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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. Start Printed Page 35417

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 9, 2000 (65 FR 6438).

DATES:

Comments must be submitted on or before July 3, 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, § 2, 109 Stat. 163 (1995) (codified as revised at 44 U.S.C. 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 9, 2000, FRA published a 60-day notice in the Federal Register soliciting comment on ICRs that the agency was seeking OMB approval. 65 FR 6438. 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: Filing of Dedicated Cars.

OMB Control Number: 2130-0502.

Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved collection.

Affected Public: Businesses.

Form(s): N/A.

Abstract: Title 49, Part 215 of the Code of Federal Regulations, prescribes certain conditions to be followed for the movement of freight cars that are not in compliance with this Part. These cars must be identified in a written report to FRA before they are assigned to dedicated service, and the words “Dedicated Service” must be stenciled on each side of the freight car body. FRA uses the information to determine that the equipment is safe to operate and that the operation qualifies for dedicated service. See 49 CFR 215.5 (c)(2), 215.5 (d).

Annual Estimated Burden Hours: 6 hours.

Title: Remotely Controlled Switch Operations.

OMB Control Number: 2130-0516.

Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved collection.

Affected Public: Businesses.

Form(s): N/A.

Abstract: Title 49, Section 218.30 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), ensures that remotely controlled switches are lined to protect workers who are vulnerable to being struck by moving cars as they inspect or service equipment on a particular track or alternatively, occupy camp cars. FRA believes that production of notification requests promotes safety by minimizing mental lapses of workers who are simultaneously handling several tasks. Sections 218.30 and 218.67 require the operator of remotely controlled switches to maintain a record of each notification requesting blue signal protection for fifteen days. Operators of remotely controlled switches use the information as a record documenting blue signal protection of workers or camp cars. This record also serves as a valuable resource for railroad supervisors and FRA inspectors monitoring regulatory compliance.

Annual Estimated Burden Hours: 240,267 hours.

Title: Bad Order and Home Shop Card.

OMB Control Number: 2130-0519.

Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved collection.

Affected Public: Businesses.

Form(s): N/A.

Abstract: Under 49 CFR Part 215, each railroad is required to inspect freight cars placed in service and take the necessary remedial action when defects are identified. Part 215 defects are specific in nature and relate to items that have caused or could have caused accidents or incidents. Section 215.9 sets forth specific procedures that railroads must follow when it is necessary to move defective cars for repair purposes. For example, railroads must affix a “bad order” tag describing each defect to each side of the freight car. It is imperative that a defective car be tagged “bad order” so that it may be readily identified and moved to another location for repair purposes only. At the repair point, the “bad order” tag serves as a repair record. Railroads must retain each tag for 90 days to verify that proper repairs were made at the designated location. FRA and State inspectors review all pertinent records to determine whether defective cars presenting an immediate hazard are being moved in transportation.

Annual Estimated Burden Hours: 10,833 hours.

Title: Stenciling Reporting Mark on Freight Cars.

OMB Control Number: 2130-0520.

Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved collection.

Affected Public: Businesses.

Form(s): N/A.

Abstract: Title 49, Section 215.301 of the Code of Federal Regulations, sets forth certain requirements that must be followed by railroad carriers and private car owners relative to identification marks on railroad equipment. FRA, railroads, and the public refer to the stenciling to identify freight cars.

Annual Estimated Burden Hours: 26,250 hours.

Title: Disqualification Proceedings.

OMB Control Number: 2130-0529.

Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved collection.

Affected Public: Businesses.

Form(s): N/A.

Abstract: Under 49 U.S.C. 20111(c), FRA is authorized to issue orders disqualifying railroad employees, including supervisors, managers, and other agents, from performing safety-sensitive service in the rail industry for violations of safety rules, regulations, standards, orders, or laws evidencing unfitness. FRA's regulations, 49 CFR Start Printed Page 35418Part 209, Subpart D, implements the statutory provision by requiring (i) a railroad employing or formerly employing a disqualified individual to disclose the terms and conditions of a disqualification order to the individual's new or prospective employing railroad; (ii) a railroad considering employing an individual in a safety-sensitive position to ask the individual's previous employing railroad whether the individual is currently serving under a disqualification order; and (iii) a disqualified individual to inform his new or prospective employer of the disqualification order and provide a copy of the same. Additionally, the regulations prohibit a railroad from employing a person serving under a disqualification order to work in a safety-sensitive position. This information serves to inform a railroad whether an employee or prospective employee is currently disqualified from performing safety-sensitive service based on the issuance of a disqualification order by FRA. Furthermore, it prevents an individual currently serving under a disqualification order from retaining and obtaining employment in a safety-sensitive position in the rail industry.

Annual Estimated Burden Hours: 5 hours.

Title: Grade Crossing Signal System Safety Regulations.

OMB Control Number: 2130-0534.

Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved collection.

Affected Public: Businesses.

Form(s): FRA F 6180.83.

Abstract: FRA believes that highway-rail grade crossing (grade crossing) accidents resulting from warning system failures and malfunctions can be reduced. Motorists lose faith in warning systems that constantly warn of an oncoming train when none is present. Therefore, the fail-safe feature of a warning loses its effectiveness if the system is not repaired within a reasonable period of time. A greater risk of an accident is present when a warning system fails to activate as a train approaches a grade crossing. FRA regulations require railroads to take specific responses in the event of an activation failure. FRA uses the information to develop better solutions to the problems of grade crossing device malfunctions.

With this information, FRA is able to correlate accident data and equipment malfunctions with the types of circuits and age of equipment. FRA can then identify the causes of grade crossing system failures and investigate them to determine whether periodic maintenance, inspection, and testing standards are effective. FRA also uses the information collected to alert railroad employees and appropriate law enforcement authorities of warning system failures and malfunctions so that they can take the necessary measures to protect motorists and railroad workers at the grade crossing until repairs have been made.

Annual Estimated Burden Hours: 601 hours.

Addressee: Send comments regarding these information collections to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, 725 Seventeenth Street, NW, Washington, DC, 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 26, 2000.

Margaret B. Reid,

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

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[FR Doc. 00-13837 Filed 6-1-00; 8:45 am]

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