[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 16 (Tuesday, January 25, 2011)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 4276-4277]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-1455]



Federal Railroad Administration

49 CFR Part 174

[Docket No. FRA-2011-0004]

Hazardous Materials: Improving the Safety of Railroad 
Transportation of Hazardous Materials

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

ACTION: Notice of Public Meeting.


SUMMARY: This notice announces that FRA has scheduled a public meeting 
in Washington, DC, to discuss its process of issuing movement approvals 
pursuant to Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 174.50. In an 
effort to continually improve this aspect of its safety program, FRA is 
undertaking a comprehensive review of its process of issuing movement 
approvals, and through this public meeting seeks to gain input from all 
persons and stakeholders affected or interested in this aspect of FRA's 
hazardous materials program.

DATES: The public meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 22, 2011, 
starting at 1 p.m.

ADDRESSES: The public meeting will be held at the DOT Conference 
Center, located at 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590 in 
the Oklahoma Conference Room (Rooms A-B-C).
    Oral Presentations: In order to ensure all interested parties are 
provided ample opportunity to speak at the meeting, any person wishing 
to present an oral statement should notify Mr. Karl Alexy, P.E., 
Engineer--Hazardous Materials, FRA Office of Safety Assurance and 
Compliance, at least 4 business days before the date of the public 
meeting. Mr. Alexy can be reached by e-mail at [email protected] or by 
phone at (202) 493-6245. For information on facilities or services for 
persons with disabilities, or to request special assistance at the 
meeting, contact Mr. Alexy as soon as possible.
    FRA will make a teleconference line available for any interested 
party who wishes to attend the meeting by phone. Any interested party 
desiring to attend the meeting by phone should contact Mr. Alexy as 
soon as possible.
    Written Comments: We invite interested parties who are unable to 
attend the meeting, or who otherwise desire to submit written comments 
or data, to submit any relevant information, data, or comments to the 
above-referenced docket (FRA-2011-

[[Page 4277]]

0004). Written comments may be submitted by any of the following 
     Web site: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online 
instructions for submitting comments.
     Fax: 202-493-2251.
     Mail: Docket Operations Facility, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., W12-140, Washington, DC 
     Hand Delivery: 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Room W12-140, 
Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, 
except Federal holidays.
    Comments submitted by March 24, 2011, will be considered by FRA. 
Comments submitted after that date will be considered to the extent 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Karl Alexy, Engineer-Hazardous 
Materials Division, at (202) 493-6245 or [email protected]; or William 
Schoonover, Staff Director, Hazardous Materials Division, at (202) 493-
6229 or [email protected], FRA Office of Safety Assurance and 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Pursuant to 49 CFR 174.50, FRA has the 
authority to approve the rail movement of bulk hazardous materials 
packages that do not conform to the hazardous materials regulations 
(HMR; 49 CFR parts 171-180). The genesis of 49 CFR 174.50 was the 1996 
consolidation of various regulatory provisions that prohibited 
railroads from forwarding damaged packages, leaking tank cars (except 
for necessary short moves), or any tank car found in noncompliance with 
the HMR, except under the terms of a DOT exemption (now referred to as 
a DOT ``special permit''). In consolidating these regulatory provisions 
and authorizing FRA's Associate Administrator for Railroad Safety/Chief 
Safety Officer to approve the movements of nonconforming packages by 
rail, the stated goal of the Research and Special Programs 
Administration (the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety 
Administration's predecessor agency) was to make clear that the 
movement of packages that do not conform to the HMR was prohibited, but 
at the same time, provide a method to allow bulk packages (including 
tank cars) that no longer meet their packaging specifications to be 
moved safely by rail when necessary to effect corrective actions and 
repairs. See 60 FR 65,492 and 65,495 (December 19, 1995); 61 FR 28,666 
and 28,669 (June 5, 1996); and 65 FR 50,450 and 50,455 (August 18, 
    The number of movement approvals issued by FRA over the last 
several years has steadily increased. FRA issued 380 movement approvals 
in calendar year (CY) 2007, 444 in CY 2008, 645 in CY 2009, and 906 in 
CY 2010. Movement approvals have been issued for such nonconformances 
as service equipment, tank shell, or lining failures; overloaded 
packagings; jacket, tank car shell, or head damage; stub sill weld 
cracks; failures of heater coils or thermal protection systems; tank 
cars overdue for required tests; and other reasons. Significant 
information on the movement approval process can be found on FRA's Web 
site at http://www.fra.dot.gov/downloads/safety/OTMAapprovalrequest1010.pdf.
    As part of FRA's ongoing regulatory review efforts, and given the 
increasing number of movement approvals FRA has issued over the last 
several years, FRA believes a comprehensive review of its process will 
ensure the continued efficient handling of movement approval requests, 
while at the same time, ensuring that all relevant safety aspects of 
such requests are adequately considered. FRA encourages all interested 
persons to participate in this meeting, either in person at the address 
noted above or via telephone. We encourage participants (wishing to 
make oral statements) to plan on attending the entire meeting, since 
FRA may not be able to accommodate competing demands to appear at 
specific times. A transcript of the meeting will be made available to 
meeting participants and the public through the above-referenced docket 
    Privacy: Anyone is able to search all 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.). You may review DOT's complete Privacy Act 
Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (Volume 
665, Number 70, Pages 19477-78) or at http://www.dot.gov/privacy.html.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on January 19, 2011.
Robert C. Lauby,
Deputy Associate Administrator for Regulatory and Legislative 
[FR Doc. 2011-1455 Filed 1-24-11; 8:45 am]