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Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request

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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 FRA is forwarding the regular Clearance and renewal information Collection Requests (ICRs) abstracted below to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and comment. The ICR describes the nature of the information collection and its expected burden. The Federal Register notice with a 60-day comment period soliciting comments on the following collection of information was published on May 26, 2015 (80 FR 30109).


Comments must be submitted on or before October 1, 2015.

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Mr. Robert Brogan, Regulatory Safety Analysis 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, sec. 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 Start Printed Page 52840information collection activities before OMB may approve paperwork packages. 44 U.S.C. 3506, 3507; 5 CFR 1320.5, 1320.8(d)(1), and 1320.12. On May 26, 2015, FRA published a 60-day notice in the Federal Register soliciting comment on the ICRs that the agency is seeking OMB approval. See 80 FR 30109. FRA received no comments in response to this notice.

Accordingly, FRA has reevaluated and certified these information collection activities under 5 CFR 1320.5(a), and is forwarding these ICRs to OMB for review and approval pursuant to 5 CFR 1320.12(c).

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 summaries below describe the nature of the ICRs and the expected burden. FRA is submitting these proposed information collections to OMB for clearance as required by the PRA.

Title: FRA Safety Advisory 2015-01, Mechanical Inspections and Wheel Impact Detector Standards for Trains Transporting Large Amounts of Class 3 Flammable Liquids.

OMB Control Number: 2130-0607.

Abstract: Recent derailments have occurred involving trains transporting large quantities of petroleum crude oil and ethanol. Preliminary investigation of one of these recent derailments involving a crude oil train indicates that a mechanical defect involving a broken tank car wheel may have caused or contributed to the incident. FRA issued this Safety Advisory to make recommendations to enhance the mechanical safety of the cars in trains transporting large quantities of flammable liquids. This Safety Advisory recommended that railroads use highly qualified individuals to conduct the brake and mechanical inspections and recommends a reduction to the impact threshold levels the industry currently uses for wayside detectors that measure wheel impacts to ensure the wheel integrity of tank cars in those trains.

Type of Request: Regular Clearance of an Information Collection Approved under Emergency Processing

Affected Public: Businesses (Railroads).

Form(s): N/A.

Total Annual Estimated Responses: 351,000.

Total Annual Estimated Burden: 6,333 hours.

Title: FRA Safety Advisory 2015-02, Hazardous Materials: Information Requirements Related to the Transportation of Trains Carrying Specified Volumes of Flammable Liquids.

OMB Control Number: 2130-0608.

Abstract: Due to recent derailments involving “high hazard flammable trains” (HHFTs), FRA and PHMSA have conducted several post-accident investigations and to ensure that stakeholders are fully aware of each agency's investigative authority and cooperate with agency personnel conducting such investigations, where time is of the essence in gathering evidence, the agencies issued a Safety Advisory (FRA Safety Advisory 2015-02 and Docket NO. PHMSA-2015-0118, Notice No. 15-11) to remind railroads operating HHFTs—defined as a train comprised of 20 or more loaded tank cars of a Class 3 flammable liquid in a continuous block, or a train with 35 or more loaded tank cars of a Class 3 flammable liquid across the entire train—as well as the offerors of Class 3 flammable liquids transported on such trains, of their obligation to provide PHMSA and FRA, as expeditiously as possible, with information agency personnel need to conduct investigations immediately following an accident or incident.

Type of Request: Regular Clearance of an Information Collection Approved under Emergency Processing.

Affected Public: Businesses (Railroads).

Form(s): N/A.

Total Annual Estimated Responses: 50.

Total Annual Estimated Burden: 100 hours.

Title: FRA Emergency Order No. 30, Emergency Order Establishing a Maximum Operating Speed Operating Speed of 40 mph in High-Threat Urban Areas for Certain Trains Transporting Large Quantities of Class 3 Flammable Liquids.

OMB Control Number: 2130-0609.

Abstract: FRA issued Emergency Order No. 30 (EO or Order) to require that trains transporting large amounts of Class 3 flammable liquid through certain highly populated areas adhere to a maximum authorized operating speed limit. FRA has determined that public safety compels issuance of the Order. The Order was necessary due to the recent occurrence of railroad accidents involving trains transporting petroleum crude oil and ethanol and the increasing reliance on railroads to transport voluminous amounts of those hazardous materials in recent years. Under the EO, an affected train is one that contains: (1) 20 or more loaded tank cars in a continuous block, or 35 or more loaded tank cars, of Class 3 flammable liquid; and (2) at least one DOT Specification 111 (DOT-111) tank car (including those built in accordance with Association of American Railroads (AAR) Casualty Prevention Circular 1232 (CPC-1232)) loaded with a Class 3 flammable liquid. Affected trains must not exceed 40 miles per hour (mph) in high-threat urban areas (HTUAs) as defined in 49 CFR 1580.3. This Order took effect immediately upon issuance.

Type of Request: Regular Clearance of an Information Collection Approved under Emergency Processing.

Affected Public: Businesses (Railroads).

Form(s): N/A.

Total Annual Estimated Responses: 25.

Total Annual Estimated Burden: 1,000 hours.

Title: Railroad Signal System Requirements.

OMB Control Number: 2130-0006.

Abstract: The regulations pertaining to railroad signal systems are contained in 49 CFR parts 233 (Signal System Reporting Requirements), 235 (Instructions Governing Applications for Approval of a Discontinuance or Material Modification of a Signal System), and 236 (Rules, Standards, and Instructions Governing the Installation, Inspection, Maintenance, and Repair of Systems, Devices, and Appliances). Section 233.5 provides that each railroad must report to FRA within 24 hours after learning of an accident or incident arising from the failure of a signal appliance, device, method, or system to function or indicate as required by part 236 of this Title that results in a more favorable aspect than intended or other condition hazardous to the movement of a train. Section 233.7 sets forth the specific requirements for reporting signal failures within 15 days in accordance with the instructions printed on Form FRA F 6180.14.

Finally, § 233.9 sets forth the specific requirements for the “Signal System Five Year Report.” It requires that every Start Printed Page 52841five years each railroad must file a signal system status report. The report is to be prepared on a form issued by FRA in accordance with the instructions and definitions provided. Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, part 235 sets forth the specific conditions under which FRA approval of modification or discontinuance of railroad signal systems is required and prescribes the methods available to seek such approval. The application process prescribed under part 235 provides a vehicle enabling FRA to obtain the necessary information to make logical and informed decisions concerning carrier requests to modify or discontinue signaling systems. Section 235.5 requires railroads to apply for FRA approval to discontinue or materially modify railroad signaling systems. Section 235.7 defines material modifications and identifies those changes that do not require agency approval. Section 235.8 provides that any railroad may petition FRA to seek relief from the requirements under 49 CFR part 236. Sections 235.10, 235.12, and 235.13 describe where the petition must be submitted, what information must be included, the organizational format, and the official authorized to sign the application. Section 235.20 sets forth the process for protesting the granting of a carrier application for signal changes or relief from the rules, standards, and instructions. This section provides the information that must be included in the protest, the address for filing the protest, the item limit for filing the protest, and the requirement that a person requesting a public hearing explain the need for such a forum. Section 236.110 requires that the test results of certain signaling apparatus be recorded and specifically identify the tests required under §§ 236.102-109; 236.377-236.387; 236.576; 236.577; and 236.586-589. Section 236.110 further provides that the test results must be recorded on pre-printed or computerized forms provided by the carrier and that the forms show the name of the railroad, place and date of the test conducted, equipment tested, test results, repairs, and the condition of the apparatus. This section also requires that the employee conducting the test must sign the form and that the record be retained at the office of the supervisory official having the proper authority. Results of tests made in compliance with § 236.587 must be retained for 92 days, and results of all other tests must be retained until the next record is filed, but in no case less than one year. Additionally, § 236.587 requires each railroad to make a departure test of cab signal, train stop, or train control devices on locomotives before that locomotive enters the equipped territory. This section further requires that whoever performs the test must certify in writing that the test was properly performed. The certification and test results must be posted in the locomotive cab with a copy of the certification and test results retained at the office of the supervisory official having the proper authority. However, if it is impractical to leave a copy of the certification and test results at the location of the test, the test results must be transmitted to either the dispatcher or one other designated official who must keep a written record of the test results and the name of the person performing the test. All records prepared under this section are required to be retained for 92 days. Finally, § 236.590 requires the carrier to clean and inspect the pneumatic apparatus of automatic train stop, train control, or cab signal devices on locomotives every 736 days, and to stencil, tag, or otherwise mark the pneumatic apparatus indicating the last cleaning date.

Type of Request: Revision of a currently approved information collection.

Affected Public: Businesses (Railroads).

Form(s): FRA F 6180.47; FRA F 6180.14.

Total Annual Estimated Responses: 1,673,546.

Total Annual Estimated Burden: 444,883 hours.

Addressee: Send comments regarding these information collections 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 collections of information are 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 estimates 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 26, 2015.

Corey Hill,

Acting Executive Director.

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[FR Doc. 2015-21542 Filed 8-31-15; 8:45 am]