Department of Transportation (DOT)

News & Analysis as of

Michigan Law’s Autonomous Vehicles Conference: Legal and Regulatory Hurdles to Deployment

Earlier this month, I attended a conference at the University of Michigan Law School: Autonomous Vehicles: Legal and Regulatory Hurdles to Deployment. It was a good excuse to go embrace all of the nostalgia that comes from...more

Iowa Governor Signs Bill to Amend Motor Vehicle Purchase Agreement Requirements

On April 13, Governor Terry Branstad signed into law SF 2228, the Motor Vehicle Records and Dealer Licensing Act. The act amends Chapter 321 of Iowa Code 2016 to, among other things, require that the full price of the...more

FDA Issues Final Rule on Sanitary Transportation of Food

The Rule is broad in scope and reaches nearly every party involved in the shipment of food through the United States. On April 6, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published its final rule governing the sanitary...more

The Auto Industry’s Safety Whistleblower Program: What You Need To Know

The Motor Vehicle Safety Whistleblower Program that originally passed through the U.S. Senate last summer but stalled in the House of Representatives has finally been signed into law by President Obama as part of the Fixing...more

Maryland Approves P3 Contract for Purple Line Light Rail Project

The Maryland Department of Transportation/Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT/MTA) recently announced its selection of Purple Line Transit Partners as the concessionaire for the new 16.2 mile, 21-station, light rail Purple...more

Proceed Wisely, Ninja Contractor, Because Suing Your DOT May Have Limitations

No self-respecting Ninja goes into battle without a plan, right? You need to know your environment, your opponent and the rules of the battle. For you Ninja contractors, it’s a good thing to fully understand your potential...more

Update: A New Color to be Added to Mid-Atlantic Transit: The Maryland Purple Line

On April 6, 2016, the Maryland Board of Public Works unanimously approved the public-private partnership (“P3”) agreement for the Maryland Purple Line light-rail transit project, concluding the 30-day review period described...more

PHMSA Signals Intent to Adopt ICAO Ban on Bulk Shipments of Lithium Ion Batteries as Cargo on U.S. Passenger Aircraft

Summary: The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued a safety advisory notice indicating that the agency may soon adopt a ban on bulk shipments of lithium ion batteries shipped alone as cargo on...more

Real Property & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending April 8, 2016

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - - Sovereign Immunity: DOT prohibited from using sovereign immunity defense in negligence action resulting from railroad crossing accident where DOT bound by crossing agreement, including indemnity...more

President’s Trip to Cuba Accompanied by Expanded Treasury and Commerce Regulations

On March 20, President Obama arrived in Cuba for an historic visit, marking a significant step in the Obama Administration’s efforts to normalize relations, a process that began in December 2014. The Administration has stated...more

Drones increasingly used by State Departments of Transportation across the country

Across the United States, state Departments of Transportation (DOT) are using or testing drones to conduct bridge inspections, accident assessments, surveys and to conduct risk mitigation. A recent report by the American...more

DOT Issues Final Rule Providing Only Very Limited Relief for Reverse Logistics of Retail Products

This news alert discusses the final rule to streamline requirements under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) for “reverse logistics” of retail products that qualify as hazardous materials. The rule establishes reduced...more

DOT Publishes Final Rule on “Safe Reverse Logistics” for Retail “Returns” of Hazardous Materials to Distribution Centers

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) just announced that it has amended the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR)....more

Opening Up the Doors (Roads) for Design-Build Contracts on Highway Projects

The Department of Transportation in my home state of New Mexico is the latest to allow the design-build delivery method for highway projects. Although design-build had been approved in New Mexico on limited public projects,...more

SC Public Policy Update - March 2016 #3

What's New - SENATE - The Senate spent the week on the floor working on a compromise to S .997, a bill by Senator Lee Bright (R-Spartanburg) that would track refugees that are located in South Carolina. Senators...more

Privacy Shield Details Have Been Revealed: Here’s What Companies Need to Know

The European Commission has published its draft adequacy decision on the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, the proposed data transfer framework that would replace the defunct Safe Harbor program. The draft adequacy decision formally...more

Now That Details of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Have Been Revealed, Should Your Company Get Ready to Embrace It or Avoid It?

In the latest step toward finalising a replacement for the defunct Safe Harbor program, the European Commission has published its draft adequacy decision, formally supporting its view that the proposed EU-U.S. Privacy Shield...more

DOT Proposes Rulemaking on “Safety Sensitive Positions” in Highway and Rail Transportation

The U.S. Department of Transportation has published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) on the Evaluation of Safety Sensitive Personnel for Moderate-to-Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea, 47 Fed. Reg. 12642 (March 10,...more

News from Second and State

The second week of budget hearings have come and gone with no real fanfare and nothing especially earth-shaking to report. On Monday, the House Appropriations Committee heard budget requests from the Office of Attorney...more

Driverless Car Crash Brings Public Concerns to the Forefront

A Google driverless car collided with a bus when it tried to merge into an adjacent lane to avoid an obstacle ahead. Google attributes the error to a miscalculation – the car’s computer expected the bus to slow down and allow...more

FAA set to issue a new rule specifically for microdrones

As if the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) wasn’t getting enough flak for its recent drone regulations, now it is considering a separate rule for “microdrones.” Microdrones are those drones weighing less than 4.4 pounds...more

Shake-Ups Planned for Pipeline Safety Regulation

The federal agency responsible for regulating the safety of natural gas and hazardous liquids pipelines has been in the spotlight recently as both chambers of Congress focused on reauthorizing the Department of...more

Details of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework Unveiled

The content of the Privacy Shield was made public yesterday and today. The new framework dedicated to the EU / US flow of personal data is in fact a combination of several documents issued by the US and the EU....more

Federal Activities Report On The Bioeconomy Release Announced At ABLC2016

On February 18, 2016, at the Advanced Bioeconomy Leadership Conference 2016 (ABLC2016), Dr. Catherine Woteki, Chief Scientist and Undersecretary for Research, Education, and Economics at the U.S. Department of Agriculture...more

Trends in Transportation for 2016

Emerging “smart” technologies are dominating discussions in the transportation world. At the recent Transportation Research Board conference in Washington, D.C., one definitely gets the sense that we are at a turning point...more

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