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FMCSA withdraws apnea guidance; cites 'clerical error'

The FMCSA’s Federal Register notice on proposed guidance for obstructive sleep apnea was available for public knowledge over 24 hours before the agency withdrew the notice from the Federal Register.

The Trucker Staff


WASHINGTON — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration late Friday withdrew its proposed regulatory guidance for obstructive sleep apnea and request for comment as published in Friday’s Federal Register.

The withdrawal notice was sent to members of the media at 5:45 p.m. EDT Friday.

The agency said the publication was a clerical error.

The FMCSA communications staff said that the recommendations “were provided to FMCSA in February by the agency’s Medical Review Board and the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee or MCSAC “for future rulemaking on obstructive sleep apnea.”

The processes for guidance and rulemaking are “complementary but on separate tracks,” an agency spokesperson told The Trucker. A timeline for an apnea rule was not given. The recommendations currently are “under agency review,” the spokesperson said.

The FMCSA said in the April 20 notice that it “proposes to adopt the recommendations as regulatory guidance after reviewing and evaluating comments received from the public,” and the agency spokesperson noted the agency had “anticipated issuing a Federal Register notice requesting public comment on the recommended regulatory guidance this year.”

Based on information in the notice and information provided by FMCSA, the May 1-14, 2012, issue of The Trucker went to press just hours before the agency withdrew the notice stating that the notice had been published.