[Federal Register: November 21, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 225)]
[Rules and Regulations]               
[Page 70161-70163]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr21no02-15]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Highway Administration

23 CFR Part 655

[FHWA Docket No. FHWA-99-6190]
RIN 2125-AE67

 
Traffic Control Devices on Federal-Aid and Other Streets and 
Highways; Color Specifications for Retroreflective Sign and Pavement 
Marking Materials

AGENCY: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule; amendment.

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SUMMARY: This document corrects the final rule on color specifications 
published in the Federal Register on July 31, 2002 (67 FR 49569). The 
FHWA is removing the sentence that requires the traffic control 
materials to maintain the color and luminance factors throughout the 
service life and making a typographical correction to a number in one 
of the color tables.

EFFECTIVE DATE: December 23, 2002.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For technical information: Mr. Ernest 
Huckaby, Office of Transportation Operations (HOTO), (202) 366-9064. 
For legal information: Mr. Raymond Cuprill, Office of the Chief Counsel 
(HCC-40), (202) 366-0791, Federal Highway Administration, 400 Seventh 
Street, SW., 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.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Electronic Access

    This document, the final rule, the NPRM, and all comments received 
may be viewed online through the Document Management System (DMS) at: 
http://[[Page 70162]] dms.dot.gov. The DMS 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 using 
a computer, modem and suitable communications software from the 
Government Printing Office's Electronic Bulletin Board Service at (202) 
512-1661. Internet users may also reach the Office of the Federal 
Register's home page at: http://www.archives.gov and the Government 
Printing Office's web page at: http://www.access.gpo.gov.

Background

    The final rule on Traffic Control Devices on Federal-Aid and Other 
Streets and Highways; Color Specifications for Retroreflective Sign and 
Pavement Marking Materials, was published in the Federal Register on 
July 31, 2002, at 67 FR 49569. This final rule went into effect on 
August 30, 2002. In response to the final rule, we received 17 comments 
to the docket. These comments are discussed below.

Discussion of Comments to the Final Rule

    Several docket comments to the Notice of Proposed Amendment, 
published in the Federal Register on December 21, 1999, stated that the 
FHWA did not specify if the specifications were for ``service life'' or 
new product installation. As a result of these comments, the FHWA 
published the final rule inserting ``service life'' of the product 
without providing further justification. The FHWA received 17 comments 
submitted to the docket as a result of the final rule (9 from State and 
local DOTs; 2 from industry; 3 from associations; 3 from other 
individuals). The FHWA received significant comments from the American 
Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (ASSHTO), the 
National Association of County Engineers (NACE), the National Committee 
on Uniform Traffic Control Devices Markings Technical Subcommittee, and 
several State and local highway agencies that objected to the FHWA 
inserting the language ``service life'' into the final rule. These 
commenters stated that the FHWA did not provide sufficient research 
results or further justification for such a requirement. Additionally, 
these commenters did not believe there was sufficient opportunity for 
public comment before the FHWA adopted this requirement.
    These commenters went on to indicate that traditionally, color 
specifications are considered as initial values only and are used only 
in the acceptance of new materials. By specifically stating that the 
color specifications apply throughout the service life of signs and 
markings, these commenters believe that the FHWA has significantly 
changed the traditional application of color specifications and placed 
additional burden on transportation agencies.
    The FHWA believes these comments received after publication of the 
final rule have merit and warrant immediate correction to the final 
rule. The FHWA made some initial assumptions about maintenance of 
traffic control devices and was not fully aware of the economic impact 
that the State and local jurisdictions may face. We agree that this 
``service life'' requirement, without an extended phase-in compliance 
period, may have an unknown economic impact on compliance with these 
specifications. Therefore, the FHWA is removing this language from the 
appendix to subpart F of Part 655.
    Furthermore, the FHWA plans to undertake a study on color fastness 
testing, to include weathering studies, and human factors studies 
related to color recognition by motorists. The FHWA anticipates that 
this will be a multi-year research effort.
    The Reflexite Corporation advised the FHWA of a typographical error 
in table 2 to the appendix to part 655, subpart F--Nighttime Color 
Specification Limits for Retroreflective Material with CIE 2[deg] 
Standard Observer and Observation Angle of 0.33[deg], Entrance Angle of 
+5[deg] and CIE Standard Illuminant A. The first value for the color 
blue was mistakenly typed incorrectly while the table was being 
reformatted from the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
    Therefore, the FHWA is correcting the typographical error. The 
first ``x'' coordinate value for the color ``blue'' is corrected to 
read ``0.033'' instead of ``0.33''. The value ``0.033'' was correctly 
stated in the NPRM.
    We also received a comment from the Virginia Department of 
Transportation (VDOT) regarding the use of Color Tolerance Charts as a 
valid source for daytime color measurement. The VDOT believes that the 
color tolerance charts for assessing nighttime color is not appropriate 
as the traditional highway color charts were developed for painted 
signs with button copy legend and thus are not even suitable for 
daytime color retroreflective materials.
    The FHWA will have to address this issue through a separate 
rulemaking to solicit public comment.

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

    The FHWA has determined that this action is not a significant 
regulatory action within the meaning of Executive Order 12866 or 
significant within the meaning of the U.S. Department of Transportation 
regulatory policies and procedures. The amendment of the final rule is 
considered a ministerial correction with no economic impact expected.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    In compliance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-
612), the FHWA has evaluated the effects of this action on small 
entities and has determined that this action will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
As stated above, the removal of the language ``service life'' will 
alleviate the concerns surrounding the unknown economic impact on 
complying with this requirement. The minor correction to the first 
value of the color blue in Table 2 is considered editorial in nature. 
For these reasons, the FHWA certifies that this action will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    This rule will not impose unfunded mandates as defined by the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4, March 22, 1995, 
109 Stat. 48). This rule will not result in the expenditure by State, 
local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private 
sector, of $100 million or more in any one year (2 U.S.C. 1531 et seq).

Executive Order 12630 (Taking of Private Property)

    This rule will not effect a taking of private property or otherwise 
have taking implications under Executive Order 12630, Governmental 
Actions and Interface with Constitutionally Protected Property Rights.

Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform)

    This action meets applicable standards in sections 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)

    We have analyzed this action under Executive Order 13045, 
Protection of Children from Environmental Health

[[Page 70163]]

Risks and Safety Risks. This rule is not an economically significant 
rule and does not concern an environmental risk to health or safety 
that may disproportionately affect children.

Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)

    This action has been analyzed in accordance with the principles and 
criteria contained in Executive Order 13132, dated August 4, 1999, and 
the FHWA has determined that this action does not have sufficient 
federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a Federalism 
assessment. The FHWA has also determined that this action will not 
preempt any State law or State regulation or affect the States' ability 
to discharge traditional State governmental functions.

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

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501, et 
seq.), 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. The FHWA has 
determined that this action does not contain collection of information 
requirements for the purposes of the PRA.

National Environmental Policy Act

    The FHWA has analyzed this action for the purpose of the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and has 
determined that this action will not have any effect on the quality of 
the environment.

Executive Order 13175 (Tribal Consultation)

    The FHWA has analyzed this action under Executive Order 13175, 
dated November 6, 2000, and believes that it 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 is not required.

Executive Order 13211 (Energy Effects)

    We have analyzed this rule under Executive Order 13211, Actions 
Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, 
Distribution, or Use. We have determined that it is not a significant 
energy action under that order because it is not a significant 
regulatory action under Executive Order 12866 and is not likely to have 
a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of 
energy. Therefore, a Statement of Energy Effects under Executive Order 
13211 is not required.

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 action with the 
Unified Agenda.

List of Subjects in 23 CFR Part 655

    Design standards, Grant programs-transportation, Highways and 
roads, Incorporation by reference, Signs, Traffic regulations.

    Issued on: November 12, 2002.
Mary E. Peters,
Federal Highway Administrator.

    In consideration of the foregoing, the FHWA is amending title 23, 
Code of Federal Regulations, part 655, as follows:

PART 655--[AMENDED]

    1. The authority citation for part 655 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 23 U.S.C. 101(a), 104, 109(d), 114(a), 217, 315, and 
402(a); 23 CFR 1.32; and 49 CFR 1.48(b).

Appendix to Subpart F of Part 655--[AMENDED]

    2. Amend paragraph number 6 by removing the second sentence.

    3. Amend table 2 by correcting the first value for the color 
``blue'' to read ``0.033''.

[FR Doc. 02-29443 Filed 11-20-02; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-22-P