Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
The National Construction Safety Team Act, Pub. L. 107-231, was enacted to provide for the establishment of investigative teams (“Teams”) to assess building performance and emergency response and evacuation procedures in the wake of any building failure that has resulted in substantial loss of life or that posed significant potential of substantial loss of life. The purpose of investigations by Teams is to improve the safety and structural integrity of buildings in the United States. A Team will (1) Establish the likely technical cause or causes of the building failure; (2) evaluate the technical aspects of evacuation and emergency response procedures; (3) recommend, as necessary, specific improvements to building standards, codes, and practices based on the findings made pursuant to (1) and (2); and recommend any research and other appropriate actions needed to improve the structural safety of buildings, and improve evacuation and emergency response procedures, based on the findings of the investigation. Section 2(c)(1) of the Act requires that the Director develop procedures for certain activities to be carried out under the Act as follows: regarding conflicts of interest related to service on a Team; defining the circumstances under which the Director will establish and deploy a Team; prescribing the appropriate size of Teams; guiding the disclosure of information under section 7 of the Act; guiding the conduct of investigations under the Act; identifying and prescribing appropriate conditions for provision by the Director of additional resources and services Teams may need; to ensure that investigations under the Act do not impede and are coordinated with any search and rescue efforts being undertaken at the site of the building failure; for regular briefings of the public on the status of the investigative proceedings and findings; guiding the Teams in moving and preserving evidence; providing for coordination with Federal, State, and local entities that may sponsor research or investigations of building failures; and regarding other issues.
NIST published an interim final rule with a request for public comments in the
The comment period closed on March 3, 2003.
In the near future, NIST plans to publish in the
NIST received two responses to the request for comments. One response was from a private, not-for-profit organization that develops international building codes. The second response was from a local government agency. A detailed analysis of the comments follows.
Section 270.313(c), which governs requests for documentary evidence from members of the public, specifically requires a request to be in writing and to include, among other items, “(4) A request that each person to whom the request is directed produce and permit inspection and copying of the documents and physical evidence in the possession, custody, or control of that person * * *.” Under this provision, members of the public who submit evidence to an investigation may keep the original and provide the Team a copy.
Section 270.310 governs evidence collected by investigation participants who are not NIST employees. It requires that such investigation participants transfer original evidence to NIST, and retain a copy of the evidence only if necessary to carry out their duties under the investigation. This requirement ensures that all evidence collected during the course of an investigation be held in a central location for recordkeeping and chain of custody purposes.
This rule has been determined not to be significant under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866.
This rule does not contain policies with Federalism implications sufficient to warrant preparation of a Federalism assessment under Executive Order 12612.
Prior notice and an opportunity for public comment are not required for this rule of agency organization, procedure, or practice. 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(A).
Because notice and comment are not required under 5 U.S.C. 553, or any other law, the analytical requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601
Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is required to, nor shall any person be subject to penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information, subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act, unless that collection of information displays a currently valid OMB Control Number.
There are no collections of information involved in this rulemaking.
This rule will not significantly affect the quality of the human environment. Therefore, an environmental assessment or Environmental Impact Statement is not required to be prepared under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.
Administrative practice and procedure; Buildings and facilities; Disaster assistance; Evidence; Investigations; National Institute of Standards and Technology; Science and technology; Subpoena.
Pub. L. 107-231, 116 Stat. 1471 (15 U.S.C. 7301
Upon receipt of evidence pursuant to an investigation under the Act, each investigation participant who is not a NIST employee shall:
(d) * * *
(2) By certified mail, return receipt requested, or delivery to the last known residence or business address of such person or agent; or
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