[Federal Register Volume 61, Number 204 (Monday, October 21, 1996)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 54712-54713]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 96-26669]


49 CFR Part 372

[FHWA Docket No. MC-96-38]
RIN 2125-AE03

Exemption of Notice Filing Requirements for Agricultural 
Cooperative Associations Which Conduct Compensated Transportation 
Operations for Nonmembers

AGENCY: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM); request for comments.


SUMMARY: This document proposes to remove the regulation that specifies 
the notice filing requirements for agricultural cooperative 
associations which conduct compensated transportation operations for 
nonmembers. These operations are exempt from regulation if certain 
statutory limitations on their scope are observed. Section 103 of the 
ICC Termination Act of 1995 removed the requirement that a notice be 
filed before initiation of operations under the exemption. Removal of 
the regulation would reflect this statutory change and is consistent 
with the overall intent of the ICC Termination Act of 1995 to eliminate 
unnecessary regulation.

DATES: Written comments must be submitted on or before December 20, 
ADDRESSES: Submit signed, written comments to FHWA Docket No. MC-96-38, 
FHWA, Office of the Chief Counsel, HCC-10, Room 4232, 400 Seventh 
Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590. All comments received will be 
available for examination at the above address from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 
p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Those 
desiring notification of receipt of comments must include a self- 
addressed, stamped postcard/envelope.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Thomas T. Vining or Ms. Patricia 
A. Burke, Office of Motor Carrier Information Analysis, HIA-30, (202) 
927-5520, or Ms. Grace Reidy, Office of the Chief Counsel, (202) 366-
0834, Federal Highway Administration, 400 Seventh Street, SW., 
Washington, DC 20590. Office hours are from 7:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., 
e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The former Interstate Commerce Act contained 
an exemption from ICC regulation at former 49 U.S.C. 10526(a)(5)(now 49 
U.S.C. 13506(a)(5)) for transportation provided by an agricultural 
cooperative association for nonmembers. To qualify for the exemption, 
the transportation services for nonmembers were required to be 
incidental to the cooperative's primary transportation operations, 
could not exceed annually 25 percent of the cooperative's total 
transportation between any two involved points, and, as a whole, could 
not exceed the transportation provided for the cooperative association 
and its members. The cooperative was also required to file a notice 
with the ICC of its intent to provide transportation for nonmembers.
    The ICC Termination Act of 1995 (ICCTA), Public Law 104-88, 109 
Stat. 803, reenacted the substantive exemption for nonmember 
transportation services by agricultural cooperatives, but removed the 
notice filing requirement. 49 U.S.C. 13506(a)(5). Although the ICCTA 
does not prohibit imposition of a notice requirement by the FHWA, which 
has assumed responsibility for this regulation pursuant to the ICCTA, 
the continuing need for any notice is doubtful.
    The Secretary is granted authority at 49 U.S.C. 13508 to require 
agricultural cooperatives to maintain records of transportation 
provided for members and nonmembers. Section 13508 makes these records 
subject to inspection and imposes specific penalties for reporting and 
recordkeeping violations. Regulations at 49 CFR 372.111 delineate the 
scope of the required records. The information contained in these 
records can be inspected by the FHWA if it ever appears that a 
cooperative is performing transportation services for nonmembers which 
exceed the scope of the exemption. Moreover, it is unlikely that a 
cooperative would have any incentive to conduct unlawful operations. 
Under the ICCTA, licensing requirements are now essentially limited to 
compliance with safety and insurance standards. A cooperative could 
easily obtain operating authority for legitimate operations.
    In these circumstances, the notice requirement at 49 CFR 372.113 no 
longer appears to serve any legitimate purpose. Removal of this 
regulation, and the adoption of conforming amendments to 49 CFR 
372.111, would eliminate unnecessary regulatory requirements. The FHWA 
invites public comments on these preliminary conclusions.

Rulemaking Analyses and Notices

    All comments received before the close of business on the comment 
closing date indicated above will be considered and will be available 
for examination in the docket at the above address. Comments received 
after the comment closing date will be filed in the docket and will be 
considered to the extent practicable, but the FHWA may issue a final 
rule at any time after the close of the comment period. In addition to 
late comments, the FHWA will also continue to file in the docket 
relevant information that becomes available after the comment closing 
date, and interested persons should continue to examine the docket for 
new material.

Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review and DOT 
Regulatory Policies and Procedures

    The FHWA has determined that this action is not a significant 
regulatory action within the meaning of Executive Order 12866 or 
significant within the meaning of Department of Transportation 
regulatory policies and procedures. It is anticipated that the economic 
impact of this rulemaking will be minimal; therefore, a full regulatory 
evaluation is not required. The rulemaking merely proposes to eliminate 
a notice filing requirement which applies to a small number of 
transportation entities. Neither the

[[Page 54713]]

individual nor cumulative impact of this action will be significant.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    In compliance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (Pub. L. 96-354, 
5 U.S.C. 601-612), the FHWA has evaluated the effects of this rule on 
small entities. Based on the evaluation, the FHWA hereby certifies that 
this action will not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities. The filing requirement currently 
only involves the preparation of a relatively simple notice by a 
limited number of transportation entities. Its elimination, while 
beneficial, will not have a significant economic impact.

Executive Order 12612 (Federalism Assessment)

    This action has been analyzed in accordance with the principles and 
criteria contained in Executive Order 12612, and it has been determined 
that this action does not have sufficient federalism implications to 
warrant the preparation of a federalism assessment.

Executive Order 12372 (Intergovernmental Review)

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Number 20.217, Motor 
Carrier Safety. The regulations implementing Executive Order 12372 
regarding intergovernmental consultation on Federal programs and 
activities do not apply to this program.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This action does not contain a collection of information 
requirement for purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 
U.S.C. 3501 et seq. On the contrary, it eliminates the requirement that 
parties taking advantage of the exemption at 49 U.S.C. 13506(a)(5) file 
Form OCP-102 (Office of Management and Budget #3120-0005, expired 11-
30-95). This action is thus consistent with the goals of the Paperwork 
Reduction Act.

National Environmental Policy Act

    The agency has analyzed this action for the purpose of the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and has 
determined that this action would not have any effect on the quality of 
the environment.

Regulation Identification Number

    A regulation identification number (RIN) is assigned to each 
regulatory action listed in the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulations. 
The Regulatory Information Service Center publishes the Unified Agenda 
in April and October of each year. The RIN number contained in the 
heading of this document can be used to cross reference this action 
with the Unified Agenda.

List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 372

    Agricultural commodities, Buses, Cooperatives, Highways and roads, 
Motor Carriers, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Issued on: October 8, 1996.
Rodney E. Slater,
Federal Highway Administrator.
    In consideration of the foregoing, the FHWA proposes to amend title 
49, CFR, chapter III, Part 372 as set forth below:


    1. The authority citation for Part 372 is revised to read as 

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 13504 and 13506; 49 CFR 1.48.

    2. Section 372.111 is amended in paragraph (a) by removing the 
words ``which is required to give notice to the Commission under 
Sec. 1047.23'', and in paragraph (b) by removing the words ``and 
required to give notice to this Commission under Sec. 1047.23''.

Sec. 372.113  [Removed and reserved]

    3. Section 372.113 is removed and reserved.
[FR Doc. 96-26669 Filed 10-18-96; 8:45 am]