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Hours of Service (HOS) of Drivers; U.S. Department of Energy (DOE); Application for Renewal of Exemption

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Trucking

Hours of Service (HOS) of Drivers; U.S. Department of Energy (DOE); Application for Renewal of Exemption

Larry W. Minor
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
March 27, 2015


[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 59 (Friday, March 27, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 16506-16507]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-07060]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2012-0370]


Hours of Service (HOS) of Drivers; U.S. Department of Energy 
(DOE); Application for Renewal of Exemption

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

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

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

SUMMARY: FMCSA has received an application from the U.S. Department of 
Energy (DOE) for a renewal of its exemption from the 30-minute rest 
break provision of the Agency's hours-of-service (HOS) regulations for 
commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. DOE currently holds an 
exemption for the period July 1, 2013, through June 30, 2015, which 
enables DOE's contract motor carriers and their employee-drivers 
engaged in the transportation of security-sensitive radioactive 
materials to be treated similarly to drivers of shipments of 
explosives. The exemption renewal would allow these exempted drivers to 
use 30 minutes or more of ``attendance time'' to meet the HOS rest 
break requirements providing they do not perform any other work during 
the break. FMCSA requests public comment on the DOE's application for 
renewal of the exemption.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before April 27, 2015. The 
proposed exemption renewal would be effective from June 30, 2015 
through June 30, 2017.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket 
Management System (FDMS) Docket ID FMCSA-2012-0370 using any of the 
following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.
     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., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 
5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays.
     Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
    Each submission must include the Agency name and the docket number 
for this notice. 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. The on-line Federal document management system 
is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. If you want 
acknowledgment that we received your comments, please include a self-
addressed, stamped envelope or postcard or print the acknowledgement 
page that appears after submitting comments on-line.
    Privacy Act: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits 
comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT 
posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information 
the commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the 
system of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at 
www.dot.gov/privacy.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Richard Clemente, FMCSA Driver and 
Carrier Operations Division; Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle 
Safety Standards; Telephone: 202-366-4325. Email: MCPSD@dot.gov. If you 
have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, contact 
Docket Services, telephone (202) 366-9826.

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 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)).

Request for Exemption

    Certain motor carriers under contract to the U.S. Department of 
Energy (DOE) transport ``security-sensitive radioactive materials.'' 
DOE requests a renewal of a limited exemption from the hours-of-service 
(HOS) regulation pertaining to rest breaks [49 CFR 395.3(a)(3)(ii)] to 
allow contract driver-employees transporting security-sensitive 
radioactive materials to be treated the same as drivers transporting 
explosives, as provided in Sec.  395.1(q). Section 395.1(q) states that 
operators of CMVs carrying Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3 explosives subject 
to the requirement for a 30-minute rest break in Sec.  395.3(a)(3)(ii) 
may use 30 minutes or more of ``attendance time'' to meet the 
requirement for a rest break. Section 395.1(q) allows drivers who are 
required by Sec.  397.5 to attend a motor vehicle transporting certain 
types of explosives but perform no other work, to log at least a half-
hour of their ``attendance time'' toward the break.
    DOE contends that shipments of security-sensitive radioactive 
materials require a team of two drivers and the

[[Page 16507]]

use of a sleeper berth to minimize risk and expedite delivery in a safe 
and secure manner. DOE asserts that granting a renewal of the exemption 
would continue to allow team drivers to manage their en-route rest 
periods efficiently and also perform mandated shipment security 
surveillance, resulting in a safe and secure driving performance during 
a long distance trip.
    DOE has implemented several technical and administrative controls 
to ensure the continued effective use of driver on-duty and rest-break 
time, which would remain in effect under the requested exemption 
renewal. They include the following:
     Real-time tracking and monitoring of transuranic waste and 
security-sensitive shipments using DOE's satellite-based systems.
     Use of electronic on-board recorders on trucks, which is 
contractually required for motor carriers involved in the Waste 
Isolation Pilot Plant to ensure compliance with driver HOS rules.
     Continuous monitoring of the performance of DOE-qualified 
motor carriers using the FMCSA Compliance Safety Accountability 
Program's Safety Measurement System, and DOE's Motor Carrier Evaluation 
Program.
    Further details regarding DOE's safety controls can be found in its 
application for a renewal of the exemption. The application can be 
accessed in the docket identified at the beginning of this notice. DOE 
contends that these controls enable them to achieve a high level of 
safety and security for transportation of security-sensitive 
radioactive materials.
    DOE believes that its contract employee drivers should continue to 
be allowed to follow the requirements of Sec.  395.1(q) when 
transporting shipments of security-sensitive radioactive materials. DOE 
believes that shipments made under the requested exemption renewal 
would achieve a level of safety and security that is at least 
equivalent to that which would be obtained by following the normal rest 
break requirement in Sec.  395.3(a)(3)(ii).
    In their initial application, DOE had estimated that 30 power units 
and 53 drivers would be eligible for the exemption. The proposed 
exemption renewal would be effective from June 30, 2015 through June 
30, 2017.

Request for Comments

    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b)(4), FMCSA 
requests public comment on DOE's application for a renewal of an 
exemption from certain provisions of the driver's record of duty status 
rules in 49 CFR part 395. The Agency will consider all comments 
received by close of business on April 27, 2015. Comments will be 
available for examination in the docket at the location listed in 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: March 19, 2015.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2015-07060 Filed 3-26-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P



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