[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 109 (Thursday, June 8, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 26734-26735]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-11791]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Office of the Secretary of Transportation

[Docket No. OST-2017-0057]


Transportation Infrastructure: Notice of Review of Policy, 
Guidance, and Regulation

AGENCY: Office of the Secretary of Transportation (OST), DOT.

ACTION: Notice; request for input.

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SUMMARY: The Department of Transportation (DOT) is reviewing its 
existing policy statements, guidance documents, and regulations to 
identify unnecessary obstacles to transportation infrastructure 
projects. As part of this review, the Department invites affected 
stakeholders and the public to identify non-statutory requirements that 
the Department imposes and that should be removed or revised.

DATES: Comments should be received on or before July 24, 2017. Late-
filed comments will be considered to the extent practicable.

ADDRESSES: You may file comments identified by the docket number DOT-
OST-2017-0057 by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for submitting 
comments.
     Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., Room W12-140, Washington, DC 
20590-0001.
     Hand Delivery or Courier: The Docket Management Facility 
is located on the West Building, Ground Floor, of the U.S. Department 
of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., Room W12-140, between 9 
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
     Fax: 202-493-2251.
    Instructions: You must include the agency name and the Docket 
Number DOT-OST-2017-0057 at the beginning of your comment. All comments 
received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, 
including any personal information provided.
    Privacy Act: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits 
comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT 
posts these comments, without edit, to www.regulations.gov, as 
described in the system of records notice, DOT/ALL-14 FDMS, accessible 
through www.dot.gov/privacy. In order to facilitate comment tracking 
and response, we encourage commenters to provide their name, or the 
name of their organization; however, submission of names is completely 
optional. Whether or not commenters identify themselves, all timely 
comments will be fully considered. If you wish to provide comments 
containing proprietary or confidential information, please contact the 
agency for alternate submission instructions.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received, visit the Docket Management Facility described above 
or go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions 
for accessing the docket.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael A. Smith, Office of the 
General Counsel, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey 
Ave. SE., Washington, DC 20590, 202-366-2917, [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Purpose

    The Department of Transportation recognizes that there are 
regulatory and administrative burdens that impede transportation 
infrastructure projects. The Department also recognizes that the 
stakeholders who deliver projects have

[[Page 26735]]

direct experience with those burdens. Public and private project 
sponsors, engineering and construction professionals, related 
organizations, and other stakeholders encounter and overcome these 
obstacles to project delivery on a daily basis. The purpose of this 
notice is to solicit input from those affected stakeholders to help the 
Department identify requirements that the Department imposes through 
rules, or interpretations found in policy statements or guidance, that 
unjustifiably delay or prevent completion of surface, maritime, and 
aviation transportation infrastructure projects. The Department's 
primary focus is on administrative items that it has the authority to 
change, but if there are critical changes that are achievable only 
through legislative action, please submit proposed legislative changes. 
Commenters should make legislative suggestions only if all non-
statutory options have been exhausted.
    The DOT's mission is to serve the United States by ensuring a safe, 
fast, efficient, accessible, and convenient transportation system that 
meets the nation's vital interests and enhances the quality of life of 
the American people, today and into the future. To advance that mission 
through financial assistance and regulatory activity, the Department 
imposes requirements that affect the delivery of transportation 
infrastructure projects. Under its financial assistance programs, DOT 
places conditions of the receipt and expenditure of Federal funds. 
Under its safety authorities, DOT directly regulates State, local, and 
individual activities. These assistance conditions and safety 
regulations are intended to satisfy statutory mandates and, when 
discretionary, properly balance public benefits against the burdens 
that they impose. However, imbalances can arise. The current benefits 
may not justify the current burdens due to changing circumstances, 
incomplete analyses, or other factors.

Request for Input

    The Department is requesting that affected stakeholders and the 
public submit comments identifying requirements that the Department 
imposes through rules, or interpretations found in policy statements or 
guidance documents, that unjustifiably delay or prevent completion of 
surface, maritime, and aviation transportation infrastructure projects. 
In some circumstances, Federal statute requires the Department, without 
exercising discretion, to issue regulations implementing specific 
statutory requirements. Because the Department lacks authority to 
remove those requirements, the Department asks commenters responding to 
this notice to focus their comments on requirements that either lack 
statutory mandate or could be accomplished through reasonable 
alternatives. However, if non-statutory changes are insufficient to 
address a specific obstacle to transportation infrastructure projects, 
commenters may submit legislative solutions.

Content of Comments

    The Department will review all comments submitted to the docket 
associated with this notice, DOT-OST-2017-0057. To maximize the 
usefulness of comments, the Department encourages commenters to provide 
the following information:
    1. Specific reference. A specific reference to the policy 
statement, guidance document, regulation, or statute that imposes the 
burden that the comment discusses. This should be a citation to the 
Code of Federal Regulations, a guidance document number, or an Internet 
link. A specific reference will assist the Department identify the 
requirement, the original source of the requirement, and relevant 
documentation that may describe the history and effects of the 
requirement.
    2. Description of burden. A description of the burden that the 
identified policy statement, guidance document, regulation, or statute 
imposes on the completion of transportation infrastructure projects. A 
comment that describes how the policy statement, guidance document, 
regulation, or statute impedes efficient project delivery is more 
useful than a comment that merely asserts that it is burdensome. 
Comments that reflect experience with the requirement and provide data 
describing that experience are more credible than comments that are not 
tied to direct experience. Verifiable, quantifiable data describing 
burdens are more useful than anecdotal descriptions.
    3. Description of less burdensome alternatives. If the commenter 
believes that the objective that motivated the policy statement, 
guidance document, regulation, or statute may be achieved using a less 
burdensome alternative, the commenter should describe that alternative 
in detail. Likewise, if the commenter believes that there is not a less 
burdensome alternative or there is not a legitimate objective 
motivating the requirement, then that should be explained in the 
comment.
    4. Examples of affected projects. Examples of projects that are, 
have been, or will be negatively affected by the identified policy 
statement, guidance document, regulation, or statute and examples of 
projects that will benefit it the requirement is removed or revised. A 
comment listing specific projects is more useful because it will assist 
the Department in investigating the burden and how it may be most 
effectively addressed.

Scope of Comments

    The Department is interested in comments on any DOT requirement 
that unjustifiably delays or prevents surface, maritime, and aviation 
transportation infrastructure projects, including requirements 
contained regulations, or interpretations found in policy statements or 
guidance documents, issued from the Office of the Secretary of 
Transportation (OST) and the following Operating Administrations: The 
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA); the Federal Highway 
Administration (FHWA); the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA); the 
Federal Transit Administration (FTA); the Maritime Administration 
(MARAD); and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration 
(PHMSA).
    Under this notice, the Department is not soliciting petitions for 
rulemaking.

Relationship to Other Review Activities

    Improvement of regulations is a continuous focus for the 
Department. For that reason, DOT regularly and deliberately reviews its 
rules in accordance with the Department's 1979 Regulatory Policies and 
Procedures (44 FR 11034), Executive Order (EO) 12866, EO 13563, and 
section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. That process is 
summarized in Appendix D of the Department's semi-annual regulatory 
agenda (e.g., 81 FR 94784). In EO 13771 and EO 13777, President Trump 
directed agencies to further scrutinize their regulations. The review 
described in this notice will supplement the Department's periodic 
regulatory review and its activities under EO 13771 and EO 13777. 
Unlike those activities, this request for input is narrowly focused on 
identifying and addressing impediments to the completion of 
transportation infrastructure projects. The comments that DOT receives 
in response to this notice will inform those other, broader activities.

    Issued on May 30, 2017.
James Ray,
Senior Advisor for Infrastructure.
[FR Doc. 2017-11791 Filed 6-7-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-9X-P