A federal court will hear arguments in September on whether the federal government followed the law in implementing and publicizing the new Compliance, Safety, Accountability program for trucking and bus company safety rankings.
The Alliance for Safe, Efficient and Competitive Truck Transportation (ASECTT), a group of brokers, shippers and carriers, filed the lawsuit last year, saying the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration should have followed the formal rulemaking process when it told shippers and brokers to consider CSA scores when hiring carriers.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said that a three-judge panel would hear the case Sept. 10. ASECTT, along with other industry representatives and companies, is asking the court to force FMCSA to hide CSA scores from the public and to submit the shipper and broker guidance for public comment before making it final.
In briefs in late 2012 and early 2013, ASECTT and FMCSA argued over whether the shipper and broker guidance, which was released online as a digital presentation in May 2012, constituted a regulation from the agency. If it did, ASECTT and its allies argued, the agency violated the law by failing to study the regulation, propose it and seek comment before finalizing it.
The groups “challenge the FMCSA release as unlawfully introducing the new substantive rules and a new ultimate arbiter for determining the safety fitness of such carriers . . . and as doing so without adhering to required procedures,” they said in a December brief.
For additional coverage, see the Aug. 5 print edition of Transport Topics.
By Timothy Cama