[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 214 (Tuesday, November 5, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 66326-66327]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-26402]



Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

49 CFR Parts 173, 174, 178, 179, and 180

[Docket No. PHMSA-2012-0082 (HM-251)]
RIN 2137-AE91

Hazardous Materials: Rail Petitions and Recommendations To 
Improve the Safety of Railroad Tank Car Transportation (RRR)

AGENCY: Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), 

ACTION: Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM), extension of 
comment period.


SUMMARY: PHMSA is notifying the public of our intent to extend the 
comment period by 30 days for a notice of proposed rulemaking published 
on September 6, 2013.

DATES: The comment period for the ANPRM closing on November 5, 2013 is 
extended until December 5, 2013. To the extent possible, PHMSA will 
consider late-filed comments during the next stage of the rulemaking 

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by the docket number 
(PHMSA-2012-0082) by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting 
     Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
     Mail: Docket Operations, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Routing 
Symbol M-30, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.
     Hand Delivery: To Docket Operations, Room W12-140 on the 
ground floor of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., 
Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, 
except Federal Holidays.
    Instructions: All submissions must include the agency name and 
docket number for this notice at the beginning of the comment. Note 
that all comments received will be posted without change to the docket 
management system, including any personal information provided.
    Docket: For access to the dockets to read background documents or 
comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov, or DOT's Docket 
Operations Office (see ADDRESSES).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Karl Alexy, (202) 493-6245, Office of 
Safety Assurance and Compliance, Federal Railroad Administration or Ben 
Supko, (202) 366-8553, Standards and Rulemaking Division, Pipeline and 
Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, US Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.


I. Background

    On September 6, 2013, PHMSA published a notice of proposed 
rulemaking (ANPRM; 78 FR 54849) seeking public comments on whether 
issues raised in eight petitions and four NTSB recommendations would 
enhance safety, revise, and clarify the Hazardous Materials Regulations 
(HMR; 49 CFR parts 171-180) with regard to rail transport. 
Specifically, we requested comments on important amendments that would: 
(1) Enhance the standards

[[Page 66327]]

for DOT Specification 111 tank cars used to transport Packing Group I 
and II hazardous materials; (2) explore the feasibility of additional 
operational requirements to enhance the safe transportation of Packing 
Group I and II hazardous materials; (3) afford DOT greater discretion 
to authorize the movement of non-conforming tank cars; (4) correct 
regulations that allow an unsafe condition associated with pressure 
relief valves (PRV) on rail cars transporting carbon dioxide, 
refrigerated liquid; (5) revise outdated regulations applicable to the 
repair and maintenance of DOT Specification 110, DOT Specification 106, 
and ICC 27 tank car tanks (ton tanks); and (6) except rupture discs 
from removal if the inspection itself would damage, change, or alter 
the intended operation of the device.

II. Comment Period Extension

    We received a request to extend the comment period by 90-days from 
the Sierra Club on behalf of Climate Parents, Columbia Riverkeeper, 
ForestEthics, Friends of Earth, Natural Resources Defense Council, Oil 
Change International, San Francisco Baykeeper, Spokane Riverkeeper, 
Washington Environmental Council, and the Waterkeeper Alliance. The 
request indicates that the primary basis for extension is to allow the 
public a meaningful review of these proposed changes in rail safety, 
especially regarding tank cars transporting crude oil and tar sands 
while highlighting several recent tank car incidents. The request also 
indicates that the recent government shutdown prevented communication 
with DOT staff for review of the technical proposals during the initial 
60-day comment period.
    Although PHMSA normally considers an initial 60-day comment period 
sufficient time to review and respond to rulemaking proposals, due to 
PHMSA's desire to collect meaningful input from a number of potentially 
affected stakeholders, PHMSA is consenting to the commenter request to 
extend the comment period to ensure sufficient time for public review. 
However, we do not consider a 90-day extension to be warranted. 
Accordingly, in the interest of moving this rulemaking action forward 
in a timely manner, we believe, extending the comment period by 30 days 
would allow sufficient to time to conduct a thorough review.
    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 document (or signing the 
document, 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) or you 
may visit http://www.regulations.gov.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on October 30, 2013 under authority 
delegated in 49 CFR 1.97.
 Magdy El-Sibaie,
Associate Administrator for Hazardous Materials Safety, Pipeline and 
Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.
[FR Doc. 2013-26402 Filed 11-4-13; 8:45 am]