Safety Advisory 2012-02; Restricted Speed
FRA is issuing Safety Advisory 2012-02 to remind railroads and their employees of the importance of compliance with relevant railroad operating rules when trains and locomotives are to be operated at restricted speed. This safety advisory contains a preliminary discussion of recent train accidents involving a failure to operate at restricted speed and makes recommendations to railroads to ensure employee compliance with the requirements of restricted speed operating rules.
Inflation Adjustment of the Aggravated Maximum Civil Monetary Penalty for a Violation of a Federal Railroad Safety Law or Federal Railroad Administration Safety Regulation or Order
To comply with the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, FRA is adjusting the aggravated maximum penalty that it will apply when assessing a civil penalty for a violation of a railroad safety statute, regulation, or order under its authority. In particular, FRA is increasing the aggravated maximum civil penalty (i.e., the maximum civil penalty per violation where a grossly negligent violation or a pattern of repeated violations has created an imminent hazard of death or injury or has caused death or injury) from $100,000 to $105,000. The current minimum civil penalty per violation of $650 and the current ordinary maximum civil penalty per violation of $25,000 remain the same.
Railroad Safety Advisory Committee (RSAC); Working Group Activity Update
The FRA is updating its announcement of the RSAC Working Group activities to reflect its current status.
Notice of Availability of a Final Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement, a Final Section 4(f) Evaluation, and a Draft General Conformity Determination for the California High-Speed Train System Merced to Fresno Section
FRA is issuing this notice to advise the public that FRA is issuing a Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Final 4(f) Evaluation for the California High-Speed Train (HST) System Merced to Fresno Section (Project). FRA is also making a Draft General Conformity Determination for the Project available for public review and comment. FRA is the lead Federal agency and the California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) is the lead state agency for the environmental review process. The agencies have prepared the Final EIS consistent with federal law and also to serve as an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and CEQA Guidelines. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) served as Cooperating Agencies for the preparation of the EIS.
Locomotive Safety Standards; Correction
FRA is notifying the public that the correct docket number for the Locomotive Safety Standards final rule is FRA-2009-0094. The final rule issued on April 9, 2012, incorrectly identified docket number FR- 2009-0095 as the public docket for this rulemaking proceeding. FRA is requesting that all petitions for reconsideration and all comments on any petitions for reconsideration related to this proceeding be submitted to FRA-2009-0094.
Odorant Fade in Railroad Tank Cars
FRA is issuing Safety Advisory 2012-01 to remind shippers and consignees of railroad tank cars containing odorized liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), of the importance of taking actions to ensure that a sufficient level of odorant remains in the LPG throughout the entire transportation cycle. FRA is issuing this notice to raise awareness within the hazardous materials community, of the potential consequences of having LPG reach end-users as under-odorized or essentially non- odorized material due to the diminishment of the added odorant during the transportation cycle (commonly known as ``odorant fade''). This safety advisory recommends that shippers and consignees of bulk quantities of odorized LPG review their existing LPG odorization standards and procedures, and take appropriate actions to guard against odorant fade in their shipments.
Notice of the Buy America Waiver Request for Vossloh 101-LV Concrete Ties
FRA is issuing this notice to advise the public that the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Co. (``BNSF'') has submitted to FRA through or with the support of the Washington Department of Transportation (``WSDOT''), the Illinois Department of Transportation (``IDOT''), the Texas Department of Transportation (``TxDOT''), and the California Department of Transportation (``Caltrans'') a waiver request from FRA's Buy America Act requirements for the purchase of Vossloh 101-LV concrete ties, which contain certain components not manufactured in the United States. In furtherance of four FRA High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (``HSIPR'') grants, BNSF, as the railroad infrastructure owner, will construct certain rail project elements that consist of the installation of Vossloh 101-LV concrete ties. FRA has received this request from the four States for the following projects: (a) The Pacific Northwest Rail Corridor Program (b) the Amtrak Quad Cities to Chicago Service Initiation Project, (c) the Tower 55 At-Grade Improvement Project, and (d) the LA to Fullerton Triple TrackSegment 7 Project.
Locomotive Safety Standards
FRA is revising the existing regulations containing Railroad Locomotive Safety Standards. The revisions update, consolidate, and clarify the existing regulations. The final rule incorporates existing industry and engineering best practices related to locomotives and locomotive electronics. This includes the development of a safety analysis for new locomotive electronic systems. FRA believes this final rule will modernize and improve its safety regulatory program related to locomotives. In accordance with the requirements of the Executive Order 13563 (E.O. 13563), this final rule also modifies the existing locomotive safety standards based on what has been learned from FRA's retrospective review of the regulation. As a result, FRA is reducing the burden on the industry by modifying the regulations related to periodic locomotive inspection and headlights.
Northeast Corridor Safety Committee; Notice of Meeting
FRA announces the second meeting of the NECSC, a Federal Advisory Committee mandated by Section 212 of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 (PRIIA). The NECSC is made up of stakeholders operating on the Northeast Corridor (NEC), and the purpose of the Committee is to provide annual recommendations to the DOT Secretary. NECSC's meeting topics will include: Positive Train Control update presentations from NEC railroads, Transportation Security Administration NEC security initiatives, aging electric traction infrastructure, the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, and a general discussion of safety issues.
Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and its implementing regulations, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) hereby announces that it is seeking renewal of the following currently approved information collection activities. Before submitting these information collection requirements for clearance by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), FRA is soliciting public comment on specific aspects of the activities identified below.