As a supplement to North County Transit District's (NCTD) Petition for Approval of Shared Use and Waiver of Certain Federal Railroad Administration Regulations (the waiver was granted by the FRA on June 24, 2003), NCTD seeks a permanent waiver of compliance from additional sections of Title 49 of the CFR for operation of its SPRINTER rail line between Oceanside, CA and Escondido, CA. See Statement of Agency Policy Concerning Jurisdiction Over the Safety of Railroad Passenger Operations and Waivers Related to Shared Use of the Tracks of the General Railroad System by Light Rail and Start Printed Page 48232Conventional Equipment, 65 FR 42529 (July 10, 2000). See also Joint Statement of Agency Policy Concerning Shared Use of the Tracks of the General Railroad System by Conventional Railroads and Light Rail Transit Systems, 65 FR 42626 (July 10, 2000).
In this regard, NCTD has advanced the design and construction of the SPRINTER rail line towards implementation and in the process, has identified the following additional regulations from which it hereby seeks waivers: 49 CFR part 223 Safety Glazing Standards—Locomotives, Passenger Cars and Cabooses, Section 223.9(c), and part 229 Railroad Locomotive Safety Standards, Section 229.125(a).
As a result of the comments received by FRA concerning this waiver petition, FRA has determined that a public hearing is necessary before a final decision is made on this petition. A public hearing was originally scheduled for July 27, 2005. However, due to the unavailability of some of the interested parties, FRA opened the public hearing and announced that a second public hearing would be scheduled in this matter. Accordingly, a public hearing is set to begin at 9:30 a.m. on September 14, 2005, in Rooms 4438 and 4440 at the Department of Transportation Headquarters Nassif Building, 400 7th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590. Interested parties are invited to present oral statements at this hearing.
The hearing will be informal and conducted in accordance with FRA's Rules of Practice (49 CFR part 211.25) by a representative designated by FRA. FRA's representative will make an opening statement outlining the scope of the hearing, as well as any additional procedures for the conduct of the hearing. The hearing will be a non-adversarial proceeding in which all interested parties will be given the opportunity to express their views regarding this waiver petition without cross-examination. After all initial statements have been completed, those persons wishing to make a brief rebuttal will be given an opportunity to do so in the same order in which initial statements were made. Additional procedures, if necessary for the conduct of the hearing, will be announced at the hearing.
In addition, FRA is extending the comment period in this proceeding until September 23, 2005. FRA reserves the right to announce a further extension of the comment period for the purpose of receiving post-hearing submissions should that appear appropriate in the judgment of the Board based on testimony received at the public hearing.
All communications concerning these proceedings should identify the appropriate docket number (Waiver Petition Docket Number FRA-2002-11809) and must be submitted to the Docket Clerk, DOT Docket Management Facility, Room PL-401 (Plaza Level), 400 7th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590. All written communications concerning these proceedings are available for examination during regular business hours (9 a.m.-5 p.m.) at the above facility. All documents in the public docket are also available for inspection and copying on the Internet at the docket facility's Web site at http://dms.dot.gov.
Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments received into any of our dockets 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). The Statement may also be found at http://dms.dot.gov.Start Signature
Issued in Washington, DC on August 11, 2005.
Deputy Associate Administrator.
[FR Doc. 05-16282 Filed 8-15-05; 8:45 am]
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