Yesterday the OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) announced that it had received a copy of DOT’s final rule on Enhanced Tank Car Standards and Operational Controls for High-Hazard Flammable Trains from the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA).
The notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for this rule was published just a little over six months ago. With the large number of comments (over 3,000) received on that NPRM it is remarkable that PHMSA was able to get a final rule to OMB in just over six months. It is, frankly, a measure of the political pressure the Administration is under to ‘get something done’ on this issue.
Because of the complexity of the issues involved and the amount of political pressure on both sides of the issue, there is no telling how long it will take OMB to clear this final rule for publication. In the little over two months that OIRA considered the NPRM it held 19 reported meetings with interested parties. I expect that a similar number will be held during the consideration of this final rule.