Watch out for ‘robust regulatory agenda’ in Pres. Obama’s last 16 months

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President Obama made it a goal to institute a “robust regulatory agenda,” says former FMCSA Administrator Annette Sandberg. The next year and a half could be busy for trucking regulations, she says.President Obama made it a goal to institute a “robust regulatory agenda,” says former FMCSA Administrator Annette Sandberg. The next year and a half could be busy for trucking regulations, she says.

On the trucking regulatory front, “the next year should be fun,” said former FMCSA Administrator Annette Sandberg, taking a sarcastic jab at the looming regulatory onslaught owner-operators and others in the industry can expect in the coming year and a half.

Sandberg spoke at FTR’s Transportation Conference on Wednesday, where she gave an overview of recent and upcoming regulatory changes expected to be finalized in the remainder of this year and throughout 2016.

Though many of the regulations have been in the works before President Obama took office in January 2009, pressure is on to get new rules published before he leaves office, she said.

“The president has made it clear he wants to have a robust regulatory agenda, and not just in transportation,” Sandberg said, saying regulations that will be “pushed through no matter what” include rules to mandate electronic logging devices, bar driver coercion and implement the Safety Fitness Determination scoring system to supplement the Compliance, Safety, Accountability program.

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Sandberg, who headed the agency in the first half of last decade and preceded former Administrator Anne Ferro, now runs compliance assistance firm TransSafe Consulting.

Other regulations that could come before 2017 include the CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, an entry-level driver training rule, a speed limiter mandate and the next phase of emissions and fuel economy regulations.

One key factor that could stymie regulatory activity, however, even if temporarily, is the needed Senate confirmation for nominated FMCSA Administrator Scott Darling, Sandberg said. Darling likely won’t take action on big regulations until after the Senate has confirmed him, she said, and his looming nomination could also be the reason a Final Rule to mandate electronic logging devices has been delayed to the end of October, she said.

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