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Establishment of an Emergency Relief Docket for Calendar Year 2020

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


Notice of establishment of public docket.


This Notice announces the establishment of FRA's emergency relief docket (ERD) for calendar year 2020. The designated ERD for calendar year 2020 is docket number FRA-2020-0002.


See Supplementary Information section for further information regarding submitting petitions and/or comments to Docket No. FRA-2020-0002.

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On May 19, 2009, FRA published a direct final rule establishing ERDs and the procedures for handling petitions for emergency waivers of safety rules, regulations, or standards during an emergency situation or event. 74 FR 23329. That direct final rule became effective on July 20, 2009 and made minor modifications to 49 CFR 211.45 in FRA's Rules of Practice in 49 CFR part 211. Section 211.45(b) provides that each calendar year FRA will establish an ERD in the publicly accessible DOT docket system (available at Section 211.45(b) further provides that FRA will publish a notice in the Federal Register identifying by docket number the ERD for that year. FRA established the ERD and emergency waiver procedures to provide an expedited process for FRA to address the needs of the public and the railroad industry during emergency situations or events. This Notice announces the designated ERD for calendar year 2020 is docket number FRA-2020-0002.

As detailed in § 211.45, if the FRA Administrator determines an emergency event as defined in 49 CFR 211.45(a) has occurred, or that an imminent threat of Start Printed Page 1193such an emergency occurring exists, and public safety would benefit from providing the railroad industry with operational relief, the emergency waiver procedures of 49 CFR 211.45 will go into effect. In such an event, the FRA Administrator will issue a statement in the ERD indicating the emergency waiver procedures are in effect and FRA will make every effort to post the statement on its website at Any party desiring relief from FRA regulatory requirements as a result of the emergency should submit a petition for emergency waiver under 49 CFR 211.45(e) and (f). Specific instructions for filing petitions for emergency waivers under 49 CFR 211.45 are found at 49 CFR 211.45(f). Specific instructions for filing comments in response to petitions for emergency waivers are at 49 CFR 211.45(h).


Anyone can search the electronic form of any written communications and comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the document, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). Under 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the public to better inform its processes. DOT posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information the commenter provides, to, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at​privacy. See also​privacyNotice for the privacy notice of

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Issued in Washington, DC.

John Karl Alexy,

Associate Administrator for Railroad Safety, Chief Safety Officer.

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[FR Doc. 2020-00176 Filed 1-8-20; 8:45 am]