According to a recent FMCSA Notice, the American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) has filed for a renewal of its temporary HOS exemption from the 14-hour rule for the duration of Independence Day Celebrations.
In previous years, the FMCSA has granted the exemption to 48 APA-affiliated carriers. The exemption would only apply to the APA-affiliated carriers and would run from June 28 to July 8, 2013 and June 28 to July 8, 2014.
If approved, 3,200 drivers would be allowed to exclude off-duty and sleeper-berth time from their 14-hour driving window, however, “These drivers would not be allowed to drive after accumulating a total of 14 hours of on-duty time, following 10 consecutive hours off duty, and would continue to be subject to the 11-hour driving time limit, and the 60- and 70-hour on-duty limits,” the notice states.
The APA began applying for the exemption in 2004. APA drivers hold CDLs with Hazmat endorsements.
“The APA states that it is seeking an HOS exemption for the 2013 and 2014 Independence Day periods because compliance with the current 14-hour rule in 49 CFR 395.3(a)(2) by its members would impose a substantial economic hardship on numerous cities, towns and municipalities, as well as its member-companies. To meet the demand for fireworks under the current HOS rules, APA member-companies state that they would be required to hire a second driver for most trips. The APA advises that the result would be a substantial increase in the cost of the fireworks shows—beyond the means of many of its members’ customers—and that many Americans would be denied this important component of the celebration of Independence Day,” the notice states.
The FMCSA is seeking public comment on the exemption.
ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by Federal Docket Management System Number FMCSA– 2007–28043 by any of the following methods:
- Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov. In the ENTER KEYWORD OR ID box enter FMCSA– 2007–28043 and click on the tab labeled SEARCH. On the ensuing page, click on any tab labeled SUBMIT A COMMENT on the extreme right of the page and a page should open that is titled ‘‘Submit a Comment.’’ You may identify yourself under section 1, ENTER INFORMATION, or you may skip section 1 and remain anonymous. You enter your comments in section 2, TYPE COMMENT & UPLOAD FILE. When you are ready to submit your comments, click on the tab labeled SUBMIT. Your comment is then submitted to the docket; and you will receive a tracking number.
- Fax: 1–202–493–2251.
- Mail: Docket Management Facility: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590–0001.
- Hand Delivery: West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
Instructions: All submissions must include the Agency name and docket number. For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional information on the exemption process, see the Public Participation heading below. Note that all comments received will be posted without change to www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided.