RAILROADS & HAZARDOUS MATERIALS / Implementing the MAP-21 statute enacted in 2012, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration (PHMSA) amend both the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and Hazarouds Materials Regulations, “to prohibit a driver of a commercial motor vehicle or of a motor vehicle transporting certain hazardous materials or certain agents or toxins (hereafter collectively referenced as ‘regulated motor vehicle’) from entering onto a highway-rail grade crossing unless there is sufficient space to drive completely through the grade crossing without stopping”.

“Highway-Rail Grade Crossing; Safe Clearance”

Final Rule. September 25, 2013. 

This is a major development in an area of much safety concern over accidents and also a much-litigated matter in tort cases.

The background here is detailed and complex.

Among other implications: The PHMSA and FMCSA standard set forth here will likely be incorporated into negligence standard of care instructions to juries and to judges as finders of fact under a “negligence per se” theory.

NEW RULES & DECISIONS CONTENTS SUMMARY FOR WEEK OF 9/9/2013

CLICK ON SUMMARY BELOW TO ACCESS THE BLOG POST

A. TOPICS BY TRANSPORT MODE.

Aviation

Maritime

Motor Carriers

Railroads

B. TOPICS BY TRANSPORT POLICY.

No post this week.

C. TOPICS BY AGENCY INITIATIVE.

No post this week.

D. TOPICS BY LEGAL DISCIPLINE.

No post this week.  

E. NOTEWORTHY CRIMINAL ENFORCEMENT, CIVIL ACTIONS or INSPECTOR GENERAL AUDITS.

AVIATION (AIRPORTS) / Federal Aviation Administration “updates, simplifies, and streamlines rules of practice and procedure for filing and adjudicating complaints against federally-assisted airports”.

“Rules of Practice for Federally-Assisted Airport Enforcement Proceedings (Retrospective Regulatory Review)” 

September 12, 2013. Final Rule.

“It improves efficiency by enabling parties to file submissions with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) electronically, and by incorporating modern business practices into how the FAA handles complaints. This amendment is necessary to reflect changes in applicable laws and regulations, and to apply lessons learned since the existing rules were implemented in 1996.” Continue reading

AVIATION (AIRPORTS) / Federal Aviation Administration hereby, “publishes the entire Policy Regarding Airport Rates and Charges currently in effect in a single document”. This new comprehensive document does not either adopt or propose substantive changes to existing regulation.

“Policy Regarding Airport Rates and Charges”

September 10, 2013. Notice; Publication Of Entire Policy Statement As Amended. Continue reading

MARITIME (HAZMAT) – “The Coast Guard is amending its regulations concerning the transfer of hazardous materials to and from bulk packaging on vessels. The Coast Guard is expanding the list of bulk packaging approved for hazardous material transfers to include International Maritime Organization (IMO) Type 1 and Type 2 portable tanks, United Nations (UN) portable tanks, and Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBCs).”

“Bulk Packaging To Allow for Transfer of Hazardous Liquid Cargoes”

 Final Rule. September 6, 2013.

“The Coast Guard is also expanding the list of allowed hazardous materials to provide greater flexibility in the selection and use of packaging in the transportation of hazardous materials. This rule will eliminate the need to obtain special permits or Competent Authority Approvals to use IMO Type 1 or Type 2 portable tanks, UN portable tanks, or IBCs.”

MOTOR CARRIER (BROKERS & FREIGHT FORWARDERS) / Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration “announces guidance concerning the implementation of certain provisions of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) concerning persons acting as a property broker or a freight forwarder” – including new financial security requirements for property brokers and freight forwarders.

“Registration and Financial Security Requirements for Brokers of Property and Freight Forwarders 

Notice. September 5, 2013.

“FMCSA has received a number of requests from motor carriers and other transportation companies requesting additional information about when registration as a broker or freight forwarder is required. The Agency has compiled a list of the most common questions and our responses and presents the information below in question-and-answer format. Continue reading

RAILROAD (DISCLOSURES IN INTERNLINE AGREEMENTS) / Surface Transportation Board issues final rule to, “establish additional disclosure requirements for notices and petitions for exemption where the underlying lease or line sale includes an interchange commitment”.

“Information Required in Notices and Petitions Containing Interchange Commitments”

Final Rules. September 5, 2013.

 

 

 

 

MARITIME (SEAGOING BARGES) / The U.S. Coast Guard is exempting specified seagoing barges from its inspection.

“Seagoing Barges”

Final Rule. August 29, 2013. 

“The Coast Guard is revising several vessel inspection and certification regulations to align them with a statutory definition of ‘seagoing barge’ and with a statutory exemption from inspection and certification requirements for certain seagoing barges. The revisions are intended to eliminate ambiguity in existing regulations, to reduce the potential for confusion among the regulated public, and to help the Coast Guard perform its maritime safety and stewardship missions.” Continue reading

AVIATION (OSHA) / Recent legislation (FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012) requires the Federal Aviation Administration to develop a statement of policy about “the circumstances in which the requirements of the [U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration] OSHA may be applied to crewmembers while working in an aircraft”. This FAA “Policy Statement” does not state policy as much as it invites comment.

“Occupational Safety and Health Standards for Aircraft Cabin Crewmembers”

August 27, 2013. Notice Of Availability; Final Policy And Disposition Of Comments.

This announcement details various comments received from industry stakeholders, together with FAA and OSHA replies.

Text of “Policy Statement on Occupational Safety and Health Standards for Aircraft Cabin Crewmembers” available here.

AVIATION (ASDI LIMITATIONS) / Federal Aviation Administration finalizes the process by which aircraft owners and operators may ask the FAA to limit the FAA’s dissemination of their aircraft data by means of the Aircraft Situation Display to Industry (ASDI) data feed to the airline industry.

“Access to Aircraft Situation Display to Industry (ASDI) and National Airspace System Status Information (NASSI) Data”

August 21, 2013. Final Notice Of The Process For Limiting Aircraft Data Displayed Via ASDI.

ASDI is a data feed hosted by U.S. DOT’s Volpe Center. This data feed is made available to airlines for purposes of safety. It includes information about aircraft location, together with data relating to altitude, airspeed, destination and various additional points. Continue reading