NJMTA wants port sticker requirement preempted by federal law

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is seeking comments on a petition submitted by the New Jersey Motor Truck Association requesting that FMCSA declare the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s Drayage Truck Registry sticker display requirement preempted by federal law.

The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA–LU) prohibits states and their political subdivisions from requiring motor carriers to display in or on commercial motor vehicles any form of identification other than forms required by the U.S. Department of Transportation, with certain exceptions. NJMTA requests that FMCSA determine that the Port Authority’s DTR sticker display requirement is preempted by SAFETEA-LU.

Effective Oct. 1, the Port Authority amended its marine tariff to require trucks entering marine terminal facilities to display a sticker showing compliance with its new DTR. In response, NJMTA petitioned DOT for a determination that the Port Authority’s sticker display requirement is preempted by federal law. Effective Oct. 15 and in response to NJMTA’s petition, the Port Authority amended its tariff to clarify that the compliance stickers were a voluntary way to demonstrate compliance with the DTR and that no truck will be denied access to marine terminal facilities for failure to display a sticker.

In a letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood dated Nov. 2, NJMTA disagreed that the compliance sticker would be voluntary and amended its petition to request that DOT determine that the substantive provisions of the DTR are preempted. FMCSA will consider NJMTA’s request for a preemption determination on the substantive provisions of the DTR as a separate matter, but is making its decision available via this docket for inspection.

Initial comments are due within 30 days. In order to allow adequate time and notice for commenters to prepare reply comments, initial comments received after the deadline will not be considered. Reply comments are due on or before 45 days. The agency only will consider reply comments responding directly to issues raised in the initial round of comments. Commenters may not use reply comments to raise new issues. To file comments, go to www.regulations.gov; the docket number is FMCSA−2010−0387.