Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Conference report filed in House (09/16/1996)


Title I: Department of Transportation

Title II: Related Agencies

Title III: General Provisions

Title IV: Miscellaneous Highway Provisions

Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1997 - Title I: Department of Transportation - Makes appropriations for FY 1997 (with specified rescissions, limitations on obligations and direct loans, and liquidations of contract authorizations) for: (1) the Office of the Secretary of Transportation; (2) the Coast Guard; (3) the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA); (4) the Federal Highway Administration (FHA); (5) the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; (6) the Federal Railroad Administration; (7) the Federal Transit Administration; (8) the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation; (9) the Research and Special Programs Administration; (10) the Office of the Inspector General; and (11) the Surface Transportation Board.

Requires the use of funds for the Office of Secretary of Transportation to investigate anticompetitive practices in air transportation and enforce specified provisions of Federal law against such practices.

Establishes in the Treasury an administrative services franchise fund, to be available without fiscal year limitation, for the costs of capitalizing and operating certain centralized FAA services.

Title II: Related Agencies - Makes appropriations for FY 1997 for: (1) the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board; and (2) the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

Title III: General Provisions - Sets forth specified prohibitions, limitations, permissions, and mandates with respect to the use of appropriations under this Act identical or very similar to those enacted in the Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1996 (Public Law 104-50).

(Sec. 321) Reduces the amount of funds provided in this Act for the Transportation Administrative Service Center.

(Sec. 327) Prohibits the use of funds (as in Public Law 104-50) for employee training which: (1) does not meet identified needs for knowledge, skills, and abilities bearing directly upon the performance of official duties; (2) contains elements likely to induce high levels of emotional response or psychological stress in some participants; (3) does not require prior employee notification of the content and methods to be used in the training and written end of course evaluations; (4) contains any methods or content associated with religious or quasi-religious belief systems or "new age" belief systems; (5) is offensive to, or designed to change, participants' personal values or lifestyle outside the workplace; or (6) includes content related to human immunodeficiency virus-acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV-AIDS) other than that necessary to make employees more aware of its medical ramifications and the workplace rights of HIV-positive employees.

(Sec. 334) Amends Federal transportation law to exempt from certain State and local laws construction or specified financial activity with respect to any improvement by or on behalf of Amtrak in connection with the Northeast Corridor Improvement Project, or any land on which such improvement is located and adjoining, surrounding or any related land.

(Sec. 335) Prohibits the use of funds to construct, or to pay the salaries or expenses of Department of Transportation (DOT) personnel who approve or facilitate the construction of, a third track on the Metro-North Railroad Harlem Line in the vicinity of Bronxville, New York, if a final environmental impact statement for the project has not been completed.

(Sec. 336) Amends Federal mass transportation law to include the locally preferred alternative for the South-North Corridor Project in the federally-funded Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon Light Rail Program.

(Sec. 336a) Amends the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) and the Federal Transit Act Amendments of 1991 to increase the funds available for the Westside Light Rail Project of the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon.

(Sec. 337) Allows a specified amount funds made available to Cleveland for the Cleveland Dual Hub Corridor Project or Cleveland Dual Hub Rail Project in FY 1991, 1992, and 1994, to be made available for the Berea Red Line Extension and the Euclid Corridor Improvement projects.

(Sec. 338) Earmarks specified funds made available to Michigan under specified Federal law for FY 1997 for the purchase of buses and bus-related equipment and facilities.

(Sec. 339) Makes additional appropriations for activities of the National Civil Aviation Review Commission.

(Sec. 340) Requires the transfer to Kauai, Hawaii, of certain under the Federal Transit Administration's Discretionary Grants program.

(Sec. 341) Enacts into law specified provisions of H.R. 1361, as passed the House of Representatives on May 9, 1995, mandating conveyance to the Montauk Historical Association of the Light Station Montauk Point at Montauk, New York.

(Sec. 342) Provides that certain improvements identified as highest priority in ISTEA shall not be treated as an allocation for Interstate maintenance.

(Sec. 343) Expresses the sense of Congress that entities receiving assistance under this Act should comply with the Buy American Act and purchase U.S.-made equipment and products to the greatest extent practicable. Prohibits the use of funds for contracts with persons falsely labeling products as made in America.

(Sec. 344) Makes receipts collected from users of fitness centers operated by or for DOT available to support their operation and maintenance.

(Sec. 345) Prohibits the use of NTSB funds for any study to determine the feasibility of allowing individuals who are more than 60 years of age to pilot commercial aircraft.

(Sec. 346) Reduces funds in this Act for bonuses and cash awards for DOT employees, including those in the Senior Executive Service.

(Sec. 347) Exempts the National Passenger Railroad Corporation (Amtrak) from any State or local law relating to the payment or delivery of abandoned or unclaimed personal property to government authority with respect to passenger rail tickets (beginning April 20, 1972) for which no refund has been or may be claimed.

(Sec. 348) Directs the FAA to provide personnel at Dutch Harbor, Alaska, to provide real-time weather and runway observation and other aviation safety functions.

(Sec. 349) Provides for DOT voluntary separation incentive payments and mandatory consequent reduction of funded employee positions.

(Sec. 350) Amends the District of Columbia Code with respect to child custody and the visitation rights of parents in pending cases in which: (1) the child asserts that a party to the case has been sexually abusive with the child; (2) the child has resided outside of the United States for at least 24 consecutive months; (3) any of the parties has denied custody or visitation to another party in violation of a court order for at least 24 consecutive months; and (4) any of the parties has lived outside of the District of Columbia during such period of denial of custody or visitation. Denies child custody or visitation rights with respect to such a child age 13 or over, without the child's consent, to a party the child asserts has been sexually abusive.

Declares that, if any person had actual or legal custody of such a child or offered him or her safe refuge while the case (or any related action) was pending, the court may not deprive such person of custody or visitation rights over the child or otherwise impose sanctions on the person on the grounds that the person had such custody or offered such refuge.

(Sec. 351) Directs the FAA Administrator to provide for an independent assessment of the FAA acquisition management system, including a review of the Administrator's efforts in promoting the use of full and open competition, and report its findings to the Congress.

(Sec. 352) Amends Federal transportation law to authorize the State of Nebraska to allow through FY 1997 the operation within its boundaries of longer combination vehicles that were not in actual operation on June 1, 1991, to transport sugar beets from the harvesting field to storage, market, factory, or stockpile or from stockpile to storage, market, or factory.

(Sec. 353) Authorizes States to use specified funds for incentive payments to local governments, matching those made by railroads to such governments, for permanent closure of public at-grade railway-highway crossings.

(Sec. 354) Requires, in order for the Coast Guard to use certain funds to issue or enforce certain regulations under the Edible Oil Regulatory Reform Act, that such regulations recognize and provide, with respect to fats, oils, and greases, for differences in physical, chemical, biological, and other relevant properties, and in environmental effects.

(Sec. 355) Reserves a specified portion of funds for the Federal Rail Administration to establish and operate the Institute for Railroad Safety, as authorized by the Swift Rail Development Act of 1994.

(Sec. 356) Prohibits the use of funds under this Act to levy penalties before September 1, 1997, on the States of Maine or New Hampshire based on non-compliance with Federal vehicle weight limitations.

Title IV: Miscellaneous Highway Provisions - Prohibits on U.S. Route 15 in Virginia between the Maryland border and the intersection with U.S. Route 29: (1) any semitrailer units operating in a truck tractor-semitrailer combination whose semitrailer unit is more than 48 feet long; and (2) certain truck tractor-semitrailer-trailer combinations specified under Federal transportation law.

(Sec. 402) Amends the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 to provide for: (1) feasibility studies, preliminary engineering, and construction of a new bridge and approaches over the Mobile River, Alabama; and (2) improvements to the VIPA Molasses Dock intermodal port facility on the island of St. Croix, Virgin Islands, to enable the facility to handle multiple cargo tasks.

(Sec. 404) Authorizes certain funds (already authorized for highway-railroad grade crossing separations in Mineola, New York) for other grade crossing improvements in Nassau and Suffolk Counties in New York.

(Sec. 405) Authorizes the Secretary of Transportation to modify certain agreements to provide a specified additional line of credit usable to replace otherwise required contingency reserves, if the modification is supported by the amount of the original appropriation.

(Sec. 406) Amends specified Federal law (for continuing appropriations, FY 1988) to authorize the use of specified Traffic Improvement Demonstration Project funds to include the upgrading of existing local roads in the vicinity of Petoskey, Michigan.

(Sec. 407) Requires that an amount appropriated for a Lake Shore Drive extension study, Whiting, Indiana, in the Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1995 be made available for a congestion relief project for construction of a four-lane road and overpass at Merrillville, Indiana.

(Sec. 408) Makes certain funds available for construction of Baldwin Road as part of the highway safety improvement project, Michigan.

(Sec. 409) Authorizes specified transfers of funds among Minnesota highway projects, at the option of the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

(Sec. 410) Amends ISTEA with respect to rural access and innovative projects for the Pennsylvania localities of Mifflin, Fulton, and Clearfield.