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Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request

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




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 May 4, 2015.


Submit written comments on any or all of the following proposed activities by mail to 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 2130-0548.” Alternatively, comments may be transmitted via facsimile to (202) 493-6170, or via email 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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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 Start Printed Page 11519and 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 clearance by OMB as required under the PRA:

Title: Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing Program (RRIF).

OMB Control Number: 2130-0548.

Abstract: Title V of the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976 (Act), 45 U.S.C. 821 et seq., authorized FRA to provide railroads financial assistance through the purchase of preference shares, and the issuance of loan guarantees. Section 7203 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century of 1998, Public Law 105-178 (1998) (TEA 21), and subsequent amendments in the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users, Public Law 109-59 (2005) SAFETEA-LU and the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (RSIA), Division A of Public Law 110-432 have since replaced the previous Title V financing program. On July 6, 2000, FRA published a final rule (FR) with procedures and requirements to cover applications of financial assistance in the form of direct loans and loan guarantees consistent with the changes made to Title V of the Act by section 7203 of TEA 21. On September 29, 2010, FRA published a Notice Regarding Consideration and Processing of Applications for Financial Assistance Under the RRIF Program. The collection of information is used by FRA staff to determine the legal and financial eligibility of applicants for direct loans regarding eligible projects. Eligible projects include: (1) Acquisition, improvement or rehabilitation of intermodal or rail equipment or facilities (including tracks, components of tracks, bridges, yards, buildings, and shops); (2) Refinancing outstanding debt incurred for these purposes; or (3) Development or establishment of new intermodal or railroad facilities. The aggregate unpaid principal amounts of obligations cannot exceed $35.0 billion at any one time, and not less than $7.0 billion is to be available solely for projects benefitting freight railroads other than Class I carriers. The Secretary of Transportation has delegated his authority under the RRIF Program to the FRA Administrator in 1 CFR 1.49. On September 29, 2010, FRA published a Notice Regarding Consideration and Processing of Applications for Financial Assistance Under the RRIF Program. As explained in the notice, FRA's RRIF Buy America policy furthers two of the RRIF program's eight priorities described in 45 U.S.C. 822(c): (3) Promote economic development, and (4) Enable U.S. companies to be more competitive in international markets.

Form Number(s): FRA Forms 217, 219 and 229.

Affected Public: State and local governments, government sponsored authorities and corporations, railroads, and joint ventures that include at least one railroad.

Reporting Burden—Applications

CFR sectionRespondent universeTotal annual responsesAverage time per response (hours)Total annual burden hours
260.23—Form and Content of Application75,635 potential applicants18 applications20360
260.25—Additional Information Loan Guarantees640 potential15 financial documents50750
260.31—Execution and Filing Application75,635 potential18 executed applications.610.8
Certificates with Original Application75,635 potential18 certificates.610.8
Transmittal Letters75,635 potential18 letters.610.8
Application Packages75,635 potential18 packages1.527
260.33—Information Statements75,635 potential18 statements* 309
260.35—Environmental Impact Statements75,635 potential1 impact statement15,55215,552
Environmental Assessment75,635 potential2 assessments4,9929,984
Categorical Exclusions75,635 potential15 exclusions1762,640
Environmental Consultations75,635 potential5 consultations15
260.41—Inspection and Reporting—Financial Records and Other75,635 potential18 financial records10180
* In minutes.

Reporting Burden—Buy America Act Requirements

Item No.Respondent universeTotal annual responsesAverage time per responseTotal annual burden hours
1.1—Certification of Compliance or Non-Compliance with Buy America Requirements for Steel, Iron, or Manufactured Products being produced by Borrower18 Borrowers2,376 compliance certifications3 hours7,128
1.2—Certification of Compliance with Buy America for Rolling Stock18 Borrowers1 certification62 hours62
2.1—Waivers—Requests/Applications for Waivers, including FRA Form 22918 Borrowers12 waiver requests198 hours2,349
2.2—Public Comment on Waiver Requests6 Rail Car Manufacturers/3 Associations/Public18 comments4 hours72
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2.3—Consultations with Organizations/Associations Knowledgeable about Sources of Domestic Goods3 Associations/6 Rail Car Manufacturers12 consultations1 hour12
3.1—Financial Assistance Agreements with FRA18 Borrowers18 agreements60 minutes18
3.2—Borrower Request for Proposal (RFP) with Buy America Notice18 Borrowers18 RFPs75 minutes23
3.3—Bidder/Offeror Written Explanation concerning Incomplete/Incorrect Certification11 Bidders/Offerors3 written Explanations6 hours18
3.4—Borrower/Borrower's Designee Request for Additional Information from Bidder/Offeror18 Borrowers 11 Bidders/Offerors1 request + 1 document2 hours + 6 hours8
3.5—Borrower Determination to Accept/Reject Bidder's/Offeror's Written Explanation + Notification to FRA of Borrower's Final Determination18 Borrowers3 determination/3 notifications2 hours + 6 minutes6.25
3.6—Additional Information from Bidder/Offeror/Borrower after FRA Request11 Bidders/Offerors1 document2 hours2
4.1—Petition to FRA to Investigate Compliance of Successful Bidder/Offeror with Bidder's/Offeror's Certification by Interested PartyInterested Parties1 requests/petitions12 hours12
4.2—Borrower Investigations (including FRA initiated investigations)18 Borrowers3 investigations333 hours999
4.3—Bidder/Offeror Documentation of Compliance Submitted to Borrower after FRA Determination to Conduct Investigation and Letter from Borrower11 Bidders/Offerors2 letters + 2 documents1 hour + 8 hours18
4.4—Borrower direct reply to FRA after request to conduct investigation of bidder/offeror18 Borrowers2 replies1 hour2
4.5—Bidder/Offeror Notice to Borrower that it will respond directly to FRA11 Bidders/Offerors2 notices60 minutes2
4.6—Direct Consultation by FRA with Bidder/Offeror11 Bidders/Offerors1 consultations1 hour1
4.7—Additional Documents to FRA from Borrower/Investigated Party18 Borrowers/1 Investigated Parties1 document4 hours4
4.8—Transmission of Borrower/Bidder/Offeror Reply to Petitioner18 Borrowers2 replies30 minutes1
4.9—Petitioner Comment to FRA on Reply1 Petitioners1 comment8 hours8
4.10—Petitioner Comment Copy to Borrower/Investigated Bidder/Offeror11 Bidders/Offerors12 comment copies15 minutes3
4.11—Borrower/Investigated Bidder/Offeror respond to Petitioner Comment11 Bidders/Offerors1 comment responses8 hours8
4.12—Written request to FRA for information bearing on substance of investigation which has been submitted by petitioner, interested parties, or borrowersInterested Parties1 request4 hours4
4.13—Detailed Statement to FRA Regarding Confidentiality of Previously Submitted Information to Agency18 Borrowers/11 Bidders/Offerors1 detailed Statement8 hours8
4.14—Borrower Determination to make award before resolution of investigation one of this sections specified reasons18 Borrowers1 determination40 hours40
4.15—Notification to FRA by Borrower to make award during pendency of investigation18 Borrowers1 notification1 hour1
4.16—Request to FRA for Reconsideration of Initial Decision by Party Involved in InvestigationsInterested Parties1 request80 hours80
5.1—Pre-Award Audit18 Borrowers1 audit33 hours33
5.2—List by Bidder/Offeror Detailing Facility Assembly Activities11 Bidders/Offerors1 list8 hours8
5.3—Formal Final Contract between Borrower and Bidder/Offeror18 Borrowers1 formal contract16 hours16
5.4—Post Award Audit18 Borrowers1 audit256 hours256
5.5—Written Agreement by Bidder/Offeror/Successful Contractor to allow Borrower, its Designee, or FRA to Complete All Audits, Inspections, and Provide All Requested Information11 Bidders/Offerors/Successful Contractors1 agreement4 hours4
5.6—Rolling Stock Domestic Content Improvement Plans11 Bidders/Offerors1 plan120 hours120
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Total Estimated Annual Burden: 40,865 hours.

Pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 3507(a) and 5 CFR 1320.5(b) and 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 February 25, 2015.

Rebecca Pennington,

Chief Financial Officer.

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[FR Doc. 2015-04351 Filed 3-2-15; 8:45 am]