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Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Department of Transportation (DOT).


Notice and request for comments.


In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces that the Information Collection Requirements (ICRs) abstracted below will be forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and comment. The ICRs describe the nature of the information collection and their expected burden. The Federal Register notice with a 60-day comment period soliciting comments on the following collections of information was published on May 28, 2013.


Comments must be submitted on or before September 12, 2013.

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Mr. Robert Brogan, Office of Safety, Planning and Evaluation Division, RRS-21, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., 3rd Floor, 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., 3rd Floor, 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, 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 issue two notices seeking public comment on information collection activities before OMB may approve paperwork packages. 44 U.S.C. 3506, 3507; 5 CFR 1320.5, 1320.8(d)(1), 1320.12. On May 28, 2013, FRA published a 60-day notice in the Federal Register soliciting comment on this ICR that the agency was seeking OMB approval. 78 FR 32005. FRA received no comments in response to this notice.

Before OMB decides whether to approve these proposed collections of information, it must provide 30 days for public comment. 44 U.S.C. 3507(b); 5 CFR 1320.12(d). Federal law requires OMB to approve or disapprove paperwork packages between 30 and 60 days after the 30 day notice is published. 44 U.S.C. 3507 (b)-(c); 5 CFR 1320.12(d); see also 60 FR 44978, 44983, Aug. 29, 1995. OMB believes that the 30 day notice informs the regulated community to file relevant comments and affords the agency adequate time to digest public comments before it renders a decision. 60 FR 44983, Aug. 29, 1995. Therefore, respondents should submit their respective comments to OMB within 30 days of publication to best ensure having their full effect. 5 CFR 1320.12(c); see also 60 FR 44983, Aug. 29, 1995.

The summary below describes the nature of the information collection requirements (ICRs) and the expected burden for the ICRs that will be submitted for clearance by OMB as required by the PRA.

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

OMB Control Number: 2130-0587.

Type of Request: Regular Approval of a Currently Approved Information Collection.

Affected Public: 1,525 Railroads/Vendors/Universities.

Abstract: The Rail Safety Technology Program is a program authorized 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 Start Printed Page 49323railroads 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 originally 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. Presently, there is $550,000 remaining of the original funds that FRA plans to fund two projects with. 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 two eligible participants. 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.

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

Annual Estimated Burden Hours: 5,337 hours.

OMB Control Number: 2130-0589.

Abstract: Section 202 of the Rail Safety Improvement Act (RSIA) of 2008 required the Secretary of Transportation (delegated to the Federal Railroad Administrator by 49 CFR 1.49) to identify the 10 States that have had the most-highway-rail grade crossing collisions, on average, over the past three years, and to require those States to develop State highway-rail grade crossing action plans, within a reasonable period of time, as determined by the Secretary. Section 202 of the law further provided that these plans must identify specific solutions for improving safety at crossings, including highway-rail grade crossing closures or grade separations, and must focus on crossings that have experienced multiple accidents or are at high risk for such accidents.

Section 202 also provided the following: The Secretary will provide assistance to the States in developing and carrying out such plans, as appropriate; the plans may be coordinated with other State or Federal planning requirements; the plans will cover a period of time determined to be appropriate by the Secretary; and the Secretary may condition the awarding of any grants under 49 U.S.C. 20158, 20167, or 22501, to a State identified under this section, on the development of such State's plan.

Lastly, Section 202 provided a review and approval process under which, not later than 60 days after the Secretary receives such a State action plan, the Secretary must review and either approve or disapprove it. In the event that the proposed plan is disapproved, Section 202 indicates that the Secretary must notify the affected State as to the specific areas in which the proposed plan is deficient, and the State must correct all deficiencies within 30 days following receipt of written notice from the Secretary.

FRA uses the collection of information to ensure that States meet the Congressional mandate and devise and implement suitable plans to reduce/eliminate troublingly high numbers of highway-rail grade collisions in their States. FRA reviews grade these crossing action plans and grade crossing action plan revisions to ensure that these plans include the following: (1) Identify specific solutions for improving safety at highway-rail grade crossings, including highway-rail grade crossing closures or grade separations, (2) Focus on crossings that have experienced multiple accidents or are at high risk for such accidents, and (3) Cover a five-year period of time.

Form Number(s): N/A.

Annual Estimated Burden Hours: 40 hours.

Addressee: Send comments regarding this information collection to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, 725 Seventeenth Street NW., Washington, DC 20503, Attention: FRA Desk Officer. Comments may also be sent via email to OMB at the following address:

Comments are invited on the following: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Department, including whether the information will have practical utility; the accuracy of the Department's estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

A comment to OMB is best assured of having its full effect if OMB receives it within 30 days of publication of this notice in the Federal Register.

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Authority: 44 U.S.C. 3501-3520.

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Issued in Washington, DC, on August 7, 2013.

Rebecca Pennington,

Chief Financial Officer.

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[FR Doc. 2013-19573 Filed 8-12-13; 8:45 am]