Controlled Substances and Alcohol Use and Testing: FirstGroup plc. Application for Exemption From the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Pre-Employment Full Query, 14516-14518 [2021-05328]

Download as PDF 14516 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 49 / Tuesday, March 16, 2021 / Notices transferee); 6 minutes per slot return; 6 minutes per schedule update; 6 minutes per request for inclusion in a lottery; 2 minutes per unscheduled slot request; 1.5 hours per schedule submission; and 1 hour per slot usage report. Estimated Total Annual Burden: 5602.6 hours. Issued in Washington, DC, on March 10, 2021. Matthew S. Gonabe, Program Specialist, FAA Slot Administration. [FR Doc. 2021–05334 Filed 3–15–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration [Summary Notice No. 2021–2062] Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition Received; Airlines for America Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: This notice contains a summary of a petition seeking relief from specified requirements of Federal Aviation Regulations. The purpose of this notice is to improve the public’s awareness of, and participation in, the FAA’s exemption process. Neither publication of this notice nor the inclusion or omission of information in the summary is intended to affect the legal status of the petition or its final disposition. SUMMARY: Comments on this petition must identify the petition docket number and must be received on or before March 22, 2021. ADDRESSES: Send comments identified by docket number FAA–2020–0307 using any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically. • Mail: Send comments to Docket Operations, M–30; U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W12–140, West Building Ground Floor, Washington, DC 20590–0001. • Hand Delivery or Courier: Take comments to Docket Operations in Room W12–140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590– 0001, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. • Fax: Fax comments to Docket Operations at (202) 493–2251. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES DATES: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:52 Mar 15, 2021 Jkt 253001 Privacy: 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 http://www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL–14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at http://www.dot.gov/ privacy. Docket: Background documents or comments received may be read at http://www.regulations.gov at any time. Follow the online instructions for accessing the docket or go to the Docket Operations in Room W12–140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590–0001, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Nia Daniels, (202) 267–9677, Office of Rulemaking, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20591. This notice is published pursuant to 14 CFR 11.85. Issued in Washington, DC. Timothy R. Adams, Deputy Executive Director, Office of Rulemaking. Petition for Exemption Docket No.: FAA–2020–0307. Petitioner: Airlines for America. Section(s) of 14 CFR Affected: 121.407(c)(2), 121.409(b)(2)(i), 121.417(c)(2)(i)(C)–(D) and (E)(4), 121.424(a)(1), 121.427(b)(2)(i)–(iii), (e)(1)(ii) and (e)(2), 121.441(b)(1), and 121.805(b)(5)(iii) Description of Relief Sought: The petitioner requests an extension and amendment of Exemption No. 18512C to allow certificate holders to use alternative methods to conduct certain required crewmember emergency procedures during recurrent, conversion, and upgrade training, checking, and evaluation until September 30, 2021. The petitioner seeks an amendment to the Conditions and Limitations of Exemption No. 18512C, which require a crewmember using alternative methods to complete the drills using the normal procedures during the person’s next regularly scheduled recurrent ground training or within 12 calendar months (plus grace month) of the training using the alternative methods, whichever is earlier. The petitioner seeks an amendment to allow up to 24 calendar months after use of the alternative methods for crewmembers to complete PO 00000 Frm 00114 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 the emergency drills or performance drills using the normal procedures. [FR Doc. 2021–05431 Filed 3–15–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2020–0224] Controlled Substances and Alcohol Use and Testing: FirstGroup plc. Application for Exemption From the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse PreEmployment Full Query Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of application for exemption; request for comments. AGENCY: FMCSA announces that FirstGroup plc (FirstGroup) has applied for an exemption on behalf of three of its subsidiaries, First Student, Inc., First Transit, Inc., and First Mile Square, which employ commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders subject to drug and alcohol testing. FirstGroup requests an exemption from the requirement that an employer must conduct a full query of FMCSA’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse (Clearinghouse) before employing a CDL holder to perform safety-sensitive functions. Under the requested exemption, in lieu of a full query, FirstGroup would conduct a limited pre-employment query of the Clearinghouse. If the limited query indicated that information about the driver existed in the Clearinghouse, FirstGroup would then conduct a full query of the Clearinghouse, with the driver-applicant providing consent in the Clearinghouse as required. In addition, FirstGroup would conduct a second limited query within 30 to 35 days of the initial limited query and conduct multiple limited queries on all its CDL drivers each year thereafter. DATES: Comments must be received on or before April 15, 2021. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by Federal Docket Management System Number FMCSA– 2020–0224 by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. See the Public Participation and Request for Comments section below for further information. • Mail: Dockets Operations, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590–0001. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\16MRN1.SGM 16MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 49 / Tuesday, March 16, 2021 / Notices • Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12– 140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. E.T., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. • Fax: (202) 493–2251. Each submission must include the Agency name and the docket number for this notice (FMCSA–2020–0224). Note that DOT posts all comments received without change to www.regulations.gov, including any personal information included in a comment. Please see the Privacy Act heading below. Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments, go to www.regulations.gov at any time or visit Room W12–140 on the ground level of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 366–9317 or (202) 366–9826 before visiting Dockets Operations. Privacy Act: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the public to better inform its regulatory exemptions process. DOT posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information the commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL– 14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at www.dot.gov/privacy. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Richard Clemente, FMCSA Driver and Carrier Operations Division; Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety Standards; (202) 366–2722; MCPSD@ dot.gov. If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, contact Dockets Operations, (202) 366–9826. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Public Participation and Request for Comments FMCSA encourages you to participate by submitting comments and related materials. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Submitting Comments If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this notice (FMCSA–2020–0224), indicate the specific section of this document to which the comment applies, and provide a reason for suggestions or recommendations. You may submit your comments and material online or by fax, mail, or hand delivery, but please use only one of these means. FMCSA recommends that you include your name and a mailing address, an email address, or a phone number in the VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:52 Mar 15, 2021 Jkt 253001 body of your document so the Agency can contact you if it has questions regarding your submission. To submit your comment online, go to www.regulations.gov and put the docket number, ‘‘FMCSA–2020–0224’’ in the ‘‘Keyword’’ box, and click ‘‘Search.’’ When the new screen appears, click on ‘‘Comment Now!’’ button and type your comment into the text box in the following screen. Choose whether you are submitting your comment as an individual or on behalf of a third party and then submit. If you submit your comments by mail or hand delivery, submit them in an unbound format, no larger than 81⁄2 by 11 inches, suitable for copying and electronic filing. If you submit comments by mail and would like to know that they reached the facility, please enclose a stamped, selfaddressed postcard or envelope. FMCSA will consider all comments and material received during the comment period. II. Legal Basis FMCSA has authority under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 to grant exemptions from certain Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. 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 absent the exemption (49 U.S.C 31315(b)(1)). 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 specify the effective period (up to 5 years) and explain the terms and conditions of the exemption. The exemption may be renewed (49 CFR 381.300(b)). III. Background Current Regulation Requirements Under 49 CFR 382.701(a)(2) employers of CDL holders must not employ a driver subject to the testing requirements of 49 CFR part 382 without first conducting a preemployment full query of the PO 00000 Frm 00115 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 14517 Clearinghouse. A full query allows the employer to see any information that exists about a driver in the Clearinghouse. An employer must obtain the driver’s specific consent, provided electronically through the Clearinghouse, prior to the release of detailed information provided in response to the full query. A limited query is permitted to satisfy the annual query requirement in 49 CFR 382.701(b)(1), which pertains to currently employed drivers. The limited query, conducted after obtaining the driver’s general consent, will tell the employer whether information about the individual driver exists in the Clearinghouse but will not release that information to the employer. General consent is obtained and retained outside the Clearinghouse and may be in written or electronic form. If the response to a limited query indicates there is information about the driver in the Clearinghouse, the employer must conduct a full query, after obtaining the driver’s specific consent, within 24 hours, as required by 49 CFR 382.701(b)(3). Applicant’s Request FirstGroup requests an exemption from the rule prohibiting an employer from employing a driver subject to drug and alcohol testing requirements to perform safety-sensitive functions without first conducting a full query of the Clearinghouse. Under the requested exemption, FirstGroup would, in lieu of a full query, conduct a limited preemployment query of the Clearinghouse before one of its members employed a driver. If the limited query indicated that information about the driver exists in the Clearinghouse, FirstGroup would then conduct a full query of the Clearinghouse, with the driver applicant providing consent in the Clearinghouse as required. In addition, FirstGroup would conduct a second limited query within 30 to 35 days of the initial query, would conduct quarterly limited queries on all its CDL drivers for the first year of the exemption, and for years 2 through 5, would conduct semi-annual limited queries on all its CDL drivers. FirstGroup believes the requirements of 49 CFR 382.701(a)(2) is hindering its ability to hire at the speed and level needed to keep pace with the demands of the contracted school and transit transportation industry. FirstGroup also believes the exemption is needed since the delays and administrative costs related to conducting a full query during FirstGroup’s driver hiring process is resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars of increased costs. E:\FR\FM\16MRN1.SGM 16MRN1 14518 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 49 / Tuesday, March 16, 2021 / Notices A copy of FirstGroup’s exemption application is included in the docket referenced above. IV. Request for Comments In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315(b), FMCSA requests public comment from all interested persons on FirstGroup’s application for an exemption from § 382.701(a)(2). All comments received before the close of business on the comment closing date indicated at the beginning of this notice will be considered and will be available for examination in the docket at the location listed under the ADDRESSES section of this notice. Comments received after the comment closing date will be filed in the public docket and will be considered to the extent practicable. In addition to late comments, FMCSA will continue to file, in the public docket, relevant information that becomes available after the comment closing date. Interested persons should continue to examine the public docket for new material. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy. A. Viewing Comments BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA—FMCSA–2000–7006; FMCSA–2000–7165; FMCSA–2001–11426; FMCSA–2002–12294; FMCSA–2004–18885; FMCSA–2004–19477; FMCSA–2005–21711; FMCSA–2006–24783; FMCSA–2006–26066; FMCSA–2007–0071; FMCSA–2008–0021; FMCSA–2008–0106; FMCSA–2008–0174; FMCSA–2008–0266; FMCSA–2008–0292; FMCSA–2008–0340; FMCSA–2010–0161; FMCSA–2010–0187; FMCSA–2010–0201; FMCSA–2010–0287; FMCSA–2010–0354; FMCSA–2010–0385; FMCSA–2012–0039; FMCSA–2012–0161; FMCSA–2012–0215; FMCSA–2012–0216; FMCSA–2012–0279; FMCSA–2013–0168; FMCSA–2013–0170; FMCSA–2014–0002; FMCSA–2014–0006; FMCSA–2014–0007; FMCSA–2014–0010; FMCSA–2014–0011; FMCSA–2014–0296; FMCSA–2014–0299; FMCSA–2014–0300; FMCSA–2016–0028; FMCSA–2016–0030; FMCSA–2016–0207; FMCSA–2016–0208; FMCSA–2016–0209; FMCSA–2016–0210; FMCSA–2018–0010; FMCSA–2018–0207] jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Vision Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Notice of final disposition. FMCSA announces its decision to renew exemptions for 66 SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:52 Mar 15, 2021 Jkt 253001 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 Dockets Operations, (202) 366–9826. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: I. Public Participation [FR Doc. 2021–05328 Filed 3–15–21; 8:45 am] AGENCY: individuals from the vision requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) for interstate commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. The exemptions enable these individuals to continue to operate CMVs in interstate commerce without meeting the vision requirement in one eye. DATES: Each group of renewed exemptions were applicable on the dates stated in the discussions below and will expire on the dates provided below. To view comments go to www.regulations.gov. Insert the docket number, FMCSA–2000–7006, FMCSA– 2000–7165, FMCSA–2001–11426, FMCSA–2002–12294, FMCSA–2004– 18885, FMCSA–2004–19477, FMCSA– 2005–21711, FMCSA–2006–24783, FMCSA–2006–26066, FMCSA–2007– 0071, FMCSA–2008–0021, FMCSA– 2008–0106, FMCSA–2008–0174, FMCSA–2008–0266, FMCSA–2008– 0292, FMCSA–2008–0340, FMCSA– 2010–0161, FMCSA–2010–0187, FMCSA–2010–0201, FMCSA–2010– 0287, FMCSA–2010–0354, FMCSA– 2010–0385, FMCSA–2012–0039, FMCSA–2012–0161, FMCSA–2012– 0215, FMCSA–2012–0216, FMCSA– 2012–0279, FMCSA–2013–0168, FMCSA–2013–0170, FMCSA–2014– 0002, FMCSA–2014–0006, FMCSA– 2014–0007, FMCSA–2014–0010, FMCSA–2014–0011, FMCSA–2014– 0296, FMCSA–2014–0299, FMCSA– 2014–0300, FMCSA–2016–0028, FMCSA–2016–0030, FMCSA–2016– 0207, FMCSA–2016–0208, FMCSA– 2016–0209, FMCSA–2016–0210, FMCSA–2018–0010, or FMCSA–2018– 0207 in the keyword box, and click ‘‘Search.’’ Next, sort the results by ‘‘Posted (Newer-Older),’’ choose the first notice listed, and click ‘‘Browse Comments.’’ If you do not have access to the internet, you may view the docket online by visiting Dockets Operations in Room W12–140 on the ground floor of PO 00000 Frm 00116 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 the DOT West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590–0001, 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 Dockets Operations. B. 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.transportation.gov/privacy. II. Background On January 7, 2021, FMCSA published a notice announcing its decision to renew exemptions for 66 individuals from the vision requirement in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10) to operate a CMV in interstate commerce and requested comments from the public (86 FR 697). The public comment period ended on February 5, 2021, and one comment was received. FMCSA has evaluated the eligibility of these applicants and determined that renewing these exemptions would achieve a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved by complying with the current regulation § 391.41(b)(10). The physical qualification standard for drivers regarding vision found in § 391.41(b)(10) states that a person is physically qualified to drive a CMV if that person has distant visual acuity of at least 20/40 (Snellen) in each eye without corrective lenses or visual acuity separately corrected to 20/40 (Snellen) or better with corrective lenses, distant binocular acuity of a least 20/40 (Snellen) in both eyes with or without corrective lenses, field of vision of at least 70° in the horizontal meridian in each eye, and the ability to recognize the colors of traffic signals and devices showing red, green, and amber. III. Discussion of Comments FMCSA received one comment in this proceeding and it was unrelated to the scope of this notice. IV. Conclusion Based on its evaluation of the 66 renewal exemption applications and comments received, FMCSA confirms its decision to exempt the following drivers from the vision requirement in § 391.41(b)(10). E:\FR\FM\16MRN1.SGM 16MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 49 (Tuesday, March 16, 2021)]
[Notices]
[Pages 14516-14518]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-05328]


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

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2020-0224]


Controlled Substances and Alcohol Use and Testing: FirstGroup 
plc. Application for Exemption From the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse 
Pre-Employment Full Query

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

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

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

SUMMARY: FMCSA announces that FirstGroup plc (FirstGroup) has applied 
for an exemption on behalf of three of its subsidiaries, First Student, 
Inc., First Transit, Inc., and First Mile Square, which employ 
commercial driver's license (CDL) holders subject to drug and alcohol 
testing. FirstGroup requests an exemption from the requirement that an 
employer must conduct a full query of FMCSA's Drug and Alcohol 
Clearinghouse (Clearinghouse) before employing a CDL holder to perform 
safety-sensitive functions. Under the requested exemption, in lieu of a 
full query, FirstGroup would conduct a limited pre-employment query of 
the Clearinghouse. If the limited query indicated that information 
about the driver existed in the Clearinghouse, FirstGroup would then 
conduct a full query of the Clearinghouse, with the driver-applicant 
providing consent in the Clearinghouse as required. In addition, 
FirstGroup would conduct a second limited query within 30 to 35 days of 
the initial limited query and conduct multiple limited queries on all 
its CDL drivers each year thereafter.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before April 15, 2021.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by Federal Docket 
Management System Number FMCSA-2020-0224 by any of the following 
methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. See the 
Public Participation and Request for Comments section below for further 
information.
     Mail: Dockets Operations, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building, Ground Floor, 
Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.

[[Page 14517]]

     Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building, Ground Floor, 
Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. 
E.T., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
     Fax: (202) 493-2251.
    Each submission must include the Agency name and the docket number 
for this notice (FMCSA-2020-0224). Note that DOT posts all comments 
received without change to www.regulations.gov, including any personal 
information included in a comment. Please see the Privacy Act heading 
below.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments, go to www.regulations.gov at any time or visit Room W12-140 
on the ground level of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, 
Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, 
except Federal holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, 
please call (202) 366-9317 or (202) 366-9826 before visiting Dockets 
Operations.
    Privacy Act: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits 
comments from the public to better inform its regulatory exemptions 
process. DOT posts these comments, without edit, including any personal 
information the commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as 
described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can 
be reviewed at www.dot.gov/privacy.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Public Participation and Request for Comments

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

Submitting Comments

    If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this 
notice (FMCSA-2020-0224), indicate the specific section of this 
document to which the comment applies, and provide a reason for 
suggestions or recommendations. You may submit your comments and 
material online or by fax, mail, or hand delivery, but please use only 
one of these means. FMCSA recommends that you include your name and a 
mailing address, an email address, or a phone number in the body of 
your document so the Agency can contact you if it has questions 
regarding your submission.
    To submit your comment online, go to www.regulations.gov and put 
the docket number, ``FMCSA-2020-0224'' in the ``Keyword'' box, and 
click ``Search.'' When the new screen appears, click on ``Comment 
Now!'' button and type your comment into the text box in the following 
screen. Choose whether you are submitting your comment as an individual 
or on behalf of a third party and then submit. If you submit your 
comments by mail or hand delivery, submit them in an unbound format, no 
larger than 8\1/2\ by 11 inches, suitable for copying and electronic 
filing. If you submit comments by mail and would like to know that they 
reached the facility, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard 
or envelope. FMCSA will consider all comments and material received 
during the comment period.

II. Legal Basis

    FMCSA has authority under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 to grant 
exemptions from certain Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. 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 absent the exemption (49 U.S.C 31315(b)(1)). 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 specify the effective period (up to 5 years) 
and explain the terms and conditions of the exemption. The exemption 
may be renewed (49 CFR 381.300(b)).

III. Background

Current Regulation Requirements

    Under 49 CFR 382.701(a)(2) employers of CDL holders must not employ 
a driver subject to the testing requirements of 49 CFR part 382 without 
first conducting a pre-employment full query of the Clearinghouse. A 
full query allows the employer to see any information that exists about 
a driver in the Clearinghouse. An employer must obtain the driver's 
specific consent, provided electronically through the Clearinghouse, 
prior to the release of detailed information provided in response to 
the full query.
    A limited query is permitted to satisfy the annual query 
requirement in 49 CFR 382.701(b)(1), which pertains to currently 
employed drivers. The limited query, conducted after obtaining the 
driver's general consent, will tell the employer whether information 
about the individual driver exists in the Clearinghouse but will not 
release that information to the employer. General consent is obtained 
and retained outside the Clearinghouse and may be in written or 
electronic form. If the response to a limited query indicates there is 
information about the driver in the Clearinghouse, the employer must 
conduct a full query, after obtaining the driver's specific consent, 
within 24 hours, as required by 49 CFR 382.701(b)(3).

Applicant's Request

    FirstGroup requests an exemption from the rule prohibiting an 
employer from employing a driver subject to drug and alcohol testing 
requirements to perform safety-sensitive functions without first 
conducting a full query of the Clearinghouse. Under the requested 
exemption, FirstGroup would, in lieu of a full query, conduct a limited 
pre-employment query of the Clearinghouse before one of its members 
employed a driver. If the limited query indicated that information 
about the driver exists in the Clearinghouse, FirstGroup would then 
conduct a full query of the Clearinghouse, with the driver applicant 
providing consent in the Clearinghouse as required. In addition, 
FirstGroup would conduct a second limited query within 30 to 35 days of 
the initial query, would conduct quarterly limited queries on all its 
CDL drivers for the first year of the exemption, and for years 2 
through 5, would conduct semi-annual limited queries on all its CDL 
drivers.
    FirstGroup believes the requirements of 49 CFR 382.701(a)(2) is 
hindering its ability to hire at the speed and level needed to keep 
pace with the demands of the contracted school and transit 
transportation industry. FirstGroup also believes the exemption is 
needed since the delays and administrative costs related to conducting 
a full query during FirstGroup's driver hiring process is resulting in 
hundreds of thousands of dollars of increased costs.

[[Page 14518]]

    A copy of FirstGroup's exemption application is included in the 
docket referenced above.

IV. Request for Comments

    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315(b), FMCSA requests public 
comment from all interested persons on FirstGroup's application for an 
exemption from Sec.  382.701(a)(2). All comments received before the 
close of business on the comment closing date indicated at the 
beginning of this notice will be considered and will be available for 
examination in the docket at the location listed under the ADDRESSES 
section of this notice. Comments received after the comment closing 
date will be filed in the public docket and will be considered to the 
extent practicable. In addition to late comments, FMCSA will continue 
to file, in the public docket, relevant information that becomes 
available after the comment closing date. Interested persons should 
continue to examine the public docket for new material.

Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2021-05328 Filed 3-15-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P