August 31, 2016: Delayed Special Permit Applications

PHMSA has released a list of special permit applications that have been delayed 180 days or more. The reasons for the delays include public comments still being reviewed, waiting on additional information to be submitted by the applicant, other issues that have taken priority over the permit applications, and the complexity of some applications.

FR Doc. 2016–20589

August 30, 2016: Petition for Waiver of Compliance

Nevada Northern Railway submitted a petition for a waiver of compliance from steam locomotive inspection and maintenance standards.
Current regulations require inspections every 1, 472 service days. The petition filed by NNR is requesting an additional 365 calendar days and no more than 100 service days before the inspection is performed.
At this time FRA has no plans to hold a public hearing but will be accepting comments from interested parties until October 14, 2016.

Docket Number FRA–2016–0072

August 30, 2016: Petition for Waiver of Compliance

Delaware Coast Line Railroad submitted a petition for waiver of compliance in regards to the safety glazing standards for existing locomotives.
DCLR is seeking a waiver that would allow them to continue to operate four locomotives that are used for freight services only without having to replace existing glass. The reason behind the request is the high cost of replacing all windows on the four locomotives.
Interested parties may submit comments on the waiver request until October 14, 2016.

Docket Number FRA–2016–0069

August 26, 2016: Notice of Intent to Prepare EIS

FRA will be preparing an Environmental Impact Statement for the Long Bridge Project along with the Department of Transportation.
The Long Bridge Project is intended to improve the bridge and related railroad infrastructure that runs between Arlington, VA and Washington, DC.
The EIS will include the purpose of the project, why it is needed, any alternatives that should be considered, and any potential effects on the environment. Interested parties may submit comments regarding the EIS until September 26, 2016.

FR Doc. 2016–20481

August 22, 2016: Notice To Rescind a Notice of Intent To Prepare Environmental Impact Statement

The Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Olmsted County Regional Railroad Authority has issued a notice to FRA announcing that due to public funding constraints the plans to prepare a Tier One Environmental Impact Statement for Rochester-Twin Cities Passenger Rail Corridor Investment Plan have been rescinded.

FR Doc. 2016–19917

August 22, 2016: (NPRM) Competitive Passenger Rail Service Pilot Program

In June FRA announced plans to initiate a pilot program that would allow eligible petitioners, in lieu of Amtrak, an opportunity to operate no more than three long distance routes currently operated by Amtrak. A public hearing will be held on September 7, 2016 to allow interested parties an opportunity to provide oral comments regarding the proposal. Written comments following the meeting may be submitted until October 7, 2016.

Docket No. FRA–2016–0023, Notice No. 3

August 19, 2016: Notice of Petition to Modify Railroad Signal System

Union Pacific Railroad has submitted a petition seeking approval to modify a signal system. Control Point B002, which is located at Milepost 2.00, will be divided into two Control Points if approved. The reasons given for the division are to expedite train movements in the area and DOT’s plan to widen Interstate 29.
At this time FRA has no plans to hold a public hearing on this matter but will be accepting comments from interested parties until October 3, 2016.

Docket Number FRA–2016–0068

August 18, 2016: Petition for Waiver of Compliance

Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority submitted a request for approval to FRA concerning the operation of exterior side doors and trap doors on its passenger trains. Current regulations require all such doors to be closed while the train is in motion between stations during certain times of the day and operating schedules.
SEPTA is requesting authorization to operate the Silverliner IV or push-pull passenger cars while the doors are open during weekday schedules from 6:30 am to 9:30 am and from 3:30 pm to 6:30, during specific three-hour peak periods on holidays, and to leave the trap doors open at all times on the Silverliner V cars.
Interested parties may submit comments on the request until October 3, 2016.

Docket Number FRA–2016–0076

August 17, 2016: Petition for Waiver of Compliance

Norfolk Southern Corporation submitted a request to amend its currently approved waiver of compliance to permit an expansion of territory to be used during the nonstop continuous rail testing process. The testing began on July 1, 2016 and is expected to be completed on July 1, 2018.
Interested parties may submit comments until October 3, 2016.

Docket Number FRA–2015–0019

August 16, 2016: Hazardous Materials: Termination of Designated Approval Agencies Approvals

The Approvals and Permits Division of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has terminated several Designated Approvals Agencies approvals. The companies in this notice failed to attend a mandatory DAA meeting in March 2014. Show Cause letters requesting each company submit current operating status were sent in May 2015 via certified mail. To date, PHMSA not received any correspondence regarding the request.

Docket No. PHMSA–2016–0042; Notice No. 2016–06

August 16, 2016: Hazardous Materials: Termination of Competent Authority Manufacturing Approvals

PHMSA has issued a notice announcing the termination of manufacturing approval for several companies. Over the past two years PHMSA has attempted to notify each of the companies listed in this notice on multiple occasions. To date, none of the companies have responded to the notifications.

Docket No. PHMSA–2016–0040; Notice No. 2016–04

August 15, 2016: (FR)(HM-251C) FAST Act Requirements for Flammable Liquids and Rail Tank Cars

PHMSA issued a final rule that updates the Hazardous Materials Regulations to include requirements set forth in the FAST Act.
The FAST Act requires a revised phase-out schedule for all DOT-111 tank cars that are used for transporting unrefined petroleum, ethanol, and Class 3 flammable liquids. In addition, all tank cars that have been built according to DOT-117 specifications and all non-jacketed tank cars that have been built to DOT-117R specifications are required to have a thermal blanket no less than 1/2 inch thick and meet existing thermal protection standards. The FAST Act also sets minimum top fittings protection requirements on DOT-117R specification tank cars.
The final rule is effective as of August 15, 2016.

Docket No. PHMSA–2016–0011 (HM–251C)

August 3, 2016: (SA) Safety Advisory Related to the Possession and Use of Battery-Powered Portable Electronic Smoking Devices in or Around Commercial Motor Vehicles

FMCSA has issued a Safety Advisory to owners and operators of commercial motor vehicles regarding electronic smoking devices. The use of battery-powered portable devices has caused explosions, serious personal injury, and fires. Explosions were frequently caused by the ejection of a burning battery case or other components of the portable smoking device coming in contact with flammable or combustible materials. While regulations do not specifically address any potential risks involving such devices, motor carriers and drivers are being asked to be cautious and use good judgement when using, storing, or charging these devices while loading, unloading, or operating vehicles transporting hazardous materials.

Safety Advisory Related to the Possession and Use of Battery-Powered Portable Electronic Smoking Devices in or Around Commercial Motor Vehicles

August 12, 2016: (FR) System Safety Program

FRA has issued a final rule that will require commuter and intercity passenger railroads to develop and implement a system safety program. The purpose of these programs, which can be tailored to each railroad’s specific operations, is to proactively identify and mitigate or eliminate hazards. The final rule will be effective as of October 11, 2016. All petitions for reconsideration must be received no later than October 3, 2016.

Docket No. FRA–2011–0060, Notice No. 3