Notice of Proposed Buy America Waiver, 47487-47488 [2013-18814]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 150 / Monday, August 5, 2013 / Notices mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES a cause to these incidents, or place responsibility for these incidents on the acts or omissions of any person or entity. On May 17, 2013, at approximately 6:08 p.m., an eastbound Metro-North Commuter Railroad (Metro-North) train derailed near Bridgeport, CT. A portion of the derailed train fouled the adjacent track and was struck by a westbound Metro-North commuter train. Sixty-nine people were reportedly injured and damages to the equipment and track amounted to several million dollars. At the accident, a pair of broken compromise joint bars was found. The National Transportation Safety Board is currently investigating the derailment and will ultimately determine the cause of the accident. On March 18, 2013, an empty Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) passenger train derailed in Forest Hill, Queens, NY. Four of the train’s eight cars derailed while traveling 75 mph. The railroad’s preliminary investigation determined the cause to be a broken joint bar. Recommended Action Rail joints in CWR warrant special attention and maintenance. Adequate support (which includes good tie condition, sufficient ballast, and good drainage) is essential to preventing joint bar failure. FRA recommends that track owners and railroads: 1. Review the requirements of their CWR plans and train employees responsible for inspecting CWR, with a focus on inspecting CWR track to identify conditions of actual or potential joint failure. 2. Review current internal engineering instructions to ensure that the instructions contain the appropriate track maintenance instructions to remedy joint conditions that cause joint bars to fail and cause derailments. 3. Follow good maintenance practices to ensure the joints are adequately supported, in addition to all of the requirements prescribed in § 213.119. Ties under and adjacent to CWR joints must be capable of supporting the traffic loading. When spot tamping the joints by hand, joints should be raised at least 1 inch to ensure the ballast particles are properly tamped under the entire width of ties. If the tamping is conducted in hot weather without immediate mechanical track stabilization, as is the case with machine tamping, a speed restriction is required to reduce the risk of track buckling. 4. Perform appropriate ballast maintenance to ensure proper track drainage for adequate tie support. 5. Wherever possible, eliminate joints in CWR, especially compromise joints VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:07 Aug 02, 2013 Jkt 229001 in passenger and hazardous materials routes. 6. Reinforce with employees responsible for inspecting track the importance of the proper installation and maintenance of joints by ensuring that sufficient anchoring, ballast, and ties ensure the integrity of the joint. This is especially important around compromise joints, which by design typically have a suspended joint configuration. 7. If joint bars (and particularly compromise joint bars) are found cracked or broken between the middle two bolt holes after a relatively short time after installation, determine the root cause that led to the premature failure of the joint bars and correct the deficiency. FRA strongly encourages railroads and track owners to take actions that are consistent with the preceding recommendations to help ensure the safety of the Nation’s railroad employees and the public. FRA may modify Safety Advisory 2013–05, issue additional safety advisories, or take other appropriate actions it deems necessary to ensure the highest level of safety on the Nation’s railroads, including pursuing other corrective measures under its rail safety authority. Robert C. Lauby, Deputy Associate Administrator for Regulatory and Legislative Operations. [FR Doc. 2013–18787 Filed 8–2–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–06–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Transit Administration [Docket No. FTA–2012–0029] Notice of Proposed Buy America Waiver AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration, DOT. Notice of proposed Buy America waiver and request for comment. ACTION: The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) received a request for a waiver to permit the purchase of minivans that are non-compliant with FTA Buy America requirements using FTA funding. The request is from the North Front Range Metropolitan Planning Organization (NFRMPO). NFRMPO is in the process of procuring vehicles for its vanpool program, ‘‘VanGo.’’ In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 5323(j)(3)(A), FTA is providing notice of the waiver request and seeks public comment before deciding whether to SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00217 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 47487 grant the request. If granted, the waiver would be for the Buy America final assembly requirement only and would apply only to the FTA-funded procurement by NFRMPO. DATES: Comments must be received by September 4, 2013. Late-filed comments will be considered to the extent practicable. Please submit your comments by one of the following means, identifying your submissions by docket number FTA–2013–0027: 1. Web site: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments on the U.S. Government electronic docket site. 2. Fax: (202) 493–2251. 3. Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Docket Operations, M–30, West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590–0001. 4. Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Docket Operations, M–30, West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590–0001 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Instructions: All submissions must make reference to the ‘‘Federal Transit Administration’’ and include docket number FTA–2013–0027. Due to the security procedures in effect since October 2011, mail received through the U.S. Postal Service may be subject to delays. Parties making submissions responsive to this notice should consider using an express mail firm to ensure the prompt filing of any submissions not filed electronically or by hand. Note that all submissions received, including any personal information therein, will be posted without change or alteration to http:// www.regulations.gov. For more information, you may review DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477), or you may visit http://www.regulations.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mary J. Lee, FTA Attorney-Advisor, at (202) 366–0985 or mary.j.lee@dot.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The purpose of this notice is to provide notice and seek comment on whether the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) should a grant non-availability waiver for NFRMPO’s procurement of minivans or similar vehicles (minivans). If granted, the waiver would be limited to the Buy America final assembly requirement under 49 U.S.C. 5323(j)(2)(C)(ii) and 49 CFR 661.11. ADDRESSES: E:\FR\FM\05AUN1.SGM 05AUN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 47488 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 150 / Monday, August 5, 2013 / Notices With certain exceptions, FTA’s Buy America requirements prevent FTA from obligating an amount that may be appropriated to carry out its program for a project unless ‘‘the steel, iron, and manufactured goods used in the project are produced in the United States.’’ 49 U.S.C. 5323(j)(1). For rolling stock procured with FTA funds, this means that ‘‘the cost of components and subcomponents produced in the United States [must] be more than 60 percent of the cost of all components of the rolling stock; and . . . final assembly of the rolling stock has occurred in the United States.’’ 49 U.S.C. 5323(j)(2)(C); 49 CFR 661.11(a). If, however, FTA determines that ‘‘the steel, iron, and goods produced in the United States are not produced in a sufficient and reasonably available amount or are not of a satisfactory quality,’’ then FTA may issue a waiver (non-availability waiver). 49 U.S.C. 5323(j)(2)(B); 49 CFR 661.7(c). On June 21, 2010, in response to formal requests from ElDorado NationalKansas (ElDorado) and the Chrysler Group LLC (Chrysler), FTA waived its Buy America final assembly requirement for minivans and minivan chassis after determining through notice and comment that no manufacturer of minivans or minivan chassis performed final assembly in the United States. 75 FR 35123. Subsequently, on August 3, 2012, FTA issued a notice in the Federal Register seeking comments on a request by the Vehicle Production Group (VPG) for FTA to rescind the Buy America waiver for minivans and minivan chassis. 75 FR 35124. According to VPG, it was able to manufacture a wheelchair accessible vehicle, the Mobility Vehicle 1 (MV–1), substantially similar to a minivan and in a sufficient quantity that was, and still is, Buy America compliant with respect to both domestic content and final assembly. On December 3, 2012, FTA rescinded the waiver for minivans and minivan chassis after determining that a blanket waiver was no longer necessary. 77 FR 71676. In this notice, FTA carefully considered all of the comments received by the various stakeholders through the United States in order to address concerns, including the differences between the MV–1’s accessibility features and traditional minivans, inadequate seating capacity when the vehicles are used for vanpool services, as well as others. FTA determined, however, that these concerns could be addressed with individual waiver requests on a case-by-case basis as the need arose and a blanket waiver was no longer necessary. VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:07 Aug 02, 2013 Jkt 229001 On July 1, 2013, FTA made two separate determinations that Braun Corporation (Braun) and ElDorado National-Kansas’ (ElDorado) manufacturing processes on incomplete Chrysler and Dodge minivans met FTA’s Buy America requirements for final assembly.1 These determinations on final assembly activities were made in response to formal requests by Braun and ElDorado pursuant to section (c) of Appendix D to 661.11 (of 49 CFR). Now, FTA has received a request for a Buy America waiver for minivans from the North Front Range Metropolitan Planning Organization (NFRMPO). NFRMPO operates a vanpool (‘‘VanGo’’) program, which has 75 vans with routes connecting, among others, Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Denver, and Boulder, Colorado. The VanGo program carries more than 420 commuters daily in the northern Colorado area at 93 percent occupancy. All of the vanpools in the VanGo program carry five to eight passengers. According to NFRMPO, this makes the large 10–15 passenger vans inefficient and too costly. In a recently issued request for proposals for minivans, NFRMPO received no qualified proposals for vehicles that meet Buy America requirements for rolling stock and seat at least seven passengers. Therefore, NFRMPO requests that FTA grant a Buy America waiver for its procurement of minivans based upon non-availability. The purpose of this notice is to publish NFRMPO request and seek public comment from all interested parties in accordance with 49 U.S.C. 5323(j)(3)(A). Comments will help FTA understand completely the facts surrounding the request, including the effects of a potential waiver and the merits of the request. A full copy of the request has been placed in docket number FTA–2013–0027. Issued on August 1, 2013. Dorval R. Carter, Jr., Chief Counsel. [FR Doc. 2013–18814 Filed 8–2–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–57–P 1 http://www.fta.dot.gov/legislation_law/ about_FTA_598.html; http://www.fta.dot.gov/ documents/Imanse_re_Chrysler_Buy_America.pdf. PO 00000 Frm 00218 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [U.S. DOT Docket No. NHTSA–2013–0085] Reports, Forms, and Record Keeping Requirements National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), DOT. ACTION: Request for public comment on proposed collection of information. AGENCY: Before a Federal agency can collect certain information from the public, it must receive approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Under procedures established by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, before seeking OMB approval, Federal agencies must solicit public comment on proposed collections of information, including extensions and reinstatements of previously approved collections. This document describes the collection of information for which NHTSA intends to seek OMB approval. DATES: Comments must be received on or before October 4, 2013. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by DOT Docket ID Number NHTSA–2013–0085 using any of the following methods: Electronic submissions: Go to http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments. Mail: Docket Management Facility, M–30, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590. Hand Delivery: West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Fax: 1–202–493–2251. Instructions: Each submission must include the Agency name and the Docket number for this Notice. Note that all comments received will be posted without change to http:// www.regulations.gov including any personal information provided. Please see the Privacy Act heading below. Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\05AUN1.SGM 05AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 150 (Monday, August 5, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 47487-47488]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-18814]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Transit Administration

[Docket No. FTA-2012-0029]


Notice of Proposed Buy America Waiver

AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration, DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed Buy America waiver and request for comment.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) received a request 
for a waiver to permit the purchase of minivans that are non-compliant 
with FTA Buy America requirements using FTA funding. The request is 
from the North Front Range Metropolitan Planning Organization (NFRMPO). 
NFRMPO is in the process of procuring vehicles for its vanpool program, 
``VanGo.''
    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 5323(j)(3)(A), FTA is providing notice 
of the waiver request and seeks public comment before deciding whether 
to grant the request. If granted, the waiver would be for the Buy 
America final assembly requirement only and would apply only to the 
FTA-funded procurement by NFRMPO.

DATES: Comments must be received by September 4, 2013. Late-filed 
comments will be considered to the extent practicable.

ADDRESSES: Please submit your comments by one of the following means, 
identifying your submissions by docket number FTA-2013-0027:
    1. Web site: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions 
for submitting comments on the U.S. Government electronic docket site.
    2. Fax: (202) 493-2251.
    3. Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue 
SE., Docket Operations, M-30, West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-
140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
    4. Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., Docket Operations, M-30, West Building, Ground 
Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001 between 9 a.m. and 5 
p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    Instructions: All submissions must make reference to the ``Federal 
Transit Administration'' and include docket number FTA-2013-0027. Due 
to the security procedures in effect since October 2011, mail received 
through the U.S. Postal Service may be subject to delays. Parties 
making submissions responsive to this notice should consider using an 
express mail firm to ensure the prompt filing of any submissions not 
filed electronically or by hand. Note that all submissions received, 
including any personal information therein, will be posted without 
change or alteration to http://www.regulations.gov. For more 
information, you may review DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the 
Federal Register published April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477), or you may 
visit http://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mary J. Lee, FTA Attorney-Advisor, at 
(202) 366-0985 or mary.j.lee@dot.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The purpose of this notice is to provide 
notice and seek comment on whether the Federal Transit Administration 
(FTA) should a grant non-availability waiver for NFRMPO's procurement 
of minivans or similar vehicles (minivans). If granted, the waiver 
would be limited to the Buy America final assembly requirement under 49 
U.S.C. 5323(j)(2)(C)(ii) and 49 CFR 661.11.

[[Page 47488]]

    With certain exceptions, FTA's Buy America requirements prevent FTA 
from obligating an amount that may be appropriated to carry out its 
program for a project unless ``the steel, iron, and manufactured goods 
used in the project are produced in the United States.'' 49 U.S.C. 
5323(j)(1). For rolling stock procured with FTA funds, this means that 
``the cost of components and subcomponents produced in the United 
States [must] be more than 60 percent of the cost of all components of 
the rolling stock; and . . . final assembly of the rolling stock has 
occurred in the United States.'' 49 U.S.C. 5323(j)(2)(C); 49 CFR 
661.11(a). If, however, FTA determines that ``the steel, iron, and 
goods produced in the United States are not produced in a sufficient 
and reasonably available amount or are not of a satisfactory quality,'' 
then FTA may issue a waiver (non-availability waiver). 49 U.S.C. 
5323(j)(2)(B); 49 CFR 661.7(c).
    On June 21, 2010, in response to formal requests from ElDorado 
National-Kansas (ElDorado) and the Chrysler Group LLC (Chrysler), FTA 
waived its Buy America final assembly requirement for minivans and 
minivan chassis after determining through notice and comment that no 
manufacturer of minivans or minivan chassis performed final assembly in 
the United States. 75 FR 35123.
    Subsequently, on August 3, 2012, FTA issued a notice in the Federal 
Register seeking comments on a request by the Vehicle Production Group 
(VPG) for FTA to rescind the Buy America waiver for minivans and 
minivan chassis. 75 FR 35124. According to VPG, it was able to 
manufacture a wheelchair accessible vehicle, the Mobility Vehicle 1 
(MV-1), substantially similar to a minivan and in a sufficient quantity 
that was, and still is, Buy America compliant with respect to both 
domestic content and final assembly.
    On December 3, 2012, FTA rescinded the waiver for minivans and 
minivan chassis after determining that a blanket waiver was no longer 
necessary. 77 FR 71676. In this notice, FTA carefully considered all of 
the comments received by the various stakeholders through the United 
States in order to address concerns, including the differences between 
the MV-1's accessibility features and traditional minivans, inadequate 
seating capacity when the vehicles are used for vanpool services, as 
well as others. FTA determined, however, that these concerns could be 
addressed with individual waiver requests on a case-by-case basis as 
the need arose and a blanket waiver was no longer necessary.
    On July 1, 2013, FTA made two separate determinations that Braun 
Corporation (Braun) and ElDorado National-Kansas' (ElDorado) 
manufacturing processes on incomplete Chrysler and Dodge minivans met 
FTA's Buy America requirements for final assembly.\1\ These 
determinations on final assembly activities were made in response to 
formal requests by Braun and ElDorado pursuant to section (c) of 
Appendix D to 661.11 (of 49 CFR).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ http://www.fta.dot.gov/legislation_law/about_FTA_598.html; http://www.fta.dot.gov/documents/Imanse_re_Chrysler_Buy_America.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Now, FTA has received a request for a Buy America waiver for 
minivans from the North Front Range Metropolitan Planning Organization 
(NFRMPO). NFRMPO operates a vanpool (``VanGo'') program, which has 75 
vans with routes connecting, among others, Fort Collins, Loveland, 
Greeley, Denver, and Boulder, Colorado. The VanGo program carries more 
than 420 commuters daily in the northern Colorado area at 93 percent 
occupancy. All of the vanpools in the VanGo program carry five to eight 
passengers. According to NFRMPO, this makes the large 10-15 passenger 
vans inefficient and too costly. In a recently issued request for 
proposals for minivans, NFRMPO received no qualified proposals for 
vehicles that meet Buy America requirements for rolling stock and seat 
at least seven passengers. Therefore, NFRMPO requests that FTA grant a 
Buy America waiver for its procurement of minivans based upon non-
availability.
    The purpose of this notice is to publish NFRMPO request and seek 
public comment from all interested parties in accordance with 49 U.S.C. 
5323(j)(3)(A). Comments will help FTA understand completely the facts 
surrounding the request, including the effects of a potential waiver 
and the merits of the request. A full copy of the request has been 
placed in docket number FTA-2013-0027.

     Issued on August 1, 2013.
Dorval R. Carter, Jr.,
Chief Counsel.
[FR Doc. 2013-18814 Filed 8-2-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-57-P