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ua14no94 DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY (TREAS)...
<DOC> DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (DOT) Statement of Regulatory Priorities The Department of Transportation (DOT) consists of nine operating administrations and the Office of the Secretary, each of which has responsibility for a wide range of regulations. For example, we regulate safety in the aviation, motor carrier, railroad, mass transit, motor vehicle, maritime, commercial space, and pipeline transportation areas. We regulate consumer and economic issues in aviation and provide financial assistance and write the necessary implementing rules for programs involving highways, airports, mass transit, maritime, railroads, and motor vehicle safety. We write regulations carrying out such disparate statutes as the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Uniform Time Act. We establish tolls and operational requirements for the St. Lawrence Seaway. We regulate the construction and operation of bridges over navigable waters, the prevention of oil pollution, and the security of commercial aviation and passenger vessels. Finally, we have the usual housekeeping regulations governing everything from conflicts of interest to the Privacy Act to seismic standards for building construction. While it carries this heavy regulatory workload, the Department has long been recognized as a leader in Federal efforts to improve and streamline the regulatory process and ensure that regulations do not impose unnecessary burdens. The Department was the first major Federal agency to establish a comprehensive internal management and review process for new and existing regulations. This process is codified in the Department's regulatory policies and procedures, which ensure that the Secretary and other appropriate appointed officials review and concur in all significant DOT rules. These policies and procedures emphasize that DOT regulations should be necessary, clear, timely, reasonable, and fair, without imposing unnecessary burdens on individuals, the private sector, or State or local governments. For virtually all DOT rules, the initiating office must prepare an analysis that includes a discussion of the problem intended to be addressed, the major alternatives, the reasons for choosing one alternative over another, and the economic and other consequences of the action. The Department has a management process that permits key officials to follow closely the development of significant regulatory projects. The process is intended to ensure that these rulemakings are completed in a timely manner and facilitates top management's involvement in these actions. The Department has also undertaken a number of new initiatives to improve the quality of its rulemaking. A number of examples are worth noting. We have taken a number of steps to streamline our concurrence process to enable us to respond more rapidly with needed regulations. We are attempting to provide better, easier public access to our rulemaking process through such things as more informal public meetings, increased use of telecommunications, and an electronic docket. We are also taking steps to improve public awareness and understanding of our rules through training, seminars, guidance material, electronic bulletin boards, and other techniques; for example, approximately 2,000 people attended a recent series of four conferences DOT held on regulatory requirements for drug and alcohol testing of transportation industry employees. We have been stressing improved coordination with other Federal, State, local, and tribal agencies or governments. We are trying to provide as much flexibility as possible for small entities and actively participated in a recent series of conferences and meetings on this subject cosponsored by the Office of Management and Budget and the Small Business Administration. We have increased our already considerable efforts to review existing regulations, recently identifying 10 new areas for review. We have continued our careful analysis of our rules and reemphasized through recent rulemakings our commitment to use non-command and control requirements, to provide maximum flexibility, and to reduce paperwork burdens; included in our initiative are a number of efforts to improve the harmonization of our new rules with those of other countries or international bodies. Finally, as the first department to use regulatory negotiation, we thought it important to stress our support of this valuable process and have recently identified over a half-dozen possible candidates for negotiation during the next year; the Federal Railroad Administration has already published a notice seeking public comment on its proposal to use regulatory negotiation for one of these candidates, a rulemaking addressing the hazards railroad workers face along rights-of-way from moving equipment. Under the leadership of Secretary of Transportation Federico Pena, the Department has adopted a regulatory philosophy that applies to all its rulemaking activities. This philosophy is articulated as follows: Department of Transportation regulations must be clear, simple, timely, fair, reasonable, and necessary. They will be issued only after an appropriate opportunity for public comment, which must provide an equal chance for all affected interests to participate, and after appropriate consultation with other governmental entities. The Department will fully consider the comments received. We will assess the risks addressed by our rules and their costs and benefits, including the cumulative effect. We will consider appropriate alternatives, including nonregulatory approaches. We will also make every effort to ensure that legislation does not impose unreasonable mandates. The Department will apply this regulatory philosophy to achieving the objectives identified in the Department's January 1994 Strategic Plan. Five of the goals of this plan have regulatory components or implications: <bullet>Tie America Together calls for integrating all modes of transportation. <bullet>Invest Strategically in Transportation Infrastructure calls for promoting greater opportunities for minority and women owned businesses and identifying opportunities to provide strategic support to new transportation industries (e.g., the commercial space industry). Achieving these objectives calls for creating or improving DOT regulations to assist emerging businesses. <bullet>Promote Safe and Secure Transportation involves a variety of activities with important regulatory components. These include enforcing highway safety requirements, improving safety at rail/highway and waterway/bridge intersections, improving the safety of hazardous material and pipeline transportation, and maintaining and advancing aviation, port, and waterway safety. <bullet>Actively Enhance Our Environment also involves a variety of activities with important regulatory components. These include setting targets and deadlines for congestion reduction and demand management on highways, as well as implementing the Clean Air Act and Oil Pollution Act. <bullet>Put People First calls for ensuring mobility in all transportation modes for Americans with disabilities and making the Metropolitan Planning Organization planning process work. Both these objectives involve major, continuing regulatory activity by the Department. Office of the Secretary of Transportation (OST) The Office of the Secretary (OST) oversees the regulatory process for the Department. OST implements the Department's regulatory policies and procedures and is responsible for ensuring the involvement of top management in regulatory decisionmaking. Through the General Counsel's office, OST is also responsible for ensuring that the Department complies with Executive Order 12866 and other legal and policy requirements affecting rulemaking. OST is currently leading a major initiative to streamline the Department's regulatory process, to ensure that rulemakings move through the process more quickly and that deadlines are met. This initiative includes greater use of delegation of concurrence and approval authority for regulations; an improved tracking, target date and management reporting system; and greater use of internal rulemaking techniques (such as task forces and early management briefings) and means of getting greater public involvement (such as regulatory negotiation, public meetings, and special science or technical panels) that should expedite and improve rulemaking projects. The initiative also includes a major project to centralize and ``computerize'' the Department's rulemaking docket functions. OST continues to provide periodically a 2-day training course on regulatory development and processing for DOT employees. OST also prepares guidance for use of regulatory personnel throughout the Department on such matters as compliance with Executive Orders, economic analyses, paperwork reduction, the Regulatory Agenda and Plan, and other regulatory policy matters. While OST's principal role concerns making the Department's regulatory process run smoothly, OST also plays an important role in the substance of rulemaking projects having cross-modal significance. OST offices successfully coordinated the Department's effort that led to this year's massive alcohol and drug testing rulemaking. OST continues to coordinate implementation of these rules as well as work on follow-up rulemakings. OST coordinates the Department's response to requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act and related statutes, and is currently working on rules concerning the accessibility of over-the- road buses and small commuter aircraft. OST is also leading a multimodal task force that will produce, later this year, a final rule revising the Department's disadvantaged business enterprise program regulation. The Office of Commercial Space Transportation (OCST) within OST is responsible for providing regulatory guidance to the emerging U.S. commercial space transportation industry. U.S. aerospace companies, which have traditionally constructed launch vehicles and conducted launches as contractors of the U.S. Government, have been successfully marketing commercial services worldwide and are now conducting commercial launches on a regular basis. Newer commercial launch firms are developing and testing innovative vehicle technologies that will serve the important small-payload market. The Department, as the agency authorized by statute to license and otherwise regulate commercial space launch activities, is responsible for ensuring that these activities are conducted in a safe manner. At the same time, the Department must also shape its policies and requirements in a way that does not unduly burden the U.S. commercial space transportation industry. OCST, therefore, is seeking to streamline and further refine its regulatory processes, while continuing to consult with other agencies having responsibilities related to commercial space transportation. Unites States Coast Guard (USCG) The United States Coast Guard, an armed force of the United States, has many peacetime missions directly affecting the public. These missions include placing and maintaining aids to navigation, enforcing laws and treaties, protecting the marine environment, performing search and rescue, and ensuring marine safety and security. Various statutes authorize the Coast Guard to issue regulations in connection with these missions. The Coast Guard traditionally provides for pollution prevention and safety of passengers, crew, cargo, and ports through a framework of regulations that apply to U.S. flag vessels and foreign vessels that call at U.S. ports. The Marine Safety Council, a group of senior Coast Guard officers, establishes regulatory policy, reviews each rulemaking project, and advises the Commandant of the Coast Guard on regulatory matters. The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 mandated over 30 different rulemaking projects, affecting pollution liability, personnel training and qualification, and vessel construction and equipment requirements. A number of regulations issued under the authority of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 are now in effect, including requirements for financial responsibility, double-hull construction, and vessel and facility oil spill response plans. Other rulemaking projects, including requirements for hazardous substances response plans and structural and operational measures to prevent pollution from existing tank vessels, are in progress. The percentage of foreign vessel traffic in U.S. ports has increased significantly over the past several years. As a result, the Coast Guard is shifting its emphasis from ``flag state control'' directed primarily at U.S. vessels to ``port state control.'' Its goal will be to identify substandard foreign vessels and operators, and ensure deficiencies are corrected. Through Coast Guard initiatives at the International Maritime Organization (IMO), international standards have been raised to a level comparable with domestic requirements. The Coast Guard intends to increase its acceptance of international standards and eliminate or reduce inconsistencies with domestic regulations, while still ensuring an appropriate level of safety. Additional emphasis will also be placed on sectors of the maritime industry that have previously not been regulated. As a result of recent casualties, legislation and regulations that would improve navigation and operation requirements for uninspected towing vessels are under consideration. Regulatory projects have been initiated to improve equipment and construction standards for uninspected fishing vessels. Legislation that would expand licensing and inspection requirements for fishing vessels is also under consideration. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) In 1994-1995, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will continue to promulgate regulatory actions to implement the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 and other relevant statutes and will revise existing regulations where appropriate. The FHWA will rigorously pursue regulatory reform in areas where project development can be streamlined or accelerated, duplicative requirements can be consolidated, recordkeeping requirements can be reduced or simplified, and the decisionmaking authority of the States can be increased. The major areas in which the FHWA will initiate or continue to develop significant rulemaking actions in 1994 are in its ongoing zero-base review of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and in implementing the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act. The goals and objectives of the zero-base review project are to (1) focus on those areas of enforcement and compliance which are most effective in reducing motor carrier accidents, (2)reduce compliance costs, (3)encourage innovation, (4) clearly and succinctly describe what is required, and (5)facilitate enforcement. Through the zero-base review, the FHWA intends to develop a unified, performance-based regulatory system that will enhance safety on our Nation's highways while minimizing the burdens placed on the motor carrier industry. In addition, the FHWA is currently re-drafting the Rules of Practice for Motor Carrier Safety and Hazardous Materials Proceedings. We plan to simplify the current process to facilitate responses by the accused motor carriers and drivers, and to offer alternative means of adjudicating the claims. We also intend to promulgate comprehensive rules covering the entire enforcement process from initial contact with the motor carrier to the final disposition of the claim. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) The statutory responsibilities of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) include improving highway safety, reducing motor vehicle crashes and related fatalities and injuries, providing information and cost savings to consumers, and improving automotive fuel efficiency. The agency endeavors to pursue policies that encourage the development of nonregulatory approaches when appropriate in meeting its statutory mandate; to issue new standards and regulations or amendments to existing standards and regulations when appropriate; to ensure that regulatory alternatives reflect a careful assessment of the problem and a comprehensive analysis of the benefits, costs, and other impacts associated with the proposed regulatory action; and to consider alternatives consistent with the Administration's regulatory principles. In addition to numerous programs that focus on the safety and performance of the motor vehicle, the agency is engaged in a variety of programs to improve driver behavior. These programs emphasize the human aspects of motor vehicle safety and recognize the important role of the States in this common pursuit. This goal is accomplished by providing flexibility and encouraging initiatives in such areas as safety belt usage, motorcycle helmet usage, child safety-seat usage, activities aimed at combating drunk driving and driving under the influence of other drugs, and consumer information activities. Furthering initiatives begun under the National Performance Review, NHTSA is conducting several program evaluations that are designed to review and evaluate the actual benefits, costs, and overall effectiveness of existing standards and regulations. In its 1994 Regulatory Plan, NHTSA focuses on three significant rulemakings: to consider additional brake performance requirements for passenger cars; to upgrade the current interior impact standard to provide greater head injury protection from contact with upper vehicle interiors; and to establish corporate average fuel economy standards for light trucks for model years 1998-2006. The actions included in the Regulatory Plan were undertaken in conformance with a congressional mandate, and reflect a continuation of NHTSA's regulatory reform policy objectives. The suggested Regulatory Plan actions on passenger car brakes and head-impact protection in vehicle interiors are supported by extensive research and crash data. Suggested light truck fuel economy standards were discussed in a report by the National Academy of Sciences, and carefully analyzed in a series of ongoing discussions between NHTSA, the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. NHTSA's regulatory program includes additional proposals that will be undertaken in order to allow design flexibility, promote new technology, and encourage market competition and consumer choice. Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) exercises regulatory authority over all areas of railroad safety. This authority has been delegated to FRA by the Secretary of Transportation. The primary source of the authority is the Federal Railroad Safety Act of 1970, 45 U.S.C. 431 et seq. FRA's general regulatory objective is to develop a regulatory program
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