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S. 3367 - Department of Transportation Reports Harmonization Act

Sponsor: John Thune (R)
Introduced: 2018-08-22
Bill Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
 
Summary Not Available

Full Text


115th CONGRESS
2d Session
S. 3367


    To amend certain transportation-related reporting requirements to improve congressional oversight, reduce reporting burdens, and promote transparency, and for other purposes.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

August 22, 2018

    Mr. Thune introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation


A BILL

    To amend certain transportation-related reporting requirements to improve congressional oversight, reduce reporting burdens, and promote transparency, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Department of Transportation Reports Harmonization Act”.

SEC. 2. Effective date.

(a) In general.—Except as provided in subsection (b), this Act takes effect on the date of enactment of this Act.

(b) Delayed effective dates.—Sections 6, 8, and 12 of this Act, and the amendments made by those sections, take effect on January 1, 2019.

SEC. 3. Public availability of charges and fees for attendance at United States Merchant Marine Academy.

Section 51314 of title 46, United States Code, is amended by striking “shall notify Congress of” and inserting “shall present at the next meeting of the Board of Visitors, and post on a publicly available website,”.

SEC. 4. Public availability of information on aligning Federal environmental reviews.

Section 310(f)(1) of title 49, United States Code, is amended by inserting “, and make publicly available on the Department of Transportation website,” after “House of Representatives”.

SEC. 5. Public availability of information on university transportation centers program.

Section 5505 of title 49, United States Code, is amended—

(1) in subsection (b)(5)(B), by inserting “, and make publicly available on the Department of Transportation website,” after “Senate”; and

(2) by amending subsection (d)(2)(B) to read as follows:

“(B) make publicly available on the Department of Transportation website a description of that review and evaluation.”.

SEC. 6. Public availability of reports by Inspector General of Department of Transportation.

Section 6 of the Norman Y. Mineta Research and Special Programs Improvement Act (49 U.S.C. 108 note) is amended to read as follows:

“SEC. 6. Reports.

“Not later than 9 months after the date of enactment of the Department of Transportation Reports Harmonization Act—

“(1) the Secretary of Transportation shall make publicly available a list of each statutory mandate regarding pipeline safety or hazardous materials safety that has not been implemented by—

“(A) posting the list on the website of the Department of Transportation;

“(B) including the list in a regulatory flexibility agenda under section 602 of title 5, United States Code; or

“(C) providing the list in a regulatory planning document; and

“(2) the Inspector General of the Department of Transportation shall make publicly available on the website of the Office of the Inspector General a list of each open safety recommendation made by the Inspector General regarding pipeline safety or hazardous materials safety.”.

SEC. 7. Public availability of Secretary of Transportation's responses to safety recommendations.

Section 1135 of title 49, United States Code, is amended—

(1) by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:

“(a) Safety transportation recommendations.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 90 days after the date that the Secretary of Transportation receives a recommendation about transportation safety from the National Transportation Safety Board, the Secretary shall submit to the Board a formal written response to the recommendation.

“(2) CONTENTS.—Each response under paragraph (1) shall indicate whether the Secretary intends—

“(A) to carry out procedures to adopt the complete recommendation;

“(B) to carry out procedures to adopt a part of the recommendation; or

“(C) to refuse to carry out procedures to adopt the recommendation.”;

(2) by amending subsection (b) to read as follows:

“(b) Timetable for completing procedures and reasons for refusals.—A response under—

“(1) subparagraph (B) or subparagraph (C) of subsection (a)(2) shall include a copy of a proposed timetable for completing the procedures;

“(2) subsection (a)(2)(B) shall detail the reasons for the refusal to carry out procedures on the remainder of the recommendation; and

“(3) subsection (a)(2)(C) shall detail the reasons for the refusal to carry out procedures.”;

(3) in subsection (c), by striking “a copy of each recommendation and response available to the public at reasonable cost” and inserting “publicly available on its website each recommendation and response under subsection (a)”;

(4) in subsection (d)(2)(B), by striking “a response under subsection (a)(2) or (a)(3)” and inserting “a response under subparagraph (B) or subparagraph (C) of subsection (a)(2)”; and

(5) by striking subsection (e).

SEC. 8. Consistency in response requirements to NTSB safety recommendations.

Section 19 of the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002 (49 U.S.C. 1135 note) is amended to read as follows:

“SEC. 19. NTSB safety recommendations.

“The Secretary of Transportation, the Administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, and the Director of the Office of Pipeline Safety shall fully comply with section 1135 of title 49, United States Code, to ensure timely responsiveness to National Transportation Safety Board recommendations about pipeline safety.”.

SEC. 9. Streamlined reporting for the National Maritime Heritage Grants Program.

Section 308703(j) of title 54, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

“(j) Status reports.—The Secretary shall include in the annual budget submission of the Department of the Interior a description of the current status of the Program, including—

“(1) the total number of grant applications submitted and approved under the Program in the prior fiscal year;

“(2) a description, including any results or any accomplishments, of each project funded under the Program in the prior fiscal year; and

“(3) recommended priorities for achieving the policy set forth in section 308701 of this title.”.

SEC. 10. Periodic updates to highway-rail crossing reports and plans.

(a) Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Safety.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Section 11401 of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (49 U.S.C. 24407 note) is amended—

(A) in subsection (b), by striking “(49 U.S.C. 22501 note)” each place it appears and inserting “(49 U.S.C. 24407 note)”;

(B) by striking subsection (c); and

(C) by redesignating subsections (d) and (e) as subsections (c) and (d), respectively.

(2) REPORTS ON HIGHWAY-RAIL GRADE CROSSING SAFETY.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—Chapter 201 of title 49, United States Code, is amended by inserting after section 20166 the following:

§ 20167. Reports on highway-rail grade crossing safety

“(a) Report.—Not later than 18 months after the deadline for States to submit State highway-rail grade crossing action plans under section 11401(b) of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (49 U.S.C. 24407 note), the Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration, in consultation with the Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration, shall submit to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives a report on the State highway-rail grade crossing action plans, including—

“(1) an analysis and evaluation of each State railway-highway crossings program under section 130 of title 23, including—

“(A) compliance with section 11401 of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (49 U.S.C. 24407 note) and section 130(g) of title 23; and

“(B) the specific strategies identified by each State to improve safety at highway-rail grade crossings, including crossings with multiple accidents or incidents;

“(2) the progress of each State in implementing its State highway-rail grade crossing action plan;

“(3) the number of projects undertaken under section 130 of title 23, including their distribution by cost range, road system, nature of treatment, and subsequent accident experience at improved locations;

“(4) each State that is not in compliance with its schedule of projects under section 130(d) of title 23; and

“(5) any recommendations for future implementation of the railroad highway crossings program under section 130 of title 23.

“(b) Updates.—Not later than 5 years after the date the report under subsection (a) is submitted, the Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration, in consultation with the Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration, shall—

“(1) update the report based on the State reports submitted under section 130(g) of title 23 and any other information obtained by or available to the Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration; and

“(2) submit the updated report to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives.

“(c) Definitions.—In this section:

“(1) HIGHWAY-RAIL GRADE CROSSING.—The term ‘highway-rail grade crossing’ means a location within a State, other than a location where 1 or more railroad tracks cross 1 or more railroad tracks at grade, where—

“(A) a public highway, road, or street, or a private roadway, including associated sidewalks and pathways, crosses 1 or more railroad tracks either at grade or grade-separated; or

“(B) a pathway explicitly authorized by a public authority or a railroad carrier that is dedicated for the use of non-vehicular traffic, including pedestrians, bicyclists, and others, that is not associated with a public highway, road, or street, or a private roadway, crosses 1 or more railroad tracks either at grade or grade-separated.

“(2) STATE.—The term ‘State’ means a State of the United States or the District of Columbia.”.

(B) TABLE OF CONTENTS.—The table of contents of chapter 201 of title 49, United States Code, is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 20166 the following:

“20167. Reports on highway-rail grade crossing safety.”.

(b) In general.—Section 130(g) of title 23, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

“(g) Annual report.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than December 30 of each year, each State shall submit to the Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration a report on the progress being made to implement the railway-highway crossings program authorized by this section and the effectiveness of such improvements.

“(2) CONTENTS.—Each State report shall contain an assessment of the costs of the various treatments employed and subsequent accident experience at improved locations.

“(3) COORDINATION.—The Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration shall make available to the Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration each report submitted under paragraph (1).”.

SEC. 11. Updates to hazardous materials grant programs and reports.

(a) Planning and training grants, monitoring, and review.—Section 5116(j) of title 49, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

“(j) List of grants.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 120 days after the date of enactment of the Department of Transportation Reports Harmonization Act, and annually thereafter, the Secretary shall—

“(A) compile a list of the grants made—

“(i) under subsections (a) and (i) of this section; and

“(ii) under subsections (e) and (i) of section 5107; and

“(B) make the list publicly available on the Department of Transportation website, including—

“(i) the identity of all final recipients of such grants;

“(ii) the allocation and uses of such grants; and

“(iii) information on the effects of such grants, such as the number of persons trained, by training level.”.

(b) Biennial report on transportation of hazardous materials.—Section 5121 of title 49, United States Code, is amended by striking subsection (h) and inserting the following:

“(h) Compilation of accidents and casualties.—The Secretary shall make publicly available on the Department of Transportation website, and update at least biennially, a statistical compilation of accidents and casualties related to the transportation of hazardous material.

“(i) Budget submission.—The Secretary shall include in the annual budget submission of the Department of Transportation—

“(1) an evaluation of the effectiveness of enforcement activities relating to a function regulated by the Secretary under section 5103(b)(1); and

“(2) a summary of outstanding problems in carrying out this chapter, in order of priority.”.

(c) Disclosure of agency action.—Section 5117(g) of title 49, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

“(g) Disclosure of agency action.—The Secretary shall—

“(1) periodically, but at least every 120 days—

“(A) publish in the Federal Register notice of the final disposition of each application for a new special permit, modification to an existing special permit, or approval during the preceding quarter; and

“(B) make available to the public on the Department of Transportation website—

“(i) notice of the final disposition of any other special permit during the preceding quarter;

“(ii) a list of special permits in effect; and

“(iii) a summary of the basis for each special permit; and

“(2) make available to the public on the Department of Transportation website, and update at least biennially, a list and summary of applicable Government regulations, criteria, orders, guidance, and special permits relating to the transportation of hazardous materials.”.

SEC. 12. Eliminating unnecessary reporting requirements for the regional Infrastructure Accelerator Demonstration Program.

Section 1441(e) of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (23 U.S.C. 601 note) is amended to read as follows:

“(e) Annual report.—Each fiscal year that funds are made available to carry out the program, the Secretary shall submit to Congress, not later than 30 days after the date that fiscal year ends, a report that describes the findings and effectiveness of the program.”.

SEC. 13. Consolidated reporting on statutory mandates and recommendations.

Section 106 of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (49 U.S.C. 20101 note) is amended to read as follows:

“SEC. 106. Reports on statutory mandates and recommendations.

“The Secretary shall—

“(1) not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of the Department of Transportation Reports Harmonization Act, describe the actions the Secretary has taken to implement unmet statutory mandates regarding railroad safety;

“(2) update the description under paragraph (1) not less than annually; and

“(3) make the description, including any updates thereto, available by—

“(A) posting the description on the website of the Department of Transportation;

“(B) including the description in the regulatory flexibility agenda under section 602 of title 5, United States Code; or

“(C) providing the description in a regulatory planning document.”.

SEC. 14. Reporting on the Northeast Corridor.

(a) Northeast Corridor Safety Committee report.—Section 24905(e) of title 49, United States Code, is amended by striking paragraph (3).

(b) Contents of grant requests.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Section 24319(c) of title 49, United States Code, is amended—

(A) in paragraph (2), by striking “; and” and inserting a semicolon;

(B) in paragraph (3), by striking the period at the end and inserting “; and”; and

(C) by adding at the end the following:

“(4) describe the status of efforts to improve safety and security on the Northeast Corridor main line, including a description of any efforts to implement recommendations of relevant railroad safety advisory committees.”.

(2) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.—Nothing in this subsection or an amendment made by this subsection shall affect a grant request made under section 24319 of title 49, United States Code, before the date of enactment of this Act.

SEC. 15. In-vehicle alcohol detection device research reports.

Section 403 of title 23, United States Code, is amended—

(1) in subsection (f)(1), by striking “subsection 402(c)” and inserting “section 402(c)”; and

(2) in subsection (h)(4), in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), by striking “submit an annual report” and inserting “submit a biennial report”.

SEC. 16. Highway safety programs report to Congress.

Section 402 of title 23, United States Code, is amended by striking subsection (n).

SEC. 17. Waiver notification and annual reports.

Section 117(b) of the SAFETEA–LU Technical Corrections Act of 2008 (23 U.S.C. 313 note) is amended by striking “submit to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Environment and Public Works of the Senate a” and inserting “make publicly available on the Department of Transportation website an annual”.

SEC. 18. Cessation of certain advisory councils and advisory committees.

(a) Advisory council on transportation statistics.—Section 6305 of title 49, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(f) Sunset.—The advisory council established under this section ceases to exist effective January 1, 2019.”.

(b) Intelligent Transportation Systems Program Advisory Committee.—Section 515(h) of title 23, United States Code, is amended—

(1) in paragraph (4), by inserting “until the cessation date under paragraph (6),” after “each year”; and

(2) by adding at the end the following:

“(6) SUNSET.—The Advisory Committee established under this subsection ceases to exist effective January 1, 2019.”.

(c) Northeast Corridor Safety Committee.—Section 24905(e) of title 49, United States Code, is amended by striking paragraphs (2) and (3) and inserting the following:

“(2) FUNCTIONS.—The Committee shall function as a working group of the Railroad Safety Advisory Committee.

“(3) SUNSET.—The Committee established under this subsection ceases to exist on the date that the Secretary, in consultation with the Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration, determines positive train control, as required by section 20157, is fully implemented along the Northeast Corridor.”.

(d) National Rail Cooperative Research Program Oversight Committee.—Section 24910(c) of title 49, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(3) SUNSET.—The advisory board established under this subsection ceases to exist effective January 1, 2019.”.


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