The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced the publication of a guide describing model terms and conditions for public-private-partnerships (P3s) seeking “availability payment concessions.’ The guide was developed pursuant to section 1534 of the Moving Ahead for Program in the 21st Century Act, which directed the Secretary to develop model P3 contracts, and in furtherance of President Obama’s Build America Transportation Investment Center (BATIC) to put federal credit programs to greater use, and to increase collaboration between state and local governments with private-sector partners. This P3 Model Contract Guide also includes best practices for labor standards for project sponsors to use to ensure that P3 projects create good jobs. FHWA developed these best practices in partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor. For more information about the guide, visit http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/IPD. or contact: Doug Hecox (202) 366-0660.
FTA Accepts Transit Advisory Committee for Safety (TRACS) Reports on Fatigue Management and Worker Assaults. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has recently accepted two reports from TRACS, a safety committee established by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation and compromised of transit industry stakeholders. In Establishing a Fatigue Management Program for the Bus and Rail Industry, the report identifies the major organizational and behavioral challenges that may be faced in addressing transit employee fatigue and recommends components of a successful fatigue management program. In Preventing and Mitigating Transit Worker Assaults in the Bus and Transit Industry, the report discusses the risks and impediments to a safe workplace and recommends a process and measures to reduce the hazards that enable these assaults. FTA will review the recommendations from both reports as it considers possible future action on these safety issues. Contact: Steve Kulm 202-366-9260.
PHMSA Completes Failure Investigation; Issues $2.6M Fine to ExxonMobil for Pegasus Pipeline Failure. On Thursday, October 1, 2015, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration announced the completion of its investigation into the March 29, 2013 ExxonMobil Pegasus pipeline failure in Mayflower, Arkansas. PHMSA’s final administrative enforcement action assesses a civil penalty of $2,630,400 for violating federal pipeline safety regulations for integrity management and operations and maintenance procedures. The failure investigation concluded that the cause of the incident was a result of progressive deterioration of a pipe manufacturing defect. Approximately 3,190 barrels of crude oil spilled from its 853 mile, 20-inch pipeline that runs from Patoka, Illinois to Nederland, Texas. PHMSA approved the operator’s request to return the southern segment of the pipeline to service in July 2014 at a reduced operating pressure. The pipeline’s northern segment that runs through Mayflower remains out of service under PHMSA's authority. For more information go to: [Final Order posted link on PHMSA website TBD] Contact for media: Artealia Gilliard (202) 366-4032.
MARAD Provides Funding to Further Study LNG As Propulsion Fuel for Maritime Industry. The Maritime Administration (MARAD) has announced a $900,000 cooperative agreement with Totem Ocean Trailer Express Inc. (TOTE) to further develop knowledge regarding the costs and benefits of vessel conversions to liquefied natural gas (LNG) propulsion. Tote will convert the containership MV Midnight Sun to operate on LNG and will work with MARAD to obtain pre and post-conversion air emissions data, and operational information to assist maritime stakeholders in assessing the potential of LNG conversions. This demonstration project on the use of LNG for containership propulsion is a part of an ongoing program to promote increased use of alternative fuels and technology in the maritime industry. The MV Midnight Sun is a Roll-on/Roll-off (RO/RO) cargo ship, which provides round-trip shipping service between the Port of Tacoma, WA and the Port of Anchorage, AK. The study is expected to be completed by 2018. Contact: Kim Strong at (202) 366-5807.