On Friday the OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) announced that it had approved the DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration’s (PHMSA) direct final rule implementing the requirements of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act of 2015 (HR 22 – PL 114-94). OIRA acted fairly quickly on this rulemaking, given that it was submitted by PHMSA just back in June.
This rule implements Congressionally mandated changes to the hazardous material regulations related to railcars used to ship flammable materials. This includes changes to the DOT 111 phase-out schedule, and changes to the DOT 117 railcar standard. Since DOT was given no leeway on these changes by Congress, the rule did not require the normal publish and comment process; going instead directly to the issuing of the final rule.
This rule will almost certainly be published in the Federal Register this week.