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Notice

Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request

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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 re-approval of the following information collection activities that were previously approved by OMB under Emergency Clearance Procedures. 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 1, 2010.

ADDRESSES:

Submit written comments on any or all of the following proposed activities by mail to either: Mr. Robert Brogan, Office of Safety, RRS-21, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Ave., SE., Mail Stop 17, Washington, DC 20590, or Ms. Kimberly Toone, Office of Information Technology, RAD-20, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Ave., SE., 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 2130-0587.” Alternatively, comments may be transmitted via facsimile to (202) 493-6216 or (202) 493-6497, or via e-mail to Mr. Brogan at Robert.Brogan@dot.gov, or to Ms. Toone at Kimberly.Toone@dot.gov. Please refer to the assigned OMB control number and the title of the information collection 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 Safety, RRS-21, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Ave., SE., Mail Stop 17, Washington, DC 20590 (telephone: (202) 493-6292) or Ms. Kimberly Toone, Office of Information Technology, RAD-20, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Ave., SE., Mail Stop 35, Washington, DC 20590 (telephone: (202) 493-6132). (These telephone numbers are not toll-free.)

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Public Law 104-13, section 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 of such activities 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 is a brief summary of the information collection activities that FRA will submit for renewed clearance by OMB as required under the PRA:Start Printed Page 16229

Title: Notice of Funding Availability and Solicitation of Applications for Grants under the Railroad Safety Technology Grant Program.

OMB Control Number: 2130-0587.

Abstract: The Rail Safety Technology Program is a newly authorized program under the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (RSIA) (Pub. L. 110-432; October 16, 2008). The program was directed by Congress and passed into law in the aftermath of a series of major rail accidents that culminated in an accident at Chatsworth, California, in 2008. Twenty-five people were killed and 135 people were injured in the Chatsworth accident. This event turned the Nation's attention to rail safety and the possibility that new technologies, such as PTC, could prevent such accidents in the future. The RSIA ordered installation of PTC by all Class I railroads on any of their mainlines carrying poisonous inhalation hazard (PIH) materials and by all passenger and commuter railroads on their main lines not later than December 31, 2015.

As part of the RSIA, Congress provided $50 million to FRA to award, in one or more grants, to eligible projects by passenger and freight rail carriers, railroad suppliers, and State and local Governments. Funds will be awarded to projects that have a public benefit of improved railroad safety and efficiency, with priority given to projects that make PTC technologies interoperable between railroad systems; projects that accelerate the deployment of PTC technology on high-risk corridors, such as those that have high volumes of hazardous material shipments; and for projects over which commuter or passenger trains operate, or that benefit both passenger and freight safety and efficiency.

Funds provided under this grant program may constitute a maximum of 80 percent of the total cost of a selected project, with a minimum of 20 percent of costs funded from other sources. The funding provided under these grants will be made available to grantees on a reimbursement basis. FRA anticipates awarding grants to multiple eligible participants. FRA may choose to award a grant or grants within the available funds in any amount. Funding made available through grants provided under this program, together with funding from other sources that is committed by a grantee as part of a grant agreement, must be sufficient to complete the funded project and achieve the anticipated technology development. FRA will begin accepting grant applications 10 days after publication of the separate Notice of Funds Availability, which will be published on March 29, 2010, in the Federal Register detailing the terms of the Railroad Safety Technology Grant Program. Applications may be submitted until July 1, 2010. Selection announcements will be made on or around September 3, 2010.

Form Number(s): FRA F 6180.146; SF-269; SF-270.

Other Instruments: Information Published with the Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) to be published shortly in the Federal Register.

Affected Public: Businesses.

Respondent Universe: 50 railroads.

Frequency of Submission: On occasion.

Reporting Burden

Grant programRespondent universeTotal annual responsesAverage time per responseTotal annual burden hours
Pre-Application Process:
—Certification Statements (Form FRA F 6180.146)50 Railroads50 statements/forms2 minutes2
—Application Process50 Railroads50 grant applications250 hours12,500
—Meeting requests with FRA Associate Administrator50 Railroads25 meeting requests30 minutes13
—Face to Face Meetings with Associate Admin50 Railroads25 project meetings2 hours50
—Revisions to Grant Applications50 Railroads10 grant application revisions40 hours400
—Execution Process (Progress Reports)50 Railroads120 progress reports1 hour120
—Close-Out Procedures:
—Financial Status Report (SF-269)50 Railroads10 forms30 minutes5
—Audit (OMB A-133 or 49 CFR 19.26)50 Railroads10 audit documents34 hours340
—Audit Correction Plan50 Railorads1 plan24 hours24
—Final Progress Report50 Railroads10 reports3 hours30
—Final Request for Payment (SF-270)50 Railroads10 forms1 hour10
—Federal Owner Property Report50 Railroads5 reports3 hours15
—Final Technical Report50 Railroads10 reports40 hours400

Total Responses: 336.

Estimated Total Annual Burden 13,909 hours.

Status: Re-Approval under Regular Clearance Procedures

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 March 26, 2010.

Donna Alwine,

Acting Director, Office of Financial Management, Federal Railroad Administration.

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[FR Doc. 2010-7201 Filed 3-30-10; 8:45 am]

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