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<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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