Summary: S.2307 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed Senate amended (07/24/1998)


Title I: Department of Transportation

Title II: Related Agencies

Title III: General Provisions

Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1999 - Title I: Department of Transportation - Makes appropriations for FY 1999 (with specified rescissions, transfers of funds, limitations on obligations, 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) (earmarking specified amounts for certain Intelligent Transportation System projects); (5) the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; (6) the Federal Railroad Administration; (7) the Federal Transit Administration (including specified national planning and research program projects, new and existing fixed guideway systems, and buses and bus-related facilities projects); (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.

Title II: Related Agencies - Makes appropriations for FY 1999 for: (1) the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board; and (2) the National Transportation Safety Board.

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, 1998 (Public Law 105-66).

(Sec. 320) Reduces the amount of funds provided in this Act for the Transportation Administrative Service Center (TASC).

(Sec. 322) Prohibits the use of any funds under this Act to compel, direct, or require Department of Transportation (DOT) agencies in their own construction contract awards, or recipients of financial assistance for construction projects under this Act, to use a project labor agreement on any project, nor to preclude use of a project labor agreement in such circumstances.

(Sec. 325) Prohibits any funds under this Act from being used for grants to the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) (except that such prohibition shall not apply upon the public disclosure by Amtrak of its national average per passenger loss during the previous fiscal year for which data is available). Directs the Secretary to take necessary actions to ensure: (1) that each air carrier prominently displays on every passenger ticket a statement that reflects the national average per passenger general subsidy based on FY 1997 general fund appropriation from the Government to the FAA; and (2) the placement of signs on Federal-aid highways that state that during FY 1997 the Government provided a general fund appropriation at a level verified by DOT for the subsidy of State and local highway construction and maintenance.

(Sec. 328) Requires the interest produced from the investment of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Liability Fund balance that is transferred and deposited into the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund to be transferred annually by the National Pollution Funds Center to the Denali Commission to repair or replace bulk fuel storage tanks in Alaska which are not in compliance with Federal law, the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, or State law.

(Sec. 330) Prohibits expenditure of funds made available under this Act by any entity that does not agree to comply with the Buy American Act.

Expresses the sense of Congress that entities receiving assistance under this Act should purchase only 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. 331) Makes receipts collected from users of fitness centers operated by or for the Department of Transportation available to support their operation and maintenance.

(Sec. 332) Prohibits the provision of essential air service to communities in the 48 contiguous States that are fewer than 70 highway miles from the nearest large and medium hub airport, or that require a rate of subsidy per passenger in excess of $200 unless such point is greater than 210 miles from the nearest large or medium hub airport.

(Sec. 334) Authorizes the Secretary to convey to North Carolina such portion of Coast Guard Station Ocracoke, North Carolina, as the Secretary considers to be appropriate for transportation, education, environmental, or other public purposes.

(Sec. 335) Declares that appropriated funds intended for highway demonstration projects, railroad-highway crossings demonstration projects or railroad relocation projects in Augusta, Georgia, are available for implementation of a project consisting of modifications and additions to streets, railroads, and related improvements in the vicinity of the grade crossing of the CSX railroad and 15th Street in Augusta, Georgia.

(Sec. 336) Declares that no approval from the Secretary (other than review of the project final design) shall be required to construct additional entrances and exits between exits 57 and 58 for a pilot project to demonstrate a streamlined process for project implementation on Interstate 495 in Suffolk County, New York, provided such entrances and exits are designed, constructed or otherwise authorized by the responsible state transportation agency through the appropriate state environmental process.

(Sec. 337) Directs the Secretary to enter into agreements with the New York State Department of Transportation that would allow automotive service stations or other commercial establishments for serving motor vehicle users to be sited and constructed in the vicinity of exit 51 and either exits 66, 67, or 68 of the Long Island Expressway (Interstate 495) in Suffolk County.

(Sec. 338) Amends Federal law to authorize the Secretary to grant a temporary exemption to passenger motor vehicles from a prescribed bumper standard. Requires a permanent label be fixed to a motor vehicle granted an exemption under this section that describes, among other things, each bumper standard from which such vehicle is exempted.

(Sec. 339) Specifies funds for the Norfolk-Virginia Beach Corridor project, the Massachusetts North Shore Corridor project, the San Diego Mission Valley and Mid-Coast Corridor projects, the Hartford, Connecticut, light rail project, the Southeast Michigan commuter rail viability study, the major investment analysis of Honolulu transit alternatives, the Stanford, Connecticut, fixed guideway connector, the Providence-Boston commuter rail project, and the Old Saybrook-Hartford rail extension project.

(Sec. 340) Prohibits the use of funds under this Act by the Coast Guard to issue or enforce certain regulations under the Edible Oil Regulatory Reform Act, unless such regulations recognize and provide, with respect to (animal) fats, (vegetable) oils, and greases, for differences in physical, chemical, biological, and other relevant properties, and in environmental effects.

(Sec. 342) Authorizes the use of specified funds to support a direct loan of $85 million to Reno, Nevada, for the Reno Transportation Corridor project, including the grade separation of at-grade rail lines and cross streets with a primarily below-grade corridor.

(Sec. 343) Makes certain funds allocated or authorized from the highway trust fund for Miller Highway in New York City, New York, available to the State of New York, subject to the State and local planning and environmental review process.

(Sec. 344) Authorizes the Secretary, upon specified assurances from the State of New Jersey, to waive repayment of any Federal-aid highway funds expended on the construction of high occupancy vehicle lanes or auxiliary lanes on I-287 in the State of New Jersey.

(Sec. 345) Amends the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991, as amended by the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century, to change from mandatory to discretionary the authority of the Secretary to approve one or more substitute highway, bus transit, or light rail transit projects in lieu of construction of the I-94 East-West Transitway project in Milwaukee and Waukesha Counties, Wisconsin. Requires the Governor of Wisconsin to consult with appropriate local government officials before requesting the Secretary to approve such a substitute project.

(Sec. 346) Authorizes the use of certain discretionary grants funds (hitherto available for the Virtual Transit Enterprise project) to fund any aspect of the Virtual Transit Enterprise integration of information project in South Carolina.

(Sec. 347) Amends the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century to authorize Vermont to use certain pilot project funds from the Highway Trust Fund Mass Transit Account for capital improvements to, and operating assistance for, intercity passenger rail service.

(Sec. 349) Declares that it shall be the duty of a U.S. district court and the U.S. Supreme Court to expedite to the maximum extent practicable the disposition of any claim challenging the constitutionality of section 1101(b) of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century, which requires a set-aside of at least ten percent of certain transportation funds for small businesses owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. Makes reviewable by appeal to the Supreme Court any claims disposed by U.S. district court order.

(Sec. 350) Declares that the change in definition for Amtrak capital expenses shall not affect the legal characteristics of capital and operating expenditures for purposes of Amtrak's requirement to eliminate the use of appropriated funds for operating expenses. Prohibits the use of Amtrak appropriations in this Act to pay for any wage, salary, or benefit increases that are a result of any agreement entered into after October 1, 1997. Directs Amtrak to report to the Amtrak Reform Council and specified congressional committees on specific expenditures for preventative maintenance, labor, and other operating expenses.

(Sec. 351) Amends Federal law to repeal the expiration of (thus making permanent) the authority of the Delaware River Port Authority to collect bridge tolls.

(Sec. 352) Authorizes Federal-aid highway funds allocated for projects in Idaho and West Virginia to be obligated for any other highway project in such State for which funds are allocated, except that the total amount of funds authorized for any other project shall not be reduced.

(Sec. 353) Amends Federal transportation law to prohibit smoking on all scheduled airline flight segments (currently, just on certain airline flight segments) in interstate or intrastate air transportation.

Directs the Secretary of Transportation to require all domestic and foreign air carriers to prohibit smoking on any scheduled airline flight within the United States or between a place in the United States and a place outside of it.

(Sec. 354) Allows to remain in effect for FY 1999 only any State hazardous material transportation laws that are inconsistent with Federal hazardous material transportation laws with respect to intrastate transportation of agricultural production materials from agricultural retailer to farm, farm to farm, and from farm to agricultural retailer, within a 100-mile air radius.

(Sec. 355) Directs the National Transportation Safety Board to reimburse the State of New York and local counties in New York during the period from June 12, 1997, through September 30, 1999, a specified aggregate amount for costs (including salaries and expenses) incurred in connection with the crash of TWA Flight 800.

(Sec. 356) Authorizes the Secretary to encourage States to take action to ensure that, for each cemetery of the National Cemetery System located in the proximity of a Federal-aid highway, there is sufficient and appropriate signage along such highway to direct visitors to such cemetery.