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Notice

Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request

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AGENCY:

Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), United States Department of Transportation (USDOT).

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 November 15, 2013.

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 email 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 Start Printed Page 56996organizes 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: Accident/Incident Reporting and Recordkeeping.

OMB Control Number: 2130-0500.

Abstract: The collection of information is due to the railroad accident reporting regulations set forth in 49 CFR Part 225 which require railroads to submit monthly reports summarizing collisions, derailments, and certain other accidents/incidents involving damages above a periodically revised dollar threshold, as well as certain injuries to passengers, employees, and other persons on railroad property. Because the reporting requirements and the information needed regarding each category of accident/incident are unique, a different form is used for each category.

Form Number(s): FRA F 6180.39i; 54; 55; 55A; 56; 57; 78; 81; 97; 98; 99;107; 150.

Affected Public: Businesses.

Respondent Universe: 763 railroads.

Frequency of Submission: On occasion.

Reporting Burden

CFR SectionRespondent universeTotal annual responsesAverage time per responseTotal annual burden hours
225.6—Consolidated Reporting—Request to FRA by Parent Corporation to treat its Commonly Controlled Carriers as a Single Railroad Carrier for Purposes of this Part763 railroads4 requests40 hours160
—Written Agreement by Parent Corporation with FRA on Specific Subsidiaries Included in Its Railroad System763 railroads4 agreements2 hours8
—Notification by Parent Corporation Regarding Any Change in the Subsidiaries Making Up Its Railroad System and Amended Written Agreement with FRA763 railroads1 notification + 1 amended agreement60 minutes2
225.9—Telephone Reports of Certain Accidents/Incidents and Other Events763 railroads3,300 phone reports15 minutes825
225.11—Reporting of Rail Equipment Accidents/Incidents—Form FRA F 6180.54763 railroads3,600 forms2 hours7,200
225.12—Rail Equipment Accident/Incident Reports Alleging Human Factor as Cause—Form FRA F 6180.81763 railroads1,600 forms15 minutes400
—Part I Form FRA F 6180.78 (Notices)763 railroads1,000 notices + 4,000 copies10 minutes + 3 minutes367
—Joint Operations763 railroads100 requests20 minutes33
—Late Identification763 railroads20 attachments + 20 notices15 MINUTES10
—Employee Statement Supplementing Railroad Accident Report (Part II Form FRA 6180.78)Railroad employees75 statements1.5 hours113
—Employee Confidential LetterRailroad employees10 letters2 hours20
225.13—Late Reports—RR Discovery of Improperly Omitted Report of Accident/Incident763 railroads25 late reports1 hour25
—RR Late/Amended Report of Accident/Incident Based on Employee Statement Supplementing RR Accident Report763 railroads50 amended reports + 40 copies1 hour + 3 minutes52
225.18—RR Narrative Report of Possible Alcohol/Drug Involvement in Accident/Incident763 railroads80 reports30 minutes40
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—Reports Required by Section 219.209(b) Appended to Rail Equipment Accident/Incident Report763 railroads5 reports30 minutes3
225.19—Rail-Highway Grade Crossing Accident/Incident Report—Form FRA F 6180.57763 railroads2,880 forms2 hours5,760
—Death, Injury, or Occupational Illness (Form FRA F 6180.55a)763 railroads12,638 forms20 min./50 min 60 min.4,912
225.21—Railroad Injury and Illness Summary: Form FRA F 6180.55763 railroads8,616 forms10 minutes1,436
225.21—Annual Railroad Report of Employee Hours and Casualties, By State—Form FRA F 6180.56763 railroads763 forms15 minutes191
225.21/25—Railroad Employee Injury and/or Illness Record—Form FRA F 6180.98763 railroads18,900 forms60 minutes18,900
—Copies of Forms to Employees763 railroads567 form copies2 minutes19
225.21—Initial Rail Equipment Accident/Incident Record—Form FRA F 6180.97763 railroads18,200 forms30 minutes9,100
—Completion of Form FRA F 6180.97 because of Rail Equipment Involvement763 railroads1 form30 minutes1
225.21—Alternative Record for Illnesses Claimed to Be Work Related—Form FRA F 6180.107763 railroads300 forms75 minutes375
225.21—Railroad Accident/Incident Notification and Initial Investigation Report—Form FRA F 6180.39i763 railroads1,000 forms90 minutes1,500
225.21—Highway User Statement—RR Cover Letter and Form FRA F 6180.150 sent out to Potentially Injured Travelers Involved in a Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Accident/Incident763 railroads950 Letters/forms50 minutes792
—Form FRA F 6180.150 Completed by Highway User and Sent Back to Railroad950 Injured Individuals665 forms45 minutes499
225.25(h)—Posting of Monthly Summary763 railroads8,616 lists16 minutes2,298
225.27—Retention of Records763 railroads18,900 records2 minutes630
—Record of Form FRA F 6180.107763 railroads300 records2 minutes10
—Record of Monthly Lists763 railroads8,616 records2 minutes288
—Record of Form FRA F 6180.97763 railroads18,200 records2 minutes607
—Record of Employee Human Factor Attachments763 railroads2,675 records2 minutes89
—RR Electronic Recordkeeping Systems—Changes to Conform to FRA Requirements18 railroads18 modified systems120 hours2,160
225.33—Internal Control Plans—Amendments763 railroads25 amendments14 hours350
225.35—Access to Records and Reports15 railroads400 lists20 minutes133
—Subsequent Years4 railroads16 lists20 minutes5
225.37—Optical Media Transfer of of Reports, Updates, and Amendments8 railroads200 transfers3 minutes10
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—Electronic Submission of Reports, Updates, and Amendments763 railroads2,400 submissions3 minutes120

Total Responses: 139,791.

Estimated Total Annual Burden: 59,443 hours.

Status: Extension of a Currently Approved Collection.

OMB Control Number: 2130-0524.

Abstract: The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) amended its radio standards and procedures to promote compliance by making the regulations more flexible; to require wireless communications devices, including radios, for specified classifications of railroad operations and roadway workers; and to re-title this part to reflect its coverage of other means of wireless communications such as cellular telephones, data radio terminals, and other forms of wireless communications to convey emergency and need-to-know information. The new rule establishes safe, uniform procedures covering the use of radio and other wireless communications within the railroad industry.

Form Number(s): N/A.

Affected Public: Businesses.

Respondent Universe: 763 railroads.

Frequency of Submission: On occasion; annually.

Reporting Burden

CFR SectionRespondent universeTotal annual responsesAverage time per responseTotal annual burden hours
220.8—Waivers Petitions763 railroads6 petition letters60 minutes6
220.25—Instruction of Employees763 railroads91,000 instructed employees30 minutes45,500
—Subsequent Years763 railroads12,5400 instructed employees30 minutes6,270
—Operational Testing of Employees763 railroads100,000 tests/record5 minutes8,333
220.37—Testing Radio/Wireless Communication Equipment763 railroads780,000 tests30 seconds6,500
220.61—Transmission of Mandatory Directive763 railroads7,200,000 directives1.5 minutes180,000
—Marking Man. Dir763 railroads624,000 marks15 seconds2,600
220.307—Use of RR Supplied Electronic Devices: Amended RR Code763 railroads763 amended codes60 minutes763
—RR Written Document Stating Authorized Business Purpose for Taking Video/Photo with RR Supplied Electronic Device763 railroads50 written documents60 minutes50
—Safety Briefing for Use of RR Supplied Electronic Device in Cab of Controlling Locomotive763 railroads5,460,000 briefings1 minute91,000
220.313—Railroad Written Program of Instruction and Examination on Part 220 Requirements763 railroads763 amended written Instruction Programs60 minutes763
—Training of RR Employees on Part 220 Requirements91,000 Employees91,000 Trained Employees15 minutes22,750
—Employee Training Records91,000 Employees91,000 records5 minutes7,583
—Approval Process: FRA Disapproval of RR Program of Instruction and Examination763 railroads6 revised/amended programs60 minutes6

Total Responses: 14,451,128.

Estimated Total Annual Burden: 372,124 hours.

Status: Extension of a Currently Approved Collection.

OMB Control Number: 2130-0557.

Abstract: The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the Surface Transportation Board (STB), working in conjunction with each other, have issued joint final rules establishing procedures for the development and implementation of safety integration plans (“SIPs” or “plans”) by a Class I railroad proposing to engage in certain specified merger, consolidation, or acquisition of control transactions with another Class I railroad, or a Class II railroad with which it proposes to amalgamate operations. The scope of the transactions covered under the two rules is the same. FRA uses the information collected, notably the required SIPs, to maintain and promote a safe rail environment by ensuring that affected railroads (Class Is and some Class IIs) address critical safety issues unique to the amalgamation of large, complex railroad operations.

Form Number(s): N/A.Start Printed Page 56999

Affected Public: Railroads.

Respondent Universe: Class I Railroads.

Frequency of Submission: On occasion.

CFR SectionRespondent universeTotal annual responsesAverage time per responseTotal annual burden hoursTotal annual burden cost
244.13—Safety Integration Plans:
Amalgamation of Operations—SIP Development & Quarterly Meetings8 railroads1 plan340 hours340$24,016
244.17—Procedures8 railroads25 reports40 hours/2 hours885,632
—Responses to FRA Inquiries Re: SIP data8 railroads6 responses8 hours483,072
—Coordination in Implementing Approved SIP8 railroads25 phone calls10 minutes4256
hh—Request for Confidential Treatment8 railroads1 request16 hours162,512
244.19—Disposition—Comments on Proposed SIP Amendments8 railroads2 reports16 hours322,048

Total Responses: 60.

Estimated Total Annual Burden: 528 hours.

Status: Extension of a Currently Approved Collection.

Title: Confidential Close Call Reporting System Evaluation-Related Interview Data Collection.

OMB Control Number: 2130-0574.

Abstract: In the U.S. railroad industry, injury rates have been declining over the last 25 years. Indeed, the industry incident rate fell from a high of 12.1 incidents per 100 workers per year in 1978 to 3.66 in 1996. As the number of incidents has decreased, the mix of causes has also changed toward a higher proportion of incidents that can be attributed to human and organizational factors. This combination of trends—decrease in overall rates but increasing proportion of human factors-related incidents—has left safety managers with a need to shift tactics in reducing injuries to even lower rates than they are now.

In recognition of the need for new approaches to improving safety, FRA has instituted the Confidential Close Call Reporting System (C3 RS). The operating assumption behind C3 RS is that by assuring confidentiality, employees will report events which, if dealt with, will decrease the likelihood of accidents. C3 RS, therefore, has both a confidential reporting component, and a problem analysis/solution component. C3 RS is expected to affect safety in two ways. First, it will lead to problem solving concerning specific safety conditions. Second, it will engender an organizational culture and climate that supports greater awareness of safety and a greater cooperative willingness to improve safety.

If C3 RS works as intended, it could have an important impact on improving safety and safety culture in the railroad industry. While C3 RS has been developed and implemented with the participation of FRA, railroad labor, and railroad management, there are legitimate questions about whether it is being implemented in the most beneficial way, and whether it will have its intended effect. Further, even if C3 RS is successful, it will be necessary to know if it is successful enough to implement on a wide scale. To address these important questions, FRA is implementing a formative evaluation to guide program development, a summative evaluation to assess impact, and a sustainability evaluation to determine how C3 RS can continue after the test period is over. The evaluation is needed to provide FRA with guidance as to how it can improve the program, and how it might be scaled up throughout the railroad industry.

Program evaluation is an inherently data driven activity. Its basic tenet is that as change is implemented, data can be collected to track the course and consequences of the change. Because of the setting in which C3 RS is being implemented, that data must come from the railroad employees (labor and management) who may be affected. Critical data include beliefs about safety and issues related to safety, and opinions/observations about the operation of C3 RS.

The current study is a five-year demonstration project to improve rail safety, and is designed to identify safety issues and propose corrective action based on voluntary reports of close calls submitted to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Because of the innovative nature of this program, FRA is implementing an evaluation to determine whether the program is succeeding, how it can be improved and, if successful, what is needed to spread the program throughout the railroad industry. Interviews to evaluate the close call reporting system are being conducted with two groups: (1) Key stakeholders to the process (e.g., FRA officials, industry labor, and carrier management within participating railroads); and (2) Employees in participating railroads who are eligible to submit close call reports to the Confidential Close Call Reporting System. Different questions are addressed to each of these two groups. Interviews are semi-structured, with follow-up questions asked as appropriate depending on the respondent's initial answer.

The confidentiality of the interview data is protected by the Privacy Act of 1974. FRA fully complies with all laws pertaining to confidentiality, including the Privacy Act. Thus, information obtained by or acquired by FRA's contractor, the Volpe Center, from key stakeholders and railroad employees will be used strictly for evaluation purposes. None of the information that might be identifying will be disseminated or disclosed in any way. In addition, the participating railroad sites involved will require Volpe to establish a non-disclosure agreement that prohibits disclosure of company confidential information without the carrier's authorization. Also, the data are protected under the Department of Start Printed Page 57000Transportation regulation Title 49 CFR Part 9, which is in part concerned with the Department involvement in proceedings between private litigants. According to this statute, if information is subpoenaed, Volpe and Volpe contractors cannot “provide testimony or produce any material contained in the files of the Department, or disclose any information or produce any material acquired as part of the performance of that employee's official duties or because of that employee's official duty status” unless authorized by agency counsel after determining that, in legal proceedings between private litigants, such testimony would be in the best interests of the Department or that of the United States Government if disclosed. Finally, the name of those interviewed will not be requested.

Form Number(s): FRA F 6180.126A; FRA F 6180.126B.

Affected Public: Railroad Employees and Key Non-railroad Stakeholders.

Respondent Universe: 300 Select Railroad Employees/Non-railroad Stakeholders.

Frequency of Submission: On occasion.

Collection instrumentRespondent universeTotal annual responsesAverage time per response (minutes)Total annual burden hours
Form FRA F 6180.126A300 Individuals220 forms60220
Form FRA F 6180.126B300 Individuals60 forms6060

Total Responses: 2 80.

Estimated Annual Burden: 280 hours.

Status: Extension of a Currently Approved Collection.

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.

End Authority Start Signature

Rebecca Pennington,

Chief Financial Officer.

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[FR Doc. 2013-22394 Filed 9-13-13; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-06-P