Amendment to Emergency Relief Exemptions Pursuant to the Reliable Home Heating (RHH) Act
FMCSA adopts, as final, certain amendments to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) required by the Reliable Home Heating (RHH) Act. Currently, the FMCSRs include a provision which enables motor carriers providing direct assistance in responding to an emergency declared by a governor to do so without having to comply with certain Federal safety regulations. However, the duration of the relief is limited to 30 days unless FMCSA extends the exemption. This final rule amends the emergency relief provision in the FMCSRs so that the safety requirements in 49 CFR parts 390-399 will not apply if a Governor: Declares a state of emergency caused by a shortage of residential heating fuel; determines at the end of the 30-day exemption period currently authorized by the regulations that the emergency shortage has not ended; and extends the declaration of emergency for up to 2 additional 30-day periods. Because the rule is a non- discretionary, ministerial action as required by the RHH Act, it is issued without prior notice and opportunity for comment, pursuant to the good cause exception in the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).