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Notice

Information Collection Activities

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA), DOT.

ACTION:

Notice and request for comments.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, RSPA invites comments on certain information collections pertaining to hazardous materials transportation for which RSPA intends to request approval Start Printed Page 5973from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

DATES:

Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before April 7, 2003.

ADDRESSES:

Submit written comments to the Dockets Management System, U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW, Washington, DC 20590-0001. Comments should identify the Docket Number RSPA-2003-14307 and be submitted in two copies. Persons wishing to receive confirmation of receipt of their comments should include a self-addressed stamped postcard. Comments may also be submitted to the docket electronically by logging onto the Dockets Management System Web site at http://dms.dot.gov. Click on “Help & Information” to obtain instructions for filing the document electronically. In every case, the comment should refer to the Docket number “RSPA-2003-14307.”

The Dockets Management System is located on the Plaza Level of the Nassif Building, at the above address. Public dockets may be reviewed between the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays. In addition, the Notice and all comments can be reviewed on the Internet by accessing the Hazmat Safety Homepage at http://hazmat.dot.gov.

Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments received into any of our documents by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 70; Pages 19477-78) or you may visit http://dms.dot.gov.

Requests for a copy of an information collection should be directed to Deborah Boothe or T. Glenn Foster, Office of Hazardous Materials Standards (DHM-10), at the address and telephone number listed below.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Deborah Boothe or T. Glenn Foster, Office of Hazardous Materials Standards (DHM-10), Research and Special Programs Administration, Room 8422, 400 Seventh Street, SW, Washington, DC 20590-0001, Telephone (202) 366-8553.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Section 1320.8(d), Title 5, Code of Federal Regulations requires that RSPA (we) provide interested members of the public and affected agencies an opportunity to comment on information collection and recordkeeping requests. This notice identifies information collections that we are submitting to OMB for extension. The information collections are contained in the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR parts 171-180). We have revised burden estimates, where appropriate, to reflect current reporting levels based on changes in proposed or final rules published since the information collections were last approved. The following information is provided for each information collection: (1) Title of the information collection, including former title if a change is being made; (2) OMB control number; (3) summary of the information collection activity; (4) description of affected public; (5) estimate of total annual reporting and recordkeeping burden; and (6) frequency of information collection. We will request a three-year term of approval for each information collection activity and, when approved by OMB, publish notice of the approval in the Federal Register. We request comments on the following information collection requests:

Title: Rail Carriers and Tank Car Tanks Requirements.

OMB Control Number: 2137-0559.

Summary: This information collection consolidates and describes the information collection provisions in parts 172, 173, 174, 179, and 180 of the HMR on the transportation of hazardous materials by rail and the manufacture, qualification, maintenance and use of tank cars. The interested reader should refer to the table in 49 CFR 171.6 for a complete listing of sections covered by this information collection. The types of information collected include:

(1) Approvals of the Association of American Railroads (AAR) Tank Car Committee: An approval is required from the AAR Tank Car Committee for a tank car to be used for a commodity other than those specified in part 173 and on the certificate of construction. This information is used to ascertain whether a commodity is suitable for transportation in a tank car. AAR approval also is required for an application for approval of designs, materials and construction, conversion or alteration of tank car tanks constructed to a specification in part 179 or an application for construction of tank cars to any new specification. This information is used to ensure that the design, construction or modification of a tank car or the construction of a tank car to a new specification is performed in accordance with the applicable requirements.

(2) Progress reports: Each owner of a tank car subject to the requirements of § 173.31(b) shall submit a progress report to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). This information is used by FRA to ensure that all affected tank cars are modified before the regulatory compliance date.

(3) FRA approvals: An approval is required from FRA to transport a bulk packaging (such as a portable tank, IM portable tank, intermediate bulk container, cargo tank, or multi-unit tank car tank) containing a hazardous material in container-on-flat-car or trailer-on-flat-car service other than as authorized by § 174.63. FRA uses this information to ensure that the bulk package is properly secured using an adequate restraint system during transportation. FRA approval is also required for the movement of any tank car that does not conform to the applicable requirements in the HMR. We proposed (September 30 1999; 64 FR 53169) to broaden this provision to include the movement of covered hopper cars, gondola cars, and other types of railroad equipment when they no longer conform to Federal law but may safely be moved to a repair location. These latter movements are currently being reported under the information collection for exemption applications.

(4) Manufacturer reports and certificate of construction: These documents are prepared by tank car manufacturers and are used by owners, users and FRA personnel to verify that rail tank cars conform to the applicable specification.

(5) Quality Assurance Program: Facilities that build, repair and ensure the structural integrity of tank cars are required to develop and implement a quality assurance program. This information is used by the facility and DOT compliance personnel to ensure that each tank car is constructed or repaired in accordance with the applicable requirements.

(6) Inspection reports: A written report must be prepared and retained for each tank car that is inspected and tested in accordance with § 180.509 of the HMR. Rail carriers, users, and the FRA use this information to ensure that rail tank cars are properly maintained and in safe condition for transporting hazardous materials.

Affected Public: Manufacturers, owners and rail carriers of tank cars.

Annual Reporting and Recordkeeping: 2,759.

Number of Respondents: 260.

Total Annual Responses: 16,640.

Total Annual Burden Hours: 2,759.

Frequency of Collection: Annually.

Title: Rulemaking, Exemption, and Preemption Requirements.

OMB Control Number: 2137-0051. Start Printed Page 5974

Summary: This collection of information applies to rulemaking procedures regarding the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR). Specific areas covered in this information collection include Part 105, Subpart B and Subpart C, “Hazardous Materials Program Definitions and General Procedures,” Part 106, Subpart B, “Participating in the Rulemaking Process,” Part 107, Subpart B, “Exemptions,” Part 107, Subpart C, “Preemption.” The Federal hazardous materials transportation law directs the Secretary of Transportation to prescribe regulations for the safe transportation of hazardous materials in commerce. We are authorized to accept petitions for rulemaking and appeals, as well as applications for exemptions, preemption determinations and waivers of preemption. The types of information collected include:

(1) Petitions for Rulemaking: Any person may petition the Office of Hazardous Materials Standards to add, amend, or delete a regulation in Parts 110, 130, 171 through 180, or may petition the Office of the Chief Counsel to add, amend, or delete a regulation in Parts 105, 106 or 107.

(2) Appeals: Except as provided in § 106.40(e), any person may submit an appeal to our actions in accordance with the Appeals procedures found in §§ 106.110 through 106.130.

(3) Application for Exemption: Any person applying for an exemption must include the citation of the specific regulation from which the applicant seeks relief; specification of the proposed mode or modes of transportation; detailed description of the proposed exemption (e.g., alternative packaging, test procedure or activity), including as appropriate, written descriptions, drawings, flow charts, plans and other supporting documents, etc.

(4) Application for Preemption Determination: Any person directly affected by any requirement of a State, political subdivision, or Indian tribe may apply to the Associate Administrator for a determination whether that requirement is preempted under 49 U.S.C. 5125, or regulations issued thereunder. The application must include the text of the State or political subdivision or Indian tribe requirement for which the determination is sought; specify each requirement of the Federal hazardous material transportation law or the regulations issued thereunder with which the applicant seeks the State, political subdivision or Indian tribe requirement to be compared; explanation of why the applicant believes the State or political subdivision or Indian tribe requirement should or should not be preempted under the standards of § 5125 (see also 49 CFR 107.202); and how the applicant is affected by the State or political subdivision or Indian tribe requirements.

(5) Waivers of Preemption: With the exception of requirements preempted under 49 U.S.C. 5125(c), any person may apply to the Associate Administrator for a waiver of preemption with respect to any requirement that: (1) The State or political subdivision thereof or an Indian tribe acknowledges is preempted under the Federal hazardous material transportation law or the regulations issued thereunder, or (2) that has been determined by a court of competent jurisdiction to be so preempted. The Associate Administrator may waive preemption with respect to such requirement upon a determination that such requirement affords an equal or greater level of protection to the public than is afforded by the requirement of the Federal hazardous material transportation law or the regulations issued thereunder and does not unreasonably burden commerce.

The information collected under these application procedures is used in the review process by RSPA in determining the merits of the petitions for rulemakings and for reconsideration of rulemakings, as well as applications for exemptions, preemption determinations and waivers of preemption to the HMR. The procedures governing these petitions for rulemaking and for reconsideration of rulemakings are covered in subpart B of part 106. Applications for exemptions, preemption determinations and waivers of preemption are covered under subparts B and C of part 107. Rulemaking procedures enable RSPA to determine if a rule change is necessary, is consistent with public interest, and maintains a level of safety equal to or superior to that of current regulations. Exemption procedures provide the information required for analytical purposes to determine if the requested relief provides for a comparable level of safety as provided by the HMR. Preemption procedures provide information for RSPA to determine whether a requirement of a State, political subdivision, or Indian tribe is preempted under 49 U.S.C. 5125, or regulations issued thereunder, or whether a waiver of preemption should be issued.

Affected Public: Shippers, carriers, packaging manufacturers, and other affected entities.

Total Reporting and Recordkeeping Burden: 4,219.

Number of Respondents: 3,304.

Total Annual Responses: 4,294.

Total Annual Burden Hours: 4,219.

Frequency of Collection: Periodically.

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Issued in Washington, DC, on January 30, 2003.

Edward T. Mazzullo,

Director, Office of Hazardous Materials Standards.

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[FR Doc. 03-2698 Filed 2-4-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-60-P