1. FMCSA Considering Revision of Current Hours-of-Service Regulations
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced August 21 that it is seeking public comment on revising four specific areas of current hours-of-service (HOS) regulations, an issue of concern to NECA contractors.
NECA’s Look Ahead: The Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM), which will be published in the Federal Register, responds to widespread construction industry concerns and seeks feedback from the public to determine if HOS revisions may alleviate unnecessary burdens placed on drivers while maintaining safety on our nation’s highways and roads. The comment period will be open for 30 days. The four specific areas under consideration for revision are:
- Expanding the current 100 air-mile “short-haul” exemption from 12 hours on-duty to 14 hours on-duty, in order to be consistent with the rules for long-haul truck drivers;
- Extending the current 14-hour on-duty limitation by up to two hours when a truck driver encounters adverse driving conditions;
- Revising the current mandatory 30-minute break for truck drivers after 8-hours of continuous driving; and
- Reinstating the option for splitting up the required 10-hour off-duty rest break for drivers operating trucks that are equipped with a sleeper-berth compartment.
In addition, the ANPRM seeks public comment and relevant data on two recently submitted petitions requesting regulatory relief from HOS rules, (1) pertaining to the 14-hour on-duty limitation and (2) pertaining to the 10-hour off-duty requirement.
Earlier this year, the congressionally mandated electronic logging device (ELD) rule, which required most FMCSA-regulated motor carriers to convert their records from paper to an electronic format, became effective. While compliance with the ELD rule has reached nearly 99 percent across the trucking industry, it has also brought focus to HOS regulations, especially with regard to certain regulations having a significant impact on agriculture and other sectors of trucking.
Additional information on the ANPRM, including how to submit comments to the Federal Register docket, is available here.
The first in a series of public listening sessions on the ANPRM will take place Friday, August 24, 2018, in Dallas, Texas, at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center beginning at 3:00 p.m. local time. Further information is available here.
Information on current HOS regulations is available here.
Information on electronic logging devices (ELDs) carried on-board long-haul trucks and used by commercial vehicle enforcement officers to check compliance with HOS regulations is available here.
2. President Trump Releases Affordable Clean Energy Rule
On August 21, 2018, President Donald Trump released a new proposal, the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule, which would regulate carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. This new rule effectively repeals a key provision in President Barack Obama's climate change agenda.
NECA’s Look Ahead: This new rule is a major win for coal producing states. It will allow for more state control on regulations for coal-fired power plants under the Clean Air Act. The ACE rule will significantly decrease red tape and compliance costs by up to $6.4 billion, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA expects the rule to be finalized early next year.
3. NECA Wins in Primary Elections This Week
On August 21, 2018, Alaska and Wyoming held primary elections.
NECA’s Look Ahead: Below is a listing of NECA-supported candidates who won their primary elections this week: