Petition for Waiver of Compliance, 47467-47468 [2020-17028]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 151 / Wednesday, August 5, 2020 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Railroad Administration [Docket Number FRA–2020–0059] jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Petition for Waiver of Compliance Under part 211 of title 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), this document provides the public notice that on July 10, 2020, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) petitioned the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) for a waiver of compliance from certain provisions of the Federal railroad safety regulations contained at 49 CFR parts 213, 214, 217, 218, 220, 228, 232, 236, 240, 242, and 243. FRA assigned the petition Docket Number FRA–2020–0059. AAR, on behalf of itself and its member railroads, requests to renew temporary social-distancing related emergency relief FRA previously granted by letter dated May 22, 2020, in its emergency relief docket (Docket Number FRA–2020–0002). See https:// www.regulations.gov/document?D=FRA2020-0002-0073. FRA renewed this relief for an additional 60 days on July 20, 2020. See https:// www.regulations.gov/document?D=FRA2020-0002-0093. AAR also requests that FRA amend the conditions associated with the relief previously granted from 49 CFR 240.127(c)(5) in the emergency relief docket (FRA–2020–0002). As currently in effect, the relief from section 240.127(c)(5) allows railroads to use locomotive event recorder downloads to meet the requirements for periodic locomotive engineer skills rides to support the recertification of locomotive engineers, provided certain conditions are met. First, the relief is limited to situations where all other recertification activities are complete (e.g., vision and hearing screening). The waiver is also limited to situations where a locomotive engineer’s recertification becomes due during the waiver period. AAR asserts that these two conditions limit ‘‘the ability of railroads to use event recorder data to comply with’’ section 240.127(c)(5). Accordingly, AAR asks FRA to eliminate these two conditions in any relief granted. In support of its petition, AAR references the recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and State and local governments to practice social distancing to reduce the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID–19). AAR further states that the granted relief would help railroads provide their employees with a safe working environment, which allows the Nation’s VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:55 Aug 04, 2020 Jkt 250001 essential railroad network to continue operations. Additionally, AAR asserts that the relief has not jeopardized the safety of railroad operations. AAR explains it anticipates needing such relief so long as CDC guidance recommending social distancing remains in place. A copy of the petition, as well as any written communications concerning the petition, is available for review online at www.regulations.gov (Docket Number FRA–2020–0059). Interested parties are invited to participate in these proceedings by submitting written views, data, or comments. If any interested parties desire an opportunity for oral comment and a public hearing, they should notify FRA, in writing, before the end of the comment period and specify the basis for their request. All communications concerning these proceedings should identify the appropriate docket number and may be submitted at http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Communications received by September 4, 2020 will be considered by FRA before final action is taken. Comments received after that date will be considered if practicable. 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), the U.S. Department of Transportation (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 www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL– 14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at https://www.transportation.gov/privacy. See also https://www.regulations.gov/ privacyNotice for the privacy notice of regulations.gov. Issued in Washington, DC. John Karl Alexy, Associate Administrator for Railroad Safety Chief Safety Officer. [FR Doc. 2020–17029 Filed 8–4–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–06–P PO 00000 Frm 00130 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 47467 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Railroad Administration [Docket Number FRA–2020–0060] Petition for Waiver of Compliance Under part 211 of title 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), this document provides the public notice that on July 13, 2020, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) petitioned the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) for a waiver of compliance from certain provisions of the Federal railroad safety regulations contained at 49 CFR parts 213, 214, 217, 218, 220, 225, 228, 229, 232, 234, 236, 238, 239, 240, 242, and 243. FRA assigned the petition Docket Number FRA–2020–0060. APTA, on behalf of its member railroads, requests to renew the emergency relief FRA previously granted by letter dated May 22, 2020, in its emergency relief docket (Docket Number FRA–2020–0002). See https:// www.regulations.gov/document?D=FRA2020-0002-0074. FRA renewed this relief for an additional 60 days on July 20, 2020. See https:// www.regulations.gov/document?D=FRA2020-0002-0094. APTA states that the requested emergency relief allows for modifications in operations that are necessary to maintain public and railroad employee health and safety, and it enables commuter and passenger railroads to operate consistently with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concerning reducing the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID–19). Additionally, APTA states that its member railroads are currently only utilizing a small portion of the relief to prioritize safety, but it expects that the changing dynamics of COVID–19 may require use of relief not currently being applied. Given the uncertain nature of the COVID–19 public health emergency and its effect on railroad operations, APTA requests to renew the relief for one year. A copy of the petition, as well as any written communications concerning the petition, is available for review online at www.regulations.gov (Docket Number FRA–2020–0060). Interested parties are invited to participate in these proceedings by submitting written views, data, or comments. If any interested parties desire an opportunity for oral comment and a public hearing, they should notify FRA, in writing, before the end of the comment period and specify the basis for their request. E:\FR\FM\05AUN1.SGM 05AUN1 47468 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 151 / Wednesday, August 5, 2020 / Notices All communications concerning these proceedings should identify the appropriate docket number and may be submitted at http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Communications received by September 4, 2020 will be considered by FRA before final action is taken. Comments received after that date will be considered if practicable. 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), the U.S. Department of Transportation (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 www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL– 14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at https://www.transportation.gov/privacy. See also https://www.regulations.gov/ privacyNotice for the privacy notice of regulations.gov. Issued in Washington, DC. John Karl Alexy, Associate Administrator for Railroad Safety, Chief Safety Officer. [FR Doc. 2020–17028 Filed 8–4–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–06–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Railroad Administration [Docket Number FRA–2016–0018] jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Petition for Waiver of Compliance Under part 211 of title 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), this document provides the public notice that on June 8, 2020, Union Pacific Railroad Company (UP) petitioned the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) for a waiver of compliance from certain provisions of the Federal railroad safety regulations contained at 49 CFR part 232, Brake System Safety Standards for Freight and Other Non-Passenger Trains and Equipment; End-Of-Train Devices. In addition, UP requests an exemption from the requirements of title 49, United States Code (U.S.C.), section 20303, which prohibits the movement of a rail vehicle with defective or insecure equipment beyond the nearest available place at which the repairs can be made. See 49 U.S.C. 20306. FRA assigned the petition to existing Docket Number FRA–2016–0018. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:55 Aug 04, 2020 Jkt 250001 Specifically, UP seeks a waiver of compliance from 49 CFR 232.213, Extended haul trains; 49 CFR 232.15, Movement of defective equipment; and 49 CFR 232.103(f), General requirements for all train brake systems. UP is requesting a 5-year waiver from these requirements for intermodal trains (and other train types as permitted and authorized by FRA) to demonstrate that the use of wheel temperature detectors (WTD) to determine brake effectiveness improves safety and eliminates unnecessary costs to the industry. UP has collected performance data for approximately two years of the five-year pilot period granted by FRA in this docket for unit coal trains between the Powder River Basin in Wyoming and White Bluff, Arkansas. UP states that this pilot waiver has demonstrated significant positive trends in the expected areas of observation. See Petition, Appendix 2, https:// www.regulations.gov/document?D=FRA2016-0018-0015. UP further states that while the White Bluffs pilot is limited in scope, expansion of operations with a similar type of pilot program at this juncture, given the favorable observations, would advance operating safety and improve other fleet conditions. UP explains that wayside WTDs offer an alternative means to verify good braking performance. WTDs directly measure the rise in wheel temperature as a result of a brake application. Such a measure of performance is objective and quantifiable, and is independent of conditions that can impair a visual inspection; such as weather, lighting and human fatigue, inexperience, or error. A monitoring system using WTD data as an alternative to the intermediate brake inspections, whether Class IA or extended haul, while still retaining all other brake system safety assurance procedures, is expected to substantially improve the reliability of brake inspections, and thus the safety performance of brake systems. For the White Bluff pilot test waiver trains to date, UP reports WTD alerts per million miles has reduced by 74% from October 2018 through May 2020, indicating significant improvement in the overall condition of train braking systems. Wayside alerts have driven 1.5 times more ‘‘bad orders’’ for brakes to the repair track than have non-waivered cars operating outside of cold wheel alert allowances. As a result, cold wheel alerts have driven attention to ‘‘key’’ repairs (which include control valves, miscellaneous valve subsystems, air components, brake rigging, and slack adjusters) to 25% higher than other cars. PO 00000 Frm 00131 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 UP also requested an exemption from 49 U.S.C. 20303. FRA may grant an exemption from the requirements of § 20303 only based on (1) evidence developed at a hearing; or (2) an agreement between national railroad labor representatives and the developer of the equipment or technology at issue. See 49 U.S.C. 20306. FRA notes that the public hearing previously held to address UP’s similar request for exemption in this docket addresses substantially the same issues as its current request. See https:// www.regulations.gov/document?D=FRA2016-0018-0011. In considering UP’s present request, FRA intends to rely on the findings of the hearing conducted in this docket. A copy of the petition, as well as any written communications concerning the petition, is available for review online at www.regulations.gov. Interested parties are invited to participate in these proceedings by submitting written views, data, or comments. FRA does not anticipate scheduling a public hearing in connection with these proceedings since the facts do not appear to warrant a hearing. If any interested parties desire an opportunity for oral comment and a public hearing, they should notify FRA, in writing, before the end of the comment period and specify the basis for their request. All communications concerning these proceedings should identify the appropriate docket number and may be submitted by any of the following methods: • Website: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. • Fax: 202–493–2251. • Mail: Docket Operations Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE, W12– 140, Washington, DC 20590. • Hand Delivery: 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays. Communications received by September 4, 2020 will be considered by FRA before final action is taken. Comments received after that date will be considered if practicable. 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, E:\FR\FM\05AUN1.SGM 05AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 151 (Wednesday, August 5, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 47467-47468]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-17028]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Railroad Administration

[Docket Number FRA-2020-0060]


Petition for Waiver of Compliance

    Under part 211 of title 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), this 
document provides the public notice that on July 13, 2020, the American 
Public Transportation Association (APTA) petitioned the Federal 
Railroad Administration (FRA) for a waiver of compliance from certain 
provisions of the Federal railroad safety regulations contained at 49 
CFR parts 213, 214, 217, 218, 220, 225, 228, 229, 232, 234, 236, 238, 
239, 240, 242, and 243. FRA assigned the petition Docket Number FRA-
2020-0060.
    APTA, on behalf of its member railroads, requests to renew the 
emergency relief FRA previously granted by letter dated May 22, 2020, 
in its emergency relief docket (Docket Number FRA-2020-0002). See 
https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FRA-2020-0002-0074. FRA renewed 
this relief for an additional 60 days on July 20, 2020. See https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FRA-2020-0002-0094.
    APTA states that the requested emergency relief allows for 
modifications in operations that are necessary to maintain public and 
railroad employee health and safety, and it enables commuter and 
passenger railroads to operate consistently with recommendations from 
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concerning reducing the 
spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Additionally, APTA 
states that its member railroads are currently only utilizing a small 
portion of the relief to prioritize safety, but it expects that the 
changing dynamics of COVID-19 may require use of relief not currently 
being applied. Given the uncertain nature of the COVID-19 public health 
emergency and its effect on railroad operations, APTA requests to renew 
the relief for one year.
    A copy of the petition, as well as any written communications 
concerning the petition, is available for review online at 
www.regulations.gov (Docket Number FRA-2020-0060).
    Interested parties are invited to participate in these proceedings 
by submitting written views, data, or comments. If any interested 
parties desire an opportunity for oral comment and a public hearing, 
they should notify FRA, in writing, before the end of the comment 
period and specify the basis for their request.

[[Page 47468]]

    All communications concerning these proceedings should identify the 
appropriate docket number and may be submitted at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting 
comments.
    Communications received by September 4, 2020 will be considered by 
FRA before final action is taken. Comments received after that date 
will be considered if practicable.
    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), the U.S. Department of Transportation (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 www.regulations.gov, as described in the 
system of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at 
https://www.transportation.gov/privacy. See also https://www.regulations.gov/privacyNotice for the privacy notice of 
regulations.gov.

    Issued in Washington, DC.
John Karl Alexy,
Associate Administrator for Railroad Safety, Chief Safety Officer.
[FR Doc. 2020-17028 Filed 8-4-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-06-P