After nearly a year beyond the 180 day statutory deadline to make a determination, the FMCSA announced today in the Federal Register it has denied the SBTC's ELD Exemption Application.
The SBTC Immediately Issued a Scathing response alleging corruption and discrimination.
The FMCSA's July 17, 2019 decision comes in the aftermath of the July 10, 2019 filing of an amended complaint by SBTC alleging various violations of Federal Law by FMCSA and discriminatory treatment of SBTC.
Transportation Nation is covering this story.
SBTC's Statement on FMCSA's Denial of its ELD Exemption Application...
The SBTC has read the FMCSA's Denial of the SBTC ELD Exemption Application. Despite assertions to the contrary, SBTC met its obligation to show countermeasures, namely a return to paper logs.
If paper logs were sufficient to ensure adequate levels of safety for 80 years, and they are currently sufficient for all the carriers operating under other FMCSA ELD exemptions, there is no reason to believe they would not be sufficient for the carriers that would operate under our requested exemption.
Notwithstanding this, the FMCSA is misguided in relying on a statute that pertains to individual drivers' hearing and vision type applications for exemption. Class exemptions are not the same as individual exemptions.
We have now twice pointed out to FMCSA that its regulations for individual exemptions do not apply to class exemptions. A trade group cannot possible comply with regulations for individual exemption applications (49 CFR 381.310) as FMCSA again purports in its denial. We said this in our February 2018 application supplement and in our June 2018 petition for rulemaking to establish such procedures, which has also gone unanswered in violation of Federal Law.
And we note FMCSA did not apply this standard to OOIDA's ELD class exemption and processed same within the 180 days prescribed by law. We will address this matter with FMCSA in front of a Federal Judge in furtherance of our pending lawsuit against the agency that alleges discrimination.
FMCSA's decision fails to address its own statutory obligations under 49 USC 13541, the actual applicable statute here, to show we are wrong when we assert that the ELD rule is not necessary to carry out the transportation policy of section 13101; is not needed to protect shippers from the abuse of market power or that the transaction or service is of limited scope; and that the exemption is in the public interest. On that last item, we have repeatedly asserted that ELDs have caused excessive speeding, which results in far more deaths ELDs would ever save by combating fatigue.
Absent such a showing, the law requires FMCSA to issue the exemption given the word "shall" in the statute.
It is clear that after failing to issue a determination all this time, nearly a year after their 180 day processing deadline expired, the only reason this denial was hurriedly issued was to skirt the matter and report that FMCSA finally complied with the law to a Federal Judge.
FMCSA clearly failed to afford us the diligent consideration that was due and their reliance on a rule that they know or should know a trade group cannot possible comply with is specious and misguided.
In other words, the SBTC finds the FMCSA's handling of its ELD exemption application... from start to finish... totally and absolutely corrupt in each and every respect.