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Hours of Service of Drivers: U.S. Department of Energy (DOE); FAST Act Extension of Expiration Date

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Trucking

Hours of Service of Drivers: U.S. Department of Energy (DOE); FAST Act Extension of Expiration Date

T.F. Scott Darling, III
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
25 July 2016


[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 142 (Monday, July 25, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 48495-48496]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-17459]


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

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2012-0370]


Hours of Service of Drivers: U.S. Department of Energy (DOE); 
FAST Act Extension of Expiration Date

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

ACTION: Notice; extension of exemption.

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

SUMMARY: FMCSA announces the extension of the hours-of-service (HOS) 
exemption granted to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on June 30, 
2015, for certain commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. The Agency 
extends the expiration date of the exemption to June 29, 2020 in 
response to section 5206(b)(2)(A) of the ``Fixing America's Surface 
Transportation Act'' (FAST Act). That section extends the expiration 
date of all HOS exemptions in effect on the date of enactment to 5 
years from the date of issuance of the exemptions. The DOE exemption 
from the Agency's 30-minute rest break requirement is limited to DOE's 
contract motor carriers and their employee-drivers engaged in the 
transportation of security-sensitive radioactive materials. The Agency 
previously determined that CMV operations under this exemption would 
likely achieve a level of safety equivalent to or greater than the 
level of safety that would be obtained in the absence of the exemption.

DATES: This limited exemption is effective from June 30, 2015, through 
June 29, 2020.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Thomas Yager, Chief, FMCSA Driver 
and Carrier Operations Division; Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle 
Safety Standards; Telephone: 614-942-6477. Email: MCPSD@dot.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Legal Basis

    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)].
    Section 5206(b)(2)(A) of the FAST Act requires FMCSA to extend all 
exemptions from the HOS regulations (49 CFR part 395) that were in 
effect on the date of enactment of the Act to a period of 5 years from 
the date the exemption was granted. The exemption may be renewed. 
Because this action merely implements a statutory mandate that took 
effect on the date of enactment of the FAST Act, notice and comment are 
not required.

DOE Exemption

    From 2013 to 2015, DOE held a limited exemption from the mandatory 
30-minute rest break requirement of 49 CFR 395.3(a)(3)(ii) that allowed 
DOE contract carriers and their drivers transporting security-sensitive 
radioactive materials to be treated the same as drivers transporting 
explosives pursuant to Sec.  395.1(q). As that exemption neared 
expiration, DOE applied for its renewal.
    FMCSA reviewed DOE's request and the public comments and reaffirmed 
its previous conclusion that allowing these drivers to count on-duty 
time ``attending'' their CMVs toward the required 30-minute break, 
would promote safety at least as effectively as the break itself. The 
notice renewing the DOE exemption was published on June 22, 2015 [80 FR 
35703].
    The substance of the 2015 exemption is not affected by this 
extension. The DOE exemption covers only the 30-minute break 
requirement [49 CFR 395.3(a)(3)(ii)] and is restricted to contract 
motor carriers and their drivers employed by DOE transporting security-
sensitive radioactive materials. On each trip, the drivers are allowed 
to use 30 minutes or more of ``attendance time'' to meet the 
requirements for a rest break in the manner provided in 49 CFR 
395.1(q), provided they perform no other on-duty activities during the 
rest break.
    The FMCSA does not believe the safety record of any driver 
operating under this exemption will deteriorate. However, should 
deterioration in safety occur, FMCSA will take all steps necessary to 
protect the public interest, including revocation of the exemption. The 
FMCSA has the authority to terminate the exemption at any time the 
Agency has the data/information to

[[Page 48496]]

conclude that safety is being compromised.

    Issued on: July 14, 2016.
T.F. Scott Darling, III,
Acting Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2016-17459 Filed 7-22-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P



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