WSR 07-04-110

EXPEDITED RULES

UTILITIES AND TRANSPORTATION

COMMISSION

[ Docket TR-070198 -- Filed February 7, 2007, 10:05 a.m. ]

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: Repeal WAC 480-62-155 Train speeds.

NOTICE

THIS RULE IS BEING PROPOSED UNDER AN EXPEDITED RULE-MAKING PROCESS THAT WILL ELIMINATE THE NEED FOR THE AGENCY TO HOLD PUBLIC HEARINGS, PREPARE A SMALL BUSINESS ECONOMIC IMPACT STATEMENT, OR PROVIDE RESPONSES TO THE CRITERIA FOR A SIGNIFICANT LEGISLATIVE RULE. IF YOU OBJECT TO THIS USE OF THE EXPEDITED RULE-MAKING PROCESS, YOU MUST EXPRESS YOUR OBJECTIONS IN WRITING AND THEY MUST BE SENT TO Executive Secretary, Docket No. TR-070198, Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, P.O. Box 47250, Olympia, WA 98504-7250 , AND RECEIVED BY April 9, 2007.


Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: RCW 81.48.030 and 81.48.040 direct the commission to set train speed limits in cities and towns and at grade crossings consistent with the hazards presented and the practical operation of trains. However, the Federal Railroad Safety Act prohibits states from issuing more stringent requirements on any subject already addressed by Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) rules. Because FRA rules already establish train speed limits, the commission may only take action to reduce train speeds when "necessary to reduce or eliminate an essentially local safety hazard," as defined by P.L. 91-458, Sec. 205 (49 U.S.C. Sec. 20106).

In June 2006, the legislature adopted revisions to RCW 81.48.040, including a clear process for railroads to follow to increase train speeds. WAC 480-62-155 Train speeds, outlined the previous procedure used when the commission considered whether to alter train speed limits, either upon petition or upon its own motion. Because the revisions to RCW 81.48.040 established a new train speed increase process, this rule is no longer necessary.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: The rule is no longer necessary due to changed circumstances surrounding train speed regulation in Washington.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 81.48.030, 81.48.040, 34.05.353.

Statute Being Implemented: Not applicable.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Name of Proponent: Washington utilities and transportation commission, governmental.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Betty Young, Compliance Specialist, 1300 South Evergreen Park Drive S.W., Olympia, WA 98504-7250, (360) 664-1202; Implementation and Enforcement: Carole J. Washburn, Executive Secretary, 1300 South Evergreen Park Drive S.W., Olympia, WA 98504-7250, (360) 664-1174.

February 7, 2007

Carole J. Washburn

Executive Secretary

Washington State Code Reviser's Office