Three sleep apnea listening sessions planned

By Mark Schremmer, Land Line staff writer | Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Federal Railroad Administration have announced three public listening sessions about potential regulatory action that could require transportation workers to be tested for sleep apnea.

The three sessions will be May 12 in Washington, D.C., May 17 in Chicago, and May 25 in Los Angeles.

On March 10, the FMCSA and FRA published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking to receive feedback about any potential sleep apnea regulations. The 90-day comment period ends June 8.

According to the Department of Transportation, the purpose of the listening sessions is to “solicit information on the prevalence of moderate-to-severe obstructive sleep apnea among individuals occupying safety sensitive positions in highway and rail transportation. The FMCSA and FRA also request information on potential costs and benefits from possible regulatory actions that address the safety risks associated with motor carrier and rail transportation workers in safety sensitive positions who have obstructive sleep apnea.”

Through the listening sessions, interested parties will have an opportunity to share their views and any data or analysis regarding sleep apnea with representatives of the FMCSA and FRA. The Agencies will transcribe all comments and place the transcripts in the dockets FMCSA-2015-0419 and FRA-2015-0111.

The first session will be at the National Association of Home Builders, 1201 15th St., Washington, D.C. 20005. The May 17 meeting will be at the Marriott Courtyard Chicago Downtown/River North, 30 E. Hubbard St., Chicago, Ill. 60611. The final session will be at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel and Suites, 404 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, Calif. 90071. All of the sessions will run from 10 a.m.-noon and 1:30-3:30 p.m. local time.

For those who are unable to attend in person, the entire proceedings of all three meetings will be available on the internet through a live webcast. The FMCSA and FRA will post specific information on how to participate in the webcast at FMCSA.DOT.Gov/Calendar and FRA.DOT.Gov in advance of the listening sessions.

Written comments regarding possible sleep apnea requirements can be submitted at the website or by mailing Docket Services, U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE, Washington, D.C. 20590-0001. You are asked to identify whether you are in the transportation industry or medical profession, but you can choose to remain anonymous.

“The Agencies will consider all comments and material received before the end of the comment period on June 8 and may draft a notice of proposed rulemaking based on your comments and other information and analysis,” the Department of Transportation wrote.

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