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PHMSA Proposes Streamlining Fireworks Approval Process.  The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is seeking public comment on proposed revisions to its fireworks approval process intended to reduce regulatory burdens without sacrificing safety standards.  Proposed revisions to the Hazardous Materials Regulations would clarify the fireworks approvals process and provide regulatory flexibility to transport Division 1.4G consumer fireworks that will help decrease approval times and help manufacturers get their products to market more quickly.

This notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) supports Executive Orders 12866, 13610 and 13563 and the President’s continued efforts to streamline government regulations.  Comments to the NPRM can be posted online at https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2012/08/30/2012-21360/hazardous-materials-revision-to-fireworks-regulations-rrr. Comments must include the agency name and docket number PHMSA‑2010-0320, and must be submitted by DATE.  Contact:  Jeannie Layson (202) 366-4831.

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary LaHood Awards nearly $900,000 to the City of Indianapolis for Rail Relocation.  U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today awarded nearly $900,000 to the City of Indianapolis to relocate freight rail traffic from the CSX Transportation (CSXT) mainline that goes through the heart of downtown Indianapolis to the nearby Indianapolis Belt Railroad. This project will separate passenger and freight rail operations, remove 10-12 existing rail-highway grade crossings, and improve safety while decreasing congestion and emissions.

Relocating freight trains from downtown Indianapolis will also improve the quality of life for downtown residents, workers and visitors.  The reduced noise exposure would benefit downtown businesses and offices as well as the Indiana Convention Center, Lucas Oil Stadium and Banker’s Life Fieldhouse, all of which are located immediately adjacent to the existing tracks. Contact: Kevin Thompson (202) 493-6024.

Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Announces Availability of $12 Million for Transit in Parks Funding.  A Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) that appeared in the Federal Register on Tuesday, Aug. 28 announced the availability of $12 million in competitive funding to improve transit options that will provide safe, convenient access for visitors to America’s national parks, forests and wildlife refuges. These funds will be provided by the FTA’s Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks program.  Administered by the FTA in partnership with the Department of the Interior and the U.S. Forest Service, the program funds capital and planning expenses for alternative transportation systems, such as shuttle buses and bicycle trails, in national parks and public lands.

This is the final round of competitive funding under Transit in the Parks because MAP-21 discontinued this discretionary spending program. In the future, many of the types of projects funded by FTA’s Transit in the Parks program will be eligible under the Federal Highway Administration’s Federal Lands Access Program.  Application forms and further information is available on FTA’s website at fta.dot.gov/transitinparks or http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-08-28/pdf/2012-21220.pdf and on www.grants.gov. Complete proposals must be received by 11:59 PM EDT on Friday, September 28, 2012.   Contact: Angela Gates (202) 366-3669.

Friday, August 31, 2012