Hours of Service of Drivers of Commercial Motor Vehicles; Regulatory Guidance for Oilfield Exception
FMCSA responds to the public comments to its June 5, 2012, notice of regulatory guidance concerning the hours-of-service requirements for oilfield operations, and the Agency announces its decision to retain the 2012 guidance. On June 5, 2012, FMCSA updated its April 4, 1997, regulatory guidance to explain the applicability of the ``Oilfield operations'' exceptions in 49 CFR 395.1(d) to the ``Hours of Service [HOS] of Drivers'' regulations, and requested comments on the additional language. FMCSA also held three ``listening sessions'' in Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Texas to accept public comments for the docket. Following a review of all comments, the Agency has determined that no further elaboration on the regulatory guidance is needed, at this time, and the Agency will continue to monitor the use of the two HOS oilfield exceptions in 49 CFR 395.1(d). The Agency also calls attention to 49 CFR part 381, which provides procedures for persons to apply for individual or class exemptions from certain regulations provided the exemption would achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety that would be achieved absent the exemption. Therefore, motor carriers that believe the current oilfield operations exceptions do not provide sufficient relief for their operations should consider submitting an application for an exemption to the Agency describing an alternative that would ensure the requisite level of safety.
Hours of Service of Drivers: U.S. Department of Defense (DOD); Application for Exemption
FMCSA announces that it has received an application from the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC) for an exemption from the minimum 30-minute rest break provision of the Agency's hours-of-service (HOS) regulations for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. The exemption would enable SDDC's contract motor carriers and their employee-drivers engaged in the transportation of weapons, munitions, and sensitive/classified cargo to have the same regulatory flexibility that Sec. 395.1(q) provides for drivers transporting explosives. The exempted drivers would be allowed to use 30 minutes or more of attendance time to meet the HOS rest break requirements, provided they do not perform any other work during the break. FMCSA requests public comment on SDDC's application for exemption.
Hours of Service of Drivers: National Pork Producers Council; Application for Exemption
FMCSA announces that it has received an application from the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) on behalf of its members and other agricultural organizations for an exemption from the 30-minute rest break provision of the Agency's hours-of-service (HOS) regulations for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. The exemption would enable all CMV drivers transporting livestock to operate without taking a 30- minute break during the work day if 8 hours have passed since the last off-duty period of at least 30 minutes. FMCSA considers the request to be on behalf of all motor carriers and drivers when transporting livestock. FMCSA requests public comment on the application for exemption.