November 29, 2015

DOT’s Foxx writes letter to House, Senate Conferees

In a letter to Chairman Bill Shuster (R – Pa.) of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, DOT’s Transportation Secretary Anthony R. Foxx wrote the following. Dear Mr. Chairman: I write to express my appreciation for efforts thus far to achieve a bipartisan long-term surface transportation bill. For the first time in more than [...]

Clarifying OSHA’s rule on whistleblower retaliation


Earlier last week, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a final rule covering railroad whistleblower cases and employer retaliation. The rule serves to clarify whistleblower protections already in place and establishes procedures and time frames for handling employee retaliation complaints covered under the National Transit Systems Security Act (NTSSA) and the Federal Railroad [...]

DOT denies appeals of high-hazard trains rule


On May 8, 2015, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, in coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), published a final rule entitled, “Hazardous Materials: Enhanced Tank Car Standards and Operational Controls for High-Hazard Flammable Trains,” which adopted requirements designed to reduce the consequences and, in some instances, reduce the probability of accidents involving [...]

Honoring our Vets: a history of Veterans Day


World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” – officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations [...]

STB to hold meetings on reporting rail service data


The Surface Transportation Board announced today that its staff will hold informal meetings with stakeholders between November 16, 2015 and December 7, 2015, on proposed rules for reporting railroad service performance data in the pending proceeding United States Rail Service Issues, EP 724. The meetings will enable the STB to better assess what types of [...]

OSHA issues final rule on retaliation, whistleblowing


WASHINGTON - The Occupational Safety and Health Administration today issued a final rule establishing procedures and time frames for handling employee retaliation complaints under the National Transit Systems Security Act (NTSSA) and the Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA). The final rule is effective Nov. 9, 2015. NTSSA establishes protections against retaliation for public transportation agency employees who engage in whistleblowing activities related [...]

House passes long-term transportation bill

U.S. Capitol Building; Capitol Building; Washington D.C.

The U.S. House passed a six-year surface transportation reauthorization and reform bill that calls for more than $300 billion in federal funding for highway, transit and rail programs. If approved by the full Congress and signed by President Obama, the bill would become the first long-term transportation law passed since 2005. The Surface Transportation Reauthorization [...]

FMCSA issues regulatory guidance


FMCSA has issued regulatory guidance concerning the editing of records created by automatic on-board recording devices (AOBRD) to make clear that drivers may review or edit their AOBRD records, annotate and correct incorrect records, and certify the accuracy of the information.  This guidance revises Question 2 of the regulatory guidance for §395.15 which prohibits CMV [...]

House rejects bill amendment to allow heavier trucks


The House on Tuesday defeated an amendment to a $325 billion highway funding bill that would have let states decide whether they want to allow heavier trucks on their roads. The amendment, from Reps. Reid Ribble (R-Wis.), Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), David Rouzer (R-N.C.) and Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), would allow states to decide whether they want [...]

Senate passes PTC extension, confirms Feinberg as FRA administrator

The U.S. Senate yesterday passed a short-term surface transportation funding extension that includes a long-term extension of the positive train control (PTC) implementation deadline. The Senate’s action followed the House’s approval of the bill on Tuesday, and President Obama is expected to sign it. The legislation reauthorizes funding of transportation programs through Nov. 20, and [...]