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Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request

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Federal Railroad Administration.




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.


Comments must be received no later than November 7, 2011.


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 25, 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 2130-0571.” Alternatively, comments may be transmitted via facsimile to (202) 493-6216 or (202) 493-6497, or via e-mail to Mr. Brogan at, or to Ms. Toone at 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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Mr. Robert Brogan, Office of Planning and Evaluation Division, RRS-21, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Ave., SE., Mail Stop 25, 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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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 is a brief summary of currently approved information collection activities that FRA will submit for clearance by OMB as required under the PRA:

Title: Occupational Noise Exposure for Railroad Operating Employees.

OMB Control Number: 2130-0571.

Abstract: The collection of information is used by FRA to ensure that railroads covered by this rule establish and implement—by specified dates—noise monitoring, hearing conservation, and audiometric testing programs, as well as hearing conservation training programs, to protect their employees against the damaging and potentially dangerous effects of excessive noise in the everyday rail environment.

Affected Public: Businesses.

Respondent Universe: 460 railroads.

Frequency of Submission: On occasion.

Reporting Burden:

CFR SectionRespondent universeTotal annual responsesAverage time per responseTotal annual burden hours
227.9—Waivers460 Railroads5 petitions60 minutes5 hours.
227.103—Noise Monitoring Program460 Railroads460 programs2 hours/8 hours 600 hours5,165 hours.
—Notification of Employee of Monitoring460 Railroads905 lists30 minutes453 hours.
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227.107—Hearing Conservation Program (HCP)460 railroads461 HCPs150 hrs/2 hrs/31 hrs2,875 hours.
—Revised Hearing Conservation Programs (HCPs)460 railroads92 HCPs/7.5 hours 1.74 hours160 hours.
227.109—Audiometric Testing Program—Existing Employees—Baseline Audiograms78,000 Employees60,000 audiograms + 6,000 a-grams7 minutes + 25 minutes7,000 hours + 2,500 hours.
—Periodic Audiograms78,000 Employees8,000 a-grams 2,330 eval. + 93 retests25 minutes 6 min./2.5 hrs3,333 hours.
—Evaluation of Audiograms466 hours.
—Problem Audiograms78,000 Employees45 documents 93 notices10 minutes 15 minutes8 hours 24 hours.
—Follow-up Procedures—Notifications
—Fitting/Training of Employees: Hearing Protectors8,000 Employees240 tr. session2 minutes8 hours.
—Referrals For Clinical/Otological Examinations8,000 Employees20 referrals2 hours40 hours.
—Notification to Employee of Need: Otological Examination240 Employees20 notices5 minutes2 hours.
—New Audiometric Interpretation240 Employees20 notices5 minutes2 hours.
227.111—Audiometric Test Requirements1,000 Mobile Vans1,000 tests45 minutes750 hours.
227.117—Hearing Protection Attenuation—Evaluation460 Railroads50 evaluations30 minutes25 hours.
—Re-Evaluations460 Railroads10 reevaluations30 minutes5 hours.
227.119—Hearing Conservation Training Program—Development460 Railroads/AAR441 programs8 hours/2 hours/116 hours/1 hour 30 minutes706 hours.
—Employee Training460 Railroads26,000 tr. Empl13,000 hours.
—Periodic Training460 Railroads7,000 tr. Empl.30 minutes3,500 hours.
227.121—Record Keeping—Authorization: Records460 Railroads10 requests + 10 Responses10 min. + 15 min.5 hours.
—Request for Copies of Reports460 Railroads150 requests + 150 resp.21 min. + 45 min.166 hours.
—Records Transfer When Carrier Becomes Defunct460 Railroads10 records24 minutes4 hours.
—Railroad Audiometric Test Records460 Railroads26,000 records2 minutes867 hours.
—Hearing Conservation Program (HCP) Records460 Railroads54,000 records45 seconds675 hours.
—HCP Training Records of Employees460 Railroads26,000 records30 seconds217 hours.
—Records: Standard Threshold Shifts of Employees460 Railroads280 records7 minutes33 hours.
229.121—Locomotive Cab Noise—Tests/Certifications3 Equipment Manufacturers700 tests/rcds.40 min. + 5 min.111 hours.
—Equipment Maintenance: Excessive Noise Reports460 Railroads3,000 reports + 3,000 records10 min. + 5 min.750 hours.
—Maintenance Records460 Railroads3,750 records8 minutes500 hours.
—Internal Auditable Monitoring Systems570 Railroads570 systems36 min. + 8.25 hours572 hours.
Appendix H—Static Test Protocols/Records700 Locomotives2 retests + 2 records35 min. + 5 min.1 hour.

Total Responses: 230,919.

Estimated Total Annual Burden: 43,928 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 September 2, 2011.

Kimberly Coronel,

Director, Office of Financial Management, Federal Railroad Administration.

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[FR Doc. 2011-23007 Filed 9-7-11; 8:45 am]