WSR 17-03-121
[Filed January 18, 2017, 9:54 a.m.]
Subject of Possible Rule Making: Chapter 468-550 WAC was adopted to comply with 49 C.F.R. Part 659 which requires the state of Washington to oversee and manage a state safety oversight (SSO) program for rail fixed guideway public transportation systems (RFGPTS). Effective April 16, 2016, 49 C.F.R. Part 659 has been superseded by 49 C.F.R. Part 674 which sets forth additional requirements for SSO programs. Revisions to existing chapter 468-550 WAC are therefore necessary to ensure our state code continues to be aligned with federal requirements.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: SB 6358 (passed March 4, 2016) revised the following RCW to align with 49 C.F.R. Part 674: RCW 35.21.228, 35A.21.300, 35.57A.170, 36.01.210, 36.57.120, 81.104.115, and 81.112.180. Specifically these RCW direct the department to oversee and audit safety programs for RFGPTS and state that the department may adopt rules to further establish its oversight role.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: These rule revisions are required for the state's SSO program to become certified by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) as compliant with 49 C.F.R. Part 674. If certification is not obtained by April 15, 2019, the FTA will be prohibited from obligating federal financial assistance apportioned under 19 U.S.C. 5338 to any entity in the state that is otherwise eligible to receive it. By law, FTA will be unable to extend the April 15, 2019, deadline.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: The Washington state department of transportation (WSDOT) is the sole state agency affected by this rule and subject to the requirements of 49 Part 674 or by the prior Part 659. FTA through its Office of Transit Review is the sole federal agency directly affected by the federal rule. RFGPTS are subject to the requirements set forth by WSDOT as it implements its SSO program.
Process for Developing New Rule: Negotiated rule making; and WSDOT will ensure state rule is in alignment with the requirements of federal rule. FTA will be reviewing revisions and providing their concurrence.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Michael Flood, Transit Safety Oversight Manager, Public Transportation Division, WSDOT,, (206) 902-8110.
January 18, 2017
Kara Larsen, Director
Risk Management and Legal Services