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18 November 2008

[Federal Register: November 18, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 223)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 68365-68369]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []



Federal Highway Administration

23 CFR Part 650

[FHWA Docket No. FHWA-2008-0038]
RIN 2125-AF24

National Tunnel Inspection Standards

AGENCY: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), DOT.

ACTION: Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM); request for 


SUMMARY: The FHWA is soliciting comments concerning the creation of a 
regulation establishing National Tunnel Inspection Standards (NTIS). 
The FHWA is considering the establishment of NTIS by adding Subpart E 
to 23 CFR Part 650. The NTIS would set minimum tunnel inspection 
standards that apply to all Federal-aid highway tunnels on public 
roads. The FHWA anticipates that NTIS could be modeled after the 
existing National Bridge Inspection Standards (NBIS) regulation, found 
at 23 CFR Part 650, Subpart C, as applicable. The NTIS likely would 
include requirements for inspection procedures for structural, 
mechanical, electrical, hydraulic and ventilation systems, and other 
major elements specific to tunnels such as tunnel finishes; the 
qualification and training of inspectors; and a National Tunnel 

DATES: Comments must be received on or before February 17, 2009. Late-
filed comments will be considered to the extent practicable.

ADDRESSES: Mail or hand deliver comments to: Docket Management 
Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, 
SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001, or submit electronically at http://, or fax comments to (202) 493-2251.
    All comments should include the docket number that appears in the 
heading of this document. All comments received will be available for 
examination and copying at the above address from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., 
e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Those desiring 
notification of receipt of comments must include a self-addressed, 
stamped postcard or may print the acknowledgment page that appears 
after submitting comments electronically. Anyone is able to search the 
electronic form of all comments in any one of our dockets by the name 
of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if 
submitted on behalf of an association, business, or labor union). You 
may review the U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) complete 
Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 
2000 (Volume 65, Number 70, Pages 19477-78), or you may visit http://

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Jesus M. Rohena, P.E., Office of 
Bridge Technology, HIBT-10, (202) 366-4593, or Mr. Robert Black, Office 
of the Chief Counsel, HCC-30, (202) 366-1359, Federal Highway 
Administration, 1200 New Jersey Ave., SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001. 
Office hours are from 7:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., e.t., Monday through 
Friday, except Federal holidays.


Electronic Access and Filing

    You may submit or retrieve comments online through the Federal 
Docket Management System at It is available 
24 hours each day, 365 days each year. Electronic submission and 
retrieval help and guidelines are available under the help section of 
the Web site. An electronic copy of this document may also be 
downloaded by accessing the Office of the Federal Register's home page 
at: or the Government Printing Office's Web 
page at


    The safety and security of our Nation's tunnels are of paramount 
importance to the FHWA. Recognizing that tunnel owners are not mandated 
to routinely inspect tunnels and that inspection methods vary among 
entities that inspect tunnels, the FHWA and the Federal Transit 
Administration developed guidelines for the inspection of tunnels in 
2003. The guidelines, known as the ``Highway and Rail Transit Tunnel 
Inspection Manual,'' \1\ were updated in 2005. In addition, the FHWA 
developed Tunnel Management Software to help tunnel owners manage their 
tunnel inventory, but tunnel owners have not adopted the software 

    \1\ Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit 
Administration, United States Department of Transportation, Highway 
and Rail Transit Tunnel Inspection Manual (2005) available at

    After investigating the fatal July 2006 suspended ceiling collapse 
in the Central Artery Tunnel in Boston, Massachusetts, the National 
Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) stated in its report that, ``had the 
Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, at regular intervals between November 
2003 and July 2006, inspected the area above the suspended ceilings in 
the D Street portal tunnels, the anchor creep that led to this accident 
would likely have been detected, and action could have been taken that 
would have prevented this accident.'' Among its recommendations, the 
NTSB suggested that the FHWA seek legislative authority to establish a 
mandatory tunnel inspection program similar to the NBIS that would 
identify critical inspection elements and specify an appropriate 
inspection frequency. Additionally, the DOT Inspector General (IG), in 
testimony before Congress in October 2007, highlighted the need for a 
tunnel inspection and reporting system to ensure the safety of the 
Nation's tunnels, stating that the FHWA ``should develop and implement 
a system to ensure that States inspect and report on tunnel 
conditions.'' Additionally, the IG stated that ``FHWA should move 
aggressively on this rulemaking and establish rigorous inspection 
standards as soon as possible.''
    The NTIS would implement these NTSB and IG recommendations. The 
FHWA anticipates that NTIS could be modeled after the existing NBIS, 
contained at 23 CFR 650, Subpart C. The FHWA likely would revise 23 CFR 
Part 650--Bridges, Structures, and Hydraulics, by adding the NTIS under 
Subpart E.
    The NTIS would require the proper safety inspection and evaluation 
of all Federal-aid highway tunnels on public roads. National Tunnel 
Inspection Standards are needed to ensure that all structural, 
mechanical, electrical, hydraulic and ventilation systems, and other 
major elements of our Nation's tunnels are inspected and tested on a 
regular basis. The NTIS would also ensure safety for the surface 
transportation users of our Nation's highway tunnels, and would make 
tunnel inspection standards consistent across the Nation. Additionally, 
tunnel inspections would help protect Federal investment in such key 
    Timely tunnel inspection is vital to uncovering safety problems and 
preventing failures. When corrosion or leakage occur, electrical or 
mechanical systems malfunction, or concrete

[[Page 68366]]

cracking and spalling signs appear, they may be symptomatic of dire 
problems. The importance of tunnel inspection was demonstrated in the 
summer of 2007 in the I-70 Hanging Lake tunnel in Colorado. After the 
Central Artery ceiling collapse in Boston, the Colorado Department of 
Transportation moved promptly to inspect the ceiling and roof of the I-
70 Hanging Lake tunnel and uncovered a crack in the roof that was 
compromising the structural integrity of the tunnel. This discovery 
prompted the closure of the tunnel for several months for needed 
repairs. The repairs included removal of more than 30 feet of soil fill 
material from the top of the tunnel roof, temporary support of the roof 
from the inside of the tunnel, removal of the suspended ceiling, and 
the design and construction of a new slab cast on top of the existing 
roof to reinforce and add extra structural capacity. To accomplish the 
repair, the eastbound tube under the cracked roof was closed to 
traffic, and the adjacent westbound tube was converted to a tube with 
bi-directional traffic. The eastbound tunnel was closed for 7 months, 
and the repair cost approximately $6 million, but the repairs helped 
prevent a potential safety incident.
    The FHWA estimates that there are more than 300 highway tunnels in 
the Nation, although no national inventory for tunnels currently 
exists. The FHWA additionally estimates that tunnels represent more 
than 100 linear miles of Interstates, State routes and local routes. 
The majority of these tunnels range in age from 51 to 100 years. Some 
tunnels, like the Caldecott Tunnel in California, were constructed in 
the 1930's and 1940's. The FHWA anticipates that the NTIS could help 
create a national inventory of tunnels that would lead to a more 
accurate assessment of the number and condition of tunnels in the 
    Because tunnels are vital to the local, regional, and national 
economies, and to our national defense, it is imperative these 
facilities are properly maintained and inspected to ensure the safe 
passage of the traveling public and goods. Tunnels like the Central 
Artery tunnel in Massachusetts, the Lincoln Tunnel in New York, the 
Fort McHenry and the Baltimore Harbor tunnels in Maryland, just to 
mention a few, are a vital part of the national transportation 
infrastructure. These tunnels handle a huge volume of daily traffic. 
For example, according to the Port Authority, the Lincoln Tunnel 
carries approximately 120,000 vehicles per day, making it the busiest 
vehicular tunnel in the world. The Fort McHenry Tunnel handles a daily 
traffic volume of more than 115,000 vehicles. Any disruption of traffic 
in these or other highly traveled tunnels would result in lost 
productivity and adversely impact the environment.
    Currently, there is no uniformity with respect to how frequently 
tunnels are inspected. The frequency of tunnel inspections varies from 
daily to every 10 years. Some inspectors in colder climates walk 
through air ducts on a daily basis to identify potential icing problems 
due to water leakage. Some inspectors examine mechanical and electrical 
equipment on a daily basis, while others perform such inspections on a 
monthly basis. Under the proposed NTIS, State departments of 
transportation would be responsible for ensuring compliance with tunnel 
standards. The NTIS could ensure that tunnels are inspected routinely, 
that the findings of such inspections are reported to the FHWA, and 
that deficiencies are corrected in a timely manner.


    The FHWA is acting proactively in developing NTIS. The NTIS are 
important to assure safety and security of the Nation's Federal-aid 
highway tunnels. The purpose of this ANPRM is to seek feedback from the 
public to help the FHWA develop NTIS.


    The NTIS would apply to all Federal-aid funded highway tunnels in 
the 50 States, District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

Categories of Information

    The FHWA has identified 14 categories of information regarding the 
NTIS. The FHWA seeks comments from our partners and interested parties 
on the following questions.
    1. Definition of ``Tunnel''
    The NTIS would apply to structures receiving Federal-aid highway 
funds that meet the NTIS definition of a ``tunnel.'' What requirements 
should the FHWA incorporate into the definition of a ``tunnel''?
    A. Should the definition of a ``tunnel'' contain a minimum length 
    B. Should the definition of a ``tunnel'' contain requirements other 
than tunnel length?
    C. The National Fire Protection Association defines a tunnel as an 
``enclosed roadway for motor vehicle traffic with vehicle access that 
is limited to portals.'' \2\ The American Association of State Highway 
and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Technical Committee for Tunnels 
(T-20) defines tunnels as ``enclosed roadways with vehicle access that 
is restricted to portals regardless of type of structure or method of 
construction. Tunnels do not include highway bridges, railroad bridges 
or other bridges over a roadway. Tunnels are structures that require 
special design considerations that may include lighting, ventilation, 
fire protection systems, and emergency egress capacity based on the 
owner's determination.'' Should the FHWA adopt one of these definitions 
or another definition of tunnel?

    \2\ NFPA 502: Standard for Road Tunnels, Bridges, and Other 
Limited Access Highways Sec.  3.3.38 (National Fire Protection 
Association 2007).

    2. Inspection Procedures
    Inspections should assess the condition of all structural elements 
of a tunnel and assess the condition and performance of a tunnel's 
structural, mechanical, electrical, hydraulic and ventilation systems, 
including operational procedures.
    A. Should the NTIS adopt the inspection techniques and standards in 
the Highway and Rail Transit Tunnel Inspection Manual?
    B. What additional sources of inspection standards should the FHWA 
    C. Should inspections include evaluation of emergency response and 
non-emergency operational procedures?
    D. Are there any special inspection procedures for new tunnels that 
should be included in inspection manuals for all new tunnels?
    3. Frequency and Types of Inspections
    The inspection of highway tunnels likely would include collecting 
information on the condition of all structural elements and systems.
    A. What tunnel elements and systems should be inspected routinely?
    B. What inspection frequency should be established for these 
elements and systems?
    C. Should a minimum frequency for tunnel inspection be established?
    D. Is there a need to identify various types of inspections? If so, 
what types of inspections should be defined?
    E. Should the frequency of each type of inspection vary according 
to the type of inspection?
    F. Should we establish a risk-based frequency to account for the 
complexity of each tunnel?
    G. What factors (e.g., age, traffic, length, ventilation, urban or 
rural location) should be included in a risk-based frequency inspection 
    4. Equipment and System Inspection
    The NTIS likely would include requirements for inspection 
procedures for structural, mechanical, electrical, hydraulic and 
ventilation systems, and other major tunnel elements. For several

[[Page 68367]]

of these elements and systems, the inspections could include the 
following provisions:
    A. The mechanical inspection could consist of verifying the 
condition and operation of tunnel mechanical equipment and systems. 
Examples of mechanical equipment and systems include, but are not 
limited to, ventilation fans, control room air conditioning and 
heating, plumbing systems and tunnel drainage and waterproofing 
    B. The structural inspection could include suspended ceilings, 
structural attachments, lining, exposed rock, roadway slabs, and tunnel 
    C. The safety inspection could consist of verifying the condition 
and operation of various safety equipment and systems, such as variable 
message signs, overhead warning systems, carbon monoxide detection 
systems, fire protection systems, signage, geometry, traffic signals, 
and normal operations and emergency response procedures.
    D. The security inspection could consist of verifying the condition 
and operation of security equipment and systems that are used to detect 
and coordinate responses to natural or man-made emergencies. These 
systems include video cameras, monitors, alarms, telephones, security 
gates, and portal flood gates.
    E. The electrical inspection could consist of verifying the 
condition and operation of electrical equipment and systems used for 
power distribution, emergency power, and lighting.
    5. Qualifications and Required Training of Inspectors
    A. Should the qualification requirements for transit tunnel 
inspectors contained in the Highway and Rail Transit Tunnel Inspection 
Manual be adopted as the qualifications required for Federal-aid 
highway tunnel inspectors? Are the qualifications in the Highway and 
Rail Transit Tunnel Inspection Manual sufficiently specific for all 
tunnel elements and systems?
    B. What education and training should be required for tunnel 
inspectors? Should the NTIS incorporate a requirement for periodic 
training for tunnel inspectors?
    C. What experience should be required for tunnel inspectors? Should 
there be multiple levels of qualifications depending upon the role of 
the team member (i.e., leader, inspector) and the type of inspection?
    6. Recordkeeping
    A. Should States be required to keep records of all highway tunnel 
inspections performed within the State? If not, where and with whom 
should the inspection records reside?
    B. Are inspection record requirements such as those contained in 
the Highway and Rail Transit Tunnel Inspection Manual sufficient for 
the NTIS?
    C. For how long should tunnel inspection records be maintained?
    7. Rating
    A. Should the NTIS incorporate a condition-based rating system for 
Federal-aid highway tunnels, under which the tunnels in the best 
condition receive a high rating and the tunnels in the poorest 
condition receive a low rating?
    B. Should a tunnel rating system be the basis for possible funding 
    8. National Tunnel Inventory Database
    A. What tunnel data elements should be collected for all Federal-
aid highway tunnels (e.g., tunnel name, age, length, finishes, width, 
height, number of lanes, ventilation, truck traffic, automobile 
    B. How often should data be collected and reported?
    C. Should this data be reported to the FHWA?
    D. Should a tunnel be identified using a tunnel inventory number 
(TIN) in a manner similar to how bridges are identified under the NBIS?
    E. What criteria should be used to assign a TIN?
    9. Organization of Inspection Teams
    A. How should the inspection teams be organized?
    B. Should inspection teams be established with differing levels of 
    C. Should one person on the team have overall responsibility for 
the program?
    10. Technical References
    What technical publications, if any, should be incorporated by 
    11. Quality Control/Quality Assurance (QC/QA)
    Should QC/QA procedures similar to the procedures required under 
the NBIS be implemented for the NTIS?
    12. Cost of Inspections
    The FHWA requests information regarding the costs associated with 
tunnel inspections, particularly the typical inspection costs per 
linear foot of tunnel.
    13. Tunnel Repairs
    The FHWA requests information associated with tunnel rehabilitation 
projects (e.g., costs of repairs, dates of work, scope of work).
    14. Research
    The FHWA and others have conducted extensive research related to 
tunnel design, construction, rehabilitation, and inspection. The 
following is a list of research projects related to tunnel safety that 
either have been conducted or are ongoing.

A. The Memorial Tunnel Fire Ventilation Test Program

    The FHWA and the Massachusetts Highway Department sponsored the 
Memorial Tunnel Fire Ventilation Test Program (MTFVTP) in 1993. This 
research project consisted of a series of full-scale fire tests 
conducted in an abandoned road tunnel. As part of this project, a total 
of 98 tests were conducted considering various smoke management 
strategies. Various tunnel ventilation systems and configurations of 
such systems were operated to evaluate their respective smoke and 
temperature management capabilities. These tests generated a 
significant database relevant to the design and operation of road 
tunnel ventilation systems under fire emergency conditions.
    Proper ventilation of highway tunnels is necessary to provide a 
safe and secure environment for the traveling public during normal and 
emergency situations in tunnels. The NTIS would set standards for the 
inspection of tunnels, including ventilation systems, to assure safe, 
reliable and efficient operation.

B. Prevention and Control of Highway Tunnel Fires

    The FHWA sponsored a study related to tunnel fires in 1984. This 
study investigated: (1) Steps that can be taken to reduce the risk, 
damage, and number of fatalities from fires in existing and future 
highway tunnels; and (2) effects of unrestricted transport of hazardous 
materials through tunnels. This study examined the history of highway 
tunnel fires to determine the design and operating features that 
influenced ignition and spread of fire; detection, alarm transmission, 
and notification of appropriate authorities; response; control, 
extinguishment, and suppression; and resultant fatalities and damage. 
Operators in major domestic highway tunnels were interviewed about 
tunnel fires, and their responses were tabulated and compared. The 
study examined the procedures used in, and results of, several tunnel 
fire tests and evaluated their recommendations in light of historical 
evidence and operating experience concerning tunnel fires. This study 
led to the development of comprehensive design and operating 
recommendations for prevention, detection, alarm, notification, 
control, extinguishment, suppression, and survival. The report is 
available at
    Tunnel components that relate to the prevention, detection, alarm, 
notification, control, extinguishment,

[[Page 68368]]

suppression, and survival systems need to be maintained and inspected 
to ensure these critical systems are working properly at all times. The 
NTIS could set the standards for inspection of these key components.

C. Underground Transportation Systems in Europe: Safety, Operations, 
and Emergency Response

    In 2005, the FHWA, AASHTO, and the National Cooperative Highway 
Research Program (NCHRP) sponsored a scanning study of equipment, 
systems, and procedures used in tunnels in several countries (Austria, 
Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden, and 
    The scan team learned that Europeans are conducting research to 
develop innovative design and emergency management plans that consider 
how people react in tunnel emergencies. Because motorist behavior is 
unpredictable in tunnel incidents, Europeans make instructions for 
drivers, passengers, and tunnel operators as straightforward as 
    The team's recommendations for U.S. implementation include 
conducting research on tunnel emergency management that includes human 
factors; developing tunnel design criteria that promote optimal driver 
performance during incidents; developing more effective visual, 
audible, and tactile signs for escape routes; and using a risk-
management approach to tunnel safety inspection and maintenance.
    The report states that ``only limited national guidelines, 
standards, or specifications are available for tunnel design, 
construction, safety inspection, traffic and incident management, 
maintenance, security, and protection against natural or manmade 
disasters.'' The report also notes that, ``[t]hrough knowledge of the 
systems and the structure gained from intelligent monitoring and 
analysis of the collected data, the owner can use a risk-based approach 
to schedule the time and frequency of inspections and establish 
priorities.'' The final scan report is available on at http://
    The NTIS could assist owners in establishing priorities for the 
management of their tunnel inventories.

D. NCHRP Project 04-37, Long-Term Performance of Epoxy Adhesive Anchors

    The FHWA and AASHTO have initiated a NCHRP project to investigate 
the long-term behavior of epoxy adhesive anchors. Common transportation 
applications for epoxy bonded anchors include bridge widening, concrete 
repair and rehabilitation, barrier retrofitting, utility installation 
on existing structures, and tunneling. Despite widespread use, the 
suppliers of these systems provide little guidance on how the adhesives 
perform under sustained, long-term loading.
    The NTIS could set standards for inspection of adhesive anchors, as 
well as all other structural components in tunnels.

E. NCHRP Project 20-07/Task 261, Best Practices for Implementing 
Quality Control and Quality Assurance for Tunnel Inspection

    In response to the NTSB's preliminary safety recommendations 
resulting from the Central Artery tunnel ceiling collapse in Boston, 
the FHWA and AASHTO initiated this NCHRP project. The objective of this 
project is to develop guidelines for owners to use in selecting quality 
control and quality assurance practices for tunnel inspection, 
operational safety and emergency response systems testing, and 
inventory procedures to improve the safety of highway tunnels.

F. FHWA Control of Highway Tunnel Fire Workshop

    In response to OIG's August 2007 report on the CAT Project's Stem 
to Stern Safety Review, FHWA conducted a workshop on ``Control and 
Modeling of Fires in Highway Tunnels.'' The workshop was held on July 
22-23, 2008, and was attended by national and international experts in 
tunnel design, tunnel operation, emergency response, and fire modeling. 
The objectives of the workshop were to: Share information about gaps in 
the current standards for design of tunnels; share best practices for 
response to incidents; identify the parameters needed to start a pilot 
program to model fires of 60 Megawatts and higher in highway tunnels; 
and identify other research needs. The results of the pilot program 
could be used to update the current national tunnel standards. The 
proposed NTIS could ensure that all systems needed for highway tunnel 
fire protection are maintained, inspected and repaired on a timely 
    We welcome information regarding other existing or ongoing research 
related to tunnel inspections. What additional research should be 

Rulemaking Analyses and Notices

    All comments received before the close of business on the comment 
closing date indicated above will be considered and will be available 
for examination in the docket at the above address. Comments received 
after the comment closing date will be filed in the docket and will be 
considered to the extent practicable. In addition to late comments, the 
FHWA also will continue to file relevant information in the docket as 
it becomes available after the comment period closing date, and 
interested persons should continue to examine the docket for new 
material. A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) may be published at 
any time after close of the comment period.

Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review) and DOT 
Regulatory Policies and Procedures

    The FHWA has preliminarily determined that this action would be a 
significant regulatory action within the meaning of Executive Order 
12866 and within the meaning of the DOT regulatory policies and 
procedures because the proposed action concerns a matter about which 
there is substantial public interest. Because of the preliminary nature 
of this document and lack of necessary information regarding costs as 
well as benefits, FHWA is unable to evaluate the impact of potential 
    Based upon the information received in response to this notice, 
FHWA intends to carefully consider the costs and benefits associated 
with this rulemaking. Accordingly, comments, information, and data are 
solicited on the economic impact of any proposed recommendation for 
establishment of NTIS.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    In compliance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (Pub. L. 96-354, 
5 U.S.C. 601-612), and based upon the information received in response 
to this ANPRM, FHWA will evaluate the effects of any action proposed on 
small entities. This action merely seeks information regarding the 
establishment of NTIS. Therefore, FHWA is unable to certify at this 
time whether or not NTIS will have a significant impact on a 
substantial number of small entities.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    Because of the preliminary nature of this document and lack of 
necessary information on costs, FHWA is unable to evaluate the effects 
of the potential regulatory changes in regard to imposing a Federal 
mandate involving expenditure by State, local, and Indian tribal 
governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $136.1 
million or more in any one year (2 U.S.C. 1532). Nevertheless, FHWA 
will evaluate any

[[Page 68369]]

regulatory action that might be proposed in subsequent stages of this 
rulemaking to assess the effects on State, local, and Indian tribal 
governments and the private sector.

Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform)

    The FHWA will evaluate any rule that may be proposed in response to 
comments received to ensure that such action meets applicable standards 
in section 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice 
Reform, to minimize litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden.

Executive Order 13045 (Protection of Children)

    The FHWA will evaluate any rule that may be proposed in response to 
comments received to ensure that such action meets the requirements of 
Executive Order 13045, Protection of Children from Environmental Health 
Risks and Safety Risks. The Agency does not, however, anticipate that 
any such rule would be economically significant or would present an 
environmental risk to health or safety that may disproportionately 
affect children.

Executive Order 12630 (Taking of Private Property)

    The FHWA will evaluate any rule that may be proposed in response to 
comments received to ensure that any such rule will not effect a taking 
of private property or otherwise have taking implications under 
Executive Order 12630, Governmental Actions and Interference with 
Constitutionally Protected Property Rights.

Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)

    The FHWA will analyze any action that might be proposed in 
accordance with the principles and criteria contained in Executive 
Order 13132, and FHWA anticipates that any action contemplated will not 
have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a 
federalism assessment. The FHWA will consult with public authorities 
regarding any proposed NTIS regulations. The FHWA also anticipates that 
any action taken will not preempt any State law or State regulation or 
affect the States' ability to discharge traditional State governmental 
functions. We encourage commenters to consider these issues.

Executive Order 13175 (Tribal Consultation)

    The FHWA will analyze any proposal under Executive Order 13175, 
dated November 6, 2000. The FHWA preliminarily believes that any 
proposal will not have substantial direct effects on one or more Indian 
tribes, will not impose substantial direct compliance costs on Indian 
tribal governments, and will not preempt tribal law. Therefore, a 
tribal summary impact statement may not be required.

Executive Order 12372 (Intergovernmental Review)

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Number 20.205, 
Highway Planning and Construction. The regulations implementing 
Executive Order 12372 regarding intergovernmental consultation on 
Federal programs and activities apply to this program.

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501), 
Federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and 
Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct, sponsor, 
or require through regulations. Any action that might be contemplated 
in subsequent phases of this proceeding will be analyzed for the 
purpose of the PRA for its impact upon information collection. The FHWA 
would be required to submit any proposed collections of information to 
OMB for review and approval at the time the NPRM is issued, and, 
accordingly, seeks public comments. Interested parties are invited to 
send comments regarding any aspect of any proposed information 
collection requirements, including, but not limited to: (1) Whether the 
collection of information would be necessary for the performance of the 
functions of FHWA, including whether the information would have 
practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden; (3) ways 
to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the collection of 
information; and (4) ways to minimize the collection burden without 
reducing the quality of the information collected.

National Environmental Policy Act

    The FHWA will analyze any action that might be proposed for the 
purposes of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended 
(42 U.S.C. 4321-4347) to assess whether there would be any effect on 
the quality of the environment.

Executive Order 13211 (Energy Effects)

    The FHWA will analyze any proposed action under Executive Order 
13211, Actions Concerning Regulations that Significantly Affect Energy 
Supply, Distribution, or Use, to assess whether there would be any 
adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy.

Regulation Identification Number

    A regulation identification number (RIN) is assigned to each 
regulatory action listed in the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulations. 
The Regulatory Information Service Center publishes the Unified Agenda 
in April and October of each year. The RIN contained in the heading of 
this document can be used to cross-reference this section with the 
Unified Agenda.

List of Subjects in 23 CFR Part 650

    Bridges, Grant programs--transportation, Highways and roads, 
Incorporation by reference, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Authority: Title 23, United States Code, Sections 116 and 315; 
23 CFR 1.27; 49 CFR 1.48(b).

    Issued on: November 7, 2008.
Thomas J. Madison, Jr.,
Federal Highway Administrator.
[FR Doc. E8-27265 Filed 11-17-08; 8:45 am]