Categorical Exclusion Survey Review, 35437-35439 [2016-12884]

Download as PDF asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 106 / Thursday, June 2, 2016 / Notices online instructions for submitting comments. • Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590–0001. • Hand Delivery or Courier: 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: 202–493–2251. Instructions: All submissions 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. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stephanie Lawrence, Office of Railroad Policy and Development, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., Washington, DC 20590, (202) 493–1376. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 11313(b) of the FAST Act provides that, not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of the FAST Act, the Secretary must enhance the usefulness of assessments of benefits and costs for intercity passenger rail and freight rail projects by: (1) Providing ongoing guidance and training on developing benefit and cost information for rail projects; (2) providing more direct and consistent requirements for assessing benefits and costs across transportation funding programs, including the appropriate use of discount rates; (3) requiring applicants to clearly communicate the methodology used to calculate the project benefits and costs; and (4) ensuring that applicants receive clear and consistent guidance on values to apply for key assumptions used to estimate potential project benefits and costs. The BCA Guidance addresses the four requirements specified in the FAST Act and is intended to provide a consistent approach for completing a BCA for intercity passenger rail and freight rail project proposals. In addition to serving as a valuable tool for defining and narrowing investment alternatives, BCAs are also increasingly a prerequisite to receive financial assistance under Federal investment programs, including those that DOT administers. For example, the two competitive railroad infrastructure improvement grant programs authorized in the FAST Act specifically require the Secretary to consider BCA as a project selection criterion (Section 11301, VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:30 Jun 01, 2016 Jkt 238001 Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements; and Section 11302, Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair). Moreover, two grant programs administered by the Office of the Secretary that contain rail project eligibilities—the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program and the Fostering Advancements in Shipping and Transportation for the Long-term Achievement of National Efficiencies (FASTLANE) program—either require or request (depending on the size and other characteristics of the project) a BCA as part of the grant application process. FRA drafted the BCA Guidance to be consistent with the DOT BCA guidance, which covers a wide range of surface transportation projects (e.g., highways, transit, rail, and ports) under the TIGER and FASTLANE grant programs. The FRA BCA Guidance is intended to provide greater granularity and specificity to benefit and cost issues associated with intercity passenger rail and freight rail projects. The BCA Guidance is effective upon the publication of this notice. However, project sponsors and potential applicants for FRA financial assistance programs should refer to the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) announcement for further instruction regarding the applicability of the BCA Guidance to a particular application or funding program. Due to the timing of the publication of this notice, the BCA Guidance does not apply to applications to the Railroad Safety Infrastructure Improvement Grant program, for which a NOFO was published in the Federal Register on April 29, 2016, with applications due to FRA by June 14, 2016. As noted, written comments on the BCA Guidance must be received by August 1, 2016. FRA will consider such comments when making potential future revisions to the BCA Guidance. However, FRA will not publically respond to comments received nor will FRA address every comment in potential future revisions to the BCA Guidance. Issued in Washington, DC, on May 26, 2016. Sarah E. Feinberg, Administrator. [FR Doc. 2016–12883 Filed 6–1–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–06–P PO 00000 Frm 00145 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 35437 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Railroad Administration [Docket No. FRA–2016–0053] Categorical Exclusion Survey Review Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: In this notice, FRA is providing the public a review of FRA’s survey of categorical exclusions (CEs) used in railroad transportation projects since 2005. FRA is soliciting public comment on the review of the CE survey, two new categories of activities that may be appropriate for categorical exclusion, and any other new categories of activities for FRA consideration as CEs. SUMMARY: FRA must receive written comments on or before July 5, 2016. FRA will consider comments it receives after this date to the extent practicable. ADDRESSES: Comments: Persons may submit comments related to Docket FRA–2016–0053 by any of the following methods: • Online: Comments should be filed at the Federal eRulemaking Portal, http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. • Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590–0001. • Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12– 140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590–0001 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. • Fax: 202–493–2251. Instructions: All submissions must include the agency name, docket name, and docket number for this notice. Note that FRA will post all comments received without change to http:// www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. Docket: To access the docket or read background documents or comments received, go to http:// www.regulations.gov at any time, or to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M–30, West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12– 140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590–0001, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Michael Johnsen, Environmental and DATES: E:\FR\FM\02JNN1.SGM 02JNN1 35438 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 106 / Thursday, June 2, 2016 / Notices Corridor Planning Division, Office of Program Delivery, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590– 0001 or by telephone at (202) 493–1310, or Mr. Chris Van Nostrand, AttorneyAdvisor, Office of Chief Counsel, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590–0001 or by telephone at (202) 493–6058. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background On December 4, 2015, the President signed the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act into law (Pub. L. 114–94). Section 11503 of the FAST Act requires the Secretary, among other things, to: (1) Survey FRA CE use in transportation projects since 2005; and (2) publish in the Federal Register for notice and public comment a review of the survey that includes a description of the types of actions categorically excluded and any actions the Secretary is considering for new CEs, including those that would conform to CEs other DOT modal administrations use. CEs are actions FRA has determined do not individually or cumulatively have significant effects on the human environment and, thus, do not require it to prepare an Environmental Assessment or Environmental Impact Statement under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). See 40 CFR 1508.4. FRA’s Procedures for Considering Environmental Impacts (FRA Environmental Procedures), 64 FR 28545, May 26, 1999, include a list of 20 CEs. In 2013, FRA updated the FRA Environmental Procedures by adding seven new CEs. 78 FR 2713, Jan. 14, 2013. II. Review of Survey of Categorical Exclusions Used by FRA Since 2005 To comply with the FAST Act section 11503 requirement to survey FRA’s use of CEs for transportation projects since 2005, FRA focused its survey on projects funded by FRA-administered financial assistance programs, such as the High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail and Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant programs, the Rail Line Relocation and Improvement program, and the Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing loan/loan guarantee program. As a result, not all FRA CEs used since 2005 are included in the survey. For example, FRA did not survey FRA’s use of CEs for rulemakings. Table 1 is a review of FRA’s survey organized by the frequency of FRA’s use of each CE.1 In general, the survey shows the most frequently applied CEs are for the maintenance or construction of railroad infrastructure, such as maintenance activities for existing railroad infrastructure and equipment; minor rail line additions; and bridge rehabilitation, reconstruction, and replacement. Some CEs shown in Table 1 as Category 2 or 3 also cover maintenance or construction activities, but were recently added in 2013 and thus, have a smaller overall sample size. FRA will use the survey and public comments on this notice to develop proposals for new CEs or modify existing CEs. TABLE 1—RESULTS OF FRA CE SURVEY: JANUARY, 2005–MARCH, 2016 Category 1: Most Frequently Used (11) Maintenance of: Existing railroad equipment; track and bridge structures; electrification, communication, signaling, or security facilities; stations; maintenance-of-way and maintenance-of-equipment bases; and other existing railroad-related facilities. For purposes of this exemption ‘‘maintenance’’ means work, normally provided on a periodic basis, which does not change the existing character of the facility, and may include work characterized by other terms under specific FRA programs. (16) Minor rail line additions including construction of side tracks, passing tracks, crossovers, short connections between existing rail lines, and new tracks within existing rail yards provided that such additions are not inconsistent with existing zoning, do not involve acquisition of a significant amount of right of way, and do not significantly alter the traffic density characteristics of the existing rail lines or rail facilities. (26) Assembly or construction of facilities or stations that are consistent with existing land use and zoning requirements, do not result in a major change in traffic density on existing rail or highway facilities and result in approximately less than ten acres of surface disturbance, such as storage and maintenance facilities, freight or passenger loading and unloading facilities or stations, parking facilities, passenger platforms, canopies, shelters, pedestrian overpasses or underpasses, paving, or landscaping. (22) Bridge rehabilitation, reconstruction or replacement, the rehabilitation or maintenance of the rail elements of docks or piers for the purposes of intermodal transfers, and the construction of bridges, culverts, or grade separation projects, predominantly within existing right-of-way, that do not involve extensive in-water construction activities, such as projects replacing bridge components including stringers, caps, piles, or decks, the construction of roadway overpasses to replace at-grade crossings, construction or reconstruction of approaches and/or embankments to bridges, or construction or replacement of short span bridges. (27) Track and track structure maintenance and improvements when carried out predominantly within the existing right-of-way that do not cause a substantial increase in rail traffic beyond existing or historic levels, such as stabilizing embankments, installing or reinstalling track, re-grading, replacing rail, ties, slabs and ballast, installing, maintaining, or restoring drainage ditches, cleaning ballast, constructing minor curve realignments, improving or replacing interlockings, and the installation or maintenance of ancillary equipment. Category 2: Less Frequently Used asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES (19) Improvements to existing facilities to service, inspect, or maintain rail passenger equipment, including expansion of existing buildings, the construction of new buildings and outdoor facilities, and the reconfiguration of yard tracks. (23) Acquisition (including purchase or lease), rehabilitation, or maintenance of vehicles or equipment that does not cause a substantial increase in the use of infrastructure within the existing right-of-way or other previously disturbed locations, including locomotives, passenger coaches, freight cars, trainsets, and construction, maintenance or inspection equipment. 1 The number preceding the text of the CE corresponds to the number of the CE in the FRA Environmental Procedures. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:30 Jun 01, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00146 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\02JNN1.SGM 02JNN1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 106 / Thursday, June 2, 2016 / Notices 35439 TABLE 1—RESULTS OF FRA CE SURVEY: JANUARY, 2005–MARCH, 2016—Continued Category 3: Infrequently Used (17) Acquisition of existing railroad equipment, track and bridge structures, electrification, communication, signaling or security facilities, stations, maintenance of way and maintenance of equipment bases, and other existing railroad facilities or the right to use such facilities, for the purpose of conducting operations of a nature and at a level of use similar to those presently or previously existing on the subject properties. (18) Research, development and/or demonstration of advances in signal, communication and/or train control systems on existing rail lines provided that such as research, development and/or demonstrations do not require the acquisition of a significant amount of right-of-way, and do not significantly alter the traffic density characteristics of the existing rail line. (19) Improvements to existing facilities to service, inspect, or maintain rail passenger equipment, including expansion of existing buildings, the construction of new buildings and outdoor facilities, and the reconfiguration of yard tracks. (24) Installation, repair and replacement of equipment and small structures designed to promote transportation safety, security, accessibility, communication or operational efficiency that take place predominantly within the existing right-of-way and do not result in a major change in traffic density on the existing rail line or facility, such as the installation, repair or replacement of surface treatments or pavement markings, small passenger shelters, passenger amenities, benches, signage, sidewalks or trails, equipment enclosures, and fencing, railroad warning devices, train control systems, signalization, electric traction equipment and structures, electronics, photonics, and communications systems and equipment, equipment mounts, towers and structures, information processing equipment, and security equipment, including surveillance and detection cameras. (12) Temporary replacement of an essential rail facility if repairs are commenced immediately after the occurrence of a natural disaster or catastrophic failure. (25) Environmental restoration, remediation and pollution prevention activities in or proximate to existing and former railroad track, infrastructure, stations and facilities conducted in conformance with applicable laws, regulations and permit requirements, including activities such as noise mitigation, landscaping, natural resource management activities, replacement or improvement to storm water oil/water separators, installation of pollution containment systems, slope stabilization, and contaminated soil removal or remediation activities. (21) Alterations to existing facilities, locomotives, stations and rail cars in order to make them accessible for the elderly and persons with disabilities, such as modifying doorways, adding or modifying lifts, constructing access ramps and railings, modifying restrooms, and constructing accessible platforms. (15) Financial assistance for the construction of minor loading and unloading facilities, provided that projects included in this category are consistent with local zoning, do not involve the acquisition of a significant amount of land, and do not significantly alter the traffic density characteristics of existing rail or highway facilities. III. New Categorical Exclusions FRA Is Considering Since updating its CE list in 2013, FRA has identified the following two classes of actions that may be appropriate for categorical exclusion: • Localized geotechnical and other investigations to provide information for preliminary design and for environmental analyses and permitting purposes; and • Refinancing assistance where the project sponsor has already completed project-related construction activities. FRA seeks input from interested parties, stakeholders, and the public on additional categories of activities appropriate for a CE that FRA should consider. FRA also seeks comment on the two CEs listed above. Issued in Washington, DC, on May 26, 2016. Sarah E. Feinberg, Administrator. [FR Doc. 2016–12884 Filed 6–1–16; 8:45 am] asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES BILLING CODE 4910–06–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:30 Jun 01, 2016 Jkt 238001 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Maritime Administration [Docket No. DOT–MARAD–2016–0057] Agency Requests for Renewal of a Previously Approved Information Collection(s): Voluntary Tanker Agreement Maritime Administration, DOT. Notice and request for comments. AGENCY: ACTION: The Maritime Administration (MARAD) invites public comments about our intention to request the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval to renew an information collection. This collection of information is used to gather information on tanker operators who agree to contribute, either by direct charter to the Department of Defense or to other participants tanker capacity as requested by the Maritime Administrator at such times and such amounts as determined to be necessary to meet the essential needs of DOD for the transportation of petroleum and petroleum products in bulk by sea. The Voluntary Tanker Agreement is a voluntary emergency preparedness agreement in accordance with Section 708, Defense Production Act, 195, as amended (50 U.S.C. App. 2158). We are required to publish this notice in the Federal Register by the Paperwork SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00147 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104– 13. DATES: Written comments should be submitted by August 1, 2016. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by Docket No. DOT–MARAD– 2016–0057 through one of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. • Fax: 1–202–493–2251. • Mail or Hand Delivery: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building, Room W12– 140, Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except on Federal holidays. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: William G. McDonald, 202–366–0688, Director, Office of Sealift Support, Maritime Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: OMB Control Number: 2133–0505. Title: Voluntary Tanker Agreement. Form Numbers: MA–1060. Type of Review: Renewal of an information collection. Background: The collection consists of a request from the Maritime Administration (MARAD) that each participant in the Voluntary Tanker Agreement submit a list of the names of ships owned, chartered or contracted for E:\FR\FM\02JNN1.SGM 02JNN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 106 (Thursday, June 2, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 35437-35439]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-12884]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Railroad Administration

[Docket No. FRA-2016-0053]


Categorical Exclusion Survey Review

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

ACTION: Notice.

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

SUMMARY: In this notice, FRA is providing the public a review of FRA's 
survey of categorical exclusions (CEs) used in railroad transportation 
projects since 2005. FRA is soliciting public comment on the review of 
the CE survey, two new categories of activities that may be appropriate 
for categorical exclusion, and any other new categories of activities 
for FRA consideration as CEs.

DATES: FRA must receive written comments on or before July 5, 2016. FRA 
will consider comments it receives after this date to the extent 
practicable.

ADDRESSES: Comments: Persons may submit comments related to Docket FRA-
2016-0053 by any of the following methods:
     Online: Comments should be filed at the Federal 
eRulemaking Portal, http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online 
instructions for submitting comments.
     Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building, Ground 
Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
     Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building, Ground Floor, 
Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001 
between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal 
holidays.
     Fax: 202-493-2251.
    Instructions: All submissions must include the agency name, docket 
name, and docket number for this notice. Note that FRA will post all 
comments received without change to http://www.regulations.gov, 
including any personal information provided.
    Docket: To access the docket or read background documents or 
comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov at any time, or to 
the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West 
Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, 
Washington, DC 20590-0001, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through 
Friday, except Federal Holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Michael Johnsen, Environmental and

[[Page 35438]]

Corridor Planning Division, Office of Program Delivery, Federal 
Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 
20590-0001 or by telephone at (202) 493-1310, or Mr. Chris Van 
Nostrand, Attorney-Advisor, Office of Chief Counsel, Federal Railroad 
Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001 
or by telephone at (202) 493-6058.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Background

    On December 4, 2015, the President signed the Fixing America's 
Surface Transportation (FAST) Act into law (Pub. L. 114-94). Section 
11503 of the FAST Act requires the Secretary, among other things, to: 
(1) Survey FRA CE use in transportation projects since 2005; and (2) 
publish in the Federal Register for notice and public comment a review 
of the survey that includes a description of the types of actions 
categorically excluded and any actions the Secretary is considering for 
new CEs, including those that would conform to CEs other DOT modal 
administrations use. CEs are actions FRA has determined do not 
individually or cumulatively have significant effects on the human 
environment and, thus, do not require it to prepare an Environmental 
Assessment or Environmental Impact Statement under the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). See 40 CFR 
1508.4.
    FRA's Procedures for Considering Environmental Impacts (FRA 
Environmental Procedures), 64 FR 28545, May 26, 1999, include a list of 
20 CEs. In 2013, FRA updated the FRA Environmental Procedures by adding 
seven new CEs. 78 FR 2713, Jan. 14, 2013.

II. Review of Survey of Categorical Exclusions Used by FRA Since 2005

    To comply with the FAST Act section 11503 requirement to survey 
FRA's use of CEs for transportation projects since 2005, FRA focused 
its survey on projects funded by FRA-administered financial assistance 
programs, such as the High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail and 
Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant programs, 
the Rail Line Relocation and Improvement program, and the Railroad 
Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing loan/loan guarantee program. 
As a result, not all FRA CEs used since 2005 are included in the 
survey. For example, FRA did not survey FRA's use of CEs for 
rulemakings.
    Table 1 is a review of FRA's survey organized by the frequency of 
FRA's use of each CE.\1\ In general, the survey shows the most 
frequently applied CEs are for the maintenance or construction of 
railroad infrastructure, such as maintenance activities for existing 
railroad infrastructure and equipment; minor rail line additions; and 
bridge rehabilitation, reconstruction, and replacement. Some CEs shown 
in Table 1 as Category 2 or 3 also cover maintenance or construction 
activities, but were recently added in 2013 and thus, have a smaller 
overall sample size. FRA will use the survey and public comments on 
this notice to develop proposals for new CEs or modify existing CEs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ The number preceding the text of the CE corresponds to the 
number of the CE in the FRA Environmental Procedures.

      Table 1--Results of FRA CE Survey: January, 2005-March, 2016
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    Category 1: Most Frequently Used
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(11) Maintenance of: Existing railroad equipment; track and bridge
 structures; electrification, communication, signaling, or security
 facilities; stations; maintenance-of-way and maintenance-of-equipment
 bases; and other existing railroad-related facilities. For purposes of
 this exemption ``maintenance'' means work, normally provided on a
 periodic basis, which does not change the existing character of the
 facility, and may include work characterized by other terms under
 specific FRA programs.
(16) Minor rail line additions including construction of side tracks,
 passing tracks, crossovers, short connections between existing rail
 lines, and new tracks within existing rail yards provided that such
 additions are not inconsistent with existing zoning, do not involve
 acquisition of a significant amount of right of way, and do not
 significantly alter the traffic density characteristics of the existing
 rail lines or rail facilities.
(26) Assembly or construction of facilities or stations that are
 consistent with existing land use and zoning requirements, do not
 result in a major change in traffic density on existing rail or highway
 facilities and result in approximately less than ten acres of surface
 disturbance, such as storage and maintenance facilities, freight or
 passenger loading and unloading facilities or stations, parking
 facilities, passenger platforms, canopies, shelters, pedestrian
 overpasses or underpasses, paving, or landscaping.
(22) Bridge rehabilitation, reconstruction or replacement, the
 rehabilitation or maintenance of the rail elements of docks or piers
 for the purposes of intermodal transfers, and the construction of
 bridges, culverts, or grade separation projects, predominantly within
 existing right-of-way, that do not involve extensive in-water
 construction activities, such as projects replacing bridge components
 including stringers, caps, piles, or decks, the construction of roadway
 overpasses to replace at-grade crossings, construction or
 reconstruction of approaches and/or embankments to bridges, or
 construction or replacement of short span bridges.
(27) Track and track structure maintenance and improvements when carried
 out predominantly within the existing right-of-way that do not cause a
 substantial increase in rail traffic beyond existing or historic
 levels, such as stabilizing embankments, installing or reinstalling
 track, re-grading, replacing rail, ties, slabs and ballast, installing,
 maintaining, or restoring drainage ditches, cleaning ballast,
 constructing minor curve realignments, improving or replacing
 interlockings, and the installation or maintenance of ancillary
 equipment.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    Category 2: Less Frequently Used
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(19) Improvements to existing facilities to service, inspect, or
 maintain rail passenger equipment, including expansion of existing
 buildings, the construction of new buildings and outdoor facilities,
 and the reconfiguration of yard tracks.
(23) Acquisition (including purchase or lease), rehabilitation, or
 maintenance of vehicles or equipment that does not cause a substantial
 increase in the use of infrastructure within the existing right-of-way
 or other previously disturbed locations, including locomotives,
 passenger coaches, freight cars, trainsets, and construction,
 maintenance or inspection equipment.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 35439]]

 
                      Category 3: Infrequently Used
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(17) Acquisition of existing railroad equipment, track and bridge
 structures, electrification, communication, signaling or security
 facilities, stations, maintenance of way and maintenance of equipment
 bases, and other existing railroad facilities or the right to use such
 facilities, for the purpose of conducting operations of a nature and at
 a level of use similar to those presently or previously existing on the
 subject properties.
(18) Research, development and/or demonstration of advances in signal,
 communication and/or train control systems on existing rail lines
 provided that such as research, development and/or demonstrations do
 not require the acquisition of a significant amount of right-of-way,
 and do not significantly alter the traffic density characteristics of
 the existing rail line.
(19) Improvements to existing facilities to service, inspect, or
 maintain rail passenger equipment, including expansion of existing
 buildings, the construction of new buildings and outdoor facilities,
 and the reconfiguration of yard tracks.
(24) Installation, repair and replacement of equipment and small
 structures designed to promote transportation safety, security,
 accessibility, communication or operational efficiency that take place
 predominantly within the existing right-of-way and do not result in a
 major change in traffic density on the existing rail line or facility,
 such as the installation, repair or replacement of surface treatments
 or pavement markings, small passenger shelters, passenger amenities,
 benches, signage, sidewalks or trails, equipment enclosures, and
 fencing, railroad warning devices, train control systems,
 signalization, electric traction equipment and structures, electronics,
 photonics, and communications systems and equipment, equipment mounts,
 towers and structures, information processing equipment, and security
 equipment, including surveillance and detection cameras.
(12) Temporary replacement of an essential rail facility if repairs are
 commenced immediately after the occurrence of a natural disaster or
 catastrophic failure.
(25) Environmental restoration, remediation and pollution prevention
 activities in or proximate to existing and former railroad track,
 infrastructure, stations and facilities conducted in conformance with
 applicable laws, regulations and permit requirements, including
 activities such as noise mitigation, landscaping, natural resource
 management activities, replacement or improvement to storm water oil/
 water separators, installation of pollution containment systems, slope
 stabilization, and contaminated soil removal or remediation activities.
(21) Alterations to existing facilities, locomotives, stations and rail
 cars in order to make them accessible for the elderly and persons with
 disabilities, such as modifying doorways, adding or modifying lifts,
 constructing access ramps and railings, modifying restrooms, and
 constructing accessible platforms.
(15) Financial assistance for the construction of minor loading and
 unloading facilities, provided that projects included in this category
 are consistent with local zoning, do not involve the acquisition of a
 significant amount of land, and do not significantly alter the traffic
 density characteristics of existing rail or highway facilities.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

III. New Categorical Exclusions FRA Is Considering

    Since updating its CE list in 2013, FRA has identified the 
following two classes of actions that may be appropriate for 
categorical exclusion:
     Localized geotechnical and other investigations to provide 
information for preliminary design and for environmental analyses and 
permitting purposes; and
     Refinancing assistance where the project sponsor has 
already completed project-related construction activities.
    FRA seeks input from interested parties, stakeholders, and the 
public on additional categories of activities appropriate for a CE that 
FRA should consider. FRA also seeks comment on the two CEs listed 
above.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on May 26, 2016.
Sarah E. Feinberg,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2016-12884 Filed 6-1-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-06-P