[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 231 (Friday, November 30, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 71354-71356]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-28925]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Railroad Administration

49 CFR Part 225

[FRA-2008-0136, Notice No. 5]
RIN 2130-ZA10


Adjustment of Monetary Threshold for Reporting Rail Equipment 
Accidents/Incidents for Calendar Year 2013

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

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: 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.

DATES: This regulation is effective January 1, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kebo Chen, Staff Director, U.S. 
Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration, Office 
of Safety Analysis, RRS-22, Mail Stop 25, West Building 3rd Floor, Room 
W33-314, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., Washington, DC 20590 (telephone 202-
493-6079); or Gahan Christenson, Trial Attorney, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration, Office of Chief 
Counsel, RCC-10, Mail Stop 10, West Building 3rd Floor, Room W31-204, 
1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., Washington, DC 20590 (telephone 202-493-
1381).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    A ``rail equipment accident/incident'' is a collision, derailment, 
fire, explosion, act of God, or other event involving the operation of 
railroad on-track equipment (standing or moving) that results in 
damages to railroad on-track equipment, signals, tracks, track 
structures, or roadbed, including labor costs and the costs for 
acquiring new equipment and material, greater than the reporting 
threshold for the year in which the event occurs. 49 CFR 225.19(c). 
Each rail equipment accident/incident must be reported to FRA using the 
Rail Equipment Accident/Incident Report (Form FRA F 6180.54). 49 CFR 
225.19(b) and (c). As revised, effective in 1997, paragraphs (c) and 
(e) of 49 CFR 225.19 provide that the dollar figure that constitutes 
the reporting threshold for rail equipment accidents/incidents will be 
adjusted, if necessary, every year in accordance with the procedures 
outlined in appendix B to part 225 to reflect any cost increases or 
decreases.

New Reporting Threshold

    Approximately one year has passed since the rail equipment 
accident/incident reporting threshold was revised. 76 FR 72850 
(November 28, 2011). Consequently, FRA has recalculated the threshold, 
as required by Sec.  225.19(c), based on increased costs for labor and 
increased costs for equipment. FRA has determined that the current 
reporting threshold of $9,500, which applies to rail equipment 
accidents/incidents that occur during calendar year 2012, should 
increase by $400 to $9,900 for equipment accidents/incidents occurring 
during calendar year 2013, effective January 1, 2013. The specific 
inputs to the equation set forth in appendix B (i.e., Tnew = Tprior * 
[1 + 0.4(Wnew-Wprior)/Wprior + 0.6(Enew-Eprior)/100]) to part 225 are:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Tprior                  Wnew                  Wprior                  Enew                 Eprior
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
             $9,500              $25.56943              $24.92646              191.50000             186.36667
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Where: Tnew = New threshold; Tprior = Prior threshold (with reference 
to the threshold, ``prior'' refers to the previous threshold rounded to 
the nearest $100, as reported in the Federal Register); Wnew = New 
average hourly wage rate, in dollars; Wprior = Prior average hourly 
wage rate, in dollars; Enew = New equipment average Producer Price 
Index (PPI) value; Eprior = Prior equipment average PPI value. Using 
the above figures, the calculated new threshold, (Tnew) is $9,890.62, 
which is rounded to the nearest $100 for a final new reporting 
threshold of $9,900.

[[Page 71355]]

Notice and Comment Procedures

    In this rule, FRA has recalculated the monetary reporting threshold 
based on the formula discussed in detail and adopted, after notice and 
comment, in the final rule published December 20, 2005, 70 FR 75414. 
FRA has found that both the current cost data inserted into this pre-
existing formula and the original cost data that they replace were 
obtained from reliable Federal government sources. FRA has found that 
this rule imposes no additional burden on any person, but rather 
provides a benefit by permitting the valid comparison of accident data 
over time. Accordingly, finding that notice and comment procedures are 
either impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest, 
FRA is proceeding directly to the final rule.

Regulatory Impact

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 and DOT Regulatory Policies and 
Procedures

    This rule has been evaluated in accordance with existing policies 
and procedures, and determined to be non-significant under both 
Executive Order 12866 and 13563 in addition to DOT policies and 
procedures (44 FR 11034 (Feb. 26, 1979)).

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (5 U.S.C. 601-612) requires 
a review of proposed and final rules to assess their impact on small 
entities, unless the Secretary certifies that the rule will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
Pursuant to Section 312 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement 
Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), FRA has issued a final policy 
that formally establishes ``small entities'' as including railroads 
that meet the line-haulage revenue requirements of a Class III 
railroad. 49 CFR part 209, app. C. For other entities, the same dollar 
limit in revenues governs whether a railroad, contractor, or other 
respondent is a small entity. Id. About 719 of the approximately 764 
railroads in the United States are considered small entities by FRA. 
FRA certifies that this final rule will have no significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities. To the extent that 
this rule has any impact on small entities, the impact will be neutral 
or insignificant.
    The frequency of rail equipment accidents/incidents, and therefore 
also the frequency of required reporting, is generally proportional to 
the size of the railroad. A railroad that employs thousands of 
employees and operates trains millions of miles is exposed to greater 
risks than one whose operation is substantially smaller. Small 
railroads may go for months at a time without having a reportable 
occurrence of any type, and even longer without having a rail equipment 
accident/incident. For example, current FRA data indicate that 2,693 
rail equipment accidents/incidents were reported in 2007, with small 
railroads reporting 364 of them. Data for 2008 show that 2,481 rail 
equipment accidents/incidents were reported, with small railroads 
reporting 294 of them. In 2009, 1,910 rail equipment accidents/
incidents were reported, and small railroads reported 271 of them. In 
2010, 1,902 rail equipment accidents/incidents were reported, with 
small railroads reporting 258 of them. In 2011, 2010 rail equipment 
accidents/incidents were reported, with small railroads reporting 267 
of them. On average for those five calendar years, small railroads 
reported about 13% (ranging from 12% to 14%) of the total number of 
rail equipment accidents/incidents. FRA notes that these data are based 
on accidents/incidents reported by railroads with less than 400,000 
employee hours per year. FRA's accident reporting regulations require 
railroads to report employee hours; thus for purposes of 49 CFR part 
225, FRA has historically categorized and displayed the data in this 
manner. Of the approximately 764 railroads in the United States, 731 
fit into the category of less than 400,000 employee hours per year and 
the characteristics of such railroads are substantively similar to 
railroads otherwise considered small entities in accordance with FRA's 
policy. Accordingly, because the number and characteristics of these 
railroads are consistent with those otherwise considered small entities 
FRA believes that this approach is appropriate. FRA notes, however, 
that these data are accurate as of the date of issuance of this final 
rule, and are subject to minor changes due to additional reporting. 
Absent this rulemaking (i.e., any increase in the monetary reporting 
threshold), the number of reportable accidents/incidents would 
increase, as keeping the 2012 threshold in place would not allow it to 
keep pace with the increasing dollar amounts of wages and rail 
equipment repair costs. Therefore, this rule will be neutral in effect. 
Increasing the reporting threshold will slightly decrease the 
recordkeeping burden for railroads over time. Any recordkeeping burden 
will not be significant and will affect the large railroads more than 
the small entities, due to the higher proportion of reportable rail 
equipment accidents/incidents experienced by large entities.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    There are no new information collection requirements associated 
with this final rule. Therefore, no estimate of a public reporting 
burden is required.

Federalism Implications

    Executive Order 13132, entitled, ``Federalism,'' signed on August 
4, 1999, requires that each agency ``in a separately identified portion 
of the preamble to the regulation as it is to be issued in the Federal 
Register, provide[] to the Director of the Office of Management and 
Budget a federalism summary impact statement, which consists of a 
description of the extent of the agency's prior consultation with State 
and local officials, a summary of the nature of their concerns and the 
agency's position supporting the need to issue the regulation, and a 
statement of the extent to which the concerns of the State and local 
officials have been met * * *'' This rulemaking action has been 
analyzed in accordance with the principles and criteria contained in 
Executive Order 13132. This rule will not have a substantial direct 
effect on States, on the relationship between the National Government 
and the States, or on the distribution of power and the 
responsibilities among the various levels of government, as specified 
in the Executive Order 13132. Accordingly, FRA has determined that this 
rule will not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant 
consultation with State and local officials or the preparation of a 
federalism assessment. Accordingly, a federalism assessment has not 
been prepared.

Environmental Impact

    FRA has evaluated this regulation in accordance with its 
``Procedures for Considering Environmental Impacts'' (FRA's Procedures) 
(64 FR 28545 (May 26, 1999)) as required by the National Environmental 
Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), other environmental statutes, 
Executive Orders, and related regulatory requirements. FRA has 
determined that this regulation is not a major FRA action (requiring 
the preparation of an environmental impact statement or environmental 
assessment) because it is categorically excluded from detailed 
environmental review pursuant to section 4(c)(20) of FRA's Procedures. 
64 FR 28545, 28547 (May 26, 1999). In accordance with section 4(c) and 
(e) of FRA's Procedures, the agency has further concluded that no 
extraordinary circumstances exist with respect to this

[[Page 71356]]

regulation that might trigger the need for a more detailed 
environmental review. As a result, FRA finds that this regulation is 
not a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the 
human environment.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    Pursuant to Section 201 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 
(Pub. L. 104-4, 2 U.S.C. 1531), each Federal agency ``shall, unless 
otherwise prohibited by law, assess the effects of Federal regulatory 
actions on State, local, and tribal governments, and the private sector 
(other than to the extent that such regulations incorporate 
requirements specifically set forth in law).'' Section 202 of the Act 
(2 U.S.C. 1532) further requires that ``before promulgating any general 
notice of proposed rulemaking that is likely to result in the 
promulgation of any rule that includes any Federal mandate that may 
result in expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the 
aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100,000,000 or more (adjusted 
annually for inflation) [currently $143,100,000] in any one year, and 
before promulgating any final rule for which a general notice of 
proposed rulemaking was published, the agency shall prepare a written 
statement'' detailing the effect on State, local, and tribal 
governments and the private sector. The final rule will not result in 
the expenditure, in the aggregate, of $143,100,000 or more in any one 
year, and thus preparation of such a statement is not required.

Energy Impact

    Executive Order 13211 requires Federal agencies to prepare a 
Statement of Energy Effects for any ``significant energy action.'' 66 
FR 28355 (May 22, 2001). Under the Executive Order, a ``significant 
energy action'' is defined as any action by an agency (normally 
published in the Federal Register) that promulgates or is expected to 
lead to the promulgation of a final rule or regulation, including 
notices of inquiry, advance notices of proposed rulemaking, and notices 
of proposed rulemaking: That (1)(i) is a significant regulatory action 
under Executive Order 12866 or any successor order, and (ii) is likely 
to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or 
use of energy; or (2) that is designated by the Administrator of the 
Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs as a significant energy 
action. FRA has evaluated this final rule in accordance with Executive 
Order 13211. FRA has determined that this final rule is not likely to 
have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use 
of energy. Consequently, FRA has determined that this regulatory action 
is not a ``significant energy action'' within the meaning of Executive 
Order 13211.

Privacy Act

    Anyone is able to 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 comment, 
if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). 
See http://www.regulations.gov/#!privacyNotice for the privacy notice 
of regulations.gov or interested parties may review DOT's complete 
Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 
2000 (65 FR 19477).

List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 225

    Investigations, Penalties, Railroad safety, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements.

The Rule

    In consideration of the foregoing, FRA amends part 225 of chapter 
II, subtitle B of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, as follows:

PART 225--[AMENDED]

0
1. The authority citation for part 225 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  49 U.S.C. 103, 322(a), 20103, 20107, 20901-02, 
21301, 21302, 21311; 28 U.S.C. 2461, note; and 49 CFR 1.49.


0
2. Amend Sec.  225.19 by revising the first sentence of paragraph (c) 
and revising paragraph (e) to read as follows:


Sec.  225.19  Primary groups of accidents/incidents.

* * * * *
    (c) Group II--Rail equipment. Rail equipment accidents/incidents 
are collisions, derailments, fires, explosions, acts of God, and other 
events involving the operation of on-track equipment (standing or 
moving) that result in damages higher than the current reporting 
threshold (i.e., $6,700 for calendar years 2002 through 2005, $7,700 
for calendar year 2006, $8,200 for calendar year 2007, $8,500 for 
calendar year 2008, $8,900 for calendar year 2009, $9,200 for calendar 
year 2010, $9,400 for calendar year 2011, $9,500 for calendar year 
2012, and $9,900 for calendar year 2013) to railroad on-track 
equipment, signals, tracks, track structures, or roadbed, including 
labor costs and the costs for acquiring new equipment and material. * * 
*
* * * * *
    (e) The reporting threshold is $6,700 for calendar years 2002 
through 2005, $7,700 for calendar year 2006, $8,200 for calendar year 
2007, $8,500 for calendar year 2008, $8,900 for calendar year 2009, 
$9,200 for calendar year 2010, $9,400 for calendar year 2011, $9,500 
for calendar year 2012 and $9,900 for calendar year 2013. The procedure 
for determining the reporting threshold for calendar years 2006 and 
beyond appears as paragraphs 1-8 of appendix B to part 225.
* * * * *

    Issued in Washington, DC, on November 26, 2012.
Melissa L. Porter,
Chief Counsel.
[FR Doc. 2012-28925 Filed 11-29-12; 8:45 am]
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