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.
The text of the letter responds to the FMCSA’s letter and gets into the proverbial legal weeds about whether ATA is asking the DC Circuit for an injunction (it is not).
ATA’s point is that if the DC Circuit overturns the HOS rule it is currently reviewing for validity then the training and other efforts to comply with the then-invalidated rule would be a waste of resources for the industry.
ATA’s letter to FMCSA available here.
Mendez v. R+L Carriers, Inc., 2012 WL 5868973 (N.D.Cal. November 19, 2012): Core of the opinion is that the FAAA provides an express “safety” exemption from its preemptive coverage. If a state law relates to “the safety regulatory authority of a State with respect to motor vehicle” then FAAA does not preempt such a state provision. Free copy available here.
Who is affected? Motor carriers who are governed by California law; commercial truck drivers who work for motor carriers who are governed by California law.
This is a class action of major proportions.
This sixteen-page opinion addresses in detail issues of express versus implied preemption, and under the latter: “field preemption” and “conflict preemption”.