[Federal Register Volume 64, Number 29 (Friday, February 12, 1999)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 7133-7134]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 99-3605]



Federal Railroad Administration

49 CFR Part 268

[FRA Docket No. FRA-95-4545; Notice No. 2]
RIN 2130-AB29

Magnetic Levitation Transportation Technology Development Program

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

ACTION: Amendment to the interim final rule.


SUMMARY: FRA published an Interim Final Rule with request for comments 
on October 13, 1998 (63 FR 54600), implementing the Magnetic Levitation 
Technology Deployment Program. The Interim Final Rule established a 
deadline of December 31, 1998, for the submission of application 
packages for preconstruction planning assistance, and set out a 
schedule for other actions flowing from the submission of application 
packages. This Amendment to the Interim Final Rule extends the deadline 
for the submission of application packages to February 15, 1999, and 
makes other adjustments to various dates which flow from that extension 
of time.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This Amendment to the Interim Final Rule is effective 
February 12, 1999.

Development Division, FRA, 1120 Vermont Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20590 
(telephone 202-493-6365; E-mail address: Neil.M[email protected]), or 
Gareth Rosenau, Attorney, Office of Chief Counsel, FRA, 1120 Vermont 
Ave., NW, Mailstop 10, Washington, DC 20590 (telephone 202-493-6054; E-
mail address: Gareth.R[email protected]).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Citing the extensive and comprehensive 
information required to be submitted, several potential applicants 
expressed an interest in an extension of the deadline for receipt of 
applications for maglev preconstruction planning grants. In response, 
on December 22, 1998, FRA extended the deadline from December 31, 1998, 
to February 15, 1999. All known potential applicants were contacted by 
telephone and were notified of the change. A memorandum advising all 
known interested parties of the change was also mailed at the same 
    Formal comments to the docket concerning the Interim Final Rule 
will be discussed upon publication of the Final Rule. None of the 
formal comments to the docket concerned the extension of the deadline 
for maglev preconstruction planning grants, or other dates, being 
modified by this Amendment No. 1.

Regulatory Analyses and Notices

    This Amendment to the Interim Final Rule merely extends the 
deadline for application packages for preconstruction planning 
assistance from December 31, 1998, to February 15, 1999, and adds one 
month to all subsequent milestones listed in Sec. 268.3. There are no 
other changes to the Interim Final Rule. Declarations with respect to 
various regulatory requirements were contained in the Interim Final 
Rule. By this Amendment, those declarations with respect to various 
regulatory requirements are incorporated herein by reference, and it is 
stated that there are no other modifications required to those 
declarations by virtue of the action taken in this Amendment.

List of subjects in 49 CFR Part 268

    Grant programs-transportation, High speed ground transportation, 
Maglev, Magnetic levitation.

The Rule

    In consideration of the foregoing, FRA amends part 268 title 49 of 
the Code of Federal Regulations as set forth below:


    1. The authority citation for part 268 continues to read as 

[[Page 7134]]

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 322, 23 U.S.C. 322; 49 CFR 1.49.

    2. Section 268.3 is amended by revising paragraphs (b), (c), (d), 
(e), and (f) to read as follows:

Sec. 268.3  Different phases of the Maglev Deployment Program.

* * * * *
    (b) Phase I--Competition for Planning Grants (Early October 1998-
April 30, 1999).
    (1) Description. In Phase I, States will apply for funds for 
preconstruction planning activities. As required by Sec. 268.13, 
applications must be filed with FRA by February 15, 1999. FRA will 
select one or more projects to receive preconstruction planning 
financial assistance awarded under this part to perform Phase II of the 
Maglev Deployment Program.
    (2) Timing of Major Milestones.
    (i) February 15, 1999--Planning grant applications due.
    (ii) March 31, 1999--FRA selects grantees for planning grants.
    (iii) April 30, 1999--FRA awards planning grants for the conduct of 
activities listed in Phase II.
    (c) Phase II--Project Description Development (May 1, 1999-April 
30, 2000).
    (1) Description. In Phase II, each grant recipients will prepare 
and submit to FRA a project description and supporting preconstruction 
planning reports and an EA. Supporting reports may include demand and 
revenue analyses, project specification, cost estimates, scheduling, 
financial studies, and other information in support of the project 
description. FRA will use this information in reaching a decision on 
which project to select for final engineering and construction 
financing. In addition, after completion of the EA, each grant 
recipient will initiate activities aimed at preparing a site-specific 
draft EIS. FRA will initiate documentation of environmental factors 
considered in the project selection process.
    (2) Timing of Major Milestones.
    (i) December 31, 1999--Deadline for submission of appropriate EA 
needed by FRA for the selection of one project under Phase III.
    (ii) April 30, 2000--Deadline for submission of project 
descriptions and any related supporting reports needed by FRA for 
project selection.
    (d) Phase III--Project Selection Process (May 1, 2000-August 31, 
    (1) Description. FRA will evaluate the information provided by the 
grant recipients under Phase II and will select one project for final 
design, engineering, and construction funding. Recipients of assistance 
will progress work on site-specific EISs.
    (2) Timing of Major Milestones. August 31, 2000--FRA selects the 
    (e) Phase IV--Project Development and Completion of Site-specific 
EIS (September 1, 2000-August 31, 2001).
    (1) Description. The financial assistance recipient selected in 
Phase III will undertake final design and engineering work for the 
selected project together with completing the site-specific final EIS. 
Detailed agreements for the construction and operation of the project 
would be negotiated. The other grant recipients may also elect to 
complete the site-specific draft EISs initiated during Phase II.
    (2) Timing of Major Milestones. August 31, 2001--Final Record of 
Decision on site-specific EIS, confirming the project design.
    (f) Phase V--Completion of Detailed Engineering & Construction 
(September 1, 2001 and beyond).
    (1) Description. In Phase V, the sponsoring State or State 
designated authority would oversee the efforts of the public/private 
partnership formed to progress the selected project, to complete the 
detailed engineering designs, finance, construct, equip, and operate 
the project in revenue service. Construction would likely be contingent 
on the appropriation of federal funds.
    (2) [Revised]
    3. Section 268.13 is revised to read as follows:

Sec. 268.13  Deadline for submission of applications for 
preconstruction planning assistance.

    Completed application packages shall be returned to FRA by February 
15, 1999. Applications shall be submitted to: Honorable Jolene M. 
Molitoris, Administrator, Federal Railroad Administration, ATTN: Maglev 
Project, RDV-11, 1120 Vermont Ave., NW, Stop 20, Washington, DC 20590.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on February 9, 1999.
Donald M. Itzkoff,
Deputy Federal Railroad Administrator.
[FR Doc. 99-3605 Filed 2-11-99; 8:45 am]