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May 15, 2019 Safety and Compliance

FMCSA Has New Resources on Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Updates

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has released resources to help CDL drivers and their employers prepare for their roles in the Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. Mandated by MAP-21, this online database will contain information on drug and alcohol program violations committed by drivers subject to 49 CFR Part 382.

Registration for the Clearinghouse will be open in the fall of 2019. Starting on January 6, 2020, all employers hiring new drivers will be required to check the clearinghouse for Drug and Alcohol Violations and to input data on violations for existing drivers. Companies may visit the FMCSA website to learn more and to subscribe to receive email updates on the clearinghouse.

Please send any questions to clearinghouse@dot.gov.

PHMSA to Host Public Meeting on 2020 Emergency Response Guidebook

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration will host a public meeting to solicit input on the development of the 2020 edition of the Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG2020).  See 84 Fed. Reg. 19999 (May 7, 2019). The meeting will take place on June 17, 2019, at U.S. DOT headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The ERG is used by emergency services personnel to provide guidance for initial response to hazardous materials transportation incidents.

At the meeting, PHMSA will invite discussion of the methodology used to determine the appropriate response protective distances for poisonous vapors resulting from spills involving dangerous goods considered toxic by inhalation in the ERG2016 “Green Pages.” The agency will also solicit comments related to new methodologies and considerations for future editions of the ERG. Additionally, the meeting will include discussions on the outcomes of field experiments, ongoing research efforts to better understand environmental effects on airborne toxic gas concentrations and updates to be published in the ERG2020.

FMCSA to Make Crash Preventability Program Permanent

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has decided to make its two-year Crash Preventability Demonstration Program permanent. The program was supposed to end in July 2019, but the agency will continue reviewing crashes submitted by motor carriers to determine if the crash was not preventable by the carrier or its driver.

According to the agency, the FMCSA has reviewed over 5,000 crashes submitted by carriers since the program began, and over 90% of those crashes were determined to be non-preventable. Those crashes were then removed from the carriers’ SMS scores.

The FMCSA will also broaden the scope of crashes that will be available for review under the expanded review program.

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