors must be closed when a train is in motion between stations. SEPTA seeks special approval of alternative compliance pursuant to § 238.21(c) for its fleet of Silverliner V cars due to the cars’ unique construction. A copy of the petition, as well as any written communications concerning the petition, is available for review online at www.regulations.gov and in person at the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Docket Operations Facility, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, W12–140, Washington, DC 20590. The Docket Operations Facility is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays. Interested parties are invited to participate in these proceedings by submitting written views, data, or comments. FRA does not anticipate scheduling a public hearing in VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:10 Sep 30, 2019 Jkt 250001 2494204 906447 886981 1851540 2881759 1750986 393418 875731 789755 340104 1379095 339360 Address P.O. Box 4528, Visalia, CA 93278. P.O. Box 492, Lower Lake, CA 95457. P.O. Box 189. Oak City, UT 84649. 11030 Hwy 39, Klamath Falls, OR 97603. 3011 Jackson Road, Carter, Montana. 224 N Higgins Ave, Missoula, MT 59802. P.O. Box 11, Goldendale, WA 98620. 305 Flat Lick Road, London, KY. P.O. Box 944, Placerville, CA 95667. 955 N 4th Street, Lander, WY 82520. 305 Flat Lick Road, London, KY. P.O. Box 838, Merlin, OR 97532. connection with these proceedings since the facts do not appear to warrant a hearing. If any interested parties desire an opportunity for oral comment and a public hearing, they should notify FRA, in writing, before the end of the comment period and specify the basis for their request. All communications concerning these proceedings should identify the appropriate docket number and may be submitted by any of the following methods: • Website: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. • Fax: 202–493–2251. • Mail: Docket Operations Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, W12–140, Washington, DC 20590. • Hand Delivery: 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays. Communications received by November 15, 2019 will be considered by FRA before final action is taken. Comments received after that date will be considered if practicable. Anyone can search the electronic form of any written communications and comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the document, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). Under 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the public to better inform its processes. 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 https://www.transportation.gov/privacy. See also https://www.regulations.gov/ privacyNotice for the privacy notice of regulations.gov. PO 00000 Frm 00113 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Issued in Washington, DC. John Karl Alexy, Associate Administrator for Railroad Safety Chief Safety Officer. [FR Doc. 2019–21247 Filed 9–30–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–06–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION [Docket No. DOT–OST–2004–16951] Agency Request for Reinstatement With Change of a Previously Approved Information Collection: Aircraft Accident Liability Insurance Office of the Secretary, DOT. Notice and request for comments. AGENCY: ACTION: SUMMARY: The Department of Transportation (DOT) invites public comment about our intention to request the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)’s approval to reinstate with changes an information collection. The collection involves information from U.S. air carrier’s policies of insurance for aircraft accident bodily injury and property damage liability and their filings of a two-page form. The information collected is necessary for DOT to determine whether the air carrier meets DOT criteria for insurance in 14 CFR part 205. We are required to publish this notice in the Federal Register by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. DATES: Written comments should be submitted by December 2, 2019. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments [identified by Docket Number DOTOST–2004–16951] by any of the following methods: • Website: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments on the DOT electronic docket site. • Fax: 1–202–493–2251. • Mail or Hand Delivery: Docket Operating Officer; U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, W12–140, Washington, DC E:\FR\FM\01OCN1.SGM 01OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 190 (Tuesday, October 1, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 52169-52172]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-21276]


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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 final disposition; grant of application for an 
exemption.

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

SUMMARY: FMCSA announces its decision to grant the National Mobile 
Shower and Catering Association's (NMSCA) request for an exemption from 
various provisions of the Federal hours-of-service (HOS) rules for 
commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. The requested exemption was 
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 analyzed the 
exemption application and public comments, and determined that the 
applicant would achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or 
greater than, the level that would be achieved absent such exemption.

DATES: This exemption is effective October 1, 2019 and expires October 
1, 2024.

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

Viewing Comments and Documents

    To view comments, as well as documents mentioned in this preamble 
as being available in the docket, go to www.regulations.gov and insert 
the docket number, FMCSA-2018-0331 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., 
e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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 (up to 5 
years) and explain the terms and conditions of the exemption. The 
exemption may be renewed (49 CFR 381.300(b)).

III. Request for Exemption

    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.
    The NMSCA requested 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. NMSCA 
specifically requested that while operating under a ``Resource Order'' 
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 not 
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.''
    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 and set up their base camps, they have 
little food or water until an NMSCA member's equipment arrives at a 
later time. The exemption is needed both to expedite response to the 
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, in particular, water. Although the crew 
members have substantial rest time and have sleeping quarters on site, 
the

[[Page 52170]]

current HOS regulations may at times hinder their mission support.
    A copy of NMSCA's application for exemption is available for review 
in the docket for this notice.

IV. Public Comments

    On November 27, 2018, FMCSA published notice of this application 
and requested public comment (83 FR 60943). The Agency received 5 
comments.
    The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates) and the 
Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) opposed the exemption 
request. Excerpts from the Advocates' comments are as follows: 
``Advocates [strongly] opposes the current petition as it is 
unnecessary and would substantially degrade public safety . . . NMSCA 
has provided no discussion of the regulatory relief presently available 
to motor carriers during an emergency under 49 CFR 390.23. Furthermore, 
the only countermeasures discussed by the Applicant indicate that their 
drivers will have, essentially, taken a short class on the dangers of 
fatigue and will comply with existing regulations which prohibit 
driving in a fatigued state. This description falls short of a complete 
analysis and ignores the underlying reasons for the HOS and electronic 
logging device (ELD) requirements.''
    CVSA opposed the exemption request, which it views as both 
unjustified and impractical. The CVSA believes exemptions from Federal 
safety regulations have the potential to undermine safety, while also 
complicating the enforcement process. The FMCSRs and the Hazardous 
Materials Regulations (HMR) exist to ensure that those operating in the 
transportation industry are equipped to do so safely. CVSA added that, 
if granted, this exemption would place an excessive burden on the 
enforcement community and negatively impact safety.
    The remaining comments were filed by individuals expressing 
opposition to the NMSCA request. One said: ``If NMSCA employees are 
responding to an emergency much of what they're requesting is covered 
by Part 390; therefore, no exemption is required.''

V. FMCSA Decision

    FMCSA has evaluated NMSCA's application and the public comments and 
decided to grant parts of the request, while denying other parts. 
Although all comments filed to the docket opposed the exemption, the 
Agency believes that granting part of the request is appropriate and 
that the terms and conditions of the exemption will achieve the 
requisite level of safety.
    The Agency believes that allowing drivers to extend the 14-hour 
duty period in Sec.  395.3(a)(2) to no more than 16 hours would provide 
an equivalent level of safety because the drivers operating under the 
exemption would rarely be required to drive up to 11 hours during the 
work shift. The challenge drivers face when providing support for 
firefighting crews is that they would occasionally have to operate a 
CMV after the 14th hour of coming on duty. Driving significantly less 
than the maximum allowable hours ensures an equivalent level of safety, 
even when hours behind the wheel occur towards the end of the work 
shift. Although the exemption does not prohibit individuals from 
driving up to 11 hours during a work shift, the nature of the 
firefighting support operations is such that CMV drivers would spend 
most of their shift in the on-duty, not driving, status.
    The Agency believes that providing relief from the 30-minute rest 
break provision in Sec.  395.3(a)(3)(ii) would achieve an equivalent 
level of safety because the drivers in question take numerous breaks 
during their work shift, and spend most of their time in the on-duty, 
not driving, status. While the breaks from the driving tasks are not 
off-duty breaks, the absence of long periods of continuous driving 
minimizes the risks of individuals operating while fatigued.
    With regard to relief from electronic records of duty status 
(RODS), the Agency notes that the existing regulations allow motor 
carriers and drivers to avoid the use of electronic logging devices 
(ELDs) if their operations do not require RODS more than 8 days in a 
30-day period, which may be the case for short-haul operations under 
Sec.  395.1(e)(1). NMSCA drivers would continue to comply with the 
driving time limits and the requirement to maintain accurate RODS and 
supporting documents which could be used to verify compliance with the 
terms and conditions of the exemption. The exemption would provide up 
to four additional days of relief from the ELD requirement (12 days 
instead of 8) during a 30-day period.
    Because the relief is applicable only when the NMSCA member 
companies are operating under a ``Resource Order'' or other comparable 
order issued by a Federal government agency, relief from the ELD rule 
would not be continuous throughout the year, and the retention of paper 
RODS and supporting documents during these periods for the limited 
number of NMSCA members provides an effective alternative for verifying 
compliance with terms and conditions of the exemption and the 
applicable hours of service requirements.
    Finally, the requirement that drivers have 24 consecutive hours 
off-duty at the completion of camp activities/demobilization before 
driving a CMV in operations not covered by the exemption, combined with 
North American Fatigue Management Program (NAFMP) training, ensures the 
individuals understand the importance of obtaining an adequate amount 
of rest, even under difficult operating conditions, and that they have 
the opportunity for rest when the firefighting support activities have 
ended.
    FMCSA notes that NMSCA has not notified the Agency of any 
reportable accidents while operating under the terms and conditions 
2018 HOS waiver. With the imposed terms and conditions, the Agency 
believes that NMSCA drivers will likely achieve a level of safety that 
is equivalent to or greater than, the level of safety achieved without 
the exemption [49 CFR 381.305(a)].
    FMCSA denies NMSCA's request to allow ``waiting time'' to extend 
the window during which driving of CMVs is allowed because the Agency 
does not believe such relief would achieve an equivalent level of 
safety. While such relief was provided in the 2018 waiver, the waiver 
was limited to no more than 90 days to accommodate the urgency of the 
2018 firefighting season. In the context of an exemption, the Agency 
does not believe the relief is appropriate because the frequency and 
time span of its possible use increase the risk of unsafe operations. 
As such, the Agency does not believe an exemption that excludes waiting 
time from the calculations of the driving time window would provide an 
equivalent level of safety.
    FMCSA also denies NMSCA's request to extend the weekly limits for 
on-duty time. Currently, the Agency's regulations prohibit driving a 
CMV after a driver accumulates 60 hours of on-duty time within seven 
consecutive days (60-hour rule). Drivers may restart the calculations 
of the 60-hour rule at any time they have 34 consecutive hours off-
duty. NMSCA requested that the Agency allow drivers up to 80 hours of 
on-duty time within seven consecutive days before the driver would be 
prohibited from operating CMVs. The Agency is not aware of any 
information that would support such an increase in the amount of on-
duty time before the driver would be required to have at least 34 
consecutive hours off-duty. The increase would significantly

[[Page 52171]]

increase the risk of drivers with cumulative fatigue operating CMVs on 
public roads.

VI. Terms and Conditions for the Exemption

    This exemption is restricted to CMV drivers employed by NMSCA 
members transporting equipment to provide food and water services to 
contracted firefighters at designated base camps as follows:
    (1) The exemption is in effect only 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 listed in the attachment to this letter.
    (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, or other comparable order, upon request of law 
enforcement officers.
    (4) When operating under this exemption, drivers and carriers:
    a. May extend the 14-hour duty period in Sec.  395.3(a)(2) to no 
more than 16 hours;
    b. Need not comply with the minimum 30-minute rest break provision 
in Sec.  395.3(a)(3)(ii);
    c. May extend the ``8 days in 30'' provision in Sec.  
395.8(a)(1)(iii)(A)(1) to ``12 days in 30'';
    (5) Drivers must have at least 24 consecutive hours off-duty at the 
completion of camp activities/demobilization before driving a 
commercial motor vehicle.
    (6) Drivers must complete the Driver Education Module 3 and the 
Driver Sleep Disorders and Management Module 8 of the North American 
Fatigue Management Program (NAFMP) (www.nafmp.org) prior to operating 
under the exemption; and
    (7) Motor carriers and drivers must comply with all other 
provisions of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
    This exemption is contingent upon each carrier maintaining USDOT 
registration, minimum levels of public liability insurance, and not 
being subject to any ``imminent hazard'' or other out-of-service (OOS) 
order issued by FMCSA. Each driver covered by the exemption must be in 
possession of the exemption document and, if required, maintain a valid 
commercial driver's license with required endorsements, not be subject 
to any OOS order or suspension of driving privileges, and meet all 
physical qualifications required by 49 CFR part 391.

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.

Notification to FMCSA

    Under the exemption, each member company listed in the attachment 
of this letter must notify FMCSA within 5 business days of any accident 
(as defined in 49 CFR 390.5), involving any of the motor carrier's CMVs 
operating under the terms of this exemption. The notification must 
include the following information:
    a. Identifier of the Exemption: ``NMSCA,''
    b. Name of operating carrier and USDOT number,
    c. Date of the accident,
    d. City or town, and State, in which the accident occurred, or 
closest to the accident scene,
    e. Driver's name and license number,
    f. Co-driver's name (if any) and license number
    g. Vehicle number and state license number,
    h. Number of individuals suffering physical injury,
    i. Number of fatalities,
    j. The police-reported cause of the accident,
    k. Whether the driver was cited for violation of any traffic laws, 
motor carrier safety regulations, and
    l. The total driving time and total on-duty time prior to the 
accident.

VIII. Termination

    The FMCSA does not believe the motor carriers and drivers covered 
by this exemption will experience any deterioration of their safety 
record. However, should this occur, FMCSA will take all steps necessary 
to protect the public interest, including revocation of the exemption. 
The FMCSA will immediately revoke the exemption for failure to comply 
with its terms and conditions.

    Issued on: September 25, 2019.
Raymond P. Martinez,
Administrator.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
          Company name               DOT No.             Address
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    Emergency Mobile Kitchen Members
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Big Sky Mobile Catering........          362431  224 N Higgins Ave.,
                                                  Missoula, MT 59802.
Bishop Services................          393418  P.O. Box 11,
                                                  Goldendale, WA 98620.
Cattlemen's Meat Company.......         0689015  12 East Main Street,
                                                  Cut Bank, MT 59427.
D.F. Zee's Firefighter Catering          767697  987 Kruse Way,
                                                  Springfield, OR 97477.
For Stars Express..............         1023332  13124 Firestone Blvd.,
                                                  Santa Fe Springs, CA
                                                  90670.
Houston's Too..................         1262159  20645 North 28th
                                                  Street, Phoenix, AZ
                                                  85050.
OK'S Cascade Company, LLC......          291137  1429 Avenue D, #166,
                                                  Snohomish, WA 98290.
Latitude Catering (R&G Food              683431  4650 S Coach Dr.,
 Service).                                        Ste.110, Tucson, AZ
                                                  85714.
North Slope Catering...........         1123123  322 Culver Blvd., #352,
                                                  Playa Del Rey, CA
                                                  90293.
NuWay Inc......................          340104  955 N 4th St., Lander,
                                                  WY 82520.
Ridgeline Support Services.....         1262159  20645 North 28th
                                                  Street, Phoenix, AZ
                                                  85050.
Scofield Catering and                   1904003  5450 Ralston St., Suite
 Management, Inc.                                 104, Ventura, CA
                                                  93003.
Stewart's Firefighter Food               443962  P.O. Box 818, Redmond,
 Catering, Inc.                                   OR 97756.
The Lake, Inc..................         2408174  9716 Pyramid Highway,
                                                  Sparks, NV 89441.
Thunder Mountain Catering, Inc.         1764298  5143 N Northwall Ave
                                                  Boise, ID 83703.
Yellowstone Kelly's Catering...          429821  P.O. Box 80484,
                                                  Billings, MT 59108.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                     Emergency Mobile Shower Members
------------------------------------------------------------------------
A-1 Services PWMSGW............         1744502  P.O. Box 189, Oak City,
                                                  UT 84649.
A-1 Water......................         1745328  P.O. Box 1552, Goleta,
                                                  CA 93116.

[[Page 52172]]

 
AAA Mobile Showers.............         2494204  P.O. Box 4528, Visalia,
                                                  CA 93278.
Action Sanitary, Inc...........          906447  P.O. Box 492, Lower
                                                  Lake, CA 95457.
Alan & Daryl's Vacuum Truck              886981  P.O. Box 189. Oak City,
 Service, LLC.                                    UT 84649.
B & D Mobile Support Inc.......         1851540  11030 Hwy 39, Klamath
                                                  Falls, OR 97603.
Backcountry Support Systems....         2881759  3011 Jackson Road,
                                                  Carter, Montana.
Big Sky Showers................         1750986  224 N Higgins Ave,
                                                  Missoula, MT 59802.
Bishop Services, Inc...........          393418  P.O. Box 11,
                                                  Goldendale, WA 98620.
Bush Fire Services.............          875731  305 Flat Lick Road,
                                                  London, KY.
El Dorado Water & Showers......          789755  P.O. Box 944,
                                                  Placerville, CA 95667.
NuWay, Inc.....................          340104  955 N 4th Street,
                                                  Lander, WY 82520.
Ports on Site Services.........         1379095  305 Flat Lick Road,
                                                  London, KY.
Western Emergency Services.....          339360  P.O. Box 838, Merlin,
                                                  OR 97532.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

[FR Doc. 2019-21276 Filed 9-30-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P