Title 49 published on 2012-10-01
The following are only the Rules published in the Federal Register after the published date of Title 49.
For a complete list of all Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices view the Rulemaking tab.
FMCSA amends its commercial driver's license (CDL) rules to eliminate the requirement for drivers to notify the State licensing agency that issued their commercial learner's permit (CLP) or CDL of out-of-State traffic convictions when those convictions occur in States that have a certified CDL program in substantial compliance with FMCSA's rules. Current regulations require both CDL holders and States with certified CDL programs to report a CDL holder's out-of-State traffic conviction to the driver's State of licensure. This final rule amends the CDL rules to eliminate this reporting redundancy for those cases in which the conviction occurs in a State that has a certified CDL program in substantial compliance with FMCSA's regulations. This change will reduce a regulatory burden on individual CLP and CDL holders and State driver licensing agencies. This rule is responsive to Executive Order (E.O.) 13563 “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review,” issued January 18, 2011.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is removing specific fee amounts from regulations regarding security threat assessments (STAs) and credentialing for Hazardous Materials Endorsements (HMEs) and Transportation Worker Identification Credentials (TWICs). These provisions include State collection of the HME fee, TSA collection of the HME fee, and collection of the TWIC fee. Removing specific fee references will enable TSA to have the necessary flexibility to lower or increase fees as necessary to meet the statutory obligation to recover its costs. Current fee amounts as identified in these sections will remain unchanged until any future revisions to fee schedules are published in the Federal Register .
The Federal hazardous materials transportation law requires DOT to adjust the amount of the annual registration fee to account for any unexpended balance in the Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness (HMEP) Fund. Due to an unexpended balance that has accumulated in the Fund, PHMSA is lowering the registration fees for registration year 2013-2014 for all persons, as defined in PHMSA regulations, that transport or offer for transportation in commerce certain categories and quantities of hazardous materials. Specifically, for registration year 2013-2014 the fee for a small business or not-for-profit organization is revised to be $125 (plus a $25 processing fee), and for all other businesses the fee is $1300 (plus a $25 processing fee). After the 2013-2014 registration year, the registration fees will return to 2012-2013 registration year levels. Additionally, PHMSA is making an editorial change to its regulations to clarify the appropriate fee amounts; there are no substantive changes other than the addition of the fees for 2013-2014 and for 2014-2015 and later. In order to make the change effective for the 2013-2014 registration year and thus draw down the unexpended balance as soon as possible, PHMSA is issuing this final rule without a prior notice of proposed rulemaking in accordance with good cause exemption specified in the Administrative Procedures Act. Additionally, for good cause this final rule is effective immediately.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation (DOT) is updating its regulations. These regulations govern the organization of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and delegations of authority from the Administrator to Agency officers including the Deputy Administrator, Chief Counsel, and Senior Associate Administrators. This rule is a publication of delegations made by the Administrator to other Agency officials.
PHMSA is revising the references in its regulations to the maximum and minimum civil penalties for a knowing violation of the Federal hazardous material transportation law or a regulation, order, special permit, or approval issued under that law. As amended in the “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act” (MAP-21), effective October 1, 2012, the maximum civil penalty for a knowing violation is now $75,000, except that the maximum civil penalty is $175,000 for a violation that results in death, serious illness, or severe injury to any person or substantial destruction of property. In addition, there is no longer a minimum civil penalty amount, except that the minimum civil penalty amount of $450 applies to a violation relating to training.
On January 6, 2012, NHTSA published a final rule updating and consolidating all of the references to the many standards and practices that are incorporated by reference into the Federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSSs). Additionally, the final rule removed an obsolete FMVSS, No. 208a, as well as various obsolete provisions in other FMVSSs. The agency received a petition for reconsideration of that final rule from the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. The petitioner asserts that the amendments to one FMVSS are not based on the latest version of that FMVSS and further asserts that several references to standards are out of date or contain minor omissions. The petitioner requests that technical amendments be made to address these issues. In response to the petition, this document amends certain paragraphs in FMVSS No. 202a to reflect the substantive language of the FMVSS in effect before the effective date of the January 6, 2012 final rule, with the addition of the cross-references to the consolidated list of materials incorporated by reference. The agency is denying the other requests made in the petition. This document also makes technical amendments to correct minor errors in the consolidated list of incorporated material and some of the FMVSS sections that reference this list.
This action establishes procedures governing the implementation of the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) Public Transportation Emergency Relief Program under 49 U.S.C. 5324, as authorized by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act. FTA is issuing this interim final rule in order to comply with the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013. FTA will accept comments on the interim final rule and will publish a final rule after the comment period closes.
FMCSA amends its May 9, 2011, final rule in response to certain petitions for reconsideration. The 2011 final rule amended the commercial driver's license (CDL) knowledge and skills testing standards and established new minimum Federal standards for States to issue the commercial learner's permit (CLP). The Agency received 34 petitions for reconsideration that covered a wide range of issues. FMCSA granted or denied each of these petitions, by orders available in the docket referenced at the beginning of this notice. Today's final rule addresses the petitions that were granted.
This document responds to a petition for reconsideration of FRA's final rule published on June 12, 2012, mandating that certain railroads establish and maintain systems that allow members of the public to call the railroads, using a toll-free telephone number, and report an emergency or other unsafe condition at highway-rail and pathway grade crossings. This document amends and clarifies the final rule.
FMCSA promulgates the regulatory exemptions for the “transportation of agricultural commodities and farm supplies” and for “covered farm vehicles” and their drivers enacted by sections 32101(d) and 32934, respectively, of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). Although prior statutory exemptions involving agriculture are unchanged, some of these exemptions overlap with MAP-21 provisions. In these cases, regulated entities will be able to choose the exemption, or set of exemptions, under which to operate. They must, however, comply fully with the terms of each exemption they claim.
This final rule updates and amends the Department's standard time zone boundaries regulations to reflect changes that Congress made to the Uniform Time Act. The purpose of this update is to ensure that the Department's regulations accurately reflect other Federal law and to reduce confusion over ambiguous language and inconsistencies.
FRA is amending the Track Safety Standards and Passenger Equipment Safety Standards to promote the safe interaction of rail vehicles with the track over which they operate under a variety of conditions at speeds up to 220 m.p.h. The final rule revises standards for track geometry and safety limits for vehicle response to track conditions, enhances vehicle/track qualification procedures, and adds flexibility for permitting high cant deficiency train operations through curves at conventional speeds. The rule accounts for a range of vehicle types that are currently in operation, as well as vehicle types that may likely be used in future high-speed or high cant deficiency rail operations, or both. The rule is based on the results of simulation studies designed to identify track geometry irregularities associated with unsafe wheel/rail forces and accelerations, thorough reviews of vehicle qualification and revenue service test data, and consideration of international practices.
PHMSA is amending the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) to make miscellaneous amendments to update and clarify certain regulatory requirements. These amendments promote safer transportation practices, eliminate unnecessary regulatory requirements, address a petition for rulemaking, incorporate a special permit into the HMR, facilitate international commerce, and simplify the regulations. These amendments also update various entries in the Hazardous Materials Table (HMT) and corresponding special provisions, clarify the lab pack requirements for temperature-controlled materials, and require hazmat employers to make hazmat employee training records available upon request to an authorized official of the Department of Transportation (DOT) or an entity explicitly granted authority to enforce the HMR.
PHMSA is amending the Hazardous Materials Regulations in response to petitions for rulemaking submitted by the regulated community to update, clarify, or provide relief from miscellaneous regulatory requirements. Specifically, PHMSA is amending the recordkeeping and package marking requirements for third-party labs and manufacturers to assure the traceability of packaging; removing the listing for “NA1203, Gasohol, gasoline mixed with ethyl alcohol, with not more than 10% alcohol”; harmonizing internationally and providing a limited quantity exception for Division 4.1, Self-reactive solids and Self-reactive liquids Types B through F; allowing smokeless powder classified as a Division 1.4C material to be reclassified as a Division 4.1 material; and providing greater flexibility by allowing the Dangerous Cargo Manifest to be in locations designated by the master of the vessel besides “on or near the vessel's bridge” while the vessel is in a United States port.
In 1985, FRA implemented a post-accident toxicological testing (post-accident testing) program to test railroad employees who had been involved in serious train accidents for alcohol and certain controlled substances (marijuana, cocaine, phencyclidine (PCP), and selected opiates, amphetamines, barbiturates, and benzodiazepines). This final rule adds certain non-controlled substances with potentially impairing side effects to its standard post-accident testing panel. The non-controlled substances include tramadol and sedating antihistamines. This final rule makes clear that FRA intends to keep the post-accident test results for these non-controlled substances confidential while it continues to obtain and analyze data on the extent to which prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drug use by railroad employees potentially affects rail safety.
This final rule repeals NHTSA's regulation requiring motor vehicle insurers to submit information on the number of thefts and recoveries of insured vehicles and actions taken by the insurer to deter or reduce motor vehicle theft. NHTSA is repealing this regulation because the agency's only available statutory authority to require insurers to submit this information was removed by the Motor Vehicle and Highway Safety Improvement Act of 2012 (Mariah's Act) (incorporated into the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21)). Given that NHTSA no longer has the authority to require insurers to submit this information and thus has no discretion to take any action other than rescinding the regulation, the agency did not issue a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) prior to this final rule. Under those circumstances, public comment to the rulemaking is unnecessary. The repeal of the authority to maintain and enforce the insurer reporting requirements reduced the paperwork burden on the public by 13,375 hours and reduced the cost to the government in collecting the information by $64,000.
This final rule amends the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) joint procedures that implement the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) by enacting a new categorical exclusion (CE) for emergency actions as required by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). The final rule modifies the existing lists of FHWA and FTA CEs and expands the existing CE for emergencies to include emergency actions as described in MAP-21 and pursuant to this rulemaking.
FRA is revising its regulations to reflect amendments to certain statutory civil monetary penalty provisions effected by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), which was enacted on July 6, 2012. These statutory amendments became effective on October 1, 2012. Pursuant to the Act, FRA is eliminating the minimum penalty for other than a training violation and adjusting both the ordinary maximum penalty and the aggravated maximum penalty that applies when assessing a civil monetary penalty for a violation of the Federal hazardous materials transportation laws or a regulation, special permit, or approval issued under those laws. FRA is also revising references to these minimums and maximums in its civil penalty assessment guidelines to conform to these statutory changes.
On July 27, 2009, NHTSA published a final rule that amended the Federal motor vehicle safety standard for air brake systems by requiring substantial improvements in stopping distance performance on new truck tractors. This final rule responds to petitions for reconsideration of a July 27, 2011 final rule that slightly relaxed the stopping distance requirement for typical loaded tractors tested from an initial speed of 20 mph. NHTSA is granting the request to remove the stopping distance requirements for speeds of 20 mph and 25 mph and denying the request to relax the stopping distance requirements for speeds between 30 mph and 55 mph.
This final rule makes revisions to the joint Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) regulations that implement the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The revisions are aimed at streamlining the FTA environmental process for transit projects, in response to the August 31, 2011, Presidential Memorandum titled “Speeding Infrastructure Development through More Efficient and Effective Permitting and Environmental Review.” The revisions also respond to Executive Order 13563's directive to periodically review existing regulations to determine if they can be made more effective and/or less burdensome. The new categorical exclusions (CEs) established by this rule, which affect actions by FTA and FTA grant applicants, are intended to improve the efficiency of the environmental review process by making available the least intensive form of review for those actions that typically do not have the potential for significant environmental effects, and, therefore, do not merit additional analysis and documentation associated with an environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement.
This final rule amends Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 109, New pneumatic and certain specialty tires, to change the test pressure for the physical dimensions test for T-type tires (temporary use spare tires) from 52 pounds per square inch (psi) to 60 psi. This increase in test pressure for the physical dimensions test will marginally increase the stringency of the test and will align FMVSS No. 109 with international and voluntary consensus standards.
This final rule sets a new regulatory framework for FTA's evaluation and rating of major transit capital investments seeking funding under the discretionary “New Starts” and “Small Starts” programs. This final rule is being published concurrently with a Notice of Availability of revised proposed policy guidance that provides additional detail on the new measures and proposed methods for calculating the project justification and local financial commitment criteria specified in statute and this final rule. FTA seeks public comment on the revised proposed policy guidance referenced in the Notice of Availability published today. Because of the recent enactment of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), subsequent interim guidance and rulemaking will be forthcoming to address provisions not covered in this final rule.
This document responds to administrative appeals generated as a result of certain amendments adopted in an international harmonization final rule published on January 19, 2011. The January 19, 2011 final rule amended the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) by revising, removing or adding proper shipping names, the hazard class of a material, packing group assignments, special provisions, packaging authorizations, packaging sections, air transport quantity limitations, and vessel stowage requirements. The amendments were necessary to align the HMR with recent revisions to international standards for the transport of hazardous materials by all modes. In this final rule, PHMSA amends the HMR as a result of administrative appeals submitted in response to various amendments adopted in the January 19, 2011 final rule. This document also addresses recent actions taken by the International Civil Aviation Organization's (ICAO) Dangerous Goods Panel (DGP) regarding certain lithium ion battery-powered mobility aids (e.g., wheelchairs, travel scooters) offered by passengers for air transport and passenger notification of hazardous materials restrictions by operators. Further, this final rule adopts amendments to the HMR as a result of two administrative appeals submitted by an appellant in response to a final rule published February 2, 2010, that revised shipper responsibilities related to packaging design variation, manufacturer notification, and recordkeeping requirements for certain packaging types.
PHMSA is amending the Hazardous Materials Regulations to maintain alignment with international standards by incorporating various amendments, including changes to proper shipping names, hazard classes, packing groups, special provisions, packaging authorizations, air transport quantity limitations, and vessel stowage requirements. These revisions are necessary to harmonize the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) with recent changes made to the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code, the International Civil Aviation Organization's Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (ICAO Technical Instructions), and the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods—Model Regulations (UN Model Regulations) and address a petition for rulemaking.
This document responds to eight petitions for reconsideration received in relation to FRA's final rule, published on April 9, 2012, which revised the existing regulations containing safety standards for locomotives. In response to the petitions, this document amends and clarifies certain sections of the final rule.
This document amends regulations that prescribe the format and contents labels that manufacturers are required to affix to motor vehicles manufactured for sale in the United States to certify the compliance of those vehicles with U.S. safety standards. The amendment will require specified certification language to be included on the labels affixed to certain types of vehicles.
NHTSA is amending the Federal motor vehicle safety standard (FMVSS) on lamps, reflective devices, and associated equipment to restore the blue and green color boundaries that were removed when the agency published a final rule reorganizing that standard on December 4, 2007.
This rule increases the rail equipment accident/incident reporting threshold from $9,500 to $9,900 for certain railroad accidents/incidents involving property damage that occur during calendar year 2013. This action is needed to ensure that FRA's reporting requirements reflect cost increases that have occurred since the reporting threshold was last published in November of 2011.
On August 24, 2011 we published a final rule responding to a petition for reconsideration of a final rule on the Federal motor vehicle safety standard for side impact protection. In today's document, we correct a minor error in that rule. The agency is also correcting several typographical errors in the standard.
This document increases the maximum civil penalty amounts for violations of motor vehicle safety requirements for the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act, as amended, and violations of bumper standards and consumer information provisions. Specifically, this increases the maximum civil penalty amounts for single violations of motor vehicle safety requirements, a series of related violations of school bus and equipment safety requirements, a series of related violations of bumper standards, and a series of related violations of consumer information regarding crashworthiness and damage susceptibility requirements. This action is taken pursuant to the Federal Civil Monetary Penalty Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as amended by the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, which requires us to review and, as warranted, adjust penalties based on inflation at least every four years.
These final rules govern land-use-exemption permits for solid waste rail transfer facilities. The Clean Railroads Act of 2008 amended the U.S. Code to restrict the jurisdiction of the Surface Transportation Board over solid waste rail transfer facilities. The Act also added three new statutory provisions that address the Board's regulation of such facilities, which is now limited to issuance of “land-use-exemption permits” in certain circumstances. In 2009, as required by the Act, the Board issued interim rules. In 2011, based on the comments received and further evaluation, the Board revised the 2009 Rules and sought comments on the changes. After further evaluation and review of the comments received on the 2011 Rules, the Board now adopts the 2011 Rules as final rules with minor modification.
On October 1, 2012, the Department published a final rule requesting comment at 77 FR 59793 to clarify the priorities and allocation authorities exercised by the Secretary of Transportation (Secretary) under title I of the Defense Production Act of 1950 and to establish the administrative procedures by which the Secretary will exercise this authority. In the final rule, the Department requested comment on certain revised definitions found in 49 CFR 33.20. No comments were received by the comment closing date of October 31, 2012. As a result, this document confirms that the October 1 final rule will not be changed and its effective date is November 30, 2012.
FMCSA withdraws its August 27, 2012, direct final rule (DFR) amending the definition of “gross combination weight rating” (GCWR) in 49 CFR parts 383 and 390. The DFR would have taken effect on October 26, 2012. However, the Agency received several adverse comments in response to the DFR and will, therefore develop a notice of proposed rulemaking to request public comments on proposed changes to the GCWR definition.
The FMCSA amends the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations to remove the provision indicating that the Agency will consider a 10-day extension of the 45-day period after which passenger and hazardous materials carriers must cease operation after receiving a proposed unsatisfactory safety rating. The Agency previously discontinued this practice as a matter of policy and now amends the regulation to be consistent with the policy and the statutory language concerning this matter. Although FMCSA will continue to review requests for upgrades of proposed unsatisfactory safety rating for such carriers, the Agency will no longer grant extensions to the 45-day period.
The Surface Transportation Board (Board) is issuing a final rule to adjust the Board's civil monetary penalties for inflation on a periodic basis pursuant to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Act of 1990, as amended by the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996. Prior to the issuance of this rule, the Board's penalties have not been adjusted for inflation since they were prescribed in the Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act of 1995 (ICCTA). As mandated by the Debt Collection Improvement Act, the Board's initial increase of its penalties cannot exceed 10%. The Board is required to review its penalties again at least once every four years thereafter and adjust them as necessary for inflation according to a specified formula.
FMCSA provides notice of the Agency's new policy concerning enforcement of its household goods (HHG) motor carrier and broker regulations. FMCSA may take enforcement action when a HHG motor carrier or broker knowingly and willfully fails, in violation of a contract, to deliver or unload at the destination a shipment of HHG for which charges have been estimated and for which payment has been tendered. A motor carrier or broker found holding a HHG shipment hostage may be subject to suspension of registration for a period of not less than 12 months to not more than 36 months.
This document contains corrections to the final rule regulation which was published in the Federal Register of Monday, October 15, 2012 (77 FR 62624). The final rule established fuel economy standards for light-duty vehicles under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA), as amended by the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA), 49 U.S.C. 32901 et seq.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB or Board) amends portions of its regulations, which set forth rules of procedure for the NTSB's review of certificate actions taken by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), as a result of the recent enactment of the Pilot's Bill of Rights.
The NTSB amends its regulations which set forth rules of procedure for the NTSB's review of certificate actions taken by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA); and its regulations which set forth rules of procedure concerning applications for fees and expenses under the Equal Access to Justice Act of 1980 (EAJA). The NTSB previously issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) and a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) and has carefully considered comments submitted in response to both documents. In a separate interim final rule published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register , the NTSB is implementing regulatory changes as a result of the recently enacted Pilot's Bill of Rights.
EPA and NHTSA, on behalf of the Department of Transportation, are issuing final rules to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve fuel economy for light-duty vehicles for model years 2017 and beyond. On May 21, 2010, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum requesting that NHTSA and EPA develop through notice and comment rulemaking a coordinated National Program to improve fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions of light-duty vehicles for model years 2017-2025, building on the success of the first phase of the National Program for these vehicles for model years 2012-2016. This final rule, consistent with the President's request, responds to the country's critical need to address global climate change and to reduce oil consumption. NHTSA is finalizing Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards for model years 2017-2021 and issuing augural standards for model years 2022-2025 under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, as amended by the Energy Independence and Security Act. NHTSA will set final standards for model years 2022-2025 in a future rulemaking. EPA is finalizing greenhouse gas emissions standards for model years 2017-2025 under the Clean Air Act. These standards apply to passenger cars, light-duty trucks, and medium-duty passenger vehicles, and represent the continuation of a harmonized and consistent National Program. Under the National Program automobile manufacturers will be able to continue building a single light-duty national fleet that satisfies all requirements under both programs while ensuring that consumers still have a full range of vehicle choices that are available today. EPA is also finalizing minor changes to the regulations applicable to model years 2012-2016, with respect to air conditioner performance, nitrous oxides measurement, off-cycle technology credits, and police and emergency vehicles.
This final rule corrects editorial errors, makes minor regulatory changes and, in response to requests for clarification, improves the clarity of certain provisions in the Hazardous Materials Regulations. The intended effect of this rule is to enhance the accuracy and reduce misunderstandings of the regulations. The amendments contained in this rule are non-substantive changes and do not impose new requirements.
This rule adopts as final, without change, a May 4, 2012, interim final rule (IFR) which no longer requires laboratories and Medical Review Officers (MRO) to consult with one another regarding the testing for the presence of morphine when the laboratory confirms the presence of 6-acetylmorphine (6-AM). Also, laboratories and MROs will no longer need to report 6-AM results to the Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance (ODAPC). This rule also responds to comments on the IFR.
The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to Title 49 after this date.
FMCSA proposes to require certified medical examiners (MEs) performing physical examinations on drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMV) to use a newly developed Medical Examination Report (MER) Form, MCSA-5875, in place of the current MER Form and to use Form MCSA-5876 for the medical examiner's certificate (MEC). In addition, MEs would be required to report results of all completed commercial drivers' physical examinations (including the results of examinations where the driver was found not to be qualified) to FMCSA by close of business on the day of the examination. This would include all CMV drivers who are required to be medically certified to operate in interstate commerce, not only those who hold or apply for commercial learner's permits (CLP) or commercial driver's licenses (CDL). Reporting of this information would be accomplished, by completing a CMV Driver Medical Examination Results Form, MCSA-5850, via their individual password-protected National Registry web account. For holders of CDLs and CLPs, FMCSA also proposes to electronically transmit driver identification, examination results, and restriction information from the National Registry system to the State Driver Licensing Agencies (SDLAs). This includes those that have been voided by FMCSA because it finds that an ME has certified a driver who does not meet the physical certification standards. The Agency would also transmit medical variance information (exemptions, skills performance evaluation certificates and grandfathered exemptions) for all CMV drivers electronically to the SDLAs. Transmission of this information would allow authorized State and Federal enforcement officials to be able to view the most current and accurate information regarding the medical status of the CMV driver, all information on the MEC, and the medical variance information (as defined above) to include the issued and expiration dates.
The FMCSA proposes to revise the definition of “gross combination weight rating” (or GCWR) to clarify that a GCWR is the greater of: the GCWR specified by the manufacturer of the power unit, if displayed on the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) certification label required by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), or the sum of the gross vehicle weight ratings (GVWRs) or gross vehicle weights (GVWs) of the power unit and towed unit(s), or any combination thereof, that produces the highest value.
The U.S. New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) provides comparative information on the safety of new vehicles to assist consumers with vehicle purchasing decisions and encourage motor vehicle manufacturers to make safety improvements. To maintain the relevance and effectiveness of NCAP, NHTSA has periodically updated the program, most recently in model year 2011. In response to the rapid development of vehicle safety technologies, especially in the area of crash avoidance, the agency is once again requesting public comments in order to help identify the potential areas for improvement to the program that have the greatest potential for producing safety benefits. This notice lists and describes potential areas of study for improving NCAP. The agency will use the comments it receives to aid it in developing a notice proposing near term upgrades to NCAP. The agency will also use the comments received in response to this notice to help it in developing a draft 5-year plan for the NCAP program outlining research that the agency plans to conduct as well as longer term upgrades it intends to pursue making to NCAP.
NHTSA is proposing to establish direct final rulemaking (DFR) procedures for use in adopting amendments to its regulations on which no adverse public comment is expected by the agency. Under these procedures, NHTSA would issue a direct final rule adopting amendments that become effective a number of days (specified in the rule) after the date of publication of the rule in the Federal Register , unless NHTSA receives written adverse comment(s) or written notice of intent to submit adverse comment(s) by the specified date. Adoption of these new procedures would expedite the promulgation of routine and noncontroversial rules by reducing the time and resources necessary to develop, review, clear and publish separate proposed and final rules. NHTSA would not use direct final rule procedures for complex or controversial issues.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is proposing to revise its civil aviation security regulations to clarify that TSA may use advanced imaging technology (AIT) to screen individuals at security screening checkpoints. This proposed rule is issued to comply with a decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which ordered TSA to engage in notice-and-comment rulemaking on the use of AIT for screening. The Court decided that TSA should provide notice and invite comments on the use of AIT technology for primary screening.
The Federal Transit Administration is withdrawing its September 13, 2011, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to revise the agency's project management oversight regulations, in light of the recent, fundamental changes to the statutes that authorize the discretionary and formula capital programs at 49 U.S.C. Chapter 53. Given the repeal of the Fixed Guideway Modernization program, the creation of the Core Capacity Improvement and State of Good Repair programs, and the streamlining of the New Starts and Small Starts project development process, FTA must re-examine its proposed definition of major capital project and its policy and procedure for risk assessment. Also, the agency must develop policy and regulatory proposals for addressing several explicit directives in the new surface transportation authorization statute, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (“MAP-21”). FTA will reinitiate a rulemaking for project management oversight in the near future. Additionally, FTA may seek to set policy on major capital projects through public notice-and-comment, and provide technical assistance through guidance.
This document proposes to amend Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 110 to make it clear that special trailer (ST) tires are permitted to be installed on new trailers with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 4,536 kg (10,000 lbs.) or less. It also proposes to exclude these trailers from a vehicle testing requirement that a tire must be retained on its rim when subjected to a sudden loss of tire pressure when brought to a controlled stop from 97 km/h (60 mph). After careful review, the agency believes that these two revisions are appropriate and would not result in any degradation of motor vehicle safety.
This document denies a petition for rulemaking submitted by Mr. Michael Schramm requesting that the agency initiate rulemaking to establish a Federal motor vehicle safety standard (FMVSS) to prevent a vehicle from being steered into a rollover at any speed. Mr. Schramm has applied to patent a device he believes will enable vehicles to meet his requested standard. After review of Mr. Schramm's petition, we believe the petition lacks sufficient data to support proposing and promulgating a safety standard. Further, it might create conflicts with existing standard and consumer information metrics. Therefore, NHTSA is denying Mr. Schramm's petition.
FMCSA announces that it will hold a public listening session to solicit ideas and information on the issue of entry-level training for drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). Specifically, the Agency solicits input on factors, issues, and data it should consider in anticipation of a rulemaking to implement the entry-level driver training (ELDT) provisions in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act. Wherever possible, the Agency requests that participants indicate whether the ideas identified are supported by research or data analyses, including cost/benefit considerations. The entire day's proceedings will be webcast.
This NPRM provides interested parties with the opportunity to comment on proposed changes to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) joint procedures that implement the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The revisions are prompted by enactment of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). This NPRM proposes to add new categorical exclusions for projects within an existing operational right-of-way and projects receiving limited Federal funding, as described in MAP-21. The Agencies seek comments on the proposals contained in this document.
The DOT is seeking comments to help conduct a review of some of the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) implementing regulations for over-the-road bus (OTRB) operators. The DOT will review regulations specified in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section. Your comments will assist DOT with making decisions to modify or retain certain requirements found in these ADA regulations.
Through this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the Surface Transportation Board (Board) is proposing certain changes to its general purpose costing system, the Uniform Railroad Costing System (URCS). Specifically, the Board is proposing to adjust how URCS calculates certain system-average unit costs in Phase II, thereby obviating the need for URCS to apply a separate make-whole adjustment in Phase III. The Board is also proposing other related changes to URCS that would result in more accurate movement costs, as well as changes to two of its reporting requirements.
In response to a petition for rulemaking, FRA proposed, in a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) dated December 11, 2012, amendments to regulations implementing a requirement of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 that certain passenger and freight railroads install positive train control (PTC) systems. The present document clarifies FRA's responses to several elements of the Association of American Railroads' (AAR) petition for rulemaking and which elements of the petition for rulemaking FRA is considering, and asks specific questions concerning those elements. This document does not alter FRA's proposal as issued December 11, 2012, but it does extend the comment period in this proceeding to March 11, 2013.
By notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) published on October 18, 2012, FRA proposed a rule that would require railroads to submit information to the U.S. DOT National Highway-Rail Crossing Inventory (Crossing Inventory) about highway-rail and pathway crossings over which they operate. This document announces a public hearing to provide interested parties an opportunity to comment on the NPRM. This document also extends the NPRM comment period to allow interested parties to submit comments in response to issues raised at the public hearing.
As required by the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act (PSEA) of 2010 this rule proposes to establish a Federal motor vehicle safety standard (FMVSS) setting minimum sound requirements for hybrid and electric vehicles. This new standard would require hybrid and electric passenger cars, light trucks and vans (LTVs), medium and heavy duty, trucks, and buses, low speed vehicles (LSVs), and motorcycles to produce sounds meeting the requirements of this standard. This proposed standard applies to electric vehicles (EVs) and to those hybrid vehicles (HVs) that are capable of propulsion in any forward or reverse gear without the vehicle's internal combustion engine (ICE) operating. This standard would ensure that blind, visually-impaired, and other pedestrians are able to detect and recognize nearby hybrid and electric vehicles, as required by the PSEA, by requiring that hybrid and electric vehicles emit sound that pedestrians would be able to hear in a range of ambient environments and contain acoustic signal content that pedestrians will recognize as being emitted from a vehicle. The benefit of reducing the pedestrian injury rate per registered vehicle of HVs to ICE vehicles when 4.1% of the fleet is HV and EV would be 2790 fewer pedestrian and pedalcyclist injuries. We also estimate that this proposal will result in 10 fewer pedestrian and pedalcyclist injuries caused by LSVs. Thus, 2800 total injured pedestrians are expected to be avoided due to this proposal representing 35 equivalent lives saved. We do not estimate any quantifiable benefits for EVs because it is our view that EV manufacturers would have installed alert sounds in their cars without passage of the PSEA and this proposed rule. Comparison of costs and benefits expected due to this rule provides a cost of $0.83 to $0.99 million per equivalent life saved across the 3 and 7 percent discount levels for the light EV and HV and LSV fleet. According to our present model, a countermeasure that allows a vehicle to meet the proposed minimum sound requirements would be cost effective compared to our comprehensive cost estimate of the value of a statistical life of $6.3 million.
NHTSA is announcing the availability of a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of a proposed rule establishing a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) setting minimum sound requirements for hybrid and electric vehicles.
This document proposes several minor amendments to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 119 to revise the formatting and replace a missing footnote in Table II. FMVSS No. 119 was amended in a final rule published on June 26, 2003 as part of a comprehensive upgrade of several FMVSSs to improve tire safety, as required by the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability, and Documentation (TREAD) Act of 2000. The agency believes that this proposed revision is appropriate to correct minor oversights made in the June 2003 final rule for FMVSS No. 119.
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is announcing the availability of proposed policy guidance to sponsors of New Starts and Small Starts projects, and inviting comment on this proposed guidance, which has been placed both in the docket and on the agency's web site. This proposed policy guidance will accompany the final rule for Major Capital Investment Projects published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register . Specifically, this proposed policy guidance describes the particular measures FTA intends to apply in evaluating projects seeking New Starts and Small Starts funding and the way these measures would be used in project ratings, if adopted. The final rule establishes the framework for the New Starts and Small Starts evaluation and rating process; this proposed policy guidance complements the final rule by providing a deeper level of detail about the methods for calculating the project justification and local financial commitment criteria required for New Starts and Small Starts projects.
In this document, PHMSA is seeking additional comment on the impact of changes to the requirements for the air transport of lithium cells and batteries that have been adopted into the 2013-2014 International Civil Aviation Organization Technical Instructions on the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (ICAO Technical Instructions), and subsequently incorporated by reference in a final rule published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register . PHMSA is considering the long-term impacts of permitting shippers and carriers to choose between compliance with the existing HMR, or compliance with the ICAO Technical Instructions 2013-2014 edition, when transporting batteries domestically by air. Incorporation by reference of the 2013-2014 Edition of the ICAO Technical Instructions will allow each shipper and carrier to choose the method of compliance that is most appropriate for its operation; likewise, each shipper and carrier will have the responsibility to ensure that the proper method of compliance is chosen for each shipment, since the chosen method may not comply with the ICAO Technical Instructions. PHMSA is seeking supplemental comments to our January 11, 2010, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) and our April 11, 2012, request for additional comment in light of the publication of the HM-215L final rule. Specifically, PHMSA is seeking comment on whether to require mandatory compliance with the 2013-2014 ICAO Technical Instructions for all shipments of lithium batteries by air, both foreign and domestic. Based on the comments received, PHMSA may issue a final rule to revise the HMR to reflect the lithium battery provisions specified in the 2013-2014 Edition of the ICAO Technical Instructions.
This action withdraws a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would have amended the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA's) bus testing regulation to increase the assumed average passenger weight value used for ballasting test buses from the current value of 150 pounds to a new value of 175 pounds. This increase was proposed to better reflect the actual weight of the average American adult and to provide accurate information to the transit agencies that purchase such vehicles. In light of recent legislation directing FTA to establish new pass/fail standards that require a more comprehensive review of its overall bus testing program, FTA is withdrawing the rulemaking.
In August 2006, NHTSA established a regulation that sets forth requirements for data elements, data capture and format, data retrieval, and data crash survivability for event data recorders (EDRs) installed in light vehicles. The requirements apply to light vehicles that are manufactured on or after September 1, 2012, and are equipped with EDRs. However, the regulation does not mandate the installation of EDRs in those vehicles. This notice of proposed rulemaking would establish a new safety standard mandating the installation of EDRs in most light vehicles manufactured on or after September 1, 2014. The EDRs in those vehicles would be required by the new standard to meet the data elements, data capture and format, data retrieval, and data crash survivability requirements of the existing regulation. This proposal would not modify any of the requirements or specifications in the regulation for EDRs voluntarily installed between September 1, 2012 and September 1, 2014.
FRA proposes amendments to regulations implementing a requirement of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 that certain passenger and freight railroads install positive train control (PTC) systems. The proposal would revise the regulatory provisions related to the de minimis exception to the installation of PTC systems generally, and more specifically, its application to yard-related movements. The proposal would also revise the existing regulations related to en route failures of a PTC system and discontinuances of signal systems once a PTC system is installed and make additional technical amendments to regulations governing grade crossing warning systems and signal systems, including PTC systems.
The U.S.-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) was created on February 4, 2011. After private sector consultations and bilateral negotiations, the RCC released the Joint Action Plan on Regulatory Cooperation on December 7, 2011. The Joint Action Plan is a practical first step to increased regulatory cooperation between the United States and Canada. In order to implement the initiatives identified in the Joint Action Plan, bilateral working groups led by senior officials from regulatory agencies have developed work plans with concrete objectives, deliverables and milestones for tangible progress within the RCC's two-year mandate. On January 30 and 31, 2012, the RCC and its bi-national working groups facilitated stakeholder meetings in Washington, DC. This notice announces a public meeting of the RCC Motor Vehicles Working Group.
NHTSA is proposing to restore the side marker lamp requirements, for vehicles that are over 80 inches wide, and also less than 30 feet in overall length, to the Federal motor vehicle safety standard (FMVSS) on lamps, reflective devices and associated equipment. These requirements were modified when the agency published a final rule reorganizing the standard on December 4, 2007.
This document withdraws a rulemaking proposal to rescind Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 219, “Windshield zone intrusion.” The agency has determined that there are two ongoing regulatory developments that could influence vehicle designs by putting a premium on the use of lighter or less rigid materials. These two developments are U.S. fuel economy requirements and a global technical regulation aimed at reducing injuries to pedestrians struck by vehicles. As a result, the agency believes that vehicle designs with regard to the hood and windshield are in a state of change and that the implications of these developments should be better understood before deciding whether to rescind FMVSS No. 219.
By notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) published on September 7, 2012, FRA proposed regulations to require commuter and intercity passenger railroads to develop and implement a system safety program (SSP) to improve the safety of their operations. The comment period for the NPRM closed November 6, 2012. This document reopens the comment period until December 7, 2012.
NHTSA seeks comments on the economic impact of its regulations on small entities. As required by Section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, we are attempting to identify rules that may have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. We also request comments on ways to make these regulations easier to read and understand. The focus of this notice is rules that specifically relate to passenger cars, multipurpose passenger vehicles, trucks, buses, trailers, motorcycles, and motor vehicle equipment.
On October 18, 2012, FRA published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on National Highway-Rail Crossing Inventory Reporting Requirements. In the NPRM, FRA announced that it would schedule a technical symposium to give interested parties the opportunity to discuss issues associated with the electronic submission of data to the U.S. DOT National Highway-Rail Crossing Inventory (Crossing Inventory). This notice announces the scheduling of the technical symposium. This notice also extends the NPRM comment period to allow time for interested parties to submit comments after the technical symposium.
FMCSA proposes amendments to its regulations that would enable the Agency to suspend or revoke the operating authority registration of motor carriers that have shown egregious disregard for safety compliance or that permit persons who have shown egregious disregard for safety compliance to act on their behalf. These amendments would implement section 4113 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) as amended by section 32112 of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), and are designed to enhance the safety of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) operations on our nation's highways.
Through this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPR), the Board is proposing a rule establishing additional disclosure requirements for notices and petitions for exemption where the underlying lease or line sale includes an interchange commitment.
This NPRM proposes to amend NHTSA's regulation regarding, “Make Inoperative Exemptions, Vehicle Modifications to Accommodate People With Disabilities,” to include a new exemption relating to the Federal motor vehicle safety standard for ejection mitigation. The regulation facilitates the mobility of physically disabled drivers and passengers. This document responds to a petition from Bruno Independent Living Aids.
The Department is correcting a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) published in the Federal Register . In that document, the Department proposed, among other modifications, to change the Uniform Report of DBE Commitments/Awards and Payments form found in our regulations. As this is an information collection covered by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), the Department should have included a discussion of this collection in the “Paperwork Reduction Act” section of the NPRM in order to comply with the PRA's procedural requirements. Today, the Department is correcting this omission by including discussion of the Uniform Report collection and providing the public with 60 days from today to comment both on this collection and all other aspects of the NPRM. Thus, the original end of the comment period, November 5, 2012, has been extended until December 24, 2012.
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is proposing to amend the Hazardous Materials Regulations to incorporate provisions contained in certain widely used or longstanding special permits and certain competent authority approvals (“approvals”) that have established safety records. Special permits allow a company or individual to package or ship a hazardous material in a manner that varies from the regulations provided an equivalent level of safety is maintained. An approval is a written consent (document) required under an international standard (i.e., International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)), or is specifically provided for in the HMR, and is issued by the Associate Administrator for Hazardous Materials Safety. These proposed revisions are intended to provide wider access to the regulatory flexibility offered in special permits and approvals and eliminate the need for numerous renewal requests, reducing paperwork burdens and facilitating commerce while maintaining an appropriate level of safety. Additionally, this rulemaking will address three petitions for rulemaking regarding the continued use of renewal applications for long standing special permits.
FRA is proposing to amend the Federal Track Safety Standards to promote the safety of railroad operations by enhancing rail flaw detection processes. In particular, FRA is proposing minimum qualification requirements for rail flaw detection equipment operators, as well as revisions to requirements for effective rail inspection frequencies, rail flaw remedial actions, and rail inspection records. In addition, FRA is proposing to remove regulatory requirements concerning joint bar fracture reporting. This rulemaking is intended to implement section 403 of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (RSIA).
FRA is proposing to require railroads to submit information to the U.S. DOT National Highway-Rail Crossing Inventory about highway-rail crossings and pathway crossings over which they operate. These amendments, which are required by the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (RSIA), would require railroads to submit information about previously unreported and new public and private highway-rail crossings and pathway crossings to the U.S. DOT National Highway-Rail Crossing Inventory and to periodically update the Inventory.
FMCSA announces that it will hold a public listening session to solicit information, concepts, ideas, and information on hours-of-service (HOS) requirements for drivers of passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). Specifically, the Agency would like to know what factors, issues, and data it should consider as it determines preliminarily whether the HOS regulations applicable to these drivers need to be changed to decrease the risk of fatigue-related crashes. The session, which will be held in Santa Barbara, CA, will allow interested persons to present comments, views, and relevant new research that FMCSA should consider in drafting a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). All comments will be transcribed and placed in the docket for FMCSA's consideration. The entire day's proceedings will be webcast.