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Notice

Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Federal Railroad Administration, DOT.

ACTION:

Notice and request for comments.

SUMMARY:

In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), this notice announces that the Information Collection Requirement (ICR) abstracted below has been forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and comment. The ICR describes the nature of the information collection and its expected burden. The Federal Register notice with a 60-day comment period soliciting comments on the following collections of information was published on February 16, 2000 (65 FR 7913).

DATES:

Comments must be submitted on or before June 30, 2000.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. Robert Brogan, Office of Planning and Evaluation Division, RRS-21, Federal Railroad Administration, 1120 Vermont Ave., NW, Mail Stop 17, Washington, DC 20590 (telephone: (202) 493-6292), or Dian Deal, Office of Information Technology and Productivity Improvement, RAD-20, Federal Railroad Administration, 1120 Vermont Ave., NW, Mail Stop 35, Washington, DC 20590 (telephone: (202) 493-6133). (These telephone numbers are not toll-free.)

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Public Law 104-13, section 2, 109 Stat. 163 (1995) (codified as revised at 44 U.S.C. sections 3501-3520), and its implementing regulations, 5 CFR Part 1320, require Federal agencies to issue two notices seeking public comment on information collection activities before OMB may approve paperwork packages. 44 U.S.C. 3506, 3507; 5 CFR 1320.5, 1320.8(d)(1), 1320.12. On February 16, 2000, FRA published a 60-day notice in the Federal Register soliciting comment on ICRs that the agency was seeking OMB approval. 65 FR 7913. FRA received no comments in response to this notice.

Before OMB decides whether to approve these proposed collections of information, it must provide 30 days for public comment. 44 U.S.C. 3507(b); 5 CFR 1320.12(d). Federal law requires OMB to approve or disapprove paperwork packages between 30 and 60 days after the 30 day notice is published. 44 U.S.C. 3507 (b)-(c); 5 CFR 1320.12(d); see also 60 FR 44978, 44983, Aug. 29, 1995. OMB believes that the 30 day notice informs the regulated community to file relevant comments and affords the agency adequate time to digest public comments before it renders a decision. 60 FR 44983, Aug. 29, 1995. Therefore respondents should submit their respective comments to OMB within 30 days of publication to best ensure having their full effect. 5 CFR 1320.12(c); see also 60 FR 44983, Aug. 29, 1995.

The summaries below describe the nature of the information collection requirements (ICRs) and the expected burden. The revised requirements are being submitted for clearance by OMB as required by the PRA.

Title: Railroad Locomotive Safety Standards and Event Recorder.

OMB Control Number: 2130-0004.

Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved collection.

Affected Public: Railroads.

Form(s): FRA F 6180.49A.

Abstract: Under regulations issued pursuant to Congressional mandate, 49 U.S.C. 20137, trains must be equipped with event recorders. Event recorders are devices that record train speed, hot box detection, throttle position, brake application, brake operations, time and signal conditions, and any other function that FRA considers necessary to monitor the safety of train operations. Event recorders provide FRA with information about how trains are operated, and if a train is involved in an accident, the devices afford data to FRA and other investigators necessary to determine the probable causes of the accident. Moreover, under 49 CFR Part 229, railroads are required to conduct daily, periodic, annual, and biennial tests of locomotives to measure the level of compliance with Federal regulations. The collection of information requires railroads to prepare written records indicating the repairs needed, the person making the repairs, and the type of repairs made. This information provides a locomotive engineer with information that the locomotive has been inspected and is in proper condition for use in service, and enables FRA to monitor compliance with the regulatory standards.

Title: Railroad Signal System Requirements.

OMB Control Number: 2130-0006.

Type of Request: Extension of the currently approved collection.

Affected Public: Businesses.

Form(s): FRA F 6180.14; FRA F 6180.47.

Abstract: The regulations pertaining to railroad signal systems are contained in 49 CFR Parts 233 (Signal System Reporting Requirements), 235 (Instructions Governing Applications for Approval of a Discontinuance or Material Modification of a Signal System), and 236 (Rules, Standards, and Instructions Governing the Installation, Inspection, Maintenance, and Repair of Systems, Devices, and Appliances). Section 233.5 provides that each railroad must report to FRA within 24 hours after learning of an accident or incident arising from the failure of a signal appliance, device, method, or system to function or indicate as required by Part 236 of this title that Start Printed Page 34797results in a more favorable aspect than intended or other condition hazardous to the movement of a train. Section 233.7 sets forth the specific requirements for reporting signal failures within 15 days in accordance with the instructions printed on Form FRA F 6180.14. Finally, Section 233.9 sets forth the specific requirements for the “Signal System Five Year Report.” It requires that every five years each railroad must file a signal system status report. The report is to be prepared on a form issued by FRA in accordance with the instructions and definitions provided.

Title 49, part 235 of the Code of Federal Regulations, sets forth the specific conditions under which FRA approval of modification or discontinuance of railroad signal systems is required and prescribes the methods available to seek such approval. The application process prescribed under Part 235 provides a vehicle enabling FRA to obtain the necessary information to make logical and informed decisions concerning carrier requests to modify or discontinue signaling systems. Section 235.5 requires railroads to apply for FRA approval to discontinue or materially modify signaling systems. Section 235.7 defines “material modification” and identifies those changes that do not require agency approval. Section 235.8 provides that any railroad may petition FRA to seek relief from the requirements provided under 49 CFR Part 236.

Sections 236.10, 235.12, and 235.13 describe where the petition must be submitted, what information must be included, the organizational format, and the official authorized to sign the application. Section 235.20 sets forth the process for protesting the granting of a carrier application for signal changes or relief from the rules, standards, and instructions. This section provides the information that must be included in the protest, the address for filing the protest, the time limit for filing the protest, and the requirement that a person requesting a public hearing explain the need for such a forum. Section 236.110 required that the test results of certain signaling apparatus be recorded and specifically identify the tests required under §§ 236.102-109; §§ 236.376 to 236.387; §§ 236.576, 236.577; and §§ 236.586-236.589. Section 236.110 further provides that the test results must be recorded on pre-printed or computerized forms provided by the carrier and that the forms show the name of the railroad; place and date of the test conducted; equipment tested; tests results; repairs, replacements, and adjustments made; and the condition of the apparatus. This section also requires that the employee conducting the test must sign the form and the record be retained at the office of the supervisory official having proper authority. Results of tests made in compliance with § 236.587 must be retained for 92 days, and results of all other tests must be retained until the next record is filed, but in no case less than one year. Additionally, § 236.587 requires each railroad to make a departure test of cab signal, train stop, or train control devices on locomotives before that locomotive enters the equipped territory. This section further requires that whoever performs the test must certify in writing that the test was properly performed. The certification and the test results must be posted in the locomotive cab with a coy of the certification and test results retained at the office of a supervisory official having proper authority. However, if it is impractical to leave a copy of the certification and test results at the location of the test, the test results must be transmitted to either the dispatcher or one other designated official at each location, who must keep a written record of the test results and the name of the person performing the test. All records prepared under this section are required to be retained for 92 days. Finally, Section 236.590 requires the carrier to clean and inspect the pneumatic apparatus of automatic train stop, train control, or cab signal devices on locomotives every 736 days, and to stencil, tag, or otherwise mark the pneumatic apparatus indicating the last cleaning date.

Annual Estimated Burden Hours: 480,326 hours.

Title: Locomotive Certification (Noise Compliance Regulations).

OMB Control Number: 2130-0527.

Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved collection.

Affected Public: Businesses.

Form(s): N/A.

Abstract: On January 14, 1976, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued noise emission standards pursuant to the Noise Control Act of 1972. The standards, 40 CFR Part 201, establish limits on the noise emissions generated by railroad locomotives under both stationary and moving conditions. Section 17 of the Noise Control Act also requires the Secretary of Transportation to enforce these regulations and promulgate separate regulations to ensure compliance with the same. On December 23, 1983, FRA published 49 CFR Part 210 to ensure compliance with the EPA standards. The certification and testing data ensure that locomotives built after December 31, 1979 have passed prescribed decibel standards for noise emissions under EPA regulations.

Addressee: Send comments regarding these information collections to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, 725 Seventeenth Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., 20503; Attention: FRA Desk Officer.

Comments are invited on the following: Whether the proposed collections of information are necessary for the proper performance of the functions of FRA, including whether the information will have practical utility; the accuracy of FRA's estimates of the burden of the proposed information collections; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways to minimize the burden of the collections of information on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

A comment to OMB is best assured of having its full effect if OMB receives it within 30 days of publication of this notice in the Federal Register.

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Authority: 44 U.S.C. 3501-3520.

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Issued in Washington, D.C. on May 24, 2000.

Margaret B. Reid,

Acting Director, Office of Information Technology and Support Systems, Federal Railroad Administration.

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[FR Doc. 00-13534 Filed 5-30-00; 8:45 am]

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