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All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘ELD’

Congress Delivers H-2B Visa Cap Relief, ELD Flexibility in Omnibus Bill

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The following is from the American Horse Council:

March 23, 2018

Congress Delivers H-2B Visa “Cap Relief,” ELD Flexibility in Omnibus Bill

Shortly after 12:30 am, on Friday, March 23, Congress approved a massive $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 to fund federal government operations through September 30.  The 2,232 page bill includes several regulatory measures that will provide flexibility for the horse industry, most notably H-2B visa cap relief for seasonal, guest workers and a temporary enforcement exemption for the transportation of livestock from the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) regulations.  The legislation also includes policy “riders” to defund Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) programs that will impact the equine sector and broader agriculture economy.

Lawmakers Raise the Ceiling on H-2B Guest-Worker Visas

Despite opposition from a large number of lawmakers from both political parties, the horse industry and its allies persuaded Congress to effectively raise the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) cap on H-2B temporary worker visas from the current cap of 66,000 to 129,500 visas for FY2018.   A provision tying the number of H-2B visas to a number not to exceed the maximum number of participants from the returning worker program in a previous year has effectively doubled the number of visas the agency may issue in 2018.  Because of the fast approaching seasonal labor needs for breeding farms, race tracks, and other seasonal employers, AHC and its partners are urging DHS to implement the flexibility measures as quickly as possible to mitigate paperwork bottlenecks during the remainder of the year.  Other key H-2B provisions include acceptance of private wage surveys to determine “prevailing wage” requirements, and language that defines “seasonal need” as a 10-month period within the context of the program.  The coalition has already begun to focus efforts on creating permanent cap relief in future legislative vehicles.  This would decouple the H-2B visa issue from the annual appropriations process and create an environment of investment certainty.

Congress Delays ELD Enforcement for Livestock to September 30

On the heels of the DOT’s March 13 issuance of an additional 90-day exemption from ELD enforcement requirements for livestock, the bill includes a provision that would defund enforcement to at least September 30, which is the official end of the fiscal year.  The delay will provide DOT and industry stakeholders more time to educate livestock haulers on the proper scope of the ELD mandate, which has caused uncertainty since being finalized in late 2015.  Furthermore, industry’s September 2017 request to push back the compliance deadline by a full year is still outstanding, leaving the possibility of another enforcement delay for livestock.

Lawmakers Fully Fund Tax Law Implementation, Defund Horse Slaughter Inspections, EPA Ag Emission and Reporting Rules  

In a rare move to increase resources for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Congress appropriated an additional $320 million through September 2019 for the nation’s tax collectors to help assure a smooth implementation of the 2017 tax law.  The omnibus also includes a rider that bans funding of USDA personnel to inspect horses prior to slaughter, a provision which lawmakers have renewed within multiple spending bills during previous years to effectively shut down horse slaughter in the U.S.  On the EPA front, the bill also defunds enforcement of rules that would do the following:

  • Mandate the reporting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from decomposing animal waste located on farms;
  • And reporting air emissions from farms resulting from hazardous substances, pursuant to the nation’s Superfund law.

AHC will deliver updates on more details within the 2018 omnibus spending package that impact the horse industry as they emerge.  To view a copy of the 2232 page bill, please click here:  http://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20180319/BILLS-115SAHR1625-RCP115-66.pdf.  If you have questions about FY2018 appropriations, please contact Bryan Brendle, Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs, at bbrendle@horsecouncil.org.

Read on AHC Website

AHC Requests Clarification from DOT

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The following is from the American Horse Council:

January 31, 2018

AHC Requests Clarification from DOT

The upcoming Electronic Logging Device deadline has sparked an animated discussion within the horse industry. The AHC would like to note that these are federal regulations that are left to state officials to be enforced. This division of responsibilities, and potentially divergent interpretation, is the basis for the sense of confusion felt across the industry.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) have told the AHC that the regulatory changes within the department are several years behind schedule. As such, addressing the current state of compliance is critically important to the industry and the continuation of the equestrian sport and way of life.

In that light, the AHC is working collectively with the larger livestock industry to seek more concise and plainly presented expectations for the equine industry to follow. The following letter was sent to Secretary Elaine Chao with the Department of Transportation in the hopes that DOT will address these concerns. Depending on the response from Secretary Chao and DOT, AHC is prepared to pursue new regulatory and legislative options that ensure the continuity and protection of the equine industry. View the letter here.

Please contact the AHC if you have any further questions.

Read on AHC Website

First Quarter Webinar to Discuss ELD Mandate

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The following is from the American Horse Council:

January 25, 2018

First Quarter Webinar to Discuss ELD Mandate

The American Horse Council (AHC) will host its First Quarter 2018 webinar on Monday, February 12th at 3:00 pm ET and will address the recent Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate that has caused much confusion and a lot of questions throughout the equine industry.

In light of the recent phone calls and emails with questions about the ELD Mandate and how it is going to not only affect the industry, but individuals as well, the AHC felt it was appropriate for the first webinar for 2018 to address the ELD mandate, and would be a compliment to the brochures that have already been put together on this issue.

The webinar will address the details of what the ELD Mandate includes, and who is required to have an electronic logging device.  Also discussed will be the requirements for Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), as well as what the AHC is doing to mitigate the effects of the proposed changes on the equine industry.

Both AHC members and non-members are encouraged to attend the webinar. The webinar will also be recorded and posted on the AHC website for those that could not attend. Please register online here, and you will receive an email with login instructions two days before the webinar date.

Register for the Webinar

Confused About the ELD Mandate? We Can Help.

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The following is from the American Horse Council:

Confused About the ELD Mandate? We Can Help.

On November 30th , the AHC sent out a Washington Update to our members on our efforts to address the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate. The AHC, in collaboration with the rest of the animal agriculture community, has requested that the Department of Transportation (DOT) grant a one-year enforcement delay followed by a waiver and limited exemptions from compliance with the December 18, 2017 implementation date for the Final Rule on Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) and Hours of Service (HOS). Additionally, we requested that the DOT address the significant problems with the mandate that will occur if the compliance deadline is not extended. The welfare, safety, and health of the animals in transit, together with the safety of other drivers on the road, are top priorities for the equine industry and its enthusiasts.

The introduction of the ELD mandate has also brought to light concerns about Commercial Driver’s license (CDL) requirements from the entire equine community. Drivers have been required to have a CDL in order to drive certain commercial motor vehicles (CMV’s) since April 1, 1992. That being said, a truck and trailer can be considered a commercial vehicle without the requirement that you obtain a CDL. The AHC would like to note that the requirements for a CDL or CMV classification have been in effect for quite some time, and are not new developments along with the ELD mandate.

In an effort to help provide some clarity for both our members and the general equine industry, the AHC has put together two brochures: “Electronic Logging Device Mandate: How Will It Affect You?” and “Commercial Driver’s License: How do I Know if I Need One?” Both are available as a .pdf on the AHC’s website here:http://www.horsecouncil.org/eld-mandate-cdl-requirements/

We encourage our members to share this information, and please contact the AHC if you have any additional questions.

Read on AHC Website

 

American Horse Council Efforts to Address ELD Mandate

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The following is from the American Horse Council:

American Horse Council Efforts to Address ELD Mandate

Over the past months the American Horse Council (AHC) has reached out to the equine community to determine the potential impact of the upcoming Electronic Logging Device mandate. Based on the information received, the AHC, in collaboration with the rest of the animal agriculture community, has requested that the Department of Transportation (DOT) grant a one-year enforcement delay followed by a waiver and limited exemptions from compliance with the December 18, 2017 implementation date for the Final Rule on Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) and Hours of Service (HOS). Additionally, we requested that the DOT address the significant problems with the mandate that will occur if the compliance deadline is not extended. The welfare, safety, and health of the animals in transit, together with the safety of other drivers on the road, are top priorities for the equine industry and its enthusiasts.

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