Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Public Law No: 108-426 (11/30/2004)

(This measure has not been amended since it was passed by the House on October 7, 2004. The summary of that version is repeated here.)

Norman Y. Mineta Research and Special Programs Reorganization Act - (Sec. 2) Amends Federal transportation law to establish the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) in the Department of Transportation (DOT), headed by an Administrator with professional experience in pipeline safety, hazardous materials safety, or other transportation safety, appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. Provides for a Deputy Administrator, appointed by the Secretary of Transportation, and an Assistant Administrator for Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety (who shall also be the Chief Safety Officer), appointed in the competitive service by the Secretary.

(Sec. 3) Transfers the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) to the Research and Innovative Technology Administration (established by this Act). Requires the BTS Director to be appointed in the competitive service by the Secretary, instead (as currently) by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.

(Sec. 4) Replaces the Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA) with the Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), which shall be headed by an Administrator appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. Transfers the powers and duties of the RSPA Administrator to the RITA Administrator.

Directs the Administrator to carry out the responsibilities of the Secretary for: (1) coordination, facilitation, and review of DOT research and development programs and activities; (2) advancement of innovative technologies, including intelligent transportation systems projects and products; (3) comprehensive transportation statistics research, analysis, and reporting; (4) education and training in transportation and transportation-related fields; and (5) activities of the Volpe National Transportation Center.

Declares that nothing in this Act shall grant any authority to RITA over research and other programs, activities, standards, or regulations administered by the Secretary through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, except those provided for in highway and traffic safety programs administered under specified Federal law pertaining to highways and the National Driver Register, as in effect on the date of enactment of this Act.

Establishes in RITA an Office of Intermodalism.

Directs the Administrator of RITA to report to Congress on DOT research activities. Requires the Administrator, in developing the report, to: (1) solicit input from a wide range of stakeholders; (2) take into account how the research and development activities of other Federal, State, private sector, and not-for-profit institutions contribute to reducing traffic congestion, improving mobility, and promoting safety; and (3) address methods to avoid unnecessary duplication of efforts in achieving such purposes.

(Sec. 6) Directs the DOT Inspector General to report to the Secretary and the PHMSA Administrator a list of: (1) each statutory mandate regarding pipeline safety or hazardous materials safety that has not been implemented; and (2) each open safety recommendation made by the National Transportation Safety Board or the Inspector General regarding pipeline safety or hazardous materials safety. Directs the Secretary to report to Congress on the specific actions taken to implement such mandates.

Requires the Secretary to report annually to Congress on each open safety recommendation and the DOT response.

(Sec. 7) Directs the Secretary to provide for the orderly transfer of duties and powers under this Act by 90 days after its enactment.