Senate Passes Sleep Apnea Legislation
By unanimous consent, the U.S. Senate passed H.R. 3095, the House bill to require the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to address sleep apnea and other sleep disorders with a formal rulemaking rather than guidance. The House has already passed the bill, which now will go to the President's desk for signing into law. The FMCSA has said that it will begin a rulemaking on sleep disorders and driver qualifications. A rulemaking affords the regulated industry an opportunity to file comments, requires the FMCSA to justify the rule on a cost-benefit basis, and provides court review of any final agency action.
PHMSA Issues Final Rule on Resuming Transportation after Opening Packaging
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration published a final rule amending the package opening provision to include procedures for an enforcement agent to open packages of perishable hazardous materials and to provide notification to the responsible party that an agent has exercised a safety inspection or investigation authority. (78 Fed. Reg. 60755, 10/2/13). In addition, the rule addresses: The means by which non-compliant packages that do not present a hazard are moved to their final destination; appropriate training and equipment for inspectors; and the proper closure of packaging in accordance with the hazardous material regulations.
PHMSA Revises Penalty Guidelines
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration published revisions to its penalty guidelines for common violations of the Hazardous Materials Regulations. (78 Fed. Reg. 60726, 10/2/13). For example, the new baseline penalty for filling and offering a cylinder with a Division 2.2 compressed gas when the cylinder is out of test or after its authorized service life is $5,000 to $7,500. For overfilling a cylinder with a Division 2.2 compressed gas, the baseline penalty is $7,500. Failure to check each day the pressure of a cylinder charged with acetylene that is representative of that day's compression, after the cylinder has cooled to a settled temperature, or failure to keep a record of this test for 30 days, has a baseline penalty of $6,200.