Negotiated Rulemaking Committee to Revise the Motor Carrier Financial and Operating Data Collection Program; Meeting and Extension of Comment Period on Proposed Establishment

Negotiated Rulemaking Committee to Revise the Motor Carrier Financial and Operating Data Collection Program; Meeting and Extension of Comment Period on Proposed Establishment

Federal Register Notice
January 23, 1997
Volume 62, Number 15

AGENCY: Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of meeting; extension of comment period.

SUMMARY: The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) has proposed the establishment of a negotiated rulemaking advisory committee (the Committee) to examine the relevant issues and attempt to reach a consensus in developing regulations governing the collection of financial and operating data from motor carriers of property. Before making a final decision on formation of the Committee, BTS will hold a public meeting to help decide whether a negotiated rulemaking advisory committee is needed, and, if so, to help determine the appropriate Committee membership and issues for consideration. The meeting will be held Monday, February 10, 1997, 9:30 am to 3:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time. BTS is also extending the comment period on the proposal to establish the negotiated rulemaking committee, on the proposed membership of the Committee, and on the proposed issues for consideration by the Committee. Persons are invited to submit applications or nominations for membership on the Committee. The comment period is extended to February 28, 1997.

DATES: Meeting. The meeting will be held Monday, February 10, 1997, 9:30 am to 3:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time.

Comment period. Interested parties may file comments and nominations for committee membership on or before February 28, 1997.

ADDRESSES: Meeting. The meeting will take place at the U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, D.C., in conference room 2230 of the Nassif Building. Since access to the DOT building is controlled, all persons who plan to attend the meeting must notify David Mednick on (202) 366-8871 prior to February 7. Attendance is open to the interested public but limited to space available.

Comment period. When sending comments and/or nominations, send the original plus three copies. Mail to Docket Clerk, Docket No. BTS-96- 1979, Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Room PL- 401,Washington, D.C. 20590. Commenters desiring notification of receipt of comments must include a stamped, self-addressed postcard. The Docket Clerk will date stamp the postcard and mail it back to the commenter.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David Mednick, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, K-2, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, D.C. 20590; by phone at (202) 366-8871; by e-mail at david.mednick@bts.gov; or by Fax at (202) 366-3640.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

Under Section 103 of the ICC Termination Act of 1995, Public Law 104-88, 109 Stat. 803 (1995) (to be codified at 49 U.S.C. 14123), the Secretary of Transportation has authority to establish regulations for the collection of certain data from motor carriers of property and others. On December 9, 1996, BTS published a notice in the Federal Register (the Notice) proposing to establish a negotiated rulemaking advisory committee (the Committee) under the Federal Advisory Committee Act and the Negotiated Rulemaking Act. 61 FR 64849. The Committee would consider the relevant issues and attempt to reach a consensus on regulations governing the collection of financial and operating data from motor carriers of property. This effort also is in response to the President's Regulatory Reinvention Initiative, which specifically directed agencies to increase use of regulatory negotiation in rulemaking proceedings. The Committee would be composed of people who represent the interests that would be substantially affected by the rule.

The Notice proposing establishment of the Committee listed potential topics for the negotiated rulemaking process. It also listed entities identified as interested parties that should be included in the negotiated rulemaking process either directly as members of the Committee or as part of a broader caucus of similar or related interests. The Notice requested comments on the proposal to establish a negotiated rulemaking advisory committee, on the proposed membership of the Committee, and on the proposed issues for consideration by the Committee. BTS has decided to supplement its request for comments by (1) holding a public meeting on this matter; and (2) extending the comment period until after the public meeting.

Announcement of BTS Public Meeting

To better determine the utility of negotiating a rule on this matter, BTS will hold a public meeting on February 10, 1997, 9:30 am to 3:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time. The meeting will take place at the U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, D.C., in conference room 2230 of the Nassif Building. Since access to the DOT building is controlled, all persons who plan to attend the meeting must notify David Mednick on (202) 366-8871 prior to February 7. Attendance is open to the interested public but limited to space available. Persons with a disability requiring special services, such as an interpreter for the hearing impaired, should contact Mr. Mednick at (202) 366-8871 at least seven days prior to the meeting.

While negotiated rulemaking would attempt to resolve issues surrounding the motor carrier data collection program, several initial matters deserve attention. First, do we need to amend the existing rule and, if so, is negotiated rulemaking the best process for updating the motor carrier data collection program? Second, if so, what are the core issues in dispute and differing legitimate needs of the interested parties? Third, which organizations or interests should be represented on the Committee?

While comments received have been helpful, BTS does not have enough information to determine whether to pursue negotiated rulemaking. The public meeting will bring together the various interest groups. A facilitator will be on hand to help develop potential issues and promote open discussion. In addition to helping BTS decide whether to pursue the negotiated rulemaking, it should also help lay the groundwork for the proposed Committee.

All those interested in this rulemaking, including the potential participants listed in the Notice and those submitting applications or nominations for membership, are encouraged to attend.

Extension of Comment Period

Because BTS has not reached a final decision on whether to use a negotiated rulemaking process for this rule, it is extending the comment period on its proposal published December 19, 1996. 61 FR 64849. The comment period is extended to February 28, 1997. BTS is soliciting comments on the proposal to establish a negotiated rulemaking advisory committee, on the proposed membership of the Committee, and on the proposed issues for consideration by the Committee. BTS is also accepting applications and nominations for membership on the Committee. Please refer to the original Notice for full details.

Issued in Washington, DC, on January 16, 1997.

Robert A. Knisely,
Deputy Director, Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

[FR Doc. 97-1580 Filed 1-22-97; 8:45 am]

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