[Federal Register: July 31, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 146)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
[Docket No. FMCSA-2007-28827]
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations; General: Centennial
Communications Application for Exemption
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 for
exemption from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs)
from Centennial Communications ("Centennial") for all of its
commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) and drivers that operate in interstate
commerce. The exemption would allow Centennial's drivers and CMVs to be
completely exempt from the FMCSRs. Centennial, a regional provider of
telecommunications services, requests a blanket exemption, and believes
that if the exemption is not granted, the burden of complying with the
regulations will have a negative impact on the company's operations.
Centennial contends that there will be no negative safety impact if the
exemption is granted, as it maintains that it currently has very
thorough safety practices in place. FMCSA requests public comment on
the Centennial application for exemption.
DATES: Comments must be received on or before August 30, 2007.
ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by DOT DMS Docket Number
FMCSA-2007-28827 using any of the following methods:
- Web site: http://dmses.dot.gov/submit/. Follow the
instructions for submitting comments on the DOT electronic docket site.
- Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
- Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of
Transportation, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Ave., SE., Washington, DC
- Hand Delivery: Room W12-140, Ground Floor of West
Building, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave., SE.,
Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday,
except Federal holidays.
- Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov.
Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
Instructions: All submissions must include the Agency name
and docket number for this notice. Note that all comments received will
be posted without change to http://dms.dot.gov including any personal
information provided. Please see the Privacy Act heading for further
Docket: For access to the docket to read background
documents or comments received, go to http://dms.dot.gov at any time or
Room W12-140, Ground Floor of West Building, U.S. Department of
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave., SE., Washington, DC 20590,
between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal
holidays. The DMS is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year.
If you want us to notify you that we received your comments, please
include a self-addressed, stamped envelope or postcard or print the
acknowledgement page that appears after submitting comments on-line.
Privacy Act: Anyone may search the electronic form of all
comments received into any of DOT's dockets by the name of the
individual submitting the comment (or of the person signing the
comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor
union, or [[Page 41814]] other entity). You may review DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in
the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477, Apr. 11,
2000). This statement is also available at http://dms.dot.gov.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Thomas Yager, Chief, FMCSA Driver
and Carrier Operations Division, Office of Bus and Truck Standards and
Operations. Telephone: 202-366-4009. E-mail: MCPSD@dot.gov.
Section 4007 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century
(Pub. L. 105-178, 112 Stat. 107, June 9, 1998) amended 49 U.S.C. 31315
and 31136(e) to provide authority to grant exemptions from motor
carrier safety regulations. Under its 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 the
conducting of any safety analyses. The Agency must also provide an
opportunity for public comment on the request.
The Agency reviews the safety analyses and the public comments 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 reason for denying or, in the alternative, the
specific person or class of persons receiving the exemption, and the
regulatory provision or provisions from which exemption is being
granted. The notice must also specify the effective period of the
exemption (up to 2 years), and explain the terms and conditions of the
exemption. The exemption may be renewed (49 CFR 381.300(b)).
Request for Exemption
The FMCSRs are generally applicable to motor carriers and drivers
operating commercial motor vehicles (CMVs), as defined in 49 CFR 390.5.
This includes any self-propelled or towed motor vehicle used on a
highway in interstate commerce to transport passengers or property when
the vehicle has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) or gross
combination weight rating (GCWR), or gross vehicle weight or gross
combination weight, of 10,001 pounds or more, whichever is greater.
Centennial Communications is a regional provider of
telecommunications services with a fleet comprised of 46 Ford F-150 and
F-250 trucks based in Fort Wayne, Indiana. According to Centennial, all
of its trucks' GVWRs are less than 10,001 pounds. Centennial states
that 95% of the time these trucks are used for technical service calls,
and during such use all trucks are below the 10,001 pound GVWR
threshold limit. However, the remaining 5% of the time, Centennial
trucks transport generators, via trailer, to wireless towers around
their operating area during emergencies (e.g., areas affected by
hurricanes and other major storms). When a Centennial truck hauls a
generator, the combined weight--truck GVWR plus trailer and generator--
exceeds 10,001 pounds.
Centennial has determined that it would be burdensome to designate
specific trucks and drivers for the transporting of generators because
when Centennial has to haul generators in an emergency situation, not
all of its trucks and drivers may be needed. In some circumstances only
a few trucks and drivers may be needed to haul generators, but at other
times that number may be increased depending on the severity of the
emergency. Therefore, if Centennial only designates a certain number of
trucks and trailers, it could easily be in a situation where more than
the number of designated trucks and drivers are needed.
Centennial states that, because its vehicles rarely reach the
10,001 pound GVWR or more threshold, it would be safer and more
economical to revamp its entire fleet of trucks and trailers so that
when hauling generators, the combined weight of the truck/trailer/
generator is below 10,001 pounds GVWR. Centennial therefore requests
the granting of two-year exemption from the FMCSRs in order to allow
time to modify its vehicles.
Centennial is concerned that if an exemption is not granted, "a
significant impact to company operations will be realized." This is
due to the amount of time required to set up all files and get proper
documentation in place regarding the FMCSRs. It estimates that it will
take at least one year to get all required records on drivers and
vehicles up-to-date. Centennial is further concerned about the
restoration of service during natural disasters such as hurricanes,
major thunderstorms or ice storms if forced to limit the number of
drivers until all of its trucks are under the 10,001 pound GVWR.
Centennial believes that there will be no negative safety impact if
an exemption is granted because it already has a very thorough company
vehicle safety policy in place with its company "Engineering Vehicle
Policy." Excerpts from the "Engineering Vehicle Policy" manual state
that it is the responsibility of each driver to read and understand the
document, and the assigned driver of the company vehicle is responsible
for operating and maintaining the vehicle in a safe and cost effective
manner. Other sections in this company manual include the Fleet
Management Program, Disciplinary Action, Vehicle Accidents, Drugs and
Alcohol, Security, and Driver Safety Training. Centennial states that
it has also contacted and solicited help from its insurance carriers to
ensure that company vehicle safety practices are among the best in the
A copy of Centennial Communications exemption application includes
this detailed "Engineering Vehicle Policy". The application is
available for review in the docket for this notice.
Request for Comments
In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315(b)(4) and 31136(e), FMCSA
requests public comment on Centennial's application for exemption from
the FMCSRs. The Agency will consider all comments received by close of
business on August 30, 2007. Comments will be available for examination
in the docket at the location listed under the ADDRESSES section of
this notice. The Agency will file comments received after the comment
closing date in the public docket, and will consider them 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 monitor the
public docket for new material.
Issued on: July 24, 2007.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy and Program Development.
[FR Doc. E7-14801 Filed 7-30-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P