Motor Carrier Financial and Operating Information; Requests for Exemptions From Public Release of Reports

Motor Carrier Financial and Operating Information; Requests for Exemptions From Public Release of Reports

Federal Register Notice
September 3, 1999
Volume 64, Number 171

AGENCY: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, DOT.

ACTION: Notice.

SUMMARY: Class I and Class II motor carriers of property and household goods are required to file annual and quarterly reports with the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS). As provided by statute, carriers may request that their reports be withheld from public release. BTS has received about 25 requests covering the 1998 annual report, many of which also requested an exemption from public release of the 1999 quarterly reports. BTS invites comments on these requests.

DATES: Comments must be submitted by October 4, 1999.

ADDRESSES: Please direct comments to the Docket Clerk, Docket No. BTS- 99-5889, Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Room PL-401, Washington, DC 20590, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

Comments should identify the docket number and be submitted in duplicate to the address listed above. Commenters wishing the Department to acknowledge receipt of their comments must submit with those comments a self-addressed stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: Comments on Docket BTS-99-5889. The Docket Clerk will date stamp the postcard and mail it back to the commenter.

If you wish to file comments using the Internet, you may use the U.S. DOT Dockets Management System website at http://dms.dot.gov. Please follow the instructions online for more information.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

David Mednick, K-1, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590; (202) 366-8871; fax: (202) 366-3640; e-mail: david.mednick@bts.gov.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION:

I. Electronic Access

You can download an electronic copy of this document using a modem and suitable communications software from the Federal Register Electronic Bulletin Board Service at (202) 512-1661. If you have access to the Internet, you can obtain an electronic copy at http://www.bts.gov/mcs/rulemaking.htm.

II. Background

Under 49 U.S.C. 14123 and its implementing regulations at 49 CFR part 1420, BTS collects financial and operating information from for- hire motor carriers of property and household goods. The data are collected on annual Form M, filed by Class I and Class II carriers, and quarterly Form QFR, filed only by Class I carriers. The data are used by the Department of Transportation, other federal agencies, motor carriers, shippers, industry analysts, labor unions, segments of the insurance industry, investment analysts, and the consultants and data vendors that support these users. Among the uses of the data are: (1) Developing the U.S. national accounts and preparing the quarterly estimates of the Gross Domestic Product, which help us better understand the U.S. economy and the motor carrier industry's role in it; (2) measuring the performance of the for-hire motor carrier industry and segments within it; (3) monitoring carrier safety; (4) benchmarking carrier performance; and (5) analyzing motor carrier safety and productivity.

Generally, all data are made publicly available. A carrier can, however, request that its report be withheld from public release, as provided for by statute, 49 U.S.C. 14123(c)(2), and its implementing regulations, 49 CFR 1420.9. BTS will grant a request upon a proper showing that the carrier is not a publicly held corporation or that the carrier is not subject to financial reporting requirements of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and that the exemption is necessary to avoid competitive harm and to avoid the disclosure of information that qualifies as trade secret or privileged or confidential information under 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4). The carrier must submit a written request containing supporting information. BTS must receive the request by the report's due date, unless it is postmarked by the due date or there are extenuating circumstances. Requests covering the quarterly reports must be received by the due date of the annual report which relates to the prior year.

In accordance with our regulations, after each due date of each annual report BTS then publishes a notice, such as this one, in the Federal Register requesting comments on any requests its receives. After considering the requests and comments, BTS will make a decision to grant or deny each request no later than 90 days after the request's due date. While a decision is pending, BTS will not publicly release the report except as allowed under 49 CFR 1420.10(c).

III. Request for Comments

BTS invites comments on the requests for exemption from public release it has received. These requests cover the 1998 annual report and some also cover the 1999 quarterly reports. The comments should be made within the context of the governing regulations at 49 CFR 1420.9, which are published in the Federal Register on March 23, 1999 (64 FR 13916). The carriers that have pending requests that we invite your comments on are:

B. N. M. Fertilizer Transport, Inc. (MC 119019)
Bilbo Transports, Inc. (MC 134547)
Bolus Freight Systems, Inc. (MC 63838)
BT Incorporated (MC 182282)
Clarksville Refrigerated Lines, Inc. (MC 262995)
Contract Freighters, Inc. (MC 119399)
Cumberland Transportation Corp. (MC 144029)
Drug Transport, Inc. (MC 166323)
Dupre Transport, Inc. (MC 158069)
Gainey Transportation Services, Inc. (MC 182313)
Howard's Express, Inc. (MC 97006)
Leprino Transportation Company (MC 150255)
Lester Coggins Trucking, Inc. (MC 140484)
Melton Truck Lines, Inc. (MC 100666)
NSG Transport, Inc. (MC 222180)
Puget Sound Truck Lines, Inc. (MC 85255)
Schneider National Bulk Carriers, Inc. (MC 143594)
Schneider National Carriers, Inc. (MC 133655)
Schneider Specialized Carriers, Inc. (MC 113855)
Schneider Tank Lines, Inc. (MC 110988)
Schneider Transport, Inc. (MC 51146)
Trans American Trucking Service, Inc. (MC 149576)
Truckers Express, Inc. (MC 160919)
Umthun Trucking Co. (MC 124813)

If you wish to read the exemption requests and the comments that were submitted in response to this Notice, use the DOT Dockets Management System. This is located at the Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Room PL-401, Washington, DC 20590, and is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Internet users can access the Dockets Management System at http://dms.dot.gov. Please follow the instructions online for more information and help.

You must also use the Dockets Management System if you wish to comment on one or more exemption requests. Please follow the instructions listed above under ADDRESSES.

Ashish Sen,
Director.

[FR Doc. 99-22758 Filed 9-2-99; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-FE-P