Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
A “rail equipment accident/incident” is a collision, derailment, fire, explosion, act of God, or other event involving the operation of railroad on-track equipment (standing or moving) that results in damages to railroad on-track equipment, signals, tracks, track structures, or roadbed, including labor costs and the costs for acquiring new equipment and material, greater than the reporting threshold for the year in which the event occurs. 49 CFR 225.19(c). Each rail equipment accident/incident must be reported to FRA using the Rail Equipment Accident/Incident Report (Form FRA F 6180.54). 49 CFR 225.19(b) and (c). As revised, effective in 1997, paragraphs (c) and (e) of 49 CFR 225.19 provide that the dollar figure that constitutes the reporting threshold for rail equipment accidents/incidents will be adjusted, if necessary, every year in accordance with the procedures outlined in appendix B to part 225 to reflect any cost increases or decreases.
Approximately one year has passed since the rail equipment accident/incident reporting threshold was revised. 76 FR 72850 (November 28, 2011). Consequently, FRA has recalculated the threshold, as required by § 225.19(c), based on increased costs for labor and increased costs for equipment. FRA has determined that the current reporting threshold of $9,500, which applies to rail equipment accidents/incidents that occur during calendar year 2012, should increase by $400 to $9,900 for equipment accidents/incidents occurring during calendar year 2013, effective January 1, 2013. The specific inputs to the equation set forth in appendix B (
In this rule, FRA has recalculated the monetary reporting threshold based on the formula discussed in detail and adopted, after notice and comment, in the final rule published December 20, 2005, 70 FR 75414. FRA has found that both the current cost data inserted into this pre-existing formula and the original cost data that they replace were obtained from reliable Federal government sources. FRA has found that this rule imposes no additional burden on any person, but rather provides a benefit by permitting the valid comparison of accident data over time. Accordingly, finding that notice and comment procedures are either impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest, FRA is proceeding directly to the final rule.
This rule has been evaluated in accordance with existing policies and procedures, and determined to be non-significant under both Executive Order 12866 and 13563 in addition to DOT policies and procedures (44 FR 11034 (Feb. 26, 1979)).
The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (5 U.S.C. 601-612) requires a review of proposed and final rules to assess their impact on small entities, unless the Secretary certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Pursuant to Section 312 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), FRA has issued a final policy that formally establishes “small entities” as including railroads that meet the line-haulage revenue requirements of a Class III railroad. 49 CFR part 209, app. C. For other entities, the same dollar limit in revenues governs whether a railroad, contractor, or other respondent is a small entity.
The frequency of rail equipment accidents/incidents, and therefore also the frequency of required reporting, is generally proportional to the size of the railroad. A railroad that employs thousands of employees and operates trains millions of miles is exposed to greater risks than one whose operation is substantially smaller. Small railroads may go for months at a time without having a reportable occurrence of any type, and even longer without having a rail equipment accident/incident. For example, current FRA data indicate that 2,693 rail equipment accidents/incidents were reported in 2007, with small railroads reporting 364 of them. Data for 2008 show that 2,481 rail equipment accidents/incidents were reported, with small railroads reporting 294 of them. In 2009, 1,910 rail equipment accidents/incidents were reported, and small railroads reported 271 of them. In 2010, 1,902 rail equipment accidents/incidents were reported, with small railroads reporting 258 of them. In 2011, 2010 rail equipment accidents/incidents were reported, with small railroads reporting 267 of them. On average for those five calendar years, small railroads reported about 13% (ranging from 12% to 14%) of the total number of rail equipment accidents/incidents. FRA notes that these data are based on accidents/incidents reported by railroads with less than 400,000 employee hours per year. FRA's accident reporting regulations require railroads to report employee hours; thus for purposes of 49 CFR part 225, FRA has historically categorized and displayed the data in this manner. Of the approximately 764 railroads in the United States, 731 fit into the category of less than 400,000 employee hours per year and the characteristics of such railroads are substantively similar to railroads otherwise considered small entities in accordance with FRA's policy. Accordingly, because the number and characteristics of these railroads are consistent with those otherwise considered small entities FRA believes that this approach is appropriate. FRA notes, however, that these data are accurate as of the date of issuance of this final rule, and are subject to minor changes due to additional reporting. Absent this rulemaking (
There are no new information collection requirements associated with this final rule. Therefore, no estimate of a public reporting burden is required.
Executive Order 13132, entitled, “Federalism,” signed on August 4, 1999, requires that each agency “in a separately identified portion of the preamble to the regulation as it is to be issued in the
FRA has evaluated this regulation in accordance with its “Procedures for Considering Environmental Impacts” (FRA's Procedures) (64 FR 28545 (May 26, 1999)) as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321
Pursuant to Section 201 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4, 2 U.S.C. 1531), each Federal agency “shall, unless otherwise prohibited by law, assess the effects of Federal regulatory actions on State, local, and tribal governments, and the private sector (other than to the extent that such regulations incorporate requirements specifically set forth in law).” Section 202 of the Act (2 U.S.C. 1532) further requires that “before promulgating any general notice of proposed rulemaking that is likely to result in the promulgation of any rule that includes any Federal mandate that may result in expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100,000,000 or more (adjusted annually for inflation) [currently $143,100,000] in any one year, and before promulgating any final rule for which a general notice of proposed rulemaking was published, the agency shall prepare a written statement” detailing the effect on State, local, and tribal governments and the private sector. The final rule will not result in the expenditure, in the aggregate, of $143,100,000 or more in any one year, and thus preparation of such a statement is not required.
Executive Order 13211 requires Federal agencies to prepare a Statement of Energy Effects for any “significant energy action.” 66 FR 28355 (May 22, 2001). Under the Executive Order, a “significant energy action” is defined as any action by an agency (normally published in the
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 comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). See
Investigations, Penalties, Railroad safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.
In consideration of the foregoing, FRA amends part 225 of chapter II, subtitle B of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, as follows:
49 U.S.C. 103, 322(a), 20103, 20107, 20901-02, 21301, 21302, 21311; 28 U.S.C. 2461, note; and 49 CFR 1.49.
(e) The reporting threshold is $6,700 for calendar years 2002 through 2005, $7,700 for calendar year 2006, $8,200 for calendar year 2007, $8,500 for calendar year 2008, $8,900 for calendar year 2009, $9,200 for calendar year 2010, $9,400 for calendar year 2011, $9,500 for calendar year 2012 and $9,900 for calendar year 2013. The procedure for determining the reporting threshold for calendar years 2006 and beyond appears as paragraphs 1-8 of appendix B to part 225.