The September 11 letters from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada should catch the attention of this sector for their specificity and, each in their own way, far-reaching potential industry impact (letter to Transport Canada here, and letter to PHMSA here). Of course the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, like its U.S. counterpart, the NTSB, has a persuasive voice – but it is up to Transport Canada and PHMSA, respectively, to actually issue new rules.
In addition, post- Lac-Mégantic proposals are pending in the U.S. Congress and the Canadian Parliament.
PHMSA’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking – again, a document that is actually an extended call for comments without offering a template bearing the agency’s imprimatur (yet) – is available here.
It is hard to overstate the regulatory significance of the Lac-Mégantic catastrophe for carriage of crude oil by rail tank car operations.
Note well: Concerning Enhanced Flight Vision Systems, the proposed advisory circular about EFVS operations covers substantially the entire waterfront of aviation operations – Parts 91 (general operating and flight rules), 121 (scheduled air carrier), 125 (certification of larger aircraft – 20 or more passengers or maximum payload capacity 6,000 pounds or more), 129 (foreign air carriers and foreign operators), and 135 (commuter and on-demand operations) of the Federal Aviation Regulations.
“Availability of Draft Advisory Circular (AC) 90-106A and AC 20-167A”
August 13, 2013. Notice of Availability for Comment. Continue reading
Note well: “Oilfield-waiting-time” has been the topic of debate in the industry since the old Interstate Commerce Commission first issued hours-of-service rules for motor carriers in 1939. The lists of those whose equipment and operations qualify for the “oilfield-waiting-time” exclusion to hours-of-service and those whose equipment and operations do not qualify are long and detailed. And for those businesses who believe their equipment and operations are not adequately described, FMCSA invites them to apply for an exemption: “Therefore, motor carriers that believe the current oilfield operations exceptions do not provide sufficient relief for their operations should consider submitting an application for an exemption to the Agency describing an alternative that would ensure the requisite level of safety.”
“Hours of Service of Drivers of Commercial Motor Vehicles; Regulatory Guidance for Oilfield Exception”
August 12, 2013. Notice Of Regulatory Guidance; Response To Public Comments.
American Trucking Associations, Inc. v. FMCSA et al., No. 12-1092 (U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, August 2, 2013). Copy of court-issued opinion available here.
August 8, 2013. Guidance.
In a unanimous opinion by for the three-judge panel by Judge Janice Rogers Brown, the court sent the litigation back to the district court with instructions to reconsider the class certification issue in light of the U.S. Supreme Court precedent of Comcast v. Behrens.
In re: Rail Freight Fuel Surcharge Antitrust Litigation, No. 12-7085 (U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, August 9, 2013). Copy of court-provided opinion available here.