Ferro expects hours rule release in November

Randy Grider | November 08, 2010

Anne Ferro, administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Administration, said Nov. 8 she expects the White House Office of Management and Budget to release the new hours-of-service rule by the end of this month.

Speaking at the International Conference on Commercial Driver Health and Wellness in Baltimore, Ferro said, “To assist and review [the proposed rule], the department requested an additional 30 days, so we expect something within that 30 days. I think it will be sometime in November,” Ferro said. “That’s what we’re looking for.”

FMCSA  submitted the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to the OMB July 26 and had expected the office to finish its review Oct. 26 The agency had scheduled the NPRM for a Nov. 4 publication date and planned to allow public comment until Jan. 4.

The OMB met Oct. 18 with representatives from the National Retail Federation, National Industrial Transportation League, Waterfront Coalition, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Retail Industry Leaders Association, American Bakers Association and National Association of Manufacturers. Federal officials did not provide additional meeting information.

A year ago, the FMCSA entered into a settlement agreement to revisit the current rule, issued in 2008, and publish a final rule by July 26, 2011. Public Citizen, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, Truck Safety Coalition and the Teamsters union had brought suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which had previously struck down the agency’s 2003 and 2005 versions of HOS.

This 2009 agreement stipulates that if the FMCSA produces a new HOS rule, “substantially different” from the 2008 rule, this may eliminate the need for judicial review of the current regulation.

Ferro declined to comment about the specifics of the new rule.

Jill Dunn contributed to this report.

OverdriveOnline.com strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.