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DOT/PHMSA RIN: 2137-AF08 Publication ID: Fall 2016 
Title: +Hazardous Materials: Oil Spill Response Plans and Information Sharing for High-Hazard Flammable Trains 
Abstract:

This rulemaking, developed in consultation with the Federal Railroad Administration, would revise PHMSA's regulations to expand the applicability of comprehensive oil spill response plans (OSRPs) based on thresholds of liquid petroleum oil that apply to an entire train. We are also proposing to revise the format and clarify requirements of a comprehensive OSRP and to require railroads to share information about high-hazard flammable train operations with state and tribal emergency response organizations (i.e., State Emergency Response Commissions and Tribal Emergency Response Commissions) to improve community preparedness. Lastly, PHMSA is proposing an update to boiling point testing procedures to provide regulatory flexibility and promotes enhanced safety in transport through accurate packing group assignment.

 
Agency: Department of Transportation(DOT)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
EO 13771 Designation: uncollected 
CFR Citation: 49 CFR 130    49 CFR 174    49 CFR 171    49 CFR 172    49 CFR 173   
Legal Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1321    49 USC 5101 et seq.   
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need: This rulemaking is important to mitigate the effects of potential train accidents involving the release of flammable liquid energy products by increasing planning and preparedness. The proposals in this rulemaking are shaped by public comments, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Safety Recommendations, analysis of recent accidents, and input from stakeholder outreach efforts (including first responders). To this end, PHMSA will consider expanding the applicability of comprehensive oil spill response plans; clarifying the requirements for comprehensive oil spill response plans; requiring railroads to share additional information; and providing an alternative test method for determining the initial boiling point of a flammable liquid.

Summary of the Legal Basis: The authority of 49 U.S.C. 5103(b), which authorizes the Secretary of Transportation to "prescribe regulations for the safe transportation, including security, of hazardous materials in intrastate, interstate, and foreign commerce." The authority of 33 U.S.C. 1321, the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA), which directs the President to issue regulations requiring owners and operators of certain vessels and onshore and offshore oil facilities to develop, submit, update and in some cases obtain approval of oil spill response plans. Executive Order 12777 delegated responsibility to the Secretary of Transportation for certain transportation-related facilities. The Secretary of Transportation delegated the authority to promulgate regulations to PHMSA and provides FRA the approval authority for railroad ORSPs.

Alternatives: PHMSA and FRA are committed to a comprehensive approach to addressing the risk and consequences of derailments involving flammable liquids by addressing not only oil spill response plans, but communication requirements between railroads and communities. Obtaining information and comments in a NPRM will provide the greatest opportunity for public participation in the development of regulatory amendments, and promote greater exchange of information and perspectives among the various stakeholders to promote future regulatory action on these issues.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits: The ANPRM requested comments on both the path forward and the economic impacts. We have evaluated and accounted for comments in development of the NPRM, and once the NPRM is published the costs and benefits will be detailed.

Risks: DOT analyzed recent incidents, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Safety Recommendations, received input from stakeholder outreach efforts (including first responders) to determine amending the applicability and requirements of comprehensive oil spill response plans and codifying requirements for information sharing is important. DOT will continue to research these topics and evaluate comment feedback prior to the final rule. DOT expects the highest ranked options will be low cost and most effective at providing better preparedness and planning to mitigate the effects of a derailment.

Timetable:
Action Date FR Cite
ANPRM  08/01/2014  79 FR 45079   
ANPRM Comment Period End  09/30/2014 
NPRM  07/29/2016  81 FR 50067   
NPRM Comment Period End  09/27/2016 
Final Action  07/00/2017 
Additional Information: HM-251B; SB - N, IC - N, SLT - N;
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: Businesses  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Information URL: www.regulations.gov   Public Comment URL: www.regulations.gov  
RIN Data Printed in the FR: Yes 
Related RINs: Related to 2137-AE91, Related to 2137-AF07  Related Agencies: Common: DOT/FRA; 
Agency Contact:
Glen Foster
Transportation Specialist
Department of Transportation
Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
1200 New Jersey Ave, SE,
Washington, DC 20590
Phone:202 366-8553
Email: glen.foster@dot.gov