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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.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and its implementing regulations, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) hereby announces that it is seeking renewal of the following currently approved information collection activities. Before submitting these information collection requirements for clearance by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), FRA is soliciting public comment on specific aspects of the activities identified below.

DATES:

Comments must be received no later than June 24, 2003.

ADDRESSES:

Submit written comments on any or all of the following proposed activities by mail to either: Mr. Robert Brogan, Office of Safety, Planning and Evaluation Division, RRS-21, Federal Railroad Administration, 1120 Vermont Ave., NW., Mail Stop 17, Washington, DC 20590, or Ms. Debra Steward, Office of Information Technology and Productivity Improvement, RAD-20, Federal Railroad Administration, 1120 Vermont Ave., NW., Mail Stop 35, Washington, DC 20590. Commenters requesting FRA to acknowledge receipt of their respective comments must include a self-addressed stamped postcard stating, “Comments on OMB control number ___. Alternatively, comments may be transmitted via facsimile to (202) 493-6230 or (202) 493-6170, or E-mail to Mr. Brogan at robert.brogan@fra.dot.gov, or to Ms. Steward at debra.steward@fra.dot.gov. Please refer to the assigned OMB control number in any correspondence submitted. FRA will summarize comments received in response to this notice in a subsequent notice and include them in its information collection submission to OMB for approval.

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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 Debra Steward, Office of Information Technology and Productivity Improvement, RAD-20, Federal Railroad Administration, 1120 Vermont Ave., NW., Mail Stop 35, Washington, Start Printed Page 20427DC 20590 (telephone: (202) 493-6139). (These telephone numbers are not toll-free.)

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Pub. L. No. 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 provide 60-days notice to the public for comment on information collection activities before seeking approval for reinstatement or renewal by OMB. 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A); 5 CFR 1320.8(d)(1), 1320.10(e)(1), 1320.12(a). Specifically, FRA invites interested respondents to comment on the following summary of proposed information collection activities regarding (i) whether the information collection activities are necessary for FRA to properly execute its functions, including whether the activities will have practical utility; (ii) the accuracy of FRA's estimates of the burden of the information collection activities, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used to determine the estimates; (iii) ways for FRA to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information being collected; and (iv) ways for FRA to minimize the burden of information collection activities on the public by automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology (e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses). See 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)(I)-(iv); 5 CFR 1320.8(d)(1)(I)-(iv). FRA believes that soliciting public comment will promote its efforts to reduce the administrative and paperwork burdens associated with the collection of information mandated by Federal regulations. In summary, FRA reasons that comments received will advance three objectives: (i) Reduce reporting burdens; (ii) ensure that it organizes information collection requirements in a “user friendly” format to improve the use of such information; and (iii) accurately assess the resources expended to retrieve and produce information requested. See 44 U.S.C. 3501.

Below are brief summaries of three currently approved information collection activities that FRA will submit for clearance by OMB as required under the PRA:

Title: Rear-End Marking Devices.

OMB Control Number: 2130-0523.

Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved collection.

Affected Public: Businesses.

Form Number(s): N/A.

Abstract: The collection of information is set forth under 49 CFR part 221 which requires railroads to furnish a detailed description of the type of marking device to be used for the trailing end of rear cars in order to ensure rear cars meet minimum standards for visibility and display. Railroads are required to furnish a certification that the device has been tested in accordance with current “Guidelines for Testing of Rear End Marking Devices.” Additionally, railroads are required to furnish detailed test records which include the testing organizations, description of tests, number of samples tested, and the test results in order to demonstrate compliance with the performance standard.

Respondent Universe: 685 railroads.

Frequency of Submission: On occasion.

Total Responses: 2.

Estimated Annual Burden: 4 hours.

Status: Regular Review.

Title: Bridge Worker Safety Rules.

OMB Control Number: 2130-0535.

Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved collection.

Affected Public: Businesses.

Form Number(s): N/A.

Abstract: Section 20139 of Title 49 of the United States Code required FRA to issue rules, regulations, orders, and standards for the safety of maintenance-of-way employees on railroad bridges, including for “bridge safety equipment” such as nets, walkways, handrails, and safety lines, and requirements for the use of vessels when work is performed on bridges located over bodies of water. FRA has added 49 CFR part 214 to establish minimum workplace safety standards for railroad employees as they apply to railroad bridges. Specifically, section 214.15(c) establishes standards and practices for safety net systems. Safety nets and net installations are to be drop-tested at the job site after initial installation and before being used as a fall-protection system; after major repairs; and at six-month intervals if left at one site. If a drop-test is not feasible and is not performed, then a written certification must be made by the railroad or railroad contractor, or a designated certified person, that the net does comply with the safety standards of this section. FRA and State inspectors use the information to enforce Federal regulations. The information that is maintained at the job site promotes safe bridge worker practices.

Frequency of Submission: On occasion.

Total Responses: 6.

Estimated Annual Burden: 2 hours.

Status: Regular Review.

Title: Railroad Operating Rules.

OMB Control Number: 2130-0035.

Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved collection.

Affected Public: Businesses.

Form Number(s): N/A.

Abstract: The collection of information is due to the railroad operating rules set forth in 49 CFR part 217 which require Class I and Class II railroads to file with FRA copies of their operating rules, timetables, and timetable special instructions, and subsequent amendments thereto. Class III railroads are required to retain copies of these documents at their systems headquarters. Also, 49 CFR 220.21(b) prescribes the collection of information which requires railroads to retain one copy of their current operating rules with respect to radio communications and one copy of each subsequent amendment thereto. These documents must be made available to FRA upon request.

Reporting Burden:

CFR sectionRespondent universeTotal annual responsesAverage time per responseTotal annual burden hoursTotal annual burden burden cost
271.7—Copy—FRA— operating rules, Class I & II RRs1 new railroad2 submissions1 hour1 hour$35.
Amendments32 railroads96 amendments20 minutes32 hours$1,120.
Copy of operating rules—Class III20 railroads20 submissions55 minutes18 hours$630.
Amendments632 railroads1,896 amendments15 minutes474 hours$16,590.
217.9—20 Copy—Prog. for Perf. of Operational Tests20 new railroads20 Programs9.92 hours198 hours$6,930.
Amendments50 railroads150 amendments1.92 hours288 hours$10,080.
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Oper. Test Reds.632 railroads9,120,0005 minutes760,000 hours$34,200,000.
Summary Tests55 railroads55 summaries1 hour55 hours$1.925.
271.11—Copy—Instr. Prog.—Employees20 new railroads20 Programs8 hours160 hours$5,600.
Amendments632 railroads220 amendments55 minutes202 hours$7,070.
220.21(b)—Copy—Op. Rules—RadioIncl. under 217.7Incl. under 217.7Incl. under 217.7Incl. under 217.7Incl. under 217.7.
AmendmentsIncl. under 217.7Incl. under 217.7Incl. under 217.7Incl. under 217.7Incl. under 217.7.

Total Responses: 9,122,479 .

Total Estimated Annual Burden: 761,428 hours.

Status: Regular Review.

Pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 3507(a) and 5 CFR 1320.5(b), 1320.8(b)(3)(vi), FRA informs all interested parties that it may not conduct or sponsor, and a respondent is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

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

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Issued in Washington, DC, on April 18, 2003.

Kathy A. Weiner,

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

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[FR Doc. 03-10216 Filed 4-24-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-06-P