[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 46 (Thursday, March 8, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 13978-13979]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-5667]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Railroad Administration

49 CFR Part 214

[Docket No. FRA-2008-0059, Notice No. 5]
RIN 2130-AB96


Railroad Workplace Safety; Adjacent-Track On-Track Safety for 
Roadway Workers

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

ACTION: Final rule; delay of effective date and request for comments.

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SUMMARY: This document delays the effective date of the final rule 
published November 30, 2011, and scheduled to take effect on May 1, 
2012. The final rule mandates that roadway workers comply with 
specified on-track safety procedures that railroads must adopt to 
protect those workers from the movement of trains or other on-track 
equipment on ``adjacent controlled track,'' and requests comments on 
the petitions for reconsideration of the final rule that FRA has 
received. In response to the final rule, FRA received two petitions for 
reconsideration that raise a number of substantive issues requiring a 
detailed response. Accordingly, in order to respond fully to the 
petitions for reconsideration and for the reasons set forth below, this 
document delays the effective date of the final rule until July 1, 
2013. FRA is establishing a 60-day comment period in order to permit 
interested parties an opportunity to respond to the submitted petitions 
for reconsideration.

DATES: The effective date for the final rule published November 30, 
2011, at 76 FR 74586, and originally effective on May 1, 2012, is 
delayed until July 1, 2013. Comments in response to the petitions for 
reconsideration must be received on or before May 7, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Comments on the Petitions for Reconsideration: Any comments 
on the petitions for reconsideration related to Docket No. FRA-2008-
0059, Notice No. 4, may be submitted by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting 
comments.
     Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, West Building, Ground Floor, M-33, Room W12-140, 1200 
New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.
     Hand Delivery or Courier: Docket Management Facility, U.S. 
Department

[[Page 13979]]

of Transportation, West Building, Ground Floor, M-33, 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 (1) the agency name and 
(2) either the docket number for this rulemaking (Docket No. FRA-2008-
0059) or the current Regulatory Identification Number (RIN) for this 
rulemaking (RIN 2130-AB96). Note that all comments received will be 
posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any 
personal information provided. Please see the ``Privacy Act'' heading 
under the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this preamble.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov anytime, or to the 
Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 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. Follow the online instructions for accessing 
the docket.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kenneth Rusk, Staff Director, Track 
Division, Office of Safety Assurance and Compliance, FRA, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., RRS-15, Mail Stop 25, Washington, DC 20590 
(telephone 202-493-6236); or Anna Winkle, Trial Attorney, Office of 
Chief Counsel, FRA, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., RCC-12, Mail Stop 10, 
Washington, DC 20590 (telephone 202-493-6166 or 202-493-6052).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On November 30, 2011, FRA published a final 
rule amending its regulations on railroad workplace safety to further 
reduce the risk of serious injury or death to roadway workers 
performing work with potentially distracting equipment near certain 
adjacent tracks. See 76 FR 74586. In particular, the rule requires that 
roadway workers comply with specified on-track safety procedures that 
railroads must adopt to protect those workers from the movement of 
trains or other on- track equipment on ``adjacent controlled track.'' 
The effective date of this final rule was to be May 1, 2012. In 
response to the final rule, FRA received two petitions for 
reconsideration that raise substantive issues, requiring a detailed 
response from FRA. One of the petitions requests a delay in the 
effective date of the final rule until July 1, 2013, for reasons 
related to the railroads' safety training schedules. In addition, since 
the publication of the final rule, it has come to FRA's attention that, 
while the overwhelming majority of railroads complete their annual 
training of roadway workers by May 1st of each calendar year, there is 
at least one railroad that does not complete its training by that date 
but that would complete it by July 1st of the calendar year. 
Accordingly, in order to allow FRA appropriate time to consider and 
fully respond to the petitions for reconsideration and to accommodate 
all of the railroads' normal training schedules, this document delays 
the effective date of the final rule until July 1, 2013. Therefore, any 
requirements imposed by the final rule need not be complied with until 
July 1, 2013.
    Additionally, FRA is establishing a 60-day comment period in order 
to permit interested parties an opportunity to respond to the petitions 
for reconsideration related to Docket No. FRA-2008-0059, Notice No. 4. 
The petitions for reconsideration are available for review in the 
docket for this rulemaking, and have been assigned identification 
numbers of FRA-2008-0059-0031 and FRA-2008-0059-0032. FRA's response to 
the petitions for reconsideration and any comments received on these 
petitions will be published under a new RIN number (2130-AC37), but 
will be filed in the same docket.

Privacy Act

    Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments 
received into any of FRA's dockets by the name of the individual 
submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf 
of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT's 
complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on 
April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-78), or you may visit http://DocketsInfo.dot.gov.

List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 214

    Occupational safety and health, Penalties, Railroad safety.

The Final Rule

    In consideration of the foregoing, FRA delays the effective date of 
the final rule until July 1, 2013.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on March 2, 2012.
Karen J. Hedlund,
Deputy Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2012-5667 Filed 3-7-12; 8:45 am]
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