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Notice

Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB Review

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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 compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), this notice announces that the Information Collection Requests (ICRs) abstracted below have been forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and comments. The ICRs describe the nature of the information collections and their expected burden. The Federal Register notice soliciting comments on the following collections of information was published with a 60-day comment period on February 5, 2003 [68 FR 5972].

DATES:

Comments must be submitted on or before May 19, 2003.

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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.

Title: Rail Carrier and Tank Car Tank Requirements.

OMB Control Number: 2137-0559.

Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved collection.

Abstract: This information collection consolidates and describes the information collection provisions in parts 172, 173, 174, 179, and 180 of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR parts 171-180) 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 Start Printed Page 19249from 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. RSPA 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.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 260.

Estimated Number of Responses: 16,640.

Annual Estimated Burden Hours: 2,759.

Frequency of Collection: Annually.

Title: Rulemaking, Exemption, and Preemption Requirements.

OMB Control Number: 2137-0051.

Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved collection.

Abstract: This collection of information applies to rulemaking procedures regarding the 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. RSPA is 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 RSPA's 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 of 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 to be 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. Start Printed Page 19250Applications 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.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 3,304.

Estimated Number of Responses: 4,294.

Annual Estimated Burden Hours: 4,219

Frequency of Collection: Periodically.

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ADDRESSES:

Send comments regarding the burden estimate, including suggestions for reducing the burden, to Office of Management and Budget, Attention: Desk Officer for RSPA, 725 17th Street, NW., Washington, DC 20503.

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

A comment to OMB is most effective if OMB receives it within 30 days of publication.

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Issued in Washington, DC, on April 11, 2003.

Edward T. Mazzullo,

Director, Office of Hazardous Materials Standards.

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[FR Doc. 03-9646 Filed 4-17-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-60-P