[Federal Register: August 12, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 155)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Highway Administration
49 CFR Parts 375 and 377
[Docket No. FHWA-97-2979]
Transportation of Household Goods; Consumer Protection
AGENCY: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), DOT.
ACTION: Extension and reopening of comment period.
SUMMARY: The FHWA is extending and reopening this rulemaking's comment
period for an additional 60 day period of time. This is in response to
one petition received by the FHWA requesting an extension of the
comment period closing date. The petitioner based her request upon her
belief that the FHWA provided too brief an opportunity to enable
individual consumers, as opposed to industry lobbyists, to become aware
of the rulemaking, to digest the NPRM's contents and to respond to the
opportunity with comments. This NPRM is required, in part, by the
Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, because most of the information
collection burdens formerly imposed by the Interstate Commerce
Commission have never received Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
DATES: Comments to the NPRM should be received no later than October
13, 1998. The FHWA will consider late comments to the extent
ADDRESSES: Signed, written comments should refer to the docket number
appearing at the top of this document and must be submitted to the
Docket Clerk, U.S. DOT Dockets, Room PL-401, 400 Seventh Street, SW.,
Washington, DC 20590-0001. All comments received will be available for
examination at the above address between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., e.t.,
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Those desiring
notification of receipt of comments must include a self-addressed,
stamped envelope or postcard.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Thomas Vining, Chief, Licensing
and Insurance Division (HIA-30), Office of Motor Carrier Information
Analysis, (202) 358-7055, Mr. Michael Falk, Motor Carrier Law Division,
Office of the Chief Counsel (HCC-20), (202) 366-1384, or Mr. David
Miller, Office of Motor Carrier Research and Standards (HCS-10), (202)
366-1790, Federal Highway Administration, Department of Transportation,
400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, D.C. 20590.
Internet users may access all comments received by the U.S. DOT
Dockets, Room PL-401, by using the universal resource locator (URL):
http://dms.dot.gov. It is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each
year. Please follow the instructions on-line for more information and
You may download an electronic copy of this document using a
personal computer, modem, and suitable communications software from the
Federal Register Electronic Bulletin Board Service at (202) 512-1661.
Internet users may reach the Federal Register's home page at URL:
http://www.nara.gov/fedreg and at the Government Printing Office's
databases at URL:http://www.access.gpo.gov/su__docs.
On May 15, 1998, (63 FR 27126), the FHWA published an NPRM
requesting comments to a proposed rule. The proposed rule would
regulate motor carriers transporting household goods by requiring these
motor carriers to provide certain services to protect consumers.
Many customers of household goods carriers, particularly those
customers who move at their own expense and are infrequent users of
transportation services, are unsophisticated and less able to protect
themselves than commercial shippers. In order to ensure these consumers
are protected, the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) had prescribed
regulations governing the transportation of household goods. These
regulations were codified at 49 CFR part 1056.
Following the termination of the ICC, the responsibility for the
household goods regulations was delegated to the Secretary of
Transportation pursuant to the ICCTA, Pub. L. 104-88, 109 Stat. 803,
effective January 1, 1996. The Surface Transportation Board (STB) and
the FHWA transferred these regulations from 49 CFR chapter X, Part 1056
to 49 CFR chapter III, Part 375 on October 21, 1996. See 61 FR 54706.
On December 27, 1996 (61 FR 68162), the Secretary of Transportation
delegated to the Federal Highway Administrator the responsibilities to
carry out certain functions and exercise the authority vested in the
Secretary under the ICCTA, including 49 U.S.C. 14104, Household goods
Enactment of the ICCTA requires deletion from the regulations of
all references to the former ICC and repealed sections of the
Interstate Commerce Act, revision of the regulations to codify the
transfer to the FHWA of oversight responsibilities for the household
goods moving industry, and other editorial corrections.
The FHWA also must seek and obtain OMB approval for the information
the FHWA proposes motor carriers and individual shippers must collect,
disseminate, and disclose in 49 CFR part 375. ``Controlling Paperwork
Burdens on the Public,'' 5 CFR part 1320, implements the Paperwork
Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13 (May 22, 1995). Part 1320
requires the FHWA to obtain OMB approval before the FHWA requires the
public to collect, disseminate, and disclose the information proposed
in 49 CFR part 375. The NPRM's 60-day comment period is serving as the
60-day period required under 5 CFR 1320.8(d), 1320.11, and 1320.12.
On July 3, 1998, the FHWA received a petition from Barbara R.
Kueppers, Esquire, to extend the comment period for an additional 60-
day period. She stated the original 60-day period allotted too brief an
opportunity ``to enable individual consumers, as opposed to industry
lobbyists, to be aware of the rulemaking, to digest the contents of the
proposed rules and to respond with meaningful comments.''
For the reason in the above paragraph, the FHWA finds good cause to
extend this NPRM comment period closing date until October 13, 1998, to
provide individual consumers and others additional time to digest the
NPRM's contents and to respond with salient comments.
List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 375
Advertising, Arbitration, Consumer protection, Freight, Highways
and roads, Insurance, Motor carriers, Moving of household goods,
Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.
List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 377
Credit, Freight forwarders, Highways and roads, Motor carriers.
Authority: 23 U.S.C. 315 and 49 CFR 1.48.
Issued on: August 5, 1998.
Kenneth R. Wykle,
Federal Highway Administrator.
[FR Doc. 98-21610 Filed 8-11-98; 8:45 am]
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