NRMCA Updates Regulatory Issues at End of Year

FMCSA Finalizes New Driver Coercion Rule – In late November, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) finalized a rule to prohibit the coercing of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers from violating any of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). This new rule, effective January 29, 2016, applies to "motor carriers, shippers, receivers, or transportation intermediaries" and other CMV drivers. Among the rules included in the FMCSRs covered under this rule are hours of service (HOS), drug and alcohol testing.

Click here for more information and how to file a coercion complaint. Click here to view the Federal Register notice.

FMCSA to Require Passenger Seat Belt Use in CMVs – On December 10, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) proposed a new rule to require passengers traveling in commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) on public roads to wear seat belts. Currently, CMVs required to operate under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) are required to have seat belts installed in the CMV with their use required only by the CMV driver as per the FMCSRs. However, absent from the regulations is a requirement for any passenger to also use the mandatory seat belt installation. The proposal would revise the standard to expand to CMV passengers as well. FMCSA is accepting comments on the proposal until January 25, 2016.

Click here to view the proposal.

EPA Unveils New eDisclosure Tool – On December 9, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) created a new online disclosure program; an "eDisclosure portal to receive and automatically process self-disclosed civil violations of environmental law." The new automated system can be used by both small and large businesses to "resolve certain routine types of disclosures." EPA estimates the modernization of the system will streamline the process and save time and money for both EPA and businesses. Two caveats to eDisclose include not being able to submit confidential business information and it cannot be used for new owner disclosures.

Click here for more on the changes and how to use EPA’s eDisclosure.

Government Accountability Office: EPA Violated Anti-Lobbying Laws on WOTUS – On December 14, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report concluding that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) violated multiple laws that prevent EPA from lobbying on behalf of its own actions. In particular, the GAO report stated that EPA’s use of social media and other grassroots lobbying activities EPA engaged in to promote its "Waters of the US" (WOTUS) rule in fiscal years 2014 and 2015 were illegal. EPA, however, maintains that its use of social media is necessary to fulfill EPA’s mission.

Click here to view the GAO report.

FAA Now Requires Drone Registration – On December 14, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) published a final rule to require recreational unmanned aircraft system users (UAS or "Drones") to register their drones through the newly created UAS registry. While the rule is specific to only "individual recreational or hobby users" the FAA has noted that drones used in connection with a business still need to register using the current paper-based system; however, an online registry for business use is in the works.

Click here to register your personal drone or find out more information. Click here for more information on business drone operations.

For more information, contact Kevin Walgenbach at

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