[Federal Register: December 14, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 239)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Highway Administration
49 CFR Part 395
[FHWA Docket No. FHWA-97-2350; MC-96-28]
Hours of Service of Drivers
AGENCY: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of intent to consider negotiated rulemaking process.
SUMMARY: The FHWA is announcing its intent to explore the feasibility
of conducting a negotiated rulemaking to revise the drivers' hours-of-
service rules and has hired two convenors for that purpose. Until that
process is complete and a decision is made concerning negotiated
rulemaking, the FHWA will continue to move forward with its traditional
rulemaking process which began with the publication of an advance
notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register on November 5,
1996 (61 FR 57252).
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Neill L. Thomas or David R. Miller,
Office of Motor Carrier Research and Standards, (202) 366-4009, or
Charles E. Medalen, Office of Chief Counsel, (202) 366-1354, Federal
Highway Administration, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590.
Office hours are from 7:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., e.t., Monday through
Friday, except Federal holidays.
An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded using a
computer, modem, and suitable communications software from the
Government Printing Office (GPO) electronic bulletin board service
(telephone: 202-512-1661). Internet users may reach the Federal
Register's home page at: http://www.nara.gov/fedreg and the GPO's
web page at: http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara.
In a negotiated rulemaking, an agency invites interested parties
that are likely to be affected by a regulation to work with each other
and the agency on a negotiating committee to develop a consensus draft
of a proposed rule. That proposed rule would then be published by the
agency for public comment under customary regulatory procedures.
The FHWA believes cooperative problem solving should be given
serious consideration. An agency must determine whether an appropriate
advisory committee can be assembled that would fairly represent all
affected interests and negotiate in good faith. The FHWA has,
therefore, retained two convenors (Charles Pou, Jr. and Alana Knaster)
to undertake the initial stage in the negotiated rulemaking process.
The neutral convenors will interview affected interests, including
drivers, motor carriers, safety advocacy groups, enforcement officials,
insurers, and others. The convenors will, among other things, examine
the potential for adequate and balanced representation of these varied
interests on an advisory committee that would be convened to negotiate
the regulation. The convenors will then submit a written report of
findings and recommendations to the agency. The convenors' report will
provide a basis for the FHWA to decide whether to proceed with
negotiated rulemaking, and, if so, to determine the scope of the issues
the committee would be charged with addressing. In the alternative, the
FHWA may decide to proceed with traditional informal rulemaking. Toward
this latter end, the agency continues to consider and evaluate various
options for revising the hours-of-service rules.
Any comments the FHWA may receive in reaction to this notice will
be provided to the convenors and filed in the public docket.
Should the FHWA decide to proceed with a negotiated rulemaking
process, the agency would follow the procedures set forth in the
Negotiated Rulemaking Act of 1996, 5 U.S.C. 561 et seq. This would
include the establishment of a negotiating committee under the Federal
Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. Appendix 2), and a Federal Register
notice setting forth full particulars about the process and public
Authority: 5 U.S.C. 561 et seq.; 49 U.S.C. 31136, 31502; and 49
Issued on: December 7, 1998.
Kenneth R. Wykle,
Federal Highway Administration Administrator.
[FR Doc. 98-32965 Filed 12-11-98; 8:45 am]
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