DG Digest: EPA Proposes Rule to Limit Federal Oversite of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The Federal Railroad Administration announced the random substance abuse testing rates it will require of railroad employees in operating positions in 2018. The rates will remain unchanged from 2017. A BNSF oil train heads south through Auburn, Washington on New Year’s Day, January 1st, 2018. Photo © by Nikki Burgess; all rights reserved.

Happy New Year, everyone! Here’s hoping that 2018 is a safe, successful, and productive year for you and your organization. Best of luck! As you may have already guessed, the period between the two major holidays was quiet in the regulatory sense, with only minimal activity. Here’s the latest:


The agency issued a proposed rule that will delegate most forthcoming limitations on what it calls “GHG’s” or greenhouse gases (principally carbon dioxide i.e. CO2) from major energy producing stations to the states. This follows in line with the Trump Administration’s decision to limit federal oversights in this emissions area. See the NPRM here


In line with the other modes (highway, maritime, and air), the Federal Railroad Administration has issued the new testing rate for drugs and alcohol for operating employees in the industry. No change has been imposed on the test rates of 25% for drugs and 10% for alcohol; however, 2018 will be the first full year of mandatory inclusion of maintenance-of-way employees in the program. See the rule here


The agency announced its annual inflation adjustment to penalty amounts for citations it issues.  This years adjustment will raise any penalty assessment approximately 1.02% over the rates levied in 2017.  See the adjustment announcements here

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