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Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request

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


Notice of information collection; request for comment.


Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) and its implementing regulations, this notice announces that FRA is forwarding the Information Collection Request (ICR) abstracted below to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and comment. The ICR describes the information collection and its expected burden. On September 29, 2020, FRA published a notice providing a 60-day period for public comment on the ICR.


Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before January 27, 2021.


Written comments and recommendations for the proposed ICR should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to​public/​do/​PRAMain. Find the particular ICR by selecting “Currently under 30-day Review—Open Start Printed Page 84459for Public Comments” or by using the search function.

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Ms. Hodan Wells, Information Collection Clearance Officer, Office of Railroad Safety, Regulatory Analysis Division, Federal Railroad Administration, telephone: (202) 493-0440, email:

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The PRA, 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. See 44 U.S.C. 3506, 3507; 5 CFR 1320.8 through 1320.12. On September 29, 2020, FRA published a 60-day notice in the Federal Register soliciting comment on the ICR for which it is now seeking OMB approval. See 85 FR 61085. FRA received no comments in response to this notice.

Before OMB decides whether to approve the proposed collection of information, it must provide 30 days for public comment. 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 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.

Comments are invited on the following ICR regarding: (1) Whether the information collection activities are necessary for FRA to properly execute its functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) 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; (3) ways for FRA to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information being collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of information collection activities on the public, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

The summary below describes the ICR that FRA will submit for OMB clearance as the PRA requires:

Title: Training, Qualification, and Oversight for Safety-Related Railroad Employees.

OMB Control Number: 2130-0597.

Abstract: In 2014, FRA published a final rule establishing minimum training standards for all safety-related railroad employees, as required by the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008. The final rule requires each railroad or contractor that employs one or more safety-related employees to develop and submit a training program to FRA for approval and to designate the minimum training qualifications for each occupational category of employee. Additionally, the rule requires most employers to conduct periodic oversight of their own employees and annual written reviews of their training programs to close performance gaps.

FRA will use the information collected to ensure each employer—railroad or contractor—conducting operations subject to 49 CFR part 243 develops, adopts, submits, and complies with a training program for each category and subcategory of safety-related railroad employee. Each program must have training components identified so that FRA will understand how the program works when it reviews the program for approval. Further, FRA will review the required training programs to ensure they include: Initial, ongoing, and on-the-job criteria; testing and skills evaluation measures designed to foster continual compliance with Federal standards; and the identification of critical safety defects and plans for immediate remedial actions to correct them.

In response to petitions for reconsideration, FRA extended the effective date for developing the required training program under § 243.101 for each Class I railroad, and each intercity or commuter passenger railroad conducting operations with 400,000 or more total annual employee work hours to January 1, 2020, and for all remaining employers subject to this part to May 1, 2021.

Type of Request: Extension with change (revised estimates) of a currently approved collection.

Affected Public: Businesses.

Form(s): N/A.

Respondent Universe: 1,155 railroads/contractors/training organizations/learning institutions.

Frequency of Submission: On occasion.

Total Estimated Annual Responses: 165,054.

Total Estimated Annual Burden: 91,069 hours.

Total Estimated Annual Burden Hour Dollar Cost Equivalent: $7,020,889.

Under 44 U.S.C. 3507(a) and 5 CFR 1320.5(b) and 1320.8(b)(3)(vi), FRA informs all interested parties that a respondent is not required to respond to, conduct, or sponsor a collection of information that does not display a currently valid OMB control number.

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

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Brett A. Jortland,

Deputy Chief Counsel.

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[FR Doc. 2020-28471 Filed 12-23-20; 8:45 am]