[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 232 (Tuesday, December 3, 2019)]
[Pages 66269-66270]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-26096]



Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2018-0369]

Hours of Service of Drivers: Republic Services; Application for 

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

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


SUMMARY: FMCSA announces that it has received an application from 
Republic Services requesting an exemption from the requirement that 
drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) qualifying for the ``short-
haul'' exception must return to the original work reporting location 
and be released within 12 hours of coming on duty. Republic Services 
asks that its short-haul CMV drivers be permitted to return within 14 
hours without losing their short-haul status. Furthermore, Republic 
Services requests relief from the current electronic logging device 
(ELD) regulations for its affiliated companies. FMCSA requests public 
comment on the Republic Services application for exemption.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before January 2, 2020.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by Federal Docket 
Management System Number FMCSA-2018-0369 by any of the following 
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. See the 
Public Participation and Request for Comments section below for further 
     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. 
E.T., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
     Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
    Each submission must include the Agency name and the docket number 
of this notice. DOT posts all comments received without change to 
www.regulations.gov, including personal information in a comment. 
Please see the Privacy Act heading below.
    Docket: To read background documents or comments, go to 
www.regulations.gov 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 FDMS is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year.
    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 personal information the 
commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the system 
of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS) at www.dot.gov/privacy.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information concerning this 
notice, please contact Mr. Richard Clemente, FMCSA Driver and Carrier 
Operations Division; Telephone: (202) 366-2722; Email: [email protected]. 
If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, 
contact Docket Services, telephone (202) 366-9826.


I. Public Participation and Request for Comments

    FMCSA encourages you to participate by submitting comments and 
related materials.

Submitting Comments

    If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this 
notice (FMCSA-2018-0369), the specific section of this document to 
which the comment applies, and provide reasons for suggestions or 
recommendations. You may submit online or by fax, mail, or hand 
delivery, but please use only one of these means. FMCSA recommends that 
you include your name and a mailing address, an email address, or a 
phone number in your document so the Agency can contact you if it has 
questions about your submission.
    To submit your comments online, go to www.regulations.gov and put 
the docket number, ``FMCSA-2018-0369'' in the ``Keyword'' box, and 
click ``Search.'' When the new screen appears, click on the ``Submit a 
Formal Comment'' button and type your comment into the text box in the 
following screen. Indicate whether you are submitting your comment as 
an individual or on behalf of a third party and then submit. 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. FMCSA

[[Page 66270]]

will consider all comments and material received during the comment 
period and may grant or deny this application based on your comments.

II. Legal Basis

    FMCSA has authority under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 to grant 
exemptions from certain Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations 
(FMCSRs). 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 provide an opportunity for public comment on the 
    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 (up to 5 
years) and explain the terms and conditions of the exemption. The 
exemption may be renewed (49 CFR 381.300(b)).

III. Request for Exemption

    Drivers qualifying for the hours-of-service (HOS) short-haul 
exception in 49 CFR 395.1(e)(1) do not have to maintain a record of 
duty status (RODS) on board the vehicle provided that (among other 
things) they return to their normal work reporting location and are 
released from work within 12 hours after coming on duty. A driver who 
exceeds the 12-hour limit loses the short-haul exception and must 
prepare RODS immediately for the entire day, often by means of an 
electronic logging device (ELD)(49 CFR 395.8(a)(1)(i)).
    Republic Services seeks an exemption for approximately 16,000 CMVs 
and approximately 15,500 drivers. Republic Services is a leading 
provider of non-hazardous solid waste collection, transfer, disposal, 
recycling and other environmental services, operating in more than 40 
states and Puerto Rico. It is one of the largest such fleets in the 
country. Republic Services drivers qualify routinely for the short-haul 
exception in Sec.  395.1(e)(1), however, occasionally they cannot 
complete their duty day within 12 hours. Republic Services therefore 
seeks an exemption to allow its drivers to continue to qualify for the 
short-haul exception up to the 14th hour after coming on duty. In 
conjunction with this request, Republic Services requests further 
relief from the electronic logging device (ELD) requirements for their 
affiliated companies, which they state in their application is 
reasonable and consistent with current exemptions FMCSA has granted.
    Republic Services states that the 14-hour rule is appropriate to 
certain industries and operations, including sanitation/solid waste and 
recycling collection. According to the applicant, the HOS regulations 
recognize the reasonableness of a 14-hour, rather than a 12-hour, 
return/release period in appropriate transport industries and other 
operations. Section 395.1(e)(1)(ii)(B) in the Federal regulations 
codifies the statutory 14-hour short-haul period for ready-mixed 
concrete drivers, and other subparts of the rules provide industry-
specific HOS exemptions for certain operations, including oilfield 
operations and pipeline welding trucks. Republic Services' CMV drivers 
on solid waste and recycling routes generally meet the current short-
haul exemption requirements and utilize the exception to written 
records of duty status (RODS). Exceptions to this that can occur are 
usually by no fault of the driver. Increasing the requirement to 14 
hours will ensure that Republic Services' CMV drivers will meet the 
requirements of the short-haul operations exception in nearly all 
    Regarding the other portion of its application for exemption, 
Republic Services indicates that ELDs were not designed for short-haul 
CMVs and that application of ELDs to CMVs that operate within a 100-
mile radius and make multiple stops represents an inefficient use of 
ELD technology. The devices may work well for long-haul trucking 
because these drivers operate the controls of their CMVs for extended 
periods of time without need to stop multiple times during a single 
shift. Unlike sanitation truck drivers, long-haul drivers are not away 
from the controls of their CMVs for significant periods of time during 
a shift. In contrast, Republic Services' solid waste and recycling 
collection drivers make numerous stops per shift and spend significant 
portions of their day performing a non-driving function. Its short-haul 
drivers have an average route distance of between 85 and 180 miles, 
much of which is generated when traveling to and from their service 
areas as opposed to servicing customers/collecting waste and 
recyclables from containers. On average, Republic's drivers spend 
approximately 30-50% of their on-duty time servicing customer 
containers as opposed to driving.
    Republic Services further notes that on two prior occasions this 
year, FMCSA has recognized the reasonableness of extending the 14-hour 
return/release rule allowed the ready-mixed concrete industry to other 
industries. In January, the agency granted the application for 
exemption filed by the National Asphalt Paving Association, Inc. 
(NAPA), permitting CMV drivers transporting asphalt and related 
materials to return to the reporting location and be released within 
14, instead of 12 hours [83 FR 3864]. In October, FMCSA granted Waste 
Management's (WM) similar request, recognizing the extension of the 14-
hour rule to the solid waste/recycling drivers of a sanitation industry 
participant like Republic Services [83 FR 53940].

IV. Equivalent Level of Safety

    To ensure an equivalent level of safety, Republic Services offers 
extensive formal classroom and field operations training. Its 
application references a company safety program that concentrates on 
driver's attention and the most common risks associated with sanitation 
driver operations. Republic uses one-on-one in-cab observations in 
which its collection operations supervisors ride along with short-haul 
CMV drivers on their routes, providing real time coaching and feedback. 
According to Republic, these in-cab observations create positive 
relationships with the drivers where concerns such as hours, safety, 
and fatigue are addressed. Republic states that it covers increasing 
driver awareness about safety and fatigue and associated dangers and 
how to avoid and mitigate fatigue and remain alert behind the wheel. 
Republic Services utilizes event data recording devices to cover 
potential safety risks.
    Republic Services requests a 5-year exemption. Republic Services' 
application for exemption, including a list of its 71 affiliated 
operating companies, is available for review in the docket for this 

    Issued on: November 22, 2019.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2019-26096 Filed 12-2-19; 8:45 am]