The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently released a Final Rule on Occupant Protection for Vehicles with Automated Driving Systems. In short, this Final Rule amends the occupant protection Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSSs) to account for future vehicles that do not have the traditional manual controls associated with a human driver because they are equipped with Automated Driving Systems (ADS). The Final Rule is effective as of September 26, 2022. The lengthy Final Rule can be found here: 2022-05426.pdf (govinfo.gov). A more detailed summary of this Final Rule will be forthcoming.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced what will likely be the last round of Emergency Connectivity Fund funding for eligible schools and libraries to purchase equipment and services such as Wi Fi hotspots, modems, routers, and connected devices (such as laptops and tablets). The application period will be April 28-May 13 and will include equipment and services purchased between July 1, 2022, and December 31, 2023.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on Heavy-Duty Engine and Vehicle Standards. The NPRM would reduce air pollution from highway heavy-duty vehicles and engines, including ozone, particulate matter, and greenhouse gases. This proposal would change the heavy-duty emission control program—including the standards, test procedures, useful life, warranty, and other requirements— to further reduce the air quality impacts of heavy-duty engines across a range of operating conditions and over a longer period of the operational life of heavy-duty engines. This proposal would make targeted updates to the existing Heavy-Duty Greenhouse Gas Emissions Phase 2 program, proposing that further GHG reductions in the MY 2027 timeframe are appropriate considering lead time, costs, and other factors, including market shifts to zero-emission technologies in certain segments of the heavy-duty vehicle sector. Comments to this NPRM must be received by May 13, 2022. The entire NPRM may be found here: 2022-04934.pdf.
The EPA plans to hold a virtual public hearing on this NPRM on April 12, 2022. An additional session may be held on April 13, 2022. In order to attend the virtual public hearing, all attendees (including those who will not be presenting verbal testimony) must register in advance using the following registration link: https:// www.epa.gov/regulations-emissions-vehicles-and-engines/proposed-rule-and-related-materials-control-air-1.
UPDATE, March 21, 2022:
The Department of Transportation has extended the comment period for their Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on Oral Fluid Drug Testing to April 29, 2022.
ORIGINAL ANNOUNCEMENT, February 28, 2022:
The Department of Transportation Office of the Secretary has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on Procedures for Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs: Addition of Oral Fluid Specimen Testing for Drugs. With this NPRM, the U.S. Department of Transportation is proposing to amend the transportation industry drug testing program procedures regulation to include oral fluid testing. Comments are due on this proposal by March 30, 2022.
Here is a brief summary of the proposal:
The full NPRM can be found here: 2022-02364.pdf (govinfo.gov).
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has kicked off the 2022 Clean School Bus Program, which provides $5 billion over the next five years to replace existing school buses. Each year, approximately $500 million will be available for electric school buses and $500 million will be available for electric buses and multiple types of cleaner alternative fuel school buses. They will be hosting a zoom webinar on Wednesday, March 23 at 1pmET to explain the application and funding of the Clean School Bus Program. Details on the webinar can be found here: https://www.epa.gov/cleanschoolbus/events-related-clean-school-bus-program#webinar.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is preparing to release a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to reduce air pollution from highway heavy-duty vehicles and engines, including ozone, particulate matter, and greenhouse gases. This proposal would change the heavy-duty emission control program to further reduce the air quality impacts of heavy-duty engines across a range of operating conditions and over a longer period of the operational life of heavy-duty engines. In addition, this proposal would make targeted updates to the existing Heavy-Duty Greenhouse Gas Emissions Phase 2 program, proposing that further GHG reductions in the Model Year 2027 timeframe are appropriate considering lead time, costs, and other factors. The notice also includes limited amendments to the regulations that implement air pollutant emission standards for other sectors (e.g., light-duty vehicles, marine diesel engines, locomotives, various types of nonroad engines, vehicles, and equipment).
As soon as this NPRM is published in the Federal Register a link will be sent to you.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is withdrawing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) allowing States to permit third-party skills test examiners to administer the Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) skills test to applicants to whom the examiner has also provided skills training, a practice now prohibited under FMCSA regulations. FMCSA decided to withdraw the NPRM after reviewing comments received following publication of the NPRM. The NPRM was published July 9, 2019 and is withdrawn as of March 9, 2022. The withdrawal notice can be found here: 2022-04968.pdf.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has withdrawn a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would have allowed driver applicants to take the commercial driver’s license (CDL) general and specialized knowledge tests in a State other than the applicant’s State of domicile. The NPRM also proposed that the applicant’s State of domicile would have been required to accept knowledge test results. FMCSA is withdrawing the Notice after reviewing comments received following the publication of the NPRM. The NPRM was published on July 29, 2019 and is withdrawn as of March 9, 2022. The withdrawal notice can be found here: 2022-04966.pdf.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued a Final Rule amending its regulations to eliminate the requirement that drivers operating commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce prepare and submit a list of their convictions for traffic violations to their employers annually.
The agency has determined that this requirement was largely duplicative of the separate rule requiring each motor carrier to annually to obtain the motor vehicle record (MVR) for each driver it employs from every State in which the driver holds or has held a CMV operator’s license or permit in the past year.
To ensure motor carriers are aware of traffic convictions for a driver who is licensed by a foreign authority rather than by a State, the Agency amends the rule to provide that motor carriers must make an annual inquiry to each driver’s licensing authority where a driver holds or has held a CMV operator’s license or permit. This final rule is effective May 9, 2022 and the full text can be found here: 2022-04930.pdf.
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