FR Doc 03-25618
[Federal Register: October 8, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 195)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
[Docket Nos. FMCSA-98-3298 and FMCSA-98-3299]
Notice of Scoping Meetings and Soliciting Scoping Comments for
Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement and General Conformity
Evaluation for Proposal To Promulgate North American Free Trade
AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.
ACTION: Announcement of public scoping meetings.
SUMMARY: The agency is in the early stages of preparing an
environmental analysis, including a Programmatic Environmental Impact
Statement (PEIS) and a General Conformity Evaluation (GCE), assessing
the potential environmental impacts'such as impact on air quality'on
its proposal to promulgate regulations allowing trucks and buses
domiciled in Mexico to operate throughout the United States under
conditions ensuring public safety. The FMCSA is holding several public
meetings on environmental issues and concerns to be considered in the
PEIS and GCE. The purpose of these meetings is to obtain the public's
input on the potential range or scope of environmental impacts and
alternatives that should be considered in the PEIS and GCE. FMCSA
invites the public to submit comments on the environmental issues and
topics that they believe are appropriate for inclusion in these
DATES: See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for meeting dates.
ADDRESSES: See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for meeting addresses.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Charles Rombro, Analysis Division,
Office of Information Management, (202) 366-1861, FMCSA, Department of
Transportation, 400 Seventh Street SW., Washington, DC 20590-0001. You
may also visit FMCSA's Web site at
orcall FMCSA's toll-free hotline number at (800) 288-5634. Inquiries may
be made in Spanish or English.
Meeting Dates and Addresses
The scoping meeting addresses, dates and times are as follows:
1. El Paso--October 21, 2003, 7 p.m. `` 9 p.m.; Franklin High
School, 900 North Resler Drive, El Paso, TX; (915) 832-6600.
2. Phoenix--October 21, 2003; 7 p.m. `` 9 p.m.; Wyndham Phoenix
Hotel, 50 East Adams Street, Phoenix, AZ; (602) 333-0000.
3. San Diego--October 22, 2003; 7 p.m. `` 9 p.m.; San Diego
Concourse, 202 C Street, San Diego, CA; (619) 525-5000.
4. Nogales--October 22, 2003; 7 p.m. `` 9 p.m.; Santa Cruz County
Complex, 2150 N. Congress Drive, Nogales, AZ; (520) 375-7812.
5. Los Angeles--October 23, 2003; 7 p.m. `` 9 p.m.; Los Angeles
Convention Center; 1201 South Figueroa Street; Los Angeles, CA;
6. Las Cruces--October 27, 2003; 7 p.m. `` 9 p.m.; New Mexico State
University, Corbett Center Student Union; Las Cruces, NM;
7. Laredo--October 27, 2003; 7 p.m. `` 9 p.m.; Texas A&M
International University, 5201 University Blvd, Laredo, TX; (956) 326-
8. Houston--October 28, 2003; 7 p.m. `` 9 p.m.; Reliant Arena; One
Reliant Park, Houston, TX; (800) 776-4995.
9. Washington, DC--October 30, 2003; 2 p.m. `` 4 p.m.; Loews
L'Enfant Plaza Hotel; 480 L'Enfant Plaza, Washington, DC; (202) 484-
Pre-Registration to Speak at Public Meetings
Persons wanting to speak at a public meeting are encouraged to pre-
register by calling FMCSA's toll-free hotline at (800) 288-5634 and
leave their name, telephone number, the name of any group, business, or
agency affiliation, if applicable, and the date and location of the
meeting at which they wish to speak. The deadline for pre-registration
for all meetings is October 20, 2003.
Persons will be called to speak at each meeting in the following
order: elected officials, those who pre-registered, and then those
wishing to speak who did not pre-register. Those wishing to speak at
more than one meeting will also be accommodated, after their first
meeting, as time allows and after all others have had an opportunity to
participate. As FMCSA would like as many persons as possible to
participate and since there will be a limited amount of time at each
meeting, all speakers are strongly
encouraged to prepare summary oral comments, and submit detailed
comments in writing at the meeting or as described below. FMCSA also
encourages groups of individuals with similar comments to designate a
representative to speak for them. A translator will be available at the
meetings for Spanish-speakers wishing to speak.
In addition to submitting comments at the public meetings, the
public may submit comments to FMSCA by November 7, 2003, via one of the
[sbull] Project Web site at
[sbull] E-mail to NAFTAEIS@fmcsa.dot.gov;
[sbull] FAX at (800) 260-9702; or
[sbull] Mail to NAFTA EIS, P.O. Box 4050, Merrifield, VA 22116-
After completing the scoping comment process, FMCSA will prepare a
draft EIS and GCE to address the environmental concerns identified by
the public. This draft EIS will be made publicly available for review
and comment. FMCSA will then prepare a final EIS and issue a record of
decision that considers and responds to comments concerning the draft
EIS. Both the draft and final PEIS will be available to the public on
the Project Web site at
In addition, copies can be requested by calling FMCSA's toll-free hotline at (800)
The FMCSA is responsible for ensuring the safe operation of
commercial motor vehicles within the United States. In carrying out
these responsibilities, FMCSA proposed regulations in May 2001
prescribing application procedures and procedures for monitoring the
safety of Mexico-domiciled carriers seeking permission to operate
within the United States. FMCSA proposed these rules pursuant to NAFTA
and in anticipation of the President lifting a moratorium previously
imposed by Congress on the operating authority of Mexico-domiciled
carriers. The proposed regulations would permit Mexico-domiciled
carriers to operate throughout the entire Unites States, rather than
only in the narrow border commercial zone to which they are currently
confined. The implementation of the rules was put on hold as a result
of a court decision finding FMCSA should have conducted a more
extensive analysis of the environmental impacts of the regulations. See
Public Citizen v. Department of Transportation, 316 F. 3d 1002 (9th
FMCSA is now in the process of preparing a more extensive
environmental analysis of the potential impacts of the rules. This will
include a detailed analysis of the environmental impacts of the rules
and other alternatives, called a ``Programmatic Environmental Impact
Statement'' or PEIS, to be prepared pursuant to the National
Environmental Policy Act of 1969. It also will include an analysis of
specific air quality impacts, called a ``General Conformity
Evaluation'' or GCE, to be prepared pursuant to the Clean Air Act of
1990. A notice of intent to prepare a PEIS and a GCE was published in
the Federal Register on August 26, 2003 [68 FR 51322].
(Authority: 40 CFR 1506.6)
Issued on: October 3, 2003.
Annette M. Sandberg,
[FR Doc. 03-25618 Filed 10-7-03; 8:45 am]