|Safety advocacy groups and the Teamsters have launched a lawsuit asking a federal court to order FMCSA to issue rules mandating new entry level training for commercial drivers.|
Alleging the agency has disregarded congressional and court mandates spanning many years, petitioners want the DC Circuit Court of Appeals to order it to issue new proposed rules within 60 days, and final rules within 180 days of a court order.
The suit argues that FMCSA’s failure to meet congressional deadlines, most recently in the MAP-21 highway bill passed in 2012, constitutes “agency action unlawfully withheld” and “not in accordance with law” under the Administrative Procedures Act.
The groups bringing the suit are apparently unimpressed by FMCSA’s recent announcement that it is considering a “negotiated rulemaking” to address the training issue. On August 19, the agency said it would “investigate the feasibility” of using a “reg-neg” to try to unravel what has proven to be one of its most intractable issues. A reg-neg is a consultative process that tries to reach consensus among stakeholders. Petitioners noted that the announcement included “no time frame” for completion of a rule and said that FMCSA had “a clear duty to act.”
The agency has been trying for many years to bring a new training rule to fruition. It began researching the issue in the early 1980’s and has been working on developing...