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July 24, 2017 2:30 PM, EDT

Capitol Agenda for the Week of July 24: The ELD Implementation Is Happening

Stop, slow, go signs Thinkstock

Directing the U.S. Department of Transportation to prepare a study within two months on the possible impact of a delay to the Dec. 18 implementation of an electronic logging device mandate does not halt the implementation mandate. Repeat: Does not halt the implementation mandate.

The directive for such a study in a House fiscal 2018 transportation bill in an effort “to provide temporary regulatory relief until all ELD implementation challenges” fails to elucidate on specific challenges. If funding leaders in the House intended to put the brakes on the implementation date, they would’ve done so.

Babin

Soon after the funding bill was advanced to the chamber’s floor, Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas) followed up with legislation that would delay the ELD mandate for two years. His measure is pretty much dead on arrival, since it lacks support from GOP leadership, a Senate companion bill and backing from the White House.

Senate funding leaders taking up their transportation bill July 25 are unlikely to call into question the mandate’s implementation date. There’s an expectation senators will agree with the head of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Last week, she explained that arguing ELDs would hinder small carriers conflates the devices with concerns about hours-of-service regulations. Trucking firms represented by American Trucking Associations agree with the agency’s sentiment. Also remember, carriers have known about the implementation date for a good while, and it’s obvious the technology will very likely improve status-of-work recordkeeping by replacing paper logs. FMCSA is hitting the road at conferences in Atlanta and Orlando, Fla., this fall to educate the public about the ELD mandate. While they’re at it, regulators should make a special stop in Babin’s southeast Texas district.

THE WEEK AHEAD (all times EDT):

July 25, 9:30 a.m.: The National Transportation Safety Board holds a meeting on the highway-railroad grade crossing collision in Valhalla, N.Y., on Feb. 3, 2015.

July 25, 11 a.m.: The Senate Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee meets to consider a fiscal 2018 transportation funding bill.

July 25, noon: The Economic Club of Washington, D.C. holds a discussion with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

Lipinski

July 26, 2 p.m.: Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-Ill.) keynotes a discussion on “The Road Ahead: Developing Policies to Make Connected and Automated Vehicles a Reality.” Other speakers include Chan Lieu, a partner at Venable; David Kidd, a senior research scientist at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety; Shawn Kimmel, senior lead engineer at Booz Allen Hamilton; Mike Wagner, co-founder and CEO of Edge Case Research; and Greg Winfree, agency director at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute.

July 26, 2:30 p.m.: The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee’s Investigations Subcommittee meets for “Cutting Through the Red Tape: Oversight of Federal Infrastructure Permitting and the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council.”

July 27, 9 a.m.: Georgetown University School of Public Policy schedules a discussion on “Navigating Infrastructure Policy in the New Administration.”

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

CONNECTED VEHICLES: DOT’s wireless connected vehicle pilot program, currently in its design, deployment and testing phase, is making progress at its demonstration sites in Wyoming, New York City and Tampa, Fla., the program’s manager told members of an agency advisory committee.

PANAMA CITY: The Panama City Port Authority on July 20 moved forward with plans for its new East Terminal

THE KEG: Bregal Sagemount has sold its stake in Keg Logistics to Seaport Capital in a deal between middle-market private equity firms.

BUZZ:

FMCSA’s public meeting on its Compliance, Safety, Accountability corrective plan will be held in Washington, sources say. The agency has until this fall to present Congress with a plan.

WHAT WE’RE READING:

Infrastructure ain’t happening legislatively on Capitol Hill this year, the Gray Lady declares.

FAVORITE QUOTE:

“We certainly need the infrastructure investment. We wanted to see some investments in roads here. Obviously, our business is dependent on the road network. So, for that reason, we did come out in support of the package. But it will be a significant cost increase for trucking companies doing business in Oregon.”

— Oregon Trucking Associations President Jana Jarvis told Transport Topics, reacting to a $5.3 billion transportation bill awaiting Gov. Kate Brown’s signature.

FAVORITE VIDEO:

The Trump administration’s infrastructure plan probably will be unveiled by the end of the year, Secretary Elaine Chao said.

FAVORITE TWEET:

Building a tube that would emulate a high-speed train in the Northeast. That Elon Musk sure is one of them big thinkers.

Thank you for reading Capitol Agenda. We publish Tuesdays when Congress is in session. E-mail emulero@ttnews.com with tips. Follow @eugenemulero and @transporttopics on Twitter