The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration can now begin certifying new inspectors to meet the demands of anticipated truck traffic from Mexico into the United States, according to information published in the Federal Register December 23. After December 31, 2003, all safety inspections, audits, and compliance reviews will be conducted by FMCSA inspectors or state employees who have completed safety certification requirements.
The certification was established in an earlier interim rule that was set aside in January 2003 as a result of a US appeals court ruling in an environmental lawsuit. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit argued that FMCSA had failed to conduct an environmental impact analysis of the anticipated truck traffic. An analysis was conducted after the court order, which indicated the certification program would have no adverse environmental consequences. As a result, the certification goes into effect January 1, 2004.