Today the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a 30-day information collection request (ICR) in the Federal Register (79 FR 9034-9035) supporting the requirement (49 USC §5112) that States identify designated/restricted routes and restrictions or limitations affecting how motor carriers may transport certain hazardous materials on their highways.
Previous Public Comment
ICR’s always include provisions for public comment on the collection request, but rarely are such comments submitted. The 60-day ICR notice on this collection did draw one comment (.PDF Download) from the American Trucking Association (ATA). The ATA comment addresses three issues:
• ATA objection to permissive wording for the submission of State routing data;
• Change in reporting frequency (adds ‘within 60-days of making a change) requirement from MAP-21; and
• Requirement for FMCSA to publish annual update to hazmat routing lists in Federal Register.
FMCSA acknowledges receipt of the ATA comment and notes that it will consider the comment. It would have been more appropriate for it to address the issues raised (it only specifically mentions the second issue described above in this notice) in this ICR notice so that concerned parties could comment on the changes if it was deemed appropriate.
For example, while the abstract for the currently approved ICR clearly states that “are required to provide information to the FMCSA” described in this ICR, this notice continues to state that FMCSA has “the authority to request that each State and Indian tribe” provide that information.
While that may be question of semantics that has no real effect on this ICR, the question of addressing the 60-day update requirement certainly could affect the burden estimates in this notice. I suspect that this was not addressed because FMCSA has not yet made the regulatory changes that support this legislative change in requirements, but this notice should have specifically noted that.
The final ATA comment is not really pertinent to this ICR notice and that is acknowledged to be the case in the actual language in the ATA comment. Still, FMCSA should have acknowledged the existence of that specific comment and noted that it was not pertinent to the ICR under consideration.
Public Comment Solicited
As is usual and required, FMCSA is soliciting comments on this 30-day ICR notice. The notice states that comments should be sent directly to the OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (firstname.lastname@example.org). To ensure proper consideration of those comments, they should be submitted by March 17th, 2014. A copy of this blog post is being submitted as a comment.