Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders, 69817-69819 [2019-27374]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 244 / Thursday, December 19, 2019 / Notices 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. II. Background On October 16, 2019, FMCSA published a notice announcing receipt of applications from five individuals requesting an exemption from the epilepsy and seizure disorders prohibition in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(8) and requested comments from the public (84 FR 55373). The public comment period ended on November 15, 2019, and one comment was 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 § 391.41(b)(8). The physical qualification standard for drivers regarding epilepsy found in § 391.41(b)(8) states that a person is physically qualified to drive a CMV if that person has no established medical history or clinical diagnosis of epilepsy or any other condition which is likely to cause the loss of consciousness or any loss of ability to control a CMV. In addition to the regulations, FMCSA has published advisory criteria 1 to assist medical examiners (MEs) in determining whether drivers with certain medical conditions are qualified to operate a CMV in interstate commerce. III. Discussion of Comments FMCSA received one comment in this proceeding. This comment supporting granting the exemptions. lotter on DSKBCFDHB2PROD with NOTICES IV. Basis for Exemption Determination Under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b), FMCSA may grant an exemption from the FMCSRs for no longer than a 5-year period if it finds such exemption would likely achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved absent such exemption. The statute also allows the Agency to renew exemptions at the end of the 5-year period. FMCSA grants medical exemptions from the FMCSRs for a 2year period to align with the maximum 1 These criteria may be found in APPENDIX A TO PART 391—MEDICAL ADVISORY CRITERIA, section H. Epilepsy: § 391.41(b)(8), paragraphs 3, 4, and 5, which is available on the internet at https:// www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2015-title49-vol5/pdf/ CFR-2015-title49-vol5-part391-appA.pdf. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:13 Dec 18, 2019 Jkt 250001 duration of a driver’s medical certification. The Agency’s decision regarding these exemption applications is based on the 2007 recommendations of the Agency’s Medical Expert Panel (MEP). The Agency conducted an individualized assessment of each applicant’s medical information, including the root cause of the respective seizure(s) and medical information about the applicant’s seizure history, the length of time that has elapsed since the individual’s last seizure, the stability of each individual’s treatment regimen and the duration of time on or off of anti-seizure medication. In addition, the Agency reviewed the treating clinician’s medical opinion related to the ability of the driver to safely operate a CMV with a history of seizure and each applicant’s driving record found in the Commercial Driver’s License Information System for commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders, and interstate and intrastate inspections recorded in the Motor Carrier Management Information System. For non-CDL holders, the Agency reviewed the driving records from the State Driver’s Licensing Agency (SDLA). A summary of each applicant’s seizure history was discussed in the October 16, 2019, Federal Register notice (84 FR 55373) and will not be repeated in this notice. These five applicants have been seizure-free over a range of 22 years while taking anti-seizure medication and maintained a stable medication treatment regimen for the last 2 years. In each case, the applicant’s treating physician verified his or her seizure history and supports the ability to drive commercially. The Agency acknowledges the potential consequences of a driver experiencing a seizure while operating a CMV. However, the Agency believes the drivers granted this exemption have demonstrated that they are unlikely to have a seizure and their medical condition does not pose a risk to public safety. Consequently, FMCSA finds that in each case exempting these applicants from the epilepsy and seizure disorder prohibition in § 391.41(b)(8) is likely to achieve a level of safety equal to that existing without the exemption. V. Conditions and Requirements The terms and conditions of the exemption are provided to the applicants in the exemption document and includes the following: (1) Each driver must remain seizure-free and maintain a stable treatment during the 2-year exemption period; (2) each driver must submit annual reports from their PO 00000 Frm 00098 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 69817 treating physicians attesting to the stability of treatment and that the driver has remained seizure-free; (3) each driver must undergo an annual medical examination by a certified ME, as defined by § 390.5; and (4) each driver must provide a copy of the annual medical certification to the employer for retention in the driver’s qualification file, or keep a copy of his/her driver’s qualification file if he/she is selfemployed. The driver must also have a copy of the exemption when driving, for presentation to a duly authorized Federal, State, or local enforcement official. VI. Preemption During the period the exemption is in effect, no State shall enforce any law or regulation that conflicts with this exemption with respect to a person operating under the exemption. VII. Conclusion Based upon its evaluation of the five exemption applications, FMCSA exempts the following drivers from the epilepsy and seizure disorder prohibition, § 391.41(b)(8), subject to the requirements cited above: Jacob Brenwall (WI) Frederick Costello (NY) Robert Davidson (ID) Joshua Pittman (CA) Philip Stoddart (NY) 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: December 12, 2019. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy. [FR Doc. 2019–27373 Filed 12–18–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2019–0206] Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. AGENCY: E:\FR\FM\19DEN1.SGM 19DEN1 69818 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 244 / Thursday, December 19, 2019 / Notices Notice of applications for exemption; request for comments. ACTION: FMCSA announces receipt of applications from eight individuals for an exemption from the prohibition in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) against persons with a clinical diagnosis of epilepsy or any other condition that is likely to cause a loss of consciousness or any loss of ability to control a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) to drive in interstate commerce. If granted, the exemptions would enable these individuals who have had one or more seizures and are taking anti-seizure medication to operate CMVs in interstate commerce. DATES: Comments must be received on or before January 21, 2020. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by the Federal Docket Operations Docket No. FMCSA–2019– 0206 using any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/ docket?D=FMCSA-2019-0206. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. • Mail: Docket Operations; U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590–0001. • Hand Delivery: West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays. • Fax: (202) 493–2251. To avoid duplication, please use only one of these four methods. See the ‘‘Public Participation’’ portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for instructions on submitting comments. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 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 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 Operations, (202) 366–9826. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: lotter on DSKBCFDHB2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: I. Public Participation A. Submitting Comments If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this notice (Docket No. FMCSA–2019–0206), indicate the specific section of this VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:13 Dec 18, 2019 Jkt 250001 document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation. 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 that FMCSA can contact you if there are questions regarding your submission. To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov/ docket?D=FMCSA-2019-0206. Click on the ‘‘Comment Now!’’ button and type your comment into the text box on 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, self-addressed postcard or envelope. FMCSA will consider all comments and material received during the comment period. B. 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/ docket?D=FMCSA-2019-0206 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 Operations 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. C. 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. II. Background Under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b), FMCSA may grant an exemption from the FMCSRs for no longer than a 5-year period if it finds such exemption would likely achieve a PO 00000 Frm 00099 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved absent such exemption. The statute also allows the Agency to renew exemptions at the end of the 5-year period. FMCSA grants medical exemptions from the FMCSRs for a 2year period to align with the maximum duration of a driver’s medical certification. The eight individuals listed in this notice have requested an exemption from the epilepsy and seizure disorders prohibition in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(8). Accordingly, the Agency will evaluate the qualifications of each applicant to determine whether granting the exemption will achieve the required level of safety mandated by statute. The physical qualification standard for drivers regarding epilepsy found in § 391.41(b)(8) states that a person is physically qualified to drive a CMV if that person has no established medical history or clinical diagnosis of epilepsy or any other condition which is likely to cause the loss of consciousness or any loss of ability to control a CMV. In addition to the regulations, FMCSA has published advisory criteria 1 to assist medical examiners (MEs) in determining whether drivers with certain medical conditions are qualified to operate a CMV in interstate commerce. The criteria states that if an individual has had a sudden episode of a nonepileptic seizure or loss of consciousness of unknown cause that did not require anti-seizure medication, the decision whether that person’s condition is likely to cause the loss of consciousness or loss of ability to control a CMV should be made on an individual basis by the ME in consultation with the treating physician. Before certification is considered, it is suggested that a 6-month waiting period elapse from the time of the episode. Following the waiting period, it is suggested that the individual have a complete neurological examination. If the results of the examination are negative and anti-seizure medication is not required, then the driver may be qualified. In those individual cases where a driver has had a seizure or an episode of loss of consciousness that resulted from a known medical condition (e.g., drug reaction, high temperature, acute infectious disease, dehydration, or acute metabolic disturbance), certification 1 These criteria may be found in APPENDIX A TO PART 391—MEDICAL ADVISORY CRITERIA, section H. Epilepsy: § 391.41(b)(8), paragraphs 3, 4, and 5, which is available on the internet at https:// www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2015-title49-vol5/pdf/ CFR-2015-title49-vol5-part391-appA.pdf. E:\FR\FM\19DEN1.SGM 19DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 244 / Thursday, December 19, 2019 / Notices should be deferred until the driver has recovered fully from that condition, has no existing residual complications, and is not taking anti-seizure medication. Drivers who have a history of epilepsy/seizures, off anti-seizure medication and seizure-free for 10 years, may be qualified to operate a CMV in interstate commerce. Interstate drivers with a history of a single unprovoked seizure may be qualified to drive a CMV in interstate commerce if seizure-free and off anti-seizure medication for a 5year period or more. As a result of MEs misinterpreting advisory criteria as regulation, numerous drivers have been prohibited from operating a CMV in interstate commerce based on the fact that they have had one or more seizures and are taking anti-seizure medication, rather than an individual analysis of their circumstances by a qualified ME based on the physical qualification standards and medical best practices. On January 15, 2013, FMCSA announced in a Notice of Final Disposition titled, ‘‘Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders,’’ (78 FR 3069), its decision to grant requests from 22 individuals for exemptions from the regulatory requirement that interstate CMV drivers have ‘‘no established medical history or clinical diagnosis of epilepsy or any other condition which is likely to cause loss of consciousness or any loss of ability to control a CMV.’’ Since that time, the Agency has published additional notices granting requests from individuals for exemptions from the regulatory requirement regarding epilepsy found in § 391.41(b)(8). To be considered for an exemption from the epilepsy and seizure disorders prohibition in § 391.41(b)(8), applicants must meet the criteria in the 2007 recommendations of the Agency’s Medical Expert Panel (78 FR 3069). medication with the dosage and frequency remaining the same since 2004. His physician states that he is supportive of Mr. Corino receiving an exemption. III. Qualifications of Applicants Mr. Totten is a 50 year-old class A, M CDL holder in Kansas. He has a history of seizure disorder and has been seizure free since 2005. He takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining the same since February 2009. His physician states that he is supportive of Mr. Totten receiving an exemption. lotter on DSKBCFDHB2PROD with NOTICES Daniel Bretz Jr. Mr. Bretz is a 44 year-old class C driver in Pennsylvania. He has a history of seizure disorder and has been seizure free since 2011. He takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining the same since April 2012. His physician states that he is supportive of Mr. Bretz receiving an exemption. Frank Corino Mr. Corino is a 43 year-old class D driver in New Jersey. He has a history of seizure disorder and has been seizure free since 2004. He takes anti-seizure VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:13 Dec 18, 2019 Jkt 250001 Darlene Michael Ms. Michael is a 64 year-old class B Commercial Learner’s Permit driver in Missouri. She has a history of seizure disorder and has been seizure free since 2011. She takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining the same since 2012. Her physician states that he is supportive of Ms. Michael receiving an exemption. Sonja Morgan Pagagrong Newsome Ms. Newsome is a 51 year-old class C driver in California. She has a history of seizure disorder and has been seizure free since 2009. She takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining the same since 2015. Her physician states that he is supportive of Ms. Newsome receiving an exemption. Matthew Scarlata Mr. Scarlata is a 30 year-old class D driver in New York. He has a history of epilepsy and has been seizure free since 2005. He takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining the same since 2016. His physician states that he is supportive of Mr. Scarlata receiving an exemption. Jeffrey Totten Michael Vitch Mr. Vitch is a 49 year-old class A CDL holder in Mississippi. He has a history of epilepsy and has been seizure free since 2003. He takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining the same since 2005. His physician states that he is Frm 00100 Fmt 4703 supportive of Mr. Vitch receiving an exemption. IV. Request for Comments In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b), FMCSA requests public comment from all interested persons on the exemption petitions described in this notice. We will consider all comments received before the close of business on the closing date indicated under the DATES section of the notice. Issued on: December 12, 2019. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy. [FR Doc. 2019–27374 Filed 12–18–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P Ms. Morgan is a 41 year-old class C driver in North Carolina. She has a history of epilepsy and has been seizure free since 2008. She takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining the same since 2008. Her physician states that he is supportive of Ms. Morgan receiving an exemption. PO 00000 69819 Sfmt 4703 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2014–0384; FMCSA– 2015–0326] Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Hearing Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of final disposition. AGENCY: FMCSA announces its decision to renew exemptions for three individuals from the hearing requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) for interstate commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. The exemptions enable these hard of hearing and deaf individuals to continue to operate CMVs in interstate commerce. DATES: The exemptions were applicable on June 10, 2019. The exemptions expire on June 10, 2021. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 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 Operations, (202) 366–9826. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: 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/ docket?D=FMCSA-2014-0384 or http:// E:\FR\FM\19DEN1.SGM 19DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 244 (Thursday, December 19, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 69817-69819]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-27374]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2019-0206]


Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Epilepsy and 
Seizure Disorders

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

[[Page 69818]]


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

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SUMMARY: FMCSA announces receipt of applications from eight individuals 
for an exemption from the prohibition in the Federal Motor Carrier 
Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) against persons with a clinical diagnosis 
of epilepsy or any other condition that is likely to cause a loss of 
consciousness or any loss of ability to control a commercial motor 
vehicle (CMV) to drive in interstate commerce. If granted, the 
exemptions would enable these individuals who have had one or more 
seizures and are taking anti-seizure medication to operate CMVs in 
interstate commerce.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before January 21, 2020.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by the Federal Docket 
Operations Docket No. FMCSA-2019-0206 using any of the following 
methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FMCSA-2019-0206. Follow the online 
instructions for submitting comments.
     Mail: Docket Operations; U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building Ground Floor, 
Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
     Hand Delivery: West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., 
ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays.
     Fax: (202) 493-2251.
    To avoid duplication, please use only one of these four methods. 
See the ``Public Participation'' portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY 
INFORMATION section for instructions on submitting comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Christine A. Hydock, Chief, 
Medical Programs Division, (202) 366-4001, [email protected], FMCSA, 
Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W64-224, 
Washington, DC 20590-0001. Office hours are 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 
Operations, (202) 366-9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Public Participation

A. Submitting Comments

    If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this 
notice (Docket No. FMCSA-2019-0206), indicate the specific section of 
this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for 
each suggestion or recommendation. 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 that FMCSA can contact you if there are questions 
regarding your submission.
    To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FMCSA-2019-0206. Click on the ``Comment Now!'' button and type 
your comment into the text box on 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.

B. 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/docket?D=FMCSA-2019-0206 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 Operations 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.

C. 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.

II. Background

    Under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b), FMCSA may grant an exemption 
from the FMCSRs for no longer than a 5-year period if it finds such 
exemption would likely achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, 
or greater than, the level that would be achieved absent such 
exemption. The statute also allows the Agency to renew exemptions at 
the end of the 5-year period. FMCSA grants medical exemptions from the 
FMCSRs for a 2-year period to align with the maximum duration of a 
driver's medical certification.
    The eight individuals listed in this notice have requested an 
exemption from the epilepsy and seizure disorders prohibition in 49 CFR 
391.41(b)(8). Accordingly, the Agency will evaluate the qualifications 
of each applicant to determine whether granting the exemption will 
achieve the required level of safety mandated by statute.
    The physical qualification standard for drivers regarding epilepsy 
found in Sec.  391.41(b)(8) states that a person is physically 
qualified to drive a CMV if that person has no established medical 
history or clinical diagnosis of epilepsy or any other condition which 
is likely to cause the loss of consciousness or any loss of ability to 
control a CMV.
    In addition to the regulations, FMCSA has published advisory 
criteria \1\ to assist medical examiners (MEs) in determining whether 
drivers with certain medical conditions are qualified to operate a CMV 
in interstate commerce.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ These criteria may be found in APPENDIX A TO PART 391--
MEDICAL ADVISORY CRITERIA, section H. Epilepsy: Sec.  391.41(b)(8), 
paragraphs 3, 4, and 5, which is available on the internet at 
https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2015-title49-vol5/pdf/CFR-2015-title49-vol5-part391-appA.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The criteria states that if an individual has had a sudden episode 
of a non-epileptic seizure or loss of consciousness of unknown cause 
that did not require anti-seizure medication, the decision whether that 
person's condition is likely to cause the loss of consciousness or loss 
of ability to control a CMV should be made on an individual basis by 
the ME in consultation with the treating physician. Before 
certification is considered, it is suggested that a 6-month waiting 
period elapse from the time of the episode. Following the waiting 
period, it is suggested that the individual have a complete 
neurological examination. If the results of the examination are 
negative and anti-seizure medication is not required, then the driver 
may be qualified.
    In those individual cases where a driver has had a seizure or an 
episode of loss of consciousness that resulted from a known medical 
condition (e.g., drug reaction, high temperature, acute infectious 
disease, dehydration, or acute metabolic disturbance), certification

[[Page 69819]]

should be deferred until the driver has recovered fully from that 
condition, has no existing residual complications, and is not taking 
anti-seizure medication.
    Drivers who have a history of epilepsy/seizures, off anti-seizure 
medication and seizure-free for 10 years, may be qualified to operate a 
CMV in interstate commerce. Interstate drivers with a history of a 
single unprovoked seizure may be qualified to drive a CMV in interstate 
commerce if seizure-free and off anti-seizure medication for a 5-year 
period or more.
    As a result of MEs misinterpreting advisory criteria as regulation, 
numerous drivers have been prohibited from operating a CMV in 
interstate commerce based on the fact that they have had one or more 
seizures and are taking anti-seizure medication, rather than an 
individual analysis of their circumstances by a qualified ME based on 
the physical qualification standards and medical best practices.
    On January 15, 2013, FMCSA announced in a Notice of Final 
Disposition titled, ``Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; 
Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders,'' (78 FR 3069), its decision to grant 
requests from 22 individuals for exemptions from the regulatory 
requirement that interstate CMV drivers have ``no established medical 
history or clinical diagnosis of epilepsy or any other condition which 
is likely to cause loss of consciousness or any loss of ability to 
control a CMV.'' Since that time, the Agency has published additional 
notices granting requests from individuals for exemptions from the 
regulatory requirement regarding epilepsy found in Sec.  391.41(b)(8).
    To be considered for an exemption from the epilepsy and seizure 
disorders prohibition in Sec.  391.41(b)(8), applicants must meet the 
criteria in the 2007 recommendations of the Agency's Medical Expert 
Panel (78 FR 3069).

III. Qualifications of Applicants

Daniel Bretz Jr.

    Mr. Bretz is a 44 year-old class C driver in Pennsylvania. He has a 
history of seizure disorder and has been seizure free since 2011. He 
takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining 
the same since April 2012. His physician states that he is supportive 
of Mr. Bretz receiving an exemption.

Frank Corino

    Mr. Corino is a 43 year-old class D driver in New Jersey. He has a 
history of seizure disorder and has been seizure free since 2004. He 
takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining 
the same since 2004. His physician states that he is supportive of Mr. 
Corino receiving an exemption.

Darlene Michael

    Ms. Michael is a 64 year-old class B Commercial Learner's Permit 
driver in Missouri. She has a history of seizure disorder and has been 
seizure free since 2011. She takes anti-seizure medication with the 
dosage and frequency remaining the same since 2012. Her physician 
states that he is supportive of Ms. Michael receiving an exemption.

Sonja Morgan

    Ms. Morgan is a 41 year-old class C driver in North Carolina. She 
has a history of epilepsy and has been seizure free since 2008. She 
takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining 
the same since 2008. Her physician states that he is supportive of Ms. 
Morgan receiving an exemption.

Pagagrong Newsome

    Ms. Newsome is a 51 year-old class C driver in California. She has 
a history of seizure disorder and has been seizure free since 2009. She 
takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining 
the same since 2015. Her physician states that he is supportive of Ms. 
Newsome receiving an exemption.

Matthew Scarlata

    Mr. Scarlata is a 30 year-old class D driver in New York. He has a 
history of epilepsy and has been seizure free since 2005. He takes 
anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining the 
same since 2016. His physician states that he is supportive of Mr. 
Scarlata receiving an exemption.

Jeffrey Totten

    Mr. Totten is a 50 year-old class A, M CDL holder in Kansas. He has 
a history of seizure disorder and has been seizure free since 2005. He 
takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining 
the same since February 2009. His physician states that he is 
supportive of Mr. Totten receiving an exemption.

Michael Vitch

    Mr. Vitch is a 49 year-old class A CDL holder in Mississippi. He 
has a history of epilepsy and has been seizure free since 2003. He 
takes anti-seizure medication with the dosage and frequency remaining 
the same since 2005. His physician states that he is supportive of Mr. 
Vitch receiving an exemption.

IV. Request for Comments

    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b), FMCSA requests 
public comment from all interested persons on the exemption petitions 
described in this notice. We will consider all comments received before 
the close of business on the closing date indicated under the DATES 
section of the notice.

    Issued on: December 12, 2019.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2019-27374 Filed 12-18-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P