[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 84 (Tuesday, May 4, 2021)]
[Notices]
[Pages 23779-23780]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-09273]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2021-0052]


Hours of Service (HOS) of Drivers; Application for Renewal of 
American Pyrotechnics Association Exemptions From the 14-Hour Rule and 
the Electronic Logging Device Rule During Independence Day Celebrations

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

ACTION: Notice of applications for renewal; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: FMCSA announces that it has received applications from the 
American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) requesting renewal of 
exemptions from certain hours of service (HOS) regulations that expired 
on July 8, 2020. The requests are being made on behalf of 60 APA member 
companies. The exemption requests would allow drivers for its members 
to exclude off-duty and sleeper berth time of any length from the 
calculation of the 14-hour limit and to use paper records of duty 
status (RODS) in lieu of electronic logging devices (ELD) during the 
designated Independence Day periods. The requests are for the 
transportation of pyrotechnics from June 28 through July 8 of every 
year from 2021 through 2025.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before June 3, 2021.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by Federal Docket 
Management System Number FMCSA-2021-0052 by any of the following 
methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. See the 
Public Participation and Request for Comments section below for further 
information.
     Mail: Dockets Operations, 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: Dockets Operations, 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. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 
366-9317 or (202) 366-9826 before visiting Dockets Operations.
     Fax: (202) 493-2251.
    Each submission must include the Agency name and the docket number 
for this notice: FMCSA-2021-0052. Note that DOT posts all comments 
received without change to www.regulations.gov, including any personal 
information included in a comment. Please see the Privacy Act heading 
below.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments, go to www.regulations.gov at any time or visit Dockets 
Operations in 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. To be sure someone 
is there to help you, please call (202) 366-9317 or (202) 366-9826 
before visiting Dockets Operations.
    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 
www.dot.gov/privacy.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Pearlie Robinson, FMCSA Driver and 
Carrier Operations Division; Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle 
Safety Standards; (202) 366-4225; [email protected]. If you have questions 
on viewing or submitting material to the docket, contact Dockets 
Operations, (202) 366-9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

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-2021-0052), indicate the specific section of this 
document to which the comment applies, and provide a reason for 
suggestions or recommendations. You may submit your comments and 
material 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 the body of 
your document so the Agency can contact you if it has questions 
regarding your submission.
    To submit your comment online, go to www.regulations.gov and put 
the docket number, ``FMCSA-2021-0052'' in the ``Keyword'' box, and 
click ``Search.'' When the new screen appears, click on ``Comment 
Now!'' button and type your comment into the text box in the following 
screen. Choose 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 will consider all comments and material received 
during the comment period.

II. Legal Basis

    FMCSA has authority under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b) to grant 
exemptions from certain Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. 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 also provide 
an opportunity for public comment on the request.
    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)).

[[Page 23780]]

III. Background

Current Requirements

    The HOS rule in 49 CFR 395.3(a)(2) prohibits the driver of a 
property-carrying CMV from driving after the 14th hour after coming on 
duty following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Drivers required to 
prepare RODS must do so using ELDs. However, under 49 CFR 
395.8(a)(1)(iii)(1), a motor carrier may allow its drivers to record 
their duty status manually, rather than use an ELD, if the driver is 
operating a CMV ``[i]n a manner requiring completion of a record of 
duty status on not more than 8 days within any 30-day period.''

Applicant's Requests

    APA requests temporary relief from both provisions discussed above 
because employees for its member companies need to drive CMVs after the 
end of the 14-hour period and because the proposed exemption period 
from June 28 through July 8 is 11 days long, which exceeds the 
exception from the ELD requirement (up to 8 days in a 30 consecutive-
day period). APA explains that without the extra time provided by the 
exemption from the 14-hour rule, safety would decline because APA 
drivers would be unable to return to their home base after each show. 
They would be forced to park the CMVs carrying HM 1.1G, 1.3G and 1.4G 
products in areas less secure than the motor carrier's home base.
    Without the exemption from the ELD rule, these companies would be 
required to purchase/lease ELD systems for a limited period of 11 days. 
APA believes an equivalent level of safety will be achieved because the 
fireworks are transported over relatively short routes from 
distribution points to the site of the fireworks display, and normally 
in the early morning when traffic is light. APA also believes that 
fatigued driving is reduced and/or eliminated because drivers spend 
considerable time installing, wiring, and safety-checking the fireworks 
displays at the site, followed by several hours off duty in the late 
afternoon and early evening prior to the event; during this time, the 
drivers are allowed to rest or take a nap.
    APA is requesting renewal of its HOS exemptions from the 14-hour 
rule for 58 of 61 member-companies included in the 2016 through 2020 
waivers or exemptions; and from the ELD rule for the same member-
companies included in the 2019 through 2020 waivers or exemptions. The 
HOS exemptions or waivers, for 61 of its members, expired on July 9, 
2020. The current applications cover 58 members that previously held 
exemptions and 2 additional member-companies not previously covered by 
the exemptions. APA has advised that 3 member companies previously 
included in the 14-hour and ELD relief have been removed from the list, 
leaving 60 of its member companies applying for exemptions from the 14-
hour rule and the ELD rule. Copies of the 2021 requests are included in 
the docket referenced at the beginning of this notice.
    Various APA members have held 2-year exemptions during Independence 
Day periods from 2005 through 2014. On May 9, 2016, the current 
exemption for APA members was extended to July 8, 2020, pursuant to 
section 5206(b)(2)(A) of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation 
(FAST) Act. Copies of the initial request for an exemption from the 14-
hour rule, subsequent renewal requests, and all public comments 
received may be reviewed at www.regulations.gov under docket numbers 
FMCSA-2005-21104 and FMCSA-2007-28043.
    FMCSA granted APA's application for relief from the ELD rule on 
February 19, 2019, covering the Independence Day celebrations for 2019 
and 2020. A copy of that request and the public comments received are 
located at www.regulations.gov under docket number FMCSA-2018-0140.

VI. Request for Comments

    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315(b), FMCSA requests public 
comment from all interested persons on APA's application for renewal of 
an exemption from 49 CFR 395.3(a)(2) and 395.8(a)(1)(i). All comments 
received before the close of business on the comment closing date 
indicated at the beginning of this notice will be considered and will 
be available for examination in the docket at the location listed under 
the Addresses section of this notice. Comments received after the 
comment closing date will be filed in the public docket and will be 
considered to the extent practicable. In addition to late comments, 
FMCSA will also continue to file, in the public docket, relevant 
information that becomes available after the comment closing date. 
Interested persons should continue to examine the public docket for new 
material.

Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2021-09273 Filed 5-3-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P