Nominee: Ms. Anne Ferro, to be Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation
Nominee: Ms. Cynthia L. Quarterman, to be Administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation
John D. Rockefeller, IVSenatorI congratulate our two nominees, Anne S. Ferro and Cynthia L. Quarterman, selected by President Obama to lead the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).I also want to thank the nominees for choosing to enter public service and working to make our highways, pipelines, and hazardous materials transportation safer.These agencies have a great impact on the safety of our communities and the traveling public; their leaders have a tremendous responsibility.Ms. Ferro you have a broad, balanced resume with experience as both a safety regulator and a trucking advocate. I expect that, if confirmed, you will use both of these experiences to properly inform and lead FMCSA by actively advancing a reformed safety agenda.For everyone on the road, we have a responsibility to make safety priority number one. I have long been a strong advocate for road and truck safety and I have concerns about the agency’s current focus on safety. And because some stakeholders have expressed concern with your nomination, I have worked to open the lines of communication between those stakeholders, the Department of Transportation, you, and me—to begin addressing those concerns. I expect that you will continue to keep those lines of communication open.West Virginians, like many others in largely rural states, rely heavily on highway transportation to get to work, to visit their families, and, often, to do their jobs. Making sure that they are safe from the perils of tired truckers and unsafe motor vehicles is of the utmost importance to me and many members of this Committee.Ms. Quarterman, likewise, if confirmed, you will be tasked with overseeing an agency that has an impact on almost every household and community in our nation. The enforcement of our federal laws, rules, and regulations is essential to maintaining the integrity of our nation’s pipeline network and ensuring the safe, secure transportation of hazardous materials through our communities.I expect that both of you will maintain close communications with the Committee to keep us informed of particular safety matters as they arise and work with us to address any ongoing safety concerns.I also expect that you will both work closely with this Committee to effectively improve the safety programs at your agencies when we reauthorize these programs later this Congress.If you are both confirmed, I look forward to working with you directly. Thank you.
Frank R. LautenbergSenatorWASHINGTON, D.C.--U.S. Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, a member of the Senate Commerce Committee and chairman of the Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security Subcommittee, issued the following statement at this afternoon’s hearing on the nominations of Anne Ferro and Cynthia Quarterman.“The agencies Anne Ferro and Cynthia Quarterman are nominated to lead fall under the jurisdiction of my subcommittee.And their decisions would affect the safety of our roads, homes, schools and businesses.Ms. Ferro has been nominated to lead the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA—an agency in dire need of reform.Given Ms. Ferro’s ties to the trucking industry as head of the Maryland Motor Truck Association, I am concerned about her ability to take the bold action needed to keep Americans safe.Every year for the past decade, nearly 5,000 people died and 125,000 were injured in crashes with a large truck.That is nearly 14 people a day —or 14 families torn apart by horrible, and often avoidable, accidents.The FMCSA needs a leader who will reduce these crashes, injuries and fatalities. Drivers and passengers should not have to fear sharing the roads with a large truck.Last Congress, my subcommittee held hearings on the hours of service regulations put forth by the previous Administration.These regulations would increase the time drivers can operate trucks without rest by 40 percent, increasing the risk of fatigue and putting impaired drivers behind the wheel of trucks weighing 80,000 pounds or more.Even after being struck down twice in Federal court, the previous Administration went ahead and reissued virtually the same rules.I hope that Ms. Ferro recognizes the fatal flaws in the current hours of service rule and will commit to working with our Committee to create a better rule that puts safety first.Even an improved hours of service rule will only work if truckers follow it.Electronic On-Board Recorders, or EOBRs, should be used on every large truck to make sure we have accurate data on the amount of time an operator has been driving.Yet the FMCSA has failed to require these recorders on all trucks, instead proposing a rule that would require only 930 out of 700,000 carriers to use them.We need the current Administration to mandate EOBRs on every large truck. And we need Ms. Ferro’s support for this mandate.Large trucks also cause wear and tear on our roads, tunnels and bridges.That’s one reason we ban large trucks that weigh more than 80,000 and that are longer than 53 feet on the Interstate Highway System.I have introduced a bill to extend this ban to the larger National Highway System and will be looking to Ms. Ferro and the Administration to join me in moving this legislation forward.Cynthia Quarterman has been nominated to lead the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.This agency has the critical task of ensuring the safety of the transportation of hazardous materials by air, rail, highway and water.One of this agency’s specific duties stems from an incident in my home state.In 1994, a natural gas pipeline explosion in Edison, New Jersey killed one person, injured 100 and destroyed eight apartment buildings.We fought to prevent an accident like that from happening again by requiring excess flow valves in single-family homes.These valves can automatically shut off a ruptured line, prevent injury, protect property and save lives.In 2006, this mandate became law—unfortunately, excess flow valves have still not been implemented.If Ms. Quarterman is confirmed, we need her leadership to get these valves into our homes, schools and businesses.I look forward to a frank discussion with these nominees about how they will advance these critical safety priorities if confirmed.”###
Ms. Anne FerroAdministrator Designate, Federal Motor Carrier Safety AdministrationU.S. Department of Transportation
Ms. Cynthia L. QuartermanAdministrator Designate, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety AdministrationU.S. Department of Transportation