Monday, May 12, 2008

Comments on Rail Security and Safety Rules – 5-9-08

There are currently three rules recently published in the Federal Register dealing with the security and safety of rail transportation of various hazardous chemicals. All three rules are in the comment period. Generally speaking the comments made on each of these rules are posted on the web site. The last review was posted on 4-28-08 (see: "Comments on Rail Security and Safety Rules – 4-25-08").

PIH Tank Car Rule

Comments are to be submitted by June 2, 2008. The FRA added a number of additional documents to the docket file. There were no other comments on this docket. The added documents were:

Route Security Analysis Rule

Comments are to be submitted by May 16, 2008. No new comments filed.

Appeal of Adverse Rail Routing Decisions Rule

Comments are to be submitted by June 16, 2008. No comments have been posted since the proposed rule was published.


The lack of public comment on these three rules is disappointing. The Federal rule making structure relies on the input of private citizens, organizations, and companies to ensure that the rules used to regulate the country are the product of the views of both the government and the governed.

While the first two rules are on their second round of comments, the original comments were made some time ago and do not necessarily remain germane. This is especially true when you consider how much these rules have changed since they were last published for comments. Additionally, there were specific requests for information and comments in the current proposed rules.

The most controversial of these three rules, the Route Security Analysis Rule, has had no public comments. I find this particularly surprising considering the vehemence expressed in comments on this blog (see: "Another comment related to Railroad Hazmat Route Selection Rule"). The comment period for this rule ends this coming Friday. It will be interesting to see what happens between now and then.

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