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Aug.24, 2015

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GOVERNMENT WATCH INTERNATIONAL | WASHINGTON | CUSTOMS | SECURITY | REGULATION 16 THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE AUGUST 24.2015 By JOC Staff AS THE NEXT administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Scott Darling likely will have a much easier go of it than his predecessor. After all, Darling, who was nominated for the nation's top truck- ing regulatory post by President Obama on Aug. 5, has a year of experience under his belt as the agency's acting chief, is popular in the industry and is the successor to the controversial Anne Ferro, who unleashed a flurry of regulatory initiatives in her five years behind the wheel of the FMCSA. "We look forward to continuing to work with Administrator Scott Darling," Jim Johnston, president and CEO of the Owner- Operator Independent Drivers Association, said in a statement. "We have found him to be open and receptive to input from the association, and he appears to appreciate the role of professional truckers." It took the White House a year to nominate Darling to the post he effec- tively assumed last August, when Ferro resigned to become president and CEO of the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators. Darling, who is also the FMCSA's chief counsel, was named acting administrator in Ferro's absence. Under the law, acting administrators are only allowed to keep that title for a limited time, so U.S. Trans- portation Secretary Anthony Foxx in March delegated Darling to continue to perform the duties of administrator. Four months later, Obama officially nominated Darling for the position. Although he may avoid pushback from the trucking industry in his nomination, he may face it when it comes to the laundry list of initiatives he has been pursuing, including keeping the FMCSA's Compliance, Safety, Accountability program intact, defending the agency's hours-of-service provisions, and proposing and implementing a safety fitness determination rule that would cap the current CSA program. Darling has several factors working in his favor. First, he's a known quantity on Capitol Hill. The senators he will face as administrator are the same he testified before as acting administrator, delegated administrator and chief counsel. That could ease the confirmation process and the long road ahead should he be confirmed. Second, the relationship between the FMCSA and the industry it regulates has improved with Darling at the head. Many in the trucking sector have said Darling as acting administrator took an often conten- tious, at times even hostile, relationship down a notch. "Darling comes in with a clean slate, without the animosity that existed with Ferro," C. Randal Mullett, vice president of government relations and public affairs for Ann Arbor, Michigan-based diversi- fied trucking company Con-way, said at the JOC Inland Distribution Conference in Kansas City last fall. "That stops some of the rhetoric that gets in the way of action," even though much of Ferro's regulatory agenda remains in place. JOC IN THE DRIVER'S SEAT A year after taking over as acting administrator, Scott Darling finally gets the nod to lead the FMCSA

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