FMCSA says inspector certification no problem for environment
Oct 4, 2003 12:00 PM
Certifying safety auditors, investigators, and inspectors won't have an adverse effect on the environment, according to a study just completed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The information was published in the Federal Register October 2.
The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit earlier set aside the certification rule and two other FMCSA rules that established application and safety monitoring procedures solely for Mexico-domiciled motor carriers seeking authority to operate in the United States. The court ordered environmental studies for those two procedures, as well.
FMCSA is tasked with auditing all new motor carriers for safety, which would include the Mexican carriers. Three steps of inspector certifications (needed to handle the increase in the number of new carriers) have been established: certification to conduct safety audits, compliance reviews, and roadside vehicle and driver inspections.
On September 8, 2003, the United States sought Supreme Court review of the Ninth Circuit decision as to the application and safety monitoring rules, but not the certification rule. Unless the Ninth Circuit decision is reversed, or the relevant terms of the Department of Transportation Appropriations Acts are not extended, FMCSA cannot process applications of Mexico-domiciled motor carriers until the other court actions are followed. Thus, no operations of Mexican-domiciled carriers could take place beyond the border commercial zones as a result of issuance of the certification rule.
FMCSA notes that the certification is a precondition to expenditure of funds on the processing of Mexico-domiciled motor carrier applications. In addition, an environmental analysis of such Mexican operations required by the Ninth Circuit decision is already being undertaken with respect to the application and safety monitoring procedures, which are preconditions to the processing of applications of Mexican carriers.
The court's action followed a lawsuit filed by a coalition that includes Public Citizen, the Teamsters, and the California Trucking Association, according to court information.
The petitioners in the lawsuit argued that the entrance of Mexican trucks to the US would be harmful to humans and the environment.