DG Digest: EPA continues to refine TCSA and FRA proposes new truck safety standards

The FRA published a proposal to revise certain track safety standards.  Amtrak’s Coast Starlight train flies by the old depot in Kent, Washington on New Year’s Day of 2020.  Photo © 1/2020 by Nikki Burgess; all rights reserved.

Welcome to 2020!  It’s the first DG Digest of the New Year and new decade; here’s to a safe and successful year for you and yours.  We’ll continue to bring our readers all the latest regulatory news of interest right here, so let’s get started.  The last week of 2019 was typical of a holiday period, being a little quiet.  Here’s the news to start the year:


As part of its continuing efforts to streamline the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the agency published a notice asking for public feedback on potential revisions to what it calls its “working approach” to chemical evaluation.  That is the process whereby the agency processes designated substances through its analysis structure to determine how the subject chemical will be designated under the TSCA.  See the notice here


The agency published a proposed rule affecting track safety standards.  The proposed changes include allowing inspection of rail using continuous rail testing and other miscellaneous revisions. The agency contends that the proposed revisions would benefit railroads and the public by reducing unnecessary costs and incentivizing innovation while not negatively affecting rail safety. Written comments must be received by March 2, 2020.  Here’s the portal to get involved

In a second action, the agency is delaying implementation of its regulatory requirement that Class II and III railroads have formal training, qualification, and oversight plans for operations level employees.  See the delay rule here


The agency published its annual list of designated explosive materials.  The list, while not the same as that found in the 49 CFR, nevertheless is a useful guide to materials that see various levels of regulation under federal law.  See the new list here

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