Inspection, Repair and Maintenance; Inspector Qualifications; Intermodal Association of North America (IANA) Application for an Exemption, 50876-50880 [2020-17957]

Download as PDF jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES 50876 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 160 / Tuesday, August 18, 2020 / Notices The primary purpose of the ICR is to assess the effectiveness of various technologies, programs, and policies on motor carrier safety performance in support of the implementation of the FAST Act Beyond Compliance requirements. To accomplish this, the study will complete the following three objectives: (1) Identify high-performing carriers in terms of safety performance. (2) Determine the safety technologies, programs, and policies employed by these carriers. (3) Gauge the relative effectiveness of those safety technologies, programs, and policies based on the expert opinion and performance metrics of the high performing carriers. The data being collected for this study consists of responses from a select group of motor carriers on the most effective technologies, programs, and policies for achieving safe operations. The study does not attempt to conduct a full survey of the motor carrier population. Instead, it relies on expert opinion from carriers that are objectively determined to exhibit safe operations that exceed industry averages as indicated by driver out-of-service rates, vehicle out-ofservice rates, and crash rates. To identify these carriers, the study will utilize existing data from the Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS) database. FMCSA will collect data through an electronic survey of a panel of industry experts. The experts will be recruited from motor carriers who have safety performance records that are better than national averages. These carriers will be identified by examining Department of Transportation-reportable crash rates, driver out-of-service rates at roadside inspections, and vehicle out-of-service rates at roadside inspections. Only those carriers that perform near the top quartile across all three categories are potential participants. Participants would first be invited to participate in an online webinar that explains the evaluation design (i.e., analytic hierarchy process, or AHP). AHP is a tool for dealing with complex decision-making that employs a series of structured, pairwise comparisons in which respondents must express a preference for one alternative over another according to various evaluation criteria. Participants may not know how to proceed through the pairwise comparisons. Instead of solely relying on written instructions to explain to participants how to complete the survey, the project team believes it would be useful to conduct an information session via a webinar so an example can be provided and any VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:50 Aug 17, 2020 Jkt 250001 questions answered. The webinar would be conducted multiple times and participants would be given the option to select the one that best suits their schedules. In addition to the webinar, an online video would be made available to participants that explains the AHP. Once participants complete the webinar, they will be given a link to complete the survey online using an online survey tool such as Survey Monkey or Qualtrics. In the context of Beyond Compliance, the AHP-based survey would work by presenting experts with alternatives for what an ideal safety program looks like and allowing them to systematically compare the major elements of these programs. The survey results would then be analyzed to determine the safety program elements that were most frequently scored the highest across participants. The resulting information would reveal the elements of safety programs that these motor carriers are using and their achieved results and what these motor carriers believe to be the most effective for achieving safety and should be included in a Beyond Compliance program. In addition to those carriers invited by FMCSA to participate in the survey, FMCSA will also be reaching out to the National Association of Small Trucking Companies and Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association to invite them to voluntarily survey members as a supplemental data collection to the structured design. This would enable greater participation by smaller carriers and owner-operators, and would also enable a wider perspective of responses. The results of the data collection will be analyzed and integrated into the pilot study report. Data collection will be completed within 90 days of the end of the pilot program period and followed by a statistical analysis in 180 days. Both descriptive and analytical methods will be employed during the data analysis. The results of the study will be documented in a technical report that will be delivered to and maintained by FMCSA. This report will be available to the public on the FMCSA website, at www.fmcsa.dot.gov. The contents of the technical report will be utilized in developing the report that FMCSA is required to provide to Congress, pursuant to Section 5222 of the FAST Act. Public Comments Invited: You are asked to comment on any aspect of this information collection, including: (1) Whether the proposed collection is necessary for the FMCSA to perform its functions; (2) the accuracy of the PO 00000 Frm 00080 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 estimated burden; (3) ways for the FMCSA to enhance the quality, usefulness, and clarity of the collected information; and (4) ways that the burden could be minimized without reducing the quality of the collected information. Issued under the authority delegated in 49 CFR 1.87. Kenneth Riddle, Acting Associate Administrator, Office of Research and Registration. [FR Doc. 2020–18014 Filed 8–17–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2020–0081] Inspection, Repair and Maintenance; Inspector Qualifications; Intermodal Association of North America (IANA) Application for an Exemption Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of final disposition. AGENCY: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announces its decision to grant Intermodal Association of North America’s (IANA) application for a limited 5-year exemption to allow individuals who complete a training program consistent with a set of Intermodal Recommended Practices (IRPs) and associated requirements that has been developed by IANA to be considered a qualified inspector or qualified brake inspector for intermodal equipment (IME) under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR), in lieu of having one year of training or experience or a combination thereof prior to becoming a certified inspector/brake inspector. The Agency has determined that granting the exemption to allow individuals who complete a performance-based training program consistent with the IRPs and associated requirements developed by IANA, instead of the time-based training and experience requirements specified in the FMCSRs, would likely achieve a level of safety equivalent to or greater than the level of safety provided by the regulation. DATES: This exemption is effective August 18, 2020 and ending August 18, 2025. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Luke Loy, Vehicle and Roadside Operations Division, Office of Carrier, Driver, and Vehicle Safety, MC–PSV, SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\18AUN1.SGM 18AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 160 / Tuesday, August 18, 2020 / Notices Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590– 0001; (202) 366–0676; luke.loy@dot.gov. Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments submitted to notice requesting public comments on the exemption application, go to www.regulations.gov at any time or visit Docket Operations, Room W12–140 on the ground level of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 366–9317 or (202) 366–9826 before visiting Docket Operations. The on-line Federal document management system is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. The docket number is listed at the beginning of this notice. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Background FMCSA has authority under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 to grant exemptions from certain parts of the FMCSRs. FMCSA must publish a notice of each exemption request in the Federal Register (49 CFR 381.315(a)). The Agency must provide the public an opportunity to inspect the information relevant to the application, including any safety analyses that have been conducted. The Agency must also provide an opportunity for public comment on the request. The Agency reviews safety analyses and public comments submitted, and determines whether granting the exemption would likely achieve a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved by the current regulation (49 CFR 381.305). The decision of the Agency must be published in the Federal Register (49 CFR 381.315(b)) with the reasons for denying or granting the application and, if granted, the name of the person or class of persons receiving the exemption, and the regulatory provision from which the exemption is granted. The notice must also specify the effective period and explain the terms and conditions of the exemption. The exemption may be renewed (49 CFR 381.300(b)). IANA Application for Exemption IANA applied for an exemption that would allow individuals who complete a training program consistent with a set of IRPs and associated requirements developed by IANA to be considered (1) a qualified inspector for the purpose of conducting periodic (annual) inspections of IME under 49 CFR VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:50 Aug 17, 2020 Jkt 250001 396.17, and (2) a qualified brake inspector under 49 CFR 396.25 for the purpose of conducting brake system inspection, maintenance, service, or repair of IME. A copy of the application is included in the docket referenced at the beginning of this notice. The FMCSRs require individuals performing annual inspections of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs), including IME, or inspections, maintenance, repairs, or service to the brake systems on CMVs (including IME) to be properly qualified to perform such inspections. Under §§ 396.19(a)(3)(ii) and 396.25(d)(3)(ii), an individual who has training or experience or a combination thereof totaling at least one year as outlined in those sections is considered to be qualified to conduct those inspections. In its application, IANA states that: . . . a performance-based approach to training can be as effective, if not more so, than time-based training. An exemption to the current time-based requirement is therefore warranted in order to offer a performance-based alternative. The program that IANA has developed, including broadbased input from experts across the industry, coupled with real-world, operational experience, provides exceptional guidance and instruction for inspectors to meet FMCSA’s ultimate goal, which is to have safe and roadworthy intermodal equipment on the highways. Specifically, IANA’s Mechanics Training Task Force, part of its Maintenance & Repair Committee, has developed a series of five discrete elements described in greater detail below that together will serve to provide training developers and providers with the necessary content to deliver comprehensive training programs and assessments. (1) IRPs. IANA has developed a group of 53 IRPs that are individual procedures relating to the inspection, repair, or replacement of components on IME. The IRPs have been packaged into a Guide titled ‘‘The IANA Guide to Chassis Inspection and Repair’’ that includes additional resources in Appendices that support the IRPs. The IRPs have been grouped into nine separate sections based principally on the systems and components that exist on IME as follows: General Procedures and Auxiliary Equipment; Electrical and Lamps; Tires and Wheels; Axles; Couplers and Hitches; Frames; Suspensions; Brakes; and Welding/ Fabrication. Generally, each IRP includes: • Background and Context. This section provides an explanation of the need for the IRP and a brief overview of the content. PO 00000 Frm 00081 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 50877 • Terms and Definitions. This section contains a list of specific terms and their meaning within the context of the IRP, over and above those found in the Glossary (Appendix B of the Guide). It also provides terms and definitions that are specific to the procedures in the IRP. • Recommended Tools, Supplies and Equipment. This section lists the necessary items that should be available to mechanics in performing the procedure in the IRP. • Procedures. This section contains detailed, step-by-step instructions for performing each specific procedure. • Additional Information. This section lists resources that are relevant to and further inform the content of the IRP. (2) Competency Documents. The Competency Documents are a set of 53 documents that are based on the IRPs, and that (a) include specific statements that correspond to each individual IRP, and (b) outline the specific knowledge and skills necessary for inspectors/ mechanics to possess in order to successfully execute the procedures outlined in each IRP. The material provided in these Competency Documents serves to assist training providers as the foundation for the development of the training curriculum and content, as well as assisting in the development and delivery of inspector knowledge and skills assessments. (3) Task Lists. Each Competency Document also includes a ‘‘Task List.’’ The items in the Task Lists represent the practical elements involved in assessing the proficiency of the inspectors/ mechanics when conducting the procedures outlined in each of the IRPs. In addition to individuals successfully understanding the knowledge items outlined in the Competency Documents, each individual undertaking the training also needs to demonstrate proficiency in the items outlined in the Task Lists. These demonstrations occur under the oversight of a qualified inspector prior to the individual being able to perform the procedures in the IRP going forward as a qualified inspector. (4) Question Matrix. IANA’s Mechanics Training Working Group also developed a matrix to identify the number of test questions to be considered relative to each IRP when conducting assessments of an individual’s knowledge level. The matrix, when coupled with the Competency Documents, forms the basis for developing test questions for an individual’s knowledge assessments. These assessments are to be used in conjunction with modules in training courses. However, they will also serve to assess an individual’s knowledge E:\FR\FM\18AUN1.SGM 18AUN1 50878 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 160 / Tuesday, August 18, 2020 / Notices jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES prior to taking training (e.g., for ‘‘new’’ inspectors/mechanics) and to assist with gap analysis and identifying additional training needs for the existing workforce of inspectors/mechanics. (5) Training Hours. While IANA believes that the overall program should be primarily competency-based, IANA also recognizes that temporal parameters must be established for the overall course schedule. Deliberations within IANA’s Maintenance & Repair Committee on this point focused first on developing a range of time for full course delivery on all 53 of the IRPs, from a minimum of 324 hours to a maximum of 480 hours (inclusive of classroom and hands-on instruction). This range was established based on the content as well as the level of knowledge, proficiency, and experience of the inspector prior to taking the course. Individuals having some prior level of experience and competency would be on the lower end of the time scale, and those who are new to the job would be on the high end of the scale. IANA also estimated that approximately one-third (1⁄3) of the instruction should be classroom-based, and two-thirds (2⁄3) of the instruction should be laboratory/ hands-on based. The Committee resolved that, optimally, the course timing should be 480 hours for a new entrant to the business. IANA states that ‘‘. . . a mechanic who has successfully completed a training program based on the IRPs developed through IANA will possess the skills and knowledge to be a highly proficient and efficient inspector and will not appreciably benefit (if at all) from the current 12-month requirement.’’ The exemption would apply to all individuals who successfully complete a training program based on the IRPs and associated requirements developed by IANA as described above. IANA believes that granting the exemption to permit use of the IRP-based training program curriculum would maintain a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety achieved without the exemption, and that ‘‘safety will ultimately be enhanced.’’ Request for Comments FMCSA published a notice of the application in the Federal Register on April 3, 2020, and asked for public comment (85 FR 19055). The Agency received 20 comments, from the American Trucking Associations (ATA), the American Association of Railroads (AAR), and 18 individuals. ATA commended IANA for taking time to develop IRPs consistent with the needs of the intermodal sector of the VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:50 Aug 17, 2020 Jkt 250001 trucking industry, and stated that it ‘‘supports this exemption request for FMCSA to allow intermodal chassis mechanic training programs—consistent with IANA’s IRPs—to be able to certify students as qualified inspectors or brake inspectors without having the required one year of training or experience.’’ 1 ATA stated that a technician shortage exists in the U.S. trucking industry, and ‘‘The trucking industry could reduce this workforce shortage if FMCSA would allow: (1) students to complete training programs from institutes that base curricula from qualified trade organizations; and (2) permit selfcertification by qualified training institutes with programs specific to commercial vehicle inspections, including brake system inspections.’’ Additionally, ATA stated that properly trained technicians detect, correct and prevent the development of equipment failures, and ‘‘The trucking industry could decrease the vehicle OOS rate (decreasing vehicle downtime) while improving traffic safety if FMCSA allowed industry recognized RP-based training programs to equal the experience minimum.’’ Finally, ATA stated that: One year of experience or training for a commercial vehicle technician is arbitrary and can be misjudged. Fleets and service providers in the trucking industry are diverse and can perform business with their employees through multifaceted roles. For example, new entrants to truck maintenance may have a job for more than half the year to clean shop and move trucks around the yard. A new employee may be hired to do one non-PMI [preventive maintenance inspection] related job and be tasked with many PMI jobs 11 months after being hired. Although ATA’s experience with fleets and service providers meet or exceed the FMCSRs for inspector qualifications (e.g., an apprentice working alongside a PMI professional technician for at least one year and routinely perfecting mistakes) this may not be the case for all motor carriers. Focusing an industry recognized RP-based training program on students/new techs is imperative to the experience and training they would have before starting their first real-world PMI. In addition to experienced and well-trained new technician applicants, students would be qualified well under the one-year requirement if FMCSA would exempt industry recognized RP-based training programs. AAR supports ‘‘IANA’s proposed use of a modern, performance-based, 1 In supporting IANA’s exemption request, ATA recommends FMCSA work with its Technology & Maintenance Council to further apply qualified training programs for all types of commercial vehicle equipment so that the entire trucking industry and overall transportation industry may benefit from industry recognized RP-based training programs. PO 00000 Frm 00082 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 training program in lieu of FMCSA’s existing one-year experience requirement,’’ and stated: A formalized education program could serve as a superior and more efficient alternative to qualify an inspector than does the one-year experience requirement in 49 CFR part 396. A graduate of IANA’s program must prove proficiency and knowledge by demonstrating the skills required for each job he or she performs. FMCSA should allow the use of industry-developed best practices in the form of the IRPs developed by IANA in this matter to help to ensure consistent standards are met in qualifying chassis inspectors, and that the potential to improve safety across the intermodal industry is realized. Eighteen individuals provided comments regarding the IANA application. One commenter stated that Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations ‘‘allow aspiring aircraft mechanics a path to certification outside of strictly practical (i.e. on the job) experience by graduating from an FAAapproved aviation maintenance technician program—thereby gaining certification and doing the same work as their strictly on-the-job-experienced counterparts up to two years sooner.’’ The commenter noted that if this alternative approach works for the FAA, ‘‘it should [work] for the FMCSA given the community of safety-minded intermodal industry experts behind this request for temporary exemption.’’ Several commenters noted that mechanics who complete the IANA training and certification process will be far more reliable and consistent than someone who simply works for 1 year in a repair environment. Commenters noted that training programs based on the IANA IRPs will be heavily focused on hands-on training and assessments that standardize competencies and provide an expectation of the skills required for the certification. Commenters also noted that experiencebased learning is continuous and adds value to competencies, but stated that mechanics working without the foundation of an education regarding the equipment—specifically on IME— cannot ensure the safety or standard levels of performance of that equipment. Multiple commenters believe that with a combination of hands-on training and a dedicated training program, a technician can become competent and thorough within a much shorter time than the 1 year of training and/or experience required by the FMCSRs. One commenter noted that a validation of a mechanic’s abilities is much safer than an arbitrary waiting period (without dedicated training and an evaluation of that mechanic’s abilities). E:\FR\FM\18AUN1.SGM 18AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 160 / Tuesday, August 18, 2020 / Notices jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES One commenter did not support the IANA application, stating ‘‘There exists no data suggesting that Intermodal Association of North America, or anyone for that matter, has developed a miraculous training program that somehow, is able to improve upon and replace 12-months of actual real-life work experience. Common sense and logic tells us that any training program that claims to replace 12-months of reallife, hands-on work experience with an unspecified amount of time in their vague ‘training program’ is fraudulent.’’ Other commenters stated that the current requirement that an individual have a combination of training and/or experience that totals at least 1 year before being considered qualified should be retained, and that the 1-year time period is necessary to ensure that inspectors fully understand the specifics of the equipment and the tasks associated with inspecting the equipment. One commenter stated that the application should not be granted because brake violations continue to be some of the most often cited violations during inspections, and as such, there needs to be additional focus regarding the fundamental operation of brake systems from a training and continuous education standpoint. FMCSA Decision The FMCSA has evaluated the IANA application, and the comments received. For the reasons discussed below, FMCSA has determined that granting the exemption to allow individuals who successfully complete a performancebased training program consistent with the IRPs and associated requirements developed by IANA, instead of the timebased training and experience requirements specified in the FMCSRs, would likely achieve a level of safety equivalent to or greater than the level of safety provided by the regulation. In 2015, IANA established a Mechanics Training Task Force as part of its Maintenance & Repair Committee. As an initial step, the Task Force evaluated the processes necessary for the inspection and repair of intermodal equipment, and developed recommended practices and training for the mechanics who inspect and work on the equipment. These recommendations were based on IANA’s analysis of FMCSA inspection data for intermodal equipment over a 5-year period that identified specific vehicle components that routinely are the subject of out-ofservice violations. IANA stated that the goal of the Task Force was to develop processes and procedures to assist the industry in complying with the requirements in part VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:50 Aug 17, 2020 Jkt 250001 393, part 396, and Appendix G relating to intermodal equipment. Specifically, the Task Force developed (1) a framework for the development of recommended practices for the inspection and repair of IME, (2) a set of IRPs to guide the inspection and repair of IME, and (3) a training methodology and set of guidelines that increases and enhances the skills of an individual in the inspection and repair of IME. The Task Force included representation from all key stakeholder groups, and developed the work product as outlined in the three areas discussed above over the course of 3 years. IANA’s Maintenance & Repair Committee, which includes additional stakeholder representatives from across the industry, ultimately reviewed and approved the Task Force’s work product. FMCSA has reviewed the IANA Guide that includes the 53 individual IRPs and associated resources, along with the Competency Documents, Task Lists, and Question Matrix that together establish the framework for the training program. In addition, the Maintenance & Repair Committee determined that inspectors/ mechanics need at least 480 hours of training on the materials discussed above, with approximately one-third of the instruction classroom-based and approximately two-thirds of the instruction laboratory/hands-on based. FMCSA believes that an individual who successfully completes a training program consistent with the IANA IRPs and associated requirements will possess the skills and knowledge to be a highly proficient and efficient inspector, without the need to have a minimum of 1 year of training or experience or a combination thereof. FMCSA agrees that the establishment of recommended inspection and repair practices and training guidelines through a program based on the IANA IRPs and associated requirements will have a positive impact on the safety and roadworthiness of IME, and by extension, the traveling public. FMCSA acknowledges the commenters who did not support the IANA application, many of whom simply stated that they believe the requirement for individuals to have at least one year of experience and/or training is the minimum needed to ensure that those individuals have the necessary skills to properly conduct inspections of intermodal equipment. While these commenters contend that eliminating the 1-year training and experience requirement will result in unqualified individuals being able to conduct inspections of intermodal equipment, none presented any specific concerns regarding the detailed and PO 00000 Frm 00083 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 50879 comprehensive IANA IRPs or associated requirements developed by the IANA IRP Mechanics Training Task Force. As noted above, and based on a review of the comprehensive materials that have been developed by IANA following a detailed analysis of FMCSA intermodal equipment inspection data, FMCSA believes that a performance-based approach to training can be as effective as, if not more so than, training that is strictly time-based. Terms and Conditions for the Exemption The Agency hereby grants the exemption for a 5-year period, beginning August 18, 2020 and ending August 18, 2025. During the temporary exemption period, individuals who successfully complete a training program consistent with (1) a set of 53 IRPs that have been developed by IANA and (2) the Competency Documents, Task Lists, and Question Matrices that have been developed by IANA for each of the 53 IRPs, and that have completed a minimum of 480 hours of training on those materials will be considered to be (1) a qualified inspector for the purpose of conducting periodic (annual) inspections of IME under 49 CFR 396.17, and (2) a qualified brake inspector under 49 CFR 396.25 for the purpose of conducting brake system inspection, maintenance, service, or repair of IME. FMCSA emphasizes that the exemption is limited to individuals performing periodic inspections of, and brake system inspection, maintenance, service, or repair of, IME, and does not eliminate the requirement under §§ 396.19(a)(3)(ii) and 396.25(d)(3)(ii) that individuals have at least 1 year of training or experience or a combination thereof to be qualified to conduct periodic inspections of or brake system inspection, maintenance, service, or repair on commercial vehicles other than IME. The exemption will be valid for 5 years unless rescinded earlier by FMCSA. The exemption will be rescinded if: (1) Individuals, motor carriers, or intermodal equipment providers (IEP) fail to comply with the terms and conditions of the exemption; (2) the exemption has resulted in a lower level of safety than was maintained before it was granted; or (3) continuation of the exemption would not be consistent with the goals and objectives of 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b). Interested parties possessing information demonstrating that periodic inspections or brake system inspection, maintenance, service, or repair of IME conducted by inspectors that have been E:\FR\FM\18AUN1.SGM 18AUN1 50880 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 160 / Tuesday, August 18, 2020 / Notices determined to be qualified under the terms and conditions of this exemption do not result in the requisite statutory level of safety should immediately notify FMCSA. The Agency will evaluate any such information and, if safety is being compromised or if the continuation of the exemption is not consistent with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b), will take immediate steps to revoke the exemption. 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. James A. Mullen, Deputy Administrator. [FR Doc. 2020–17957 Filed 8–17–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Transit Administration Announcement of Fiscal Year 2020 Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program Project Selections Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT. ACTION: Notice; Announcement of Project Selections. Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program. AGENCY: The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announces the allocation of $463,848,929 to projects under the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program (Bus and Bus Facilities Program) and provides administrative guidance on project implementation. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Successful applicants should contact the appropriate FTA Regional Office for information regarding applying for the funds or program-specific information. A list of Regional Offices can be found at www.transit.dot.gov/. Unsuccessful applicants may contact Mark G. Bathrick, Office of Program Management at (202) 366–9955, email: Mark.Bathrick@dot.gov, within 30 days of this announcement to arrange a proposal debriefing. A TDD is available at 1–800–877–8339 (TDD/FIRS). jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:50 Aug 17, 2020 Jkt 250001 Federal public transportation law (49 U.S.C. 5339(b)) authorizes FTA to make competitive grants for buses and bus facilities. Federal public transportation law (49 U.S.C. 5338) authorized $289,044,179 for competitive allocations in FY 2020. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 (Pub. L. 116– 94) appropriated an additional $170 million for the Buses and Bus Facilities Program for FY 2020. An additional $20,401 of unawarded FY 2019 and $9,273,773 in FY 2016 funding was also made available. After the statutory set, aside for oversight, $463,920,522 was available for competitive grants under the Buses and Bus Facilities Program. On January 30, 2020, FTA published a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) (85 FR 5538) announcing the availability of $454,626,348 in competitive funding under the Buses and Bus Facilities Program, with the option to award additional funds if they are made available to the program prior to the announcement of project selections. These funds will provide financial assistance to states and eligible public entities to replace, rehabilitate, purchase, or lease buses, vans, and related equipment, and for capital projects to rehabilitate, purchase, construct, or lease bus-related facilities. In response to the NOFO, FTA received 282 eligible project proposals from 48 States, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico requesting approximately $1.846 billion in Federal funds. Project proposals were evaluated based on each applicant’s responsiveness to the program evaluation criteria outlined in the NOFO. Based on the criteria in the NOFO, FTA is funding 96 projects, as shown in Table 1, for a total of $463,848,929. Recipients selected for competitive funding are required to work with their FTA Regional Office to submit a grant application in FTA’s Transit Award Management System (TrAMS) for the projects identified in the attached table to quickly obligate funds. Grant applications must only include eligible activities applied for in the original project application. Funds must be used consistent with the competitive proposal and for the eligible capital purposes described in the NOFO. In cases where the allocation amount is less than the proposer’s total requested amount, recipients are required to fund the scalable project option as described in the application. If the award amount does not correspond to the scalable option, the recipient should work with the Regional Office to reduce scope or scale the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: PO 00000 Frm 00084 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 project such that a complete phase or project is accomplished. Recipients may also provide additional local funds to complete a proposed project. A discretionary project identification number has been assigned to each project for tracking purposes and must be used in the TrAMS application. Selected projects are eligible to incur costs under pre-award authority no earlier than the date projects were publicly announced. Pre-award authority does not guarantee that project expenses incurred prior to the award of a grant will be eligible for reimbursement, as eligibility for reimbursement is contingent upon other requirements, such as planning and environmental requirements, having been met. For more about FTA’s policy on pre-award authority, please see the current FTA Apportionments, Allocations, and Program Information and Interim Guidance at https:// www.transit.dot.gov/funding/ apportionments. Post-award reporting requirements include submission of Federal Financial Reports and Milestone Progress Reports in TrAMS (see FTA Circular 5010.1E, https:// www.transit.dot.gov/regulations-andguidance/fta-circulars/awardmanagement-requirements-circular50101e). Recipients must comply with all applicable Federal statutes, regulations, executive orders, FTA circulars, and other Federal requirements in carrying out the project supported by the FTA grant. FTA emphasizes that recipients must follow all third-party procurement requirements set forth in Federal public transportation law (49 U.S.C. 5325(a)) and described in the FTA Third Party Contracting Guidance Circular (FTA Circular 4220.1, ). Funds allocated in this announcement must be obligated in a grant by September 30, 2023. Technical Review and Evaluation Summary: The FTA assessed all project proposals that were submitted under the FY 2020 Bus and Bus Facilities Program competition according to the following evaluation criteria. The specific metrics for each criterion were described in the January 30, 2020, NOFO: 1. Demonstration of Need 2. Demonstration of Benefits 3. Planning/Local Prioritization 4. Local Financial Commitment 5. Project Implementation Strategy 6. Technical, Legal, and Financial Capacity For each project, a technical review panel assigned a rating of Highly Recommended, Recommended, or Not E:\FR\FM\18AUN1.SGM 18AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 160 (Tuesday, August 18, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 50876-50880]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-17957]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2020-0081]


Inspection, Repair and Maintenance; Inspector Qualifications; 
Intermodal Association of North America (IANA) Application for an 
Exemption

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

ACTION: Notice of final disposition.

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SUMMARY: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) 
announces its decision to grant Intermodal Association of North 
America's (IANA) application for a limited 5-year exemption to allow 
individuals who complete a training program consistent with a set of 
Intermodal Recommended Practices (IRPs) and associated requirements 
that has been developed by IANA to be considered a qualified inspector 
or qualified brake inspector for intermodal equipment (IME) under the 
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR), in lieu of having one 
year of training or experience or a combination thereof prior to 
becoming a certified inspector/brake inspector. The Agency has 
determined that granting the exemption to allow individuals who 
complete a performance-based training program consistent with the IRPs 
and associated requirements developed by IANA, instead of the time-
based training and experience requirements specified in the FMCSRs, 
would likely achieve a level of safety equivalent to or greater than 
the level of safety provided by the regulation.

DATES: This exemption is effective August 18, 2020 and ending August 
18, 2025.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Luke Loy, Vehicle and Roadside 
Operations Division, Office of Carrier, Driver, and Vehicle Safety, MC-
PSV,

[[Page 50877]]

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, 
Washington, DC 20590-0001; (202) 366-0676; [email protected].
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments submitted to notice requesting public comments on the 
exemption application, go to www.regulations.gov at any time or visit 
Docket Operations, Room W12-140 on the ground level of the West 
Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 
5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. To be sure 
someone is there to help you, please call (202) 366-9317 or (202) 366-
9826 before visiting Docket Operations. The on-line Federal document 
management system is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. 
The docket number is listed at the beginning of this notice.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

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

IANA Application for Exemption

    IANA applied for an exemption that would allow individuals who 
complete a training program consistent with a set of IRPs and 
associated requirements developed by IANA to be considered (1) a 
qualified inspector for the purpose of conducting periodic (annual) 
inspections of IME under 49 CFR 396.17, and (2) a qualified brake 
inspector under 49 CFR 396.25 for the purpose of conducting brake 
system inspection, maintenance, service, or repair of IME. A copy of 
the application is included in the docket referenced at the beginning 
of this notice.
    The FMCSRs require individuals performing annual inspections of 
commercial motor vehicles (CMVs), including IME, or inspections, 
maintenance, repairs, or service to the brake systems on CMVs 
(including IME) to be properly qualified to perform such inspections. 
Under Sec. Sec.  396.19(a)(3)(ii) and 396.25(d)(3)(ii), an individual 
who has training or experience or a combination thereof totaling at 
least one year as outlined in those sections is considered to be 
qualified to conduct those inspections.
    In its application, IANA states that:

. . . a performance-based approach to training can be as effective, 
if not more so, than time-based training. An exemption to the 
current time-based requirement is therefore warranted in order to 
offer a performance-based alternative. The program that IANA has 
developed, including broad-based input from experts across the 
industry, coupled with real-world, operational experience, provides 
exceptional guidance and instruction for inspectors to meet FMCSA's 
ultimate goal, which is to have safe and roadworthy intermodal 
equipment on the highways.

    Specifically, IANA's Mechanics Training Task Force, part of its 
Maintenance & Repair Committee, has developed a series of five discrete 
elements described in greater detail below that together will serve to 
provide training developers and providers with the necessary content to 
deliver comprehensive training programs and assessments.
    (1) IRPs. IANA has developed a group of 53 IRPs that are individual 
procedures relating to the inspection, repair, or replacement of 
components on IME. The IRPs have been packaged into a Guide titled 
``The IANA Guide to Chassis Inspection and Repair'' that includes 
additional resources in Appendices that support the IRPs. The IRPs have 
been grouped into nine separate sections based principally on the 
systems and components that exist on IME as follows: General Procedures 
and Auxiliary Equipment; Electrical and Lamps; Tires and Wheels; Axles; 
Couplers and Hitches; Frames; Suspensions; Brakes; and Welding/
Fabrication. Generally, each IRP includes:
     Background and Context. This section provides an 
explanation of the need for the IRP and a brief overview of the 
content.
     Terms and Definitions. This section contains a list of 
specific terms and their meaning within the context of the IRP, over 
and above those found in the Glossary (Appendix B of the Guide). It 
also provides terms and definitions that are specific to the procedures 
in the IRP.
     Recommended Tools, Supplies and Equipment. This section 
lists the necessary items that should be available to mechanics in 
performing the procedure in the IRP.
     Procedures. This section contains detailed, step-by-step 
instructions for performing each specific procedure.
     Additional Information. This section lists resources that 
are relevant to and further inform the content of the IRP.
    (2) Competency Documents. The Competency Documents are a set of 53 
documents that are based on the IRPs, and that (a) include specific 
statements that correspond to each individual IRP, and (b) outline the 
specific knowledge and skills necessary for inspectors/mechanics to 
possess in order to successfully execute the procedures outlined in 
each IRP. The material provided in these Competency Documents serves to 
assist training providers as the foundation for the development of the 
training curriculum and content, as well as assisting in the 
development and delivery of inspector knowledge and skills assessments.
    (3) Task Lists. Each Competency Document also includes a ``Task 
List.'' The items in the Task Lists represent the practical elements 
involved in assessing the proficiency of the inspectors/mechanics when 
conducting the procedures outlined in each of the IRPs. In addition to 
individuals successfully understanding the knowledge items outlined in 
the Competency Documents, each individual undertaking the training also 
needs to demonstrate proficiency in the items outlined in the Task 
Lists. These demonstrations occur under the oversight of a qualified 
inspector prior to the individual being able to perform the procedures 
in the IRP going forward as a qualified inspector.
    (4) Question Matrix. IANA's Mechanics Training Working Group also 
developed a matrix to identify the number of test questions to be 
considered relative to each IRP when conducting assessments of an 
individual's knowledge level. The matrix, when coupled with the 
Competency Documents, forms the basis for developing test questions for 
an individual's knowledge assessments. These assessments are to be used 
in conjunction with modules in training courses. However, they will 
also serve to assess an individual's knowledge

[[Page 50878]]

prior to taking training (e.g., for ``new'' inspectors/mechanics) and 
to assist with gap analysis and identifying additional training needs 
for the existing workforce of inspectors/mechanics.
    (5) Training Hours. While IANA believes that the overall program 
should be primarily competency-based, IANA also recognizes that 
temporal parameters must be established for the overall course 
schedule. Deliberations within IANA's Maintenance & Repair Committee on 
this point focused first on developing a range of time for full course 
delivery on all 53 of the IRPs, from a minimum of 324 hours to a 
maximum of 480 hours (inclusive of classroom and hands-on instruction). 
This range was established based on the content as well as the level of 
knowledge, proficiency, and experience of the inspector prior to taking 
the course. Individuals having some prior level of experience and 
competency would be on the lower end of the time scale, and those who 
are new to the job would be on the high end of the scale. IANA also 
estimated that approximately one-third (\1/3\) of the instruction 
should be classroom-based, and two-thirds (\2/3\) of the instruction 
should be laboratory/hands-on based. The Committee resolved that, 
optimally, the course timing should be 480 hours for a new entrant to 
the business.
    IANA states that ``. . . a mechanic who has successfully completed 
a training program based on the IRPs developed through IANA will 
possess the skills and knowledge to be a highly proficient and 
efficient inspector and will not appreciably benefit (if at all) from 
the current 12-month requirement.'' The exemption would apply to all 
individuals who successfully complete a training program based on the 
IRPs and associated requirements developed by IANA as described above. 
IANA believes that granting the exemption to permit use of the IRP-
based training program curriculum would maintain a level of safety that 
is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety achieved without 
the exemption, and that ``safety will ultimately be enhanced.''

Request for Comments

    FMCSA published a notice of the application in the Federal Register 
on April 3, 2020, and asked for public comment (85 FR 19055). The 
Agency received 20 comments, from the American Trucking Associations 
(ATA), the American Association of Railroads (AAR), and 18 individuals.
    ATA commended IANA for taking time to develop IRPs consistent with 
the needs of the intermodal sector of the trucking industry, and stated 
that it ``supports this exemption request for FMCSA to allow intermodal 
chassis mechanic training programs--consistent with IANA's IRPs--to be 
able to certify students as qualified inspectors or brake inspectors 
without having the required one year of training or experience.'' \1\ 
ATA stated that a technician shortage exists in the U.S. trucking 
industry, and ``The trucking industry could reduce this workforce 
shortage if FMCSA would allow: (1) students to complete training 
programs from institutes that base curricula from qualified trade 
organizations; and (2) permit self-certification by qualified training 
institutes with programs specific to commercial vehicle inspections, 
including brake system inspections.'' Additionally, ATA stated that 
properly trained technicians detect, correct and prevent the 
development of equipment failures, and ``The trucking industry could 
decrease the vehicle OOS rate (decreasing vehicle downtime) while 
improving traffic safety if FMCSA allowed industry recognized RP-based 
training programs to equal the experience minimum.'' Finally, ATA 
stated that:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ In supporting IANA's exemption request, ATA recommends FMCSA 
work with its Technology & Maintenance Council to further apply 
qualified training programs for all types of commercial vehicle 
equipment so that the entire trucking industry and overall 
transportation industry may benefit from industry recognized RP-
based training programs.

    One year of experience or training for a commercial vehicle 
technician is arbitrary and can be misjudged. Fleets and service 
providers in the trucking industry are diverse and can perform 
business with their employees through multifaceted roles. For 
example, new entrants to truck maintenance may have a job for more 
than half the year to clean shop and move trucks around the yard. A 
new employee may be hired to do one non-PMI [preventive maintenance 
inspection] related job and be tasked with many PMI jobs 11 months 
after being hired. Although ATA's experience with fleets and service 
providers meet or exceed the FMCSRs for inspector qualifications 
(e.g., an apprentice working alongside a PMI professional technician 
for at least one year and routinely perfecting mistakes) this may 
not be the case for all motor carriers. Focusing an industry 
recognized RP-based training program on students/new techs is 
imperative to the experience and training they would have before 
starting their first real-world PMI. In addition to experienced and 
well-trained new technician applicants, students would be qualified 
well under the one-year requirement if FMCSA would exempt industry 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
recognized RP-based training programs.

    AAR supports ``IANA's proposed use of a modern, performance-based, 
training program in lieu of FMCSA's existing one-year experience 
requirement,'' and stated:

    A formalized education program could serve as a superior and 
more efficient alternative to qualify an inspector than does the 
one-year experience requirement in 49 CFR part 396. A graduate of 
IANA's program must prove proficiency and knowledge by demonstrating 
the skills required for each job he or she performs. FMCSA should 
allow the use of industry-developed best practices in the form of 
the IRPs developed by IANA in this matter to help to ensure 
consistent standards are met in qualifying chassis inspectors, and 
that the potential to improve safety across the intermodal industry 
is realized.

    Eighteen individuals provided comments regarding the IANA 
application. One commenter stated that Federal Aviation Administration 
(FAA) regulations ``allow aspiring aircraft mechanics a path to 
certification outside of strictly practical (i.e. on the job) 
experience by graduating from an FAA-approved aviation maintenance 
technician program--thereby gaining certification and doing the same 
work as their strictly on-the-job-experienced counterparts up to two 
years sooner.'' The commenter noted that if this alternative approach 
works for the FAA, ``it should [work] for the FMCSA given the community 
of safety-minded intermodal industry experts behind this request for 
temporary exemption.'' Several commenters noted that mechanics who 
complete the IANA training and certification process will be far more 
reliable and consistent than someone who simply works for 1 year in a 
repair environment. Commenters noted that training programs based on 
the IANA IRPs will be heavily focused on hands-on training and 
assessments that standardize competencies and provide an expectation of 
the skills required for the certification. Commenters also noted that 
experience-based learning is continuous and adds value to competencies, 
but stated that mechanics working without the foundation of an 
education regarding the equipment--specifically on IME--cannot ensure 
the safety or standard levels of performance of that equipment. 
Multiple commenters believe that with a combination of hands-on 
training and a dedicated training program, a technician can become 
competent and thorough within a much shorter time than the 1 year of 
training and/or experience required by the FMCSRs. One commenter noted 
that a validation of a mechanic's abilities is much safer than an 
arbitrary waiting period (without dedicated training and an evaluation 
of that mechanic's abilities).

[[Page 50879]]

    One commenter did not support the IANA application, stating ``There 
exists no data suggesting that Intermodal Association of North America, 
or anyone for that matter, has developed a miraculous training program 
that somehow, is able to improve upon and replace 12-months of actual 
real-life work experience. Common sense and logic tells us that any 
training program that claims to replace 12-months of real-life, hands-
on work experience with an unspecified amount of time in their vague 
`training program' is fraudulent.'' Other commenters stated that the 
current requirement that an individual have a combination of training 
and/or experience that totals at least 1 year before being considered 
qualified should be retained, and that the 1-year time period is 
necessary to ensure that inspectors fully understand the specifics of 
the equipment and the tasks associated with inspecting the equipment. 
One commenter stated that the application should not be granted because 
brake violations continue to be some of the most often cited violations 
during inspections, and as such, there needs to be additional focus 
regarding the fundamental operation of brake systems from a training 
and continuous education standpoint.

FMCSA Decision

    The FMCSA has evaluated the IANA application, and the comments 
received. For the reasons discussed below, FMCSA has determined that 
granting the exemption to allow individuals who successfully complete a 
performance-based training program consistent with the IRPs and 
associated requirements developed by IANA, instead of the time-based 
training and experience requirements specified in the FMCSRs, would 
likely achieve a level of safety equivalent to or greater than the 
level of safety provided by the regulation.
    In 2015, IANA established a Mechanics Training Task Force as part 
of its Maintenance & Repair Committee. As an initial step, the Task 
Force evaluated the processes necessary for the inspection and repair 
of intermodal equipment, and developed recommended practices and 
training for the mechanics who inspect and work on the equipment. These 
recommendations were based on IANA's analysis of FMCSA inspection data 
for intermodal equipment over a 5-year period that identified specific 
vehicle components that routinely are the subject of out-of-service 
violations.
    IANA stated that the goal of the Task Force was to develop 
processes and procedures to assist the industry in complying with the 
requirements in part 393, part 396, and Appendix G relating to 
intermodal equipment. Specifically, the Task Force developed (1) a 
framework for the development of recommended practices for the 
inspection and repair of IME, (2) a set of IRPs to guide the inspection 
and repair of IME, and (3) a training methodology and set of guidelines 
that increases and enhances the skills of an individual in the 
inspection and repair of IME. The Task Force included representation 
from all key stakeholder groups, and developed the work product as 
outlined in the three areas discussed above over the course of 3 years. 
IANA's Maintenance & Repair Committee, which includes additional 
stakeholder representatives from across the industry, ultimately 
reviewed and approved the Task Force's work product.
    FMCSA has reviewed the IANA Guide that includes the 53 individual 
IRPs and associated resources, along with the Competency Documents, 
Task Lists, and Question Matrix that together establish the framework 
for the training program. In addition, the Maintenance & Repair 
Committee determined that inspectors/mechanics need at least 480 hours 
of training on the materials discussed above, with approximately one-
third of the instruction classroom-based and approximately two-thirds 
of the instruction laboratory/hands-on based. FMCSA believes that an 
individual who successfully completes a training program consistent 
with the IANA IRPs and associated requirements will possess the skills 
and knowledge to be a highly proficient and efficient inspector, 
without the need to have a minimum of 1 year of training or experience 
or a combination thereof. FMCSA agrees that the establishment of 
recommended inspection and repair practices and training guidelines 
through a program based on the IANA IRPs and associated requirements 
will have a positive impact on the safety and roadworthiness of IME, 
and by extension, the traveling public.
    FMCSA acknowledges the commenters who did not support the IANA 
application, many of whom simply stated that they believe the 
requirement for individuals to have at least one year of experience 
and/or training is the minimum needed to ensure that those individuals 
have the necessary skills to properly conduct inspections of intermodal 
equipment. While these commenters contend that eliminating the 1-year 
training and experience requirement will result in unqualified 
individuals being able to conduct inspections of intermodal equipment, 
none presented any specific concerns regarding the detailed and 
comprehensive IANA IRPs or associated requirements developed by the 
IANA IRP Mechanics Training Task Force. As noted above, and based on a 
review of the comprehensive materials that have been developed by IANA 
following a detailed analysis of FMCSA intermodal equipment inspection 
data, FMCSA believes that a performance-based approach to training can 
be as effective as, if not more so than, training that is strictly 
time-based.

Terms and Conditions for the Exemption

    The Agency hereby grants the exemption for a 5-year period, 
beginning August 18, 2020 and ending August 18, 2025. During the 
temporary exemption period, individuals who successfully complete a 
training program consistent with (1) a set of 53 IRPs that have been 
developed by IANA and (2) the Competency Documents, Task Lists, and 
Question Matrices that have been developed by IANA for each of the 53 
IRPs, and that have completed a minimum of 480 hours of training on 
those materials will be considered to be (1) a qualified inspector for 
the purpose of conducting periodic (annual) inspections of IME under 49 
CFR 396.17, and (2) a qualified brake inspector under 49 CFR 396.25 for 
the purpose of conducting brake system inspection, maintenance, 
service, or repair of IME. FMCSA emphasizes that the exemption is 
limited to individuals performing periodic inspections of, and brake 
system inspection, maintenance, service, or repair of, IME, and does 
not eliminate the requirement under Sec. Sec.  396.19(a)(3)(ii) and 
396.25(d)(3)(ii) that individuals have at least 1 year of training or 
experience or a combination thereof to be qualified to conduct periodic 
inspections of or brake system inspection, maintenance, service, or 
repair on commercial vehicles other than IME.
    The exemption will be valid for 5 years unless rescinded earlier by 
FMCSA. The exemption will be rescinded if: (1) Individuals, motor 
carriers, or intermodal equipment providers (IEP) fail to comply with 
the terms and conditions of the exemption; (2) the exemption has 
resulted in a lower level of safety than was maintained before it was 
granted; or (3) continuation of the exemption would not be consistent 
with the goals and objectives of 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b).
    Interested parties possessing information demonstrating that 
periodic inspections or brake system inspection, maintenance, service, 
or repair of IME conducted by inspectors that have been

[[Page 50880]]

determined to be qualified under the terms and conditions of this 
exemption do not result in the requisite statutory level of safety 
should immediately notify FMCSA. The Agency will evaluate any such 
information and, if safety is being compromised or if the continuation 
of the exemption is not consistent with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 
31315(b), will take immediate steps to revoke the exemption.

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.

James A. Mullen,
Deputy Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2020-17957 Filed 8-17-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P