[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 16 (Thursday, January 24, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 5161-5162]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-01397]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Railroad Administration

49 CFR Part 234

[Docket No. FRA-2011-0007, Notice No. 3]
RIN 2130-AC26


National Highway-Rail Crossing Inventory Reporting Requirements

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

ACTION: Announcement of public hearing and extension of comment period.

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SUMMARY: 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.

DATES: A public hearing will be held on February 19, 2013 in 
Washington, DC, and will commence at 10 a.m. The comment period in this 
proceeding is extended to March 29, 2013.

ADDRESSES: (1) Public Hearing: The public hearing will be held at the 
Washington Plaza Hotel, 10 Thomas Circle NW., Washington, DC 20005.
    (2) Attendance: Any person wishing to participate in the public 
hearing should notify Michelle Silva in FRA's Office of Chief Counsel 
by telephone or in writing, by mail or email, at least five business 
days before the date of the hearing. Ms. Silva's contact information is 
as follows: FRA, Office of Chief Counsel, Mail Stop 10, 1200 New Jersey 
Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590; telephone: 202-493-6030; email: 
michelle.silva@dot.gov.
    For information on facilities or services for persons with 
disabilities or to request special assistance at the

[[Page 5162]]

meeting, please contact by telephone or email as soon as possible, 
Larry Woolverton at 202-493-6212 or larry.woolverton@dot.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ronald Ries, Staff Director, Grade 
Crossing Safety and Trespass Prevention, Office of Safety Analysis, 
FRA, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Mail Stop 25, Washington, DC 20590 
(telephone: 202-493-6299), ronald.ries@dot.gov; or Kathryn Shelton, 
Office of Chief Counsel, FRA, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Mail Stop 13, 
Washington, DC 20590 (telephone: 202-493-6063), 
kathryn.shelton@dot.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: FRA has received written comments from 
interested parties, including Applied Research Associates, Inc. and 
Orion's Angels, related to the use of information submitted by 
railroads to the Crossing Inventory about the highway-rail and pathway 
crossings over which they operate. While this issue is not specifically 
addressed in the NPRM, FRA will hold a public hearing to facilitate the 
exchange of information and concerns regarding FRA's proposed rule.
    The public hearing is meant to provide an opportunity for 
interested parties to articulate the issues and concerns they have with 
the NPRM and to respond to the specific comments requested therein 
related to the draft Inventory Form and draft Inventory Guide, so that 
these issues can be fully addressed in any final rule that is 
developed. Interested parties are invited to present oral statements 
and to proffer information and views related to FRA's proposal at the 
hearing. The hearing will be informal and will be conducted by a 
representative designated by FRA in accordance with FRA's Rules of 
Practice (49 CFR 211.25). The hearing will be a non-adversarial 
proceeding; therefore, there will be no cross examination of persons 
presenting statements or proffering evidence. An FRA representative 
will make an opening statement outlining the scope of the hearing. 
After all initial statements by those wishing to comment have been 
completed; those persons wishing to make a brief rebuttal will be 
afforded an opportunity to do so in the same order in which the initial 
statements were made. Additional procedures, as necessary for the 
conduct of the hearing, will be announced at the hearing. A transcript 
of the discussions will be made a part of the public docket in this 
proceeding.

Public Participation Procedures

    Any person wishing to participate in the public hearing should 
notify FRA by telephone or in writing, by mail or email, at the 
addresses provided in the Attendance section of this notice at least 
five business days prior to the date of the hearing. The notification 
should identify the party the person represents, and the particular 
subject(s) the person plans to address. The notification should also 
provide the participant's mailing address, email address (if 
applicable), and other contact information. FRA reserves the right to 
limit the duration of presentations, if necessary, to provide all 
participants the opportunity to speak.

Extension of Comment Period

    To accommodate the public hearing and to provide interested parties 
the opportunity to submit comments in response to views or information 
provided at the public hearing, FRA is extending the comment period in 
this proceeding to March 29, 2013.

Follow-Up to December 13, 2012 Technical Symposium

    In an effort to facilitate discussion on technical issues 
associated with the electronic submission of data to the Crossing 
Inventory, FRA hosted a technical symposium on December 13, 2012. See 
77 FR 68722 (Nov. 16, 2012). A transcript of the symposium is available 
in the public docket. As a result of discussions at that technical 
symposium, FRA intends to host a series of follow-up technical meetings 
to further discuss with all interested parties technical issues and 
concerns associated with electronic submission of data to the Crossing 
Inventory. The date, time, and location of these technical meetings 
will be announced in notices posted in the public docket of this 
rulemaking proceeding. FRA will also notify via email those individuals 
who participated in the December 13, 2012 technical symposium and 
provided their email addresses to FRA. Any person wishing to 
participate in these technical meetings, who has not already expressed 
an interest and provided an email address to FRA, should notify Ms. 
Michelle Silva of his or her interest by telephone or in writing (by 
email) at the address provided in the Attendance section of this 
notice. Note, however, that these technical meetings are intended to 
allow for the free flow of technical data and information between all 
interested parties. Any individual's or organization's involvement in 
any of these technical meetings will not be construed as official 
comments to the NPRM. Any person wishing to comment on the NPRM must 
present his or her comments at the February 19, 2013 public hearing or 
submit such comments in writing to the docket as instructed in this 
document. Although the proceedings of these additional technical 
meetings will not be transcribed, minutes of the meetings will be kept 
by FRA personnel and placed in the underlying rulemaking docket (docket 
no. FRA-2011-0007).

    Issued in Washington, DC, on January 17, 2013.
Jo Strang,
Associate Administrator for Railroad Safety/Chief Safety Officer.
[FR Doc. 2013-01397 Filed 1-23-13; 8:45 am]
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