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Notice

Proposed 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 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 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, Planning and Evaluation Division, 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 ___.” 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 kim.toone@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, 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, § 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 eight currently approved information collection activities that FRA will submit for clearance by OMB as required under the PRA:

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Title: Grade Crossing Signal System Safety Regulations.

OMB Control Number: 2130-0534.

Status: Regular Review.

Type of Request: Extension without change of a previously approved collection.

Abstract: FRA believes that highway-rail grade crossing (grade crossing) accidents resulting from warning system failures can be reduced. Motorists lose faith in warning systems that constantly warn of an oncoming train when none is present. Therefore, the fail-safe feature of a warning system loses its effectiveness if the system is not repaired within a reasonable period of time. A greater risk of an accident is present when a warning system fails to activate as a train approaches a grade crossing. FRA's regulations require railroads to take specific responses in the event of an activation failure. FRA uses the information to develop better solutions to the problems of grade crossing device malfunctions. With this information, FRA is able to correlate accident data and equipment malfunctions with the types of circuits and age of equipment. FRA can then identify the causes of grade crossing system failures and investigate them to determine whether periodic maintenance, inspection, and testing standards are effective. FRA also uses the information collected to alert railroad employees and appropriate highway traffic authorities of warning system malfunctions so that they can take the necessary measures to protect motorists and railroad workers at the grade crossing until repairs have been made.

Form Number(s): FRA F 6180.83.

Affected Public: Businesses.

Frequency of Submission: On occasion; recordkeeping.

Reporting Burden

CFR sectionRespondent universeTotal annual responsesAverage time per response (minutes)Total annual burden hours
234.7—Telephone Notification728 railroads8 phone calls152
234.9—Grade crossing signal system failure rpts728 railroads600 reports15150
234.105-107—Notification to crew and Proper Law Enforcement Authority728 railroads24,000 notifications156,000
234.109—Record Keeping728 railroads12,000 records102,000

Total Estimated Responses: 36,608.

Total Estimated Annual Burden: 8,152 hours.

Title: Bridge Worker Safety Rules.

OMB Control Number: 2130-0535.

Status: Regular Review.

Type of Request: Extension without change of a previously approved collection.

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.

Form Number(s): N/A.

Affected Public: Businesses.

Frequency of Submission: On occasion.

Total Estimated Responses: 6.

Total Estimated Annual Burden: 1 hour.

Title: Railroad Police Officers.

OMB Control Number: 2130-0537.

Status: Regular Review.

Type of Request: Extension without change of a previously approved collection.

Abstract: Under 49 CFR Part 207, railroads are required to notify states of all designated police officers who are discharging their duties outside of their respective jurisdictions. This requirement is necessary to verify proper police authority.

Affected Public: Railroads and States.

Frequency of Submission: On occasion.

Form(s): None.

Total Estimated Responses: 35.

Total Annual Estimated Burden Hours: 175 hours.

Title: Stenciling Reporting Mark on Freight Cars.

OMB Control Number: 2130-0520.

Status: Regular Review.

Type of Request: Extension without change of a previously approved collection.

Abstract: Title 49, Section 215.301 of the Code of Federal Regulations, sets forth certain requirements that must be followed by railroad carriers and private car owners relative to identification marks on railroad equipment. FRA, railroads, and the public refer to the stencilling to identify freight cars.

Form Number(s): N/A.

Affected Public: Businesses.

Frequency of Submission: On occasion.

Respondent Universe: 728 railroads.

Total Estimated Responses: 25,000 cars stenciled.

Total Estimated Annual Burden: 18,750 hours.

Title: Rear-End Marking Devices.

OMB Control Number: 2130-0523.

Status: Regular Review.

Type of Request: Extension without change of a previously approved collection.

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.

Form Number(s): N/A.

Affected Public: Businesses.

Respondent Universe: 728 railroads.

Frequency of Submission: On occasion.

Total Estimated Responses: 2.Start Printed Page 16898

Total Estimated Annual Burden: 38 hours.

Title: Locomotive Certification (Noise Compliance Regulations).

OMB Control Number: 2130-0527.

Status: Regular Review.

Type of Request: Extension without change of a previously approved collection.

Abstract: Part 210 of title 49 of the United States Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) pertains to FRA's noise enforcement procedures which encompass rail yard noise source standards published by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). EPA has the authority to set these standards under the Noise Control Act of 1972. The information collected by FRA under Part 210 is necessary to ensure compliance with EPA noise standards for new locomotives.

Form Number(s): N/A.

Affected Public: Businesses.

Respondent Universe: 2 Locomotive Manufacturers.

Frequency of Submission: On occasion.

Reporting Burden

CFR sectionRespondent universeTotal annual responsesAverage time per responseTotal annual burden hours
210.27:
New Loco. Certification—Requests for InformationLocomotive Manuf4 requests30 minutes2
Identification of Locomotives4 Locomotive Manuf790 badges/plates30 minutes395
210.31—Operation Standards—Measurement of Loco. Noise Emissions4 Locomotive Manuf790 recorded measurements3 hours2,370

Total Estimated Responses: 1,620.

Total Estimated Annual Burden: 2,785 hours.

Title: Remotely Controlled Switch Operations.

OMB Control Number: 2130-0516.

Status: Regular Review.

Type of Request: Extension without change of a previously approved collection.

Abstract: Title 49, Section 218.30 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), ensures that remotely controlled switches are lined to protect workers who are vulnerable to being struck by moving cars as they inspect or service equipment on a particular track or, alternatively, occupy camp cars. FRA believes that production of notification requests promotes safety by minimizing mental lapses of workers who are simultaneously handling several tasks. Sections 218.30 and 218.67 require the operator of remotely controlled switches to maintain a record of each notification requesting blue signal protection for 15 days. Operators of remotely controlled switches use the information as a record documenting blue signal protection of workers or camp cars. This record also serves as a valuable resource for railroad supervisors and FRA inspectors monitoring regulatory compliance.

Form Number(s): N/A.

Affected Public: Businesses.

Respondent Universe: 718 railroads.

Frequency of Submission: On occasion.

Reporting Burden

CFR sectionRespondent universeTotal annual responsesAverage time per responseTotal annual burden hours
218.30—Blue Signal Protection of Workmen; Remotely Controlled Switches70 railroads3,600,000 notifications1 minute60,000
218.77—Protection of occupied camp cars; Remotely Controlled Switches4 railroads2,300 notifications1 minute38

Total Estimated Responses: 3,602,300.

Total Estimated Annual Burden: 120,153 hours.

Title: Bad Order and Home Shop Card.

OMB Control Number: 2130-0519.

Status: Regular Review.

Type of Request: Extension without change of a previously approved collection.

Abstract: Under 49 CFR Part 215, each railroad is required to inspect freight cars placed in service and take the necessary remedial action when defects are identified. Part 215 defects are specific in nature and relate to items that have or could have caused accidents or incidents. Section 215.9 sets forth specific procedures that railroads must follow when it is necessary to move defective cars for repair purposes. For example, railroads must affix a “bad order” tag describing each defect to each side of the freight car. It is imperative that a defective freight car be tagged “bad order” so that it may be readily identified and moved to another location for repair purposes only. At the repair point, the “bad order” tag serves as a repair record. Railroads must retain each tag for 90 days to verify that proper repairs were made at the designated location. FRA and State inspectors review all pertinent records to determine whether defective cars presenting an immediate hazard are being moved in transportation.

Form Number(s): N/A.

Affected Public: Businesses.

Respondent Universe: 718 railroads.

Frequency of Submission: On occasion.

Reporting Burden

CFR sectionRespondent universeTotal annual responsesAverage time per responseTotal annual burden hours
215.9:
Movement of Defective Cars for Repair728 railroads150,000 tags5 minutes12,500
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Notifications of Removal of Defective Car Tags728 railroads75,000 notifications2 minutes2,500
215.11—Designated Inspectors—Records728 railroads45,000 records1 minute750

Total Estimated Responses: 225,000.

Total Estimated Annual Burden: 12,750 hours.

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 30, 2010.

Kimberly Coronel,

Director, Office of Financial Management, Federal Railroad Administration.

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[FR Doc. 2010-7595 Filed 4-1-10; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-06-P