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Hours of Service of Drivers: Oregon Trucking Associations; Application for Exemption

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Trucking American Government

Hours of Service of Drivers: Oregon Trucking Associations; Application for Exemption

Larry W. Minor
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
December 10, 2013


[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 237 (Tuesday, December 10, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 74222-74223]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-29413]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2013-0451]


Hours of Service of Drivers: Oregon Trucking Associations; 
Application for Exemption

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

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

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SUMMARY: FMCSA announces that the Oregon Trucking Associations (OTA) 
has applied for a limited exemption from the 30-minute rest-break 
requirement of the Agency's hours-of-service regulations [49 CFR 
395.3(a)(3)(ii)]. It seeks the exemption for motor carriers and their 
commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers who transport timber from Oregon 
forestlands during periods in which fire safety restrictions limit 
their hours of operation. FMCSA requests public comment on the 
application for exemption.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before January 9, 2014.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by Federal Docket 
Management System Number FMCSA-2013-0451 by any of the following 
methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. Follow 
the online instructions for submitting comments.
     Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
     Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building, Ground 
Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
     Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building, Ground Floor, 
Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET, 
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    Instructions: All submissions must include the Agency name and 
docket number. For detailed instructions on submitting comments and 
additional information on the exemption process, see the Public 
Participation heading below. Note that all comments received will be 
posted without change to www.regulations.gov, including any personal 
information provided. Please see the Privacy Act heading below.
    Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all 
comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual 
submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf 
of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review a 
Privacy Act notice regarding our public dockets in the January 17, 
2008, issue of the Federal Register (73 FR 3316).
    Public Participation: The Federal eRulemaking Portal is available 
24 hours each day, 365 days each year. You can get electronic 
submission and retrieval help and guidelines under the ``help'' section 
of the Federal eRulemaking Portal Web site. If you want us to notify 
you that we received your comments, please include a self-addressed, 
stamped envelope or postcard, or print the acknowledgement page that 
appears after submitting comments online.
    Submitting Comments: You may submit your comments and material 
online or by fax, mail, or hand delivery, but please use only one of 
these means. To submit your comment online, go to www.regulations.gov 
and in the search box insert the docket number ``FMCSA-2013-0451'' and 
click the SEARCH button. When the new screen appears, click on the blue 
``Comment Now!'' button on the right hand side of the page. On the new 
page, enter information required including the specific section of this 
document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each 
suggestion or recommendation. 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.
    Viewing Comments and Documents: To view comments, as well as any 
documents mentioned in this notice, go to www.regulations.gov and in 
the search box insert the docket number ``FMCSA-2013-0451'' and click 
``Search.'' Next, click ``Open Docket Folder'' and you will find all 
documents and comments related to the proposed rulemaking.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Thomas Yager, Chief, FMCSA Driver 
and Carrier Operations Division; Office of Carrier, Driver, and Vehicle 
Safety Standards; Telephone: 202-366-4325. Email: MCPSD@dot.gov.

[[Page 74223]]


SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    FMCSA has authority under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 to grant 
exemptions from certain parts of the 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 by the current regulation (49 CFR 381.305). The Agency may 
grant an exemption subject to specified terms and conditions. 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)).
    On December 27, 2011, FMCSA published a final rule establishing 
mandatory rest breaks for CMV drivers (76 FR 81133). Effective July 1, 
2013, drivers may not operate a CMV if 8 hours or more have elapsed 
since the end of the driver's last off-duty or sleeper-berth period of 
at least 30 minutes [49 CFR 395.3(a)(3)(ii)]. FMCSA did not specify 
when drivers must take the 30-minute break. Drivers who already take 
shorter breaks during the duty day could comply with the rule by 
extending one of these breaks to 30 minutes.

Exemption Request of Oregon Trucking Associations

    OTA applies for exemption on behalf of motor carriers and drivers 
who operate CMVs on Oregon forestlands to transport logs to lumber 
mills for processing. OTA states that lumber mills depend on a regular 
volume of logs for their economic viability, and that environmental 
restrictions limit the amount of timber that can be harvested from 
Oregon forestlands. In addition, when the risk of fire increases, the 
Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) further limits logging operations. 
For example, OTA states that at the time of its application (August 26, 
2013), a Level III fire safety restriction barred CMVs from Oregon 
forestlands at 1:00 p.m. daily. OTA asserts that fire-safety 
restrictions are often in place from July to late October each year. If 
logging operators have to leave the forest lands by 1:00 p.m. during 
fire restrictions, they need all available time prior to 1:00 p.m. as 
on-duty time, without a rest break.
    OTA asserts that the new 30-minute break requirement makes it 
impossible for log trucks to provide a sufficient volume of logs to the 
mills when operations are time-limited by fire restrictions. OTA seeks 
relief from this requirement when operating CMVs on Oregon forestland 
when that land is restricted by fire safety rules. OTA states that its 
members engaged in these operations are willing to restrict their duty 
day when operating under the exemption to a maximum of 12 hours in lieu 
of the 14-hour limit of the HOS rules. OTA states that during these 
periods of limited operations, its members would achieve the same level 
of safety with this exemption in place as they would achieve if 
required to observe the rest-break requirement.

Request for Comments

    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b)(4), FMCSA 
requests public comment on OTA's application for an exemption from the 
rest-break requirement of 49 CFR 395.3(a)(3)(ii). The Agency will 
consider all comments received by close of business on January 9, 2014. 
Comments will be available for examination in the docket at the 
location listed under the ADDRESSES section of this notice. The Agency 
will consider to the extent practicable comments received in the public 
docket after the closing date of the comment period.

    Issued on: December 2, 2013.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2013-29413 Filed 12-9-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P



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