[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 126 (Tuesday, June 30, 2020)]
[Pages 39270-39271]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-14049]



Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2012-0123; FMCSA-2013-0124; FMCSA-2013-0125; FMCSA-
2016-0003; FMCSA-2017-0059]

Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Hearing

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

ACTION: Notice of final disposition.


SUMMARY: FMCSA announces its decision to renew exemptions for seven 
individuals from the hearing requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier 
Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) for interstate commercial motor vehicle 
(CMV) drivers. The exemptions enable these hard of hearing and deaf 
individuals to continue to operate CMVs in interstate commerce.

DATES: The exemptions were applicable on May 19, 2020. The exemptions 
expire on May 19, 2022.

Medical Programs Division, 202-366-4001, [email protected], FMCSA, 
Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W64-224, 
Washington, DC 20590-0001. Office hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., 
ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. If you have 
questions regarding viewing or submitting material to the docket, 
contact Docket Operations, (202) 366-9826.


I. Public Participation

A. Viewing Documents and Comments

    To view comments, as well as any documents mentioned in this notice 

[[Page 39271]]

being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov. Insert 
the docket number, FMCSA-2012-0123, FMCSA-2013-0124, FMCSA-2013-0125, 
FMCSA-2016-0003, or FMCSA-2017-0059, in the keyword box, and click 
``Search.'' Next, click the ``Open Docket Folder'' button and choose 
the document to review. If you do not have access to the internet, you 
may view the docket online by visiting the Docket Operations in Room 
W12-140 on the ground floor of the DOT West Building, 1200 New Jersey 
Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday 
through Friday, except Federal holidays. To be sure someone is there to 
help you, please call (202) 366-9317 or (202) 366-9826 before visiting 
Docket Operations.

B. 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 

II. Background

    On May 5, 2020, FMCSA published a notice announcing its decision to 
renew exemptions for seven individuals from the hearing standard in 49 
CFR 391.41(b)(11) to operate a CMV in interstate commerce and requested 
comments from the public (85 FR 26780). The public comment period ended 
on June 4, 2020, and no comments were received.
    FMCSA has evaluated the eligibility of these applicants and 
determined that renewing these exemptions would achieve a level of 
safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved 
by complying with Sec.  391.41(b)(11).
    The physical qualification standard for drivers regarding hearing 
found in Sec.  391.41(b)(11) states that a person is physically 
qualified to drive a CMV if that person first perceives a forced 
whispered voice in the better ear at not less than 5 feet with or 
without the use of a hearing aid or, if tested by use of an audiometric 
device, does not have an average hearing loss in the better ear greater 
than 40 decibels at 500 Hz, 1,000 Hz, and 2,000 Hz with or without a 
hearing aid when the audiometric device is calibrated to American 
National Standard (formerly ASA Standard) Z24.5--1951.
    This standard was adopted in 1970 and was revised in 1971 to allow 
drivers to be qualified under this standard while wearing a hearing 
aid, 35 FR 6458, 6463 (April 22, 1970) and 36 FR 12857 (July 3, 1971).

III. Discussion of Comments

    FMCSA received no comments in this proceeding.

IV. Conclusion

    Based upon its evaluation of the seven renewal exemption 
applications, FMCSA announces its decision to exempt the following 
drivers from the hearing requirement in Sec.  391.41(b)(11).
    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b), the following 
groups of drivers received renewed exemptions in the month of May and 
are discussed below:
    As of May 19, 2020, and in accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 
31315(b), the following seven individuals have satisfied the renewal 
conditions for obtaining an exemption from the hearing requirement in 
the FMCSRs for interstate CMV drivers (85 FR 26780):

Forrest Carroll (OH)
Bryan MacFarlane (OH)
Michael Murrah (GA)
Michael Paasch (NE)
Kelly Pulvermacher (WI)
Brian Walthall (KS)
Joshua Chad Weaver (GA)

    The drivers were included in docket number FMCSA-2012-0123, FMCSA-
2013-0124, FMCSA-2013-0125, FMCSA-2016-0003, and FMCSA-2017-0059. Their 
exemptions are applicable as of May 19, 2020, and will expire on May 
19, 2022.
    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315(b), each exemption will be valid 
for 2 years from the effective date unless revoked earlier by FMCSA. 
The exemption will be revoked if the following occurs: (1) The person 
fails to comply with the terms and conditions of the exemption; (2) the 
exemption has resulted in a lower level of safety than was maintained 
prior to being granted; or (3) continuation of the exemption would not 
be consistent with the goals and objectives of 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 

Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2020-14049 Filed 6-29-20; 8:45 am]