Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Conference report filed in House (12/18/1995)

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Title I: Abolition of Interstate Commerce Commission

Title II: Surface Transportation Board

Title III: Conforming Amendments

Subtitle A: Amendments to United States Code

Subtitle B: Other Amendments

Title IV: Miscellaneous Provisions

ICC Termination Act of 1995 - Title I: Abolition of Interstate Commerce Commission - Abolishes the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC).

(Sec. 102) Amends Federal transportation law to transfer jurisdiction over rail carrier transportation from the ICC to the Surface Transportation Board established by this Act.

Declares that remedies provided under this Act are exclusive and preempt any Federal or State remedies.

Subjects local governmental authorities providing transportation services to Federal laws governing: (1) safety; (2) representation of employees for collective bargaining; and (3) employment retirement, annuity, and unemployment systems.

Requires the Board to exempt a person, class of persons, or a transaction or service from its jurisdiction whenever: (1) application of this Act is not necessary to carry out U.S. rail transportation policy; and (2) either the transaction or service is of limited scope, or jurisdiction is not needed to protect shippers from the abuse of market power.

Requires rail carriers subject to the jurisdiction of the Board to establish rates, classifications, through routes, rules and practices for rail transportation that are reasonable and that do not unreasonably discriminate against a participating carrier. Authorizes the Board to prescribe maximum rates, classifications, rules, practices, through routes, joint classifications, joint rates, and division of joint rates when it decides that: (1) the ones proposed by a rail carrier violate this Act; or (2) it is in the public interest. Requires the Board to establish procedures to ensure the expeditious handling of challenges to the reasonableness of railroad rates.

Revises rail carrier provisions to provide for: (1) Board approval of rail carrier rate agreements; (2) Board market dominance determinations in rail rate proceedings; (3) rail carrier service contracts; (4) reduced rail rates for Government transportation; (5) prohibitions against unreasonable discrimination by rail carriers; (6) shipper's liability for payment of transportation rates; (7) designation of travel routes by shippers; (8) the licensing of persons for the construction and operation of railroad lines; (9) rail carrier procedures for the abandonment or discontinuance of railroad lines or railroad transportation; (10) the sale of railroad lines as required by public convenience and necessity; (11) requirements regarding the provision of rail carrier service and the use of terminal facilities; (12) a uniform accounting system, including depreciation charges; (13) records inspections; (14) special reports by rail carriers; (15) railroad cost accounting; (16) filing of equipment trusts and security interests with the Board; (17) Board approval over certain rail carrier transactions, including consolidations, mergers, and acquisitions; (18) certain restrictions on Board officers and directors; and (19) Board enforcement, including civil and criminal penalties for violations committed under this Act by rail carriers.

(Sec. 103) Declares that in order to ensure the development, coordination, and preservation of a transportation system that meets the transportation needs of the United States, it is U.S. policy to oversee motor carrier transportation, the transportation of passengers by motor carrier, and transportation by water carrier.

Revises, for purposes of this Act, the term "carrier" to mean a motor carrier, a water carrier, and a freight forwarder. Grants the Secretary of Transportation (currently, the ICC) and the Board jurisdiction over motor carriers, water carriers, and freight forwarders, with specified exceptions.

Sets forth administrative provisions with respect to: (1) certain requirements for rates, rules, classifications, through routes, and practices with respect to the transportation of household goods or passengers by motor carrier or transportation by water carrier; (2) procedures for resolving claims by a motor carrier of property (other than a household goods carrier) or freight forwarder with respect to unfiled, negotiated transportation rates; (3) Government traffic and food and grocery transportation; (4) certain registration requirements for motor carriers, freight forwarders, and brokers for transportation of property; (5) restrictions on acts, policies, or practices of a foreign country that are unreasonable or discriminatory and burden or restrict U.S. transportation companies providing motor carrier transportation; (6) replacement of certain registration and financial responsibility information programs; (7) general operation requirements with respect to motor carriers; (8) inspection of records of carriers and brokers; (9) certain financial and safety reports; (10) security interests in motor carrier vehicles; (11) pooling or division of transportation services or earnings by motor carriers; (12) Board approval of the consolidation, merger, and acquisition of control of motor carriers of passengers; (13) Federal jurisdiction (to the exclusion of any State or local jurisdiction) over interstate and intrastate transportation of passengers by motor carrier and transportation by freight forwarders and brokers; (14) prohibition of certain State and local property taxes on motor carrier transportation property and of income taxation of motor carrier employees except the State and locality of the employee's residence; (15) single State registration of motor carriers; (16) enforcement, investigations, rights, and remedies; (17) civil and criminal penalties; and (18) motor carrier insurance requirements.

(Sec. 104) Amends the Secretary's authority to approve State plans under which the State agrees to assume responsibility for enforcing Federal and compatible State commercial motor vehicle safety regulations to add the requirement that such a plan, among other things, ensure that the State will cooperate in the enforcement of certain motor carrier registration and insurance requirements.

(Sec. 105) Requires an employee who is separated from the ICC to be given credit for accrued annual leave for purposes of determining eligibility for and computing the amount of any retirement annuity.

(Sec. 106) Defines pipeline carrier as a person who provides pipeline transportation for compensation.

Declares that the Board has jurisdiction over interstate transportation by pipeline, or by pipeline and railroad or water, when transporting a commodity other than water, gas, or oil.

Requires the Board to exempt a person, class of persons, or a transaction or service from its jurisdiction whenever: (1) application of this Act is not necessary to carry out U.S. pipeline transportation policy; and (2) either the transaction or service is of limited scope, or application of this Act is not needed to protect shippers from the abuse of market power.

Requires pipeline carriers subject to the jurisdiction of the Board to establish rates, classifications, through routes, rules, and practices for pipeline transportation that are reasonable and that do not unreasonably discriminate against a connecting line of any other pipeline, rail, or water carrier or line in the distribution of traffic that is not routed specifically by the shipper. Authorizes the Board to prescribe rates, classifications, rules, and practices when it decides that those proposed by a pipeline carrier violate this Act.

Authorizes a pipeline carrier to provide without charge or at a reduced rate pipeline transportation or service to the U.S. Government.

Sets forth administrative provisions with respect to: (1) general operation requirements with respect to pipeline carriers; (2) inspection of records of pipeline carriers and lessors; (3) enforcement, investigations, rights, and remedies; and (4) civil and criminal penalties.

Title II: Surface Transportation Board - Amends Federal transportation law to establish the Surface Transportation Board within the Department of Transportation. Authorizes appropriations for FY 1996 through 1998.

Establishes the Railroad-Shipper Transportation Advisory Council.

Title III: Conforming Amendments - Amends or repeals specified Federal laws to conform them to this Act.

Title IV: Miscellaneous Provisions - Declares the licensing of a launch vehicle or launch site operator shall not be considered a major Federal action requiring an environmental impact statement under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 if certain conditions exist.

(Sec. 402) Amends Federal criminal law to impose penalties for destruction of a motor vehicle or train that carries radioactive waste.

(Sec. 403) Amends Federal transportation law to direct the Secretary to establish sanctions and penalties for violations of laws regarding railroad-highway grade crossings by persons operating commercial vehicles.

(Sec. 404) Declares that certain vehicle weight requirements shall not apply to the segment of U.S. Route 220 between Bedford and Bald Eagle, Pennsylvania, if such segment is designated as part of the Interstate System.

(Sec. 406) Requires the Secretary to issue a final rule authorizing the continued use of fiber drum packaging with a removable head for the transportation of liquid hazardous materials if certain conditions are met. Requires the Secretary to study whether other standards with respect to fiber drum packaging will provide equal or greater safety for the transportation of liquid hazardous materials.

(Sec. 407) Directs the Secretary to transmit to specified congressional committees a study that analyzes each of the noncontiguous domestic trades.

(Sec. 408) Directs the Federal Highway Administration to issue an advance notice of proposed rulemaking with respect to various specified fatigue-related transportation issues.