Consultants

November 1, 2018 Safety and Compliance

GAWDA Comments on FMCSA Hours of Service Rulemaking

GAWDA filed comments on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on driver hours of service regulations.

On Aug. 23, 2018, the agency published its ANPRM in response to widespread Congressional, industry, and citizen concerns over the HOS rules. See 83 Fed. Reg. 42631. The notice sought feedback from the public to determine if HOS revisions may alleviate unnecessary burdens placed on drivers while maintaining safety on our nation’s highways and roads.

The four specific areas under consideration for revision are:

  • Expanding the current 100 air-mile “short-haul” exemption for CDL drivers from 12 hours on-duty to 14 hours on-duty, in order to be consistent with the rules for long-haul truck drivers;
  • Extending the current 14-hour on-duty limitation by up to two hours when a truck driver encounters adverse driving conditions;
  • Revising the current mandatory 30-minute break for truck drivers after 8 hours of continuous driving; and
  • Reinstating the option for splitting up the required 10-hour off-duty rest break for drivers operating trucks that are equipped with a sleeper-berth compartment.

In addition, the ANPRM sought public comment and relevant data on two recently submitted petitions requesting regulatory relief from HOS rules (1) pertaining to the 14-hour on-duty limitation (filed by the Owner-Operators Independent Drivers Association) and (2) pertaining to the 10-hour off-duty requirement (filed by TruckerNation).

GAWDA’s comments supported expanding the short-haul exceptions in 49 CFR § 395.1(e) to allow drivers a 14-hour daily limit under this provision. Expanding the rule to a 14-hour duty period would place the short-haul driver on the same duty period as a long-haul truck driver, see 49 CFR § 395.3(a)(2), even though a short-haul driver is not subject to the same fatigue concerns as a long-haul operator. GAWDA also supported expanding the air-mile radius for CDL drivers to 150 miles, rather than current 100 miles. This is the approach taken in the HOURS Act, H.R. 6178, introduced earlier this year in the House of Representatives.

FDA Issuance Guidance for Smaller Food Companies (Attestation)

The new Food Safety Modernization Act and 21 CFR 117 allow for easier and modified compliance if your company can claim “Qualified Facility” status.

There are two ways to claim Qualified Facility status. The most common way to meet the Qualified Facility definition is if your entire company sells under $1,000,000 per year of food gases. The modified requirements reduce the burden for Hazard Analysis and Risk-based Preventive Controls (HARPC) and for the Supply-Chain Program.

The HARPC is a formal process to document the implementation and monitoring of food safety hazard preventive controls. If you submit the attestation, you will not be required to complete the formal HARPC, but you will still need to implement and monitor your preventive controls.

If you wish to claim “Qualified Facility” status and take advantage of these modified compliance requirements, you must submit an “Attestation” to the FDA by Dec. 17, 2018 and every even-numbered year following 2018. The attestation is a simple form that can be submitted electronically or through the mail to the FDA.

Additional details can be found in the guidance.

The following materials are available to help with submitting attestations:

  • PowerPoint Presentation – The Food Gas Roundtable on Oct. 26, 2018 covered the attestation process.
  • Guidance – The FDA has published guidance about qualifying for and submitting the attestations.
  • Forms – The FDA has issued Forms 3942a for human food and 3942b for animal food attestations.
  • Attestation Instructions – The FDA has issued instructions for completing the 3942a/b forms.
  • Video – We have produced a 15-minute video to explain the attestation process. This is the recorded video from October’s Food Safety Roundtable.

If you would like these materials, check out the “Food and Beverage Gas Compliance” Dropbox under the “Qualified Facility – Attestations” folder. If you need access to this Dropbox or would like these materials sent directly to you, please contact tom@asteriskllc.com.

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