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Proposed Rule

Hazardous Materials: Enhancing Rail Transportation Safety and Security for Hazardous Materials Shipments

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), Department of Transportation (DOT).

ACTION:

Notice of public meeting.

SUMMARY:

On December 21, 2006 the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, in consultation with the Federal Railroad Administration and the Transportation Security Administration, published a notice of proposed rulemaking proposing to revise the current requirements in the Hazardous Materials Regulations applicable to the safe and secure transportation of hazardous materials transported in commerce by rail. Specifically, we are proposing to require rail carriers to compile annual data on specified shipments of hazardous materials, use the data to analyze safety and security risks along rail transportation routes where those materials are transported, assess alternative routing options, and make routing decisions based on those assessments. We are also proposing clarifications of the current security plan requirements to address en route storage, delays in transit, delivery notification, and additional security inspection requirements for hazardous materials shipments. PHMSA will hold two public meetings, on February 1, 2007, in Washington, DC, and February 9, 2007, in Dallas, Texas, to obtain stakeholder comments on the proposed rail security requirements. Information on the dates and locations of the public meetings is provided in this notice.

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DATES:

Public Meetings:

(1) February 1, 2007, starting at 9 a.m., in Washington, DC; and

(2) February 9, 2007, starting at 9 a.m., in Dallas, Texas.

Comments: In accordance with the timeframe established by the December 21, 2006 NPRM, comments to this docket must be received no later than February 20, 2007.

ADDRESSES:

Public Meetings:

(1) Holiday Inn Capitol, 550 C Street, SW., Washington, DC 20024.

(2) Hyatt Regency Dallas Fort Worth Airport, International Parkway, P.O. Box 619014, DFW Airport, Texas, USA 75261.

Oral Presentations: Any person wishing to present an oral statement should notify Ben Supko, by telephone or in writing at least four business days before the date of the public meeting at which the person wishes to speak. Oral statements will be limited to 15 minutes per commenter. For information on facilities or services for persons with disabilities or to request special assistance at the meetings, contact Mr. Supko as soon as possible.

Docket: To access the docket for review of the comments and regulatory actions affecting this rulemaking go to http://dms.dot.gov and/or Room PL-401 on the Plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

Written Comments: We invite interested parties who are unable to attend the public meeting, or who otherwise desire to submit written comments or data to submit any relevant information, data, or comments to the DOT Docket Management System Docket Number RSPA-04-18730 by any of the following methods:

  • Web site: http://dms.dot.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments on the DOT electronic docket site.
  • Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
  • Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Nassif Building, Room PL-401, Washington, DC 20590.
  • Hand Delivery: Room PL-401 on the plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays.

Instructions: You must include the agency name and docket number RSPA-04-18730 for this notice at the beginning of your comment. Internet users may access comments received by DOT at http://dms.dot.gov. Note that comments received may be posted without change to http://dms.dot.gov including any personal information provided. Please see the Privacy Act section of this document.

While all comments should be sent to DOT's Docket Management System (DMS), comments or those portions of comments PHMSA determines to include trade secrets, confidential commercial information, or sensitive security information (SSI) will not be placed in the public docket and will be handled separately. If you believe your comments contain trade secrets, confidential commercial information, or SSI, those comments or the relevant portions of those comments should be appropriately marked so that DOT may make a determination. PHMSA procedures in 49 CFR part 105 establish a mechanism by which commenters may request confidentiality.

In accordance with 49 CFR 105.30, you may ask PHMSA to keep information confidential using the following procedures: (1) Mark “confidential” on each page of the original document you would like to keep confidential; (2) send DMS both the original document and a second copy of the original document with the confidential information deleted; and (3) explain why the information is confidential (such as a trade secret, confidential commercial information, or SSI). In your explanation, you should provide enough information to enable PHMSA to determine whether the information provided is protected by law and must be handled separately.

In addition, for comments or portions of comments that you believe contain SSI as defined in 49 CFR 15.7, you should comply with Federal regulations governing restrictions on the disclosure of SSI. See 49 CFR 1520.9 and 49 CFR 15.9, Restrictions on the disclosure of sensitive security information. For example, these sections restrict the sharing of SSI to those with a need to know, set out the requirement to mark the information as SSI, and address how the information should be disposed. Note also when mailing in or using a special delivery service to send comments containing SSI, comments should be wrapped in a manner to prevent the information from being read. PHMSA and TSA may perform concurrent reviews on requests for designations as SSI.

After reviewing your request for confidentiality and the information provided, PHMSA will analyze applicable laws and regulations to decide whether to treat the information as confidential. PHMSA will notify you of the decision to grant or deny confidentiality. If PHMSA denies confidentiality, you will be provided an opportunity to respond to the denial before the information is publicly disclosed. PHMSA will reconsider its decision to deny confidentiality based on your response.

Regarding comments not marked as confidential, prior to posting comments received in response to this notice in the public docket, PHMSA will review all comments, whether or not they are identified as confidential, to determine if the submission or portions of the submission contain information that should not be made available to the general public. PHMSA will notify you if the agencies make such a determination relative to your comment. If, prior to submitting your comment, you have any questions concerning the procedures for determining confidentiality or security sensitivity, you may call one of the individuals listed below under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT for more information.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Susan Gorsky or Ben Supko, Office of Hazardous Materials Standards, (202) 366-8553, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590-0001.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

On December 21, 2006, PHMSA, in consultation with the Federal Railroad Administration and the Transportation Security Administration of the Department of Homeland Security, published an NPRM proposing to revise the current requirements in the Hazardous Materials Regulations applicable to the safe and secure transportation of hazardous materials transported in commerce by rail. Specifically, the NPRM proposes to require rail carriers to compile annual data on specified shipments of hazardous materials, use the data to analyze safety and security risks along rail transportation routes where those materials are transported, assess alternative routing options, and make routing decisions based on those assessments. It also proposes to clarify the current security plan requirements to address en route storage, delays in transit, delivery notification, and additional security inspection requirements for hazardous materials shipments. In addition to our NPRM, TSA also published an NPRM in the December 21, 2006 edition of the Federal Register proposing additional security requirements for rail transportation. Start Printed Page 1206

We urge interested parties to review the NPRM and the regulatory evaluation prepared in support of the NPRM and make oral presentations regarding the issues we discuss in the documents. A summary of the NPRM follows:

  • We propose to require rail carriers transporting certain types of hazardous materials to compile information and data on the commodities transported, including the transportation routes over which these commodities are transported.
  • We propose to require rail carriers transporting certain types of hazardous materials to use the data they compile on commodities they transport to analyze the safety and security risks for the transportation routes used and one possible alternative route to the one used. Rail carriers would be required to utilize these analyses to transport these materials over the safest and most secure commercially practicable routes.
  • We propose to require rail carriers to specifically address the security risks associated with shipments delayed in transit or temporarily stored in transit as part of their security plans.
  • We propose to require rail carriers transporting certain types of hazardous materials to notify consignees if there is a significant unplanned delay affecting the delivery of the hazardous material.
  • We propose to require rail carriers to work with shippers and consignees to minimize the time a rail car containing certain types of hazardous materials is placed on track awaiting pick-up or delivery or transfer from one carrier to another.
  • We propose to require rail carriers to notify storage facilities and consignees when rail cars containing certain types of hazardous materials are delivered to a storage or consignee facility.
  • We propose to require rail carriers to conduct security visual inspections at ground level of rail cars containing hazardous materials to inspect for signs of tampering or the introduction of an improvised explosive device (IED).

We are particularly interested in comments related to the feasibility and practicability from an operational perspective of the proposals in the NPRM, factors that should be considered by railroads in making routing decisions, and the costs that would be incurred to comply with the requirements proposed in the NPRM.

Documents

A copy of the December 21, 2006 NPRM, the regulatory evaluation prepared in support of the NPRM, and any comments addressed to this docket are available through the DOT Docket Management System Web site: http://dms.dot.gov and/or Room PL-401 on the Plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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Issued in Washington, DC, on January 3, 2007, under authority delegated in 49 CFR part 106.

Robert A. McGuire,

Associate Administrator for Hazardous Materials Safety.

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[FR Doc. E7-131 Filed 1-9-07; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-60-P