DG Digest: PHMSA and the FRA to Publish Revised RIA in Response to FAST Act

PHMSA and the FRA announced a revised Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) available for comment on the 2015 final rule regarding electronically controlled brakes (ECP’s) for high hazard flammable trains. A bulk oil movement on the Norfolk Southern Railroad passes through Hammond, Indiana on a crisp winter day in 2015. Image © 2/2015 by Nikki Burgess; all rights reserved.

Mid-October finds regulatory activity back at slow ebb, with action “nibbling at the corners” vice featuring heavy rulemaking.   Hopefully everyone is getting a chance to catch up with their autumn chores—winter will soon be with us!  Here’s this week’s news:


  • PHMSA and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) are publishing a revised Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) updating the original RIA associated with the electronically controlled pneumatic (ECP) brake provision of PHMSA’s May 8, 2015, Final Rule titled ‘‘Enhanced Tank Car Standards and Operational Controls for High-Hazard Flammable Trains.” The agencies are publishing the updated RIA in response to the mandate of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. The updated RIA incorporates new testing and analysis the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) reviewed, recommendations from two U.S. General Accountability Office (GAO) audits, and updates to the costs and benefits of the provision of the Final Rule based on current economic conditions. PHMSA invites comments on all aspects of the updated RIA.  They must be received by November 1, 2017. Do you bulk ship flammables by rail?  Here’s your comment portal
  • Special permit activity continues; the agency released three different published notices announcing sundry actions involving hazardous materials.  Here’s the relevant link information:


The agency announced a meeting of the Rail Safety Advisory Committee, a body that develops recommendations on railroad safety regulations and other railroad safety issues through a consensus process. The RSAC System Safety Task Force will meet October 30, 2017 in Washington, DC.  Here are the meeting particulars

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