Text: S.1379 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (07/11/2005)

 
[Congressional Bills 109th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[S. 1379 Introduced in Senate (IS)]

  1st Session
                                S. 1379

           To provide increased rail transportation security.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                             July 11, 2005

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

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
           To provide increased rail transportation security.

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

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Rail Security Act 
of 2005''.
    (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act is as 
follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
Sec. 2. Rail transportation security risk assessment.
Sec. 3. Rail security.
Sec. 4. Study of foreign rail transport security programs.
Sec. 5. Passenger, baggage, and cargo screening.
Sec. 6. Certain personnel limitations not to apply.
Sec. 7. Fire and life-safety improvements.
Sec. 8. Memorandum of agreement.
Sec. 9. Amtrak plan to assist families of passengers involved in rail 
                            passenger accidents.
Sec. 10. Systemwide Amtrak security upgrades.
Sec. 11. Freight and passenger rail security upgrades.
Sec. 12. Oversight and grant procedures.
Sec. 13. Rail security research and development.
Sec. 14. Welded rail and tank car safety improvements.
Sec. 15. Northern Border rail passenger report.
Sec. 16. Report regarding impact on security of train travel in 
                            communities without grade separation.
Sec. 17. Whistleblower protection program.

SEC. 2. RAIL TRANSPORTATION SECURITY RISK ASSESSMENT.

    (a) In General.--
            (1) Vulnerability assessment.--The Under Secretary of 
        Homeland Security for Border and Transportation Security, in 
        consultation with the Secretary of Transportation, shall 
        complete a vulnerability assessment of freight and passenger 
        rail transportation (encompassing railroads, as that term is 
        defined in section 20102(1) of title 49, United States Code). 
        The assessment shall include--
                    (A) identification and evaluation of critical 
                assets and infrastructures;
                    (B) identification of threats to those assets and 
                infrastructures;
                    (C) identification of vulnerabilities that are 
                specific to the transportation of hazardous materials 
                via railroad; and
                    (D) identification of security weaknesses in 
                passenger and cargo security, transportation 
                infrastructure, protection systems, procedural 
                policies, communications systems, employee training, 
                emergency response planning, and any other area 
                identified by the assessment.
            (2) Existing private and public sector efforts.--The 
        assessment shall take into account actions taken or planned by 
        both public and private entities to address identified security 
        issues and assess the effective integration of such actions.
            (3) Recommendations.--Based on the assessment conducted 
        under paragraph (1), the Under Secretary, in consultation with 
        the Secretary of Transportation, shall develop prioritized 
        recommendations for improving rail security, including any 
        recommendations the Under Secretary has for--
                    (A) improving the security of rail tunnels, rail 
                bridges, rail switching and car storage areas, other 
                rail infrastructure and facilities, information 
                systems, and other areas identified by the Under 
                Secretary as posing significant rail-related risks to 
                public safety and the movement of interstate commerce, 
                taking into account the impact that any proposed 
                security measure might have on the provision of rail 
                service;
                    (B) deploying equipment to detect explosives and 
                hazardous chemical, biological, and radioactive 
                substances, and any appropriate countermeasures;
                    (C) training employees in terrorism prevention, 
                passenger evacuation, and response activities;
                    (D) conducting public outreach campaigns on 
                passenger railroads;
                    (E) deploying surveillance equipment; and
                    (F) identifying the immediate and long-term costs 
                of measures that may be required to address those 
                risks.
            (4) Plans.--The report required by subsection (c) shall 
        include--
                    (A) a plan, developed in consultation with the 
                freight and intercity passenger railroads, and State 
                and local governments, for the government to provide 
                increased security support at high or severe threat 
                levels of alert; and
                    (B) a plan for coordinating rail security 
                initiatives undertaken by the public and private 
                sectors.
    (b) Consultation; Use of Existing Resources.--In carrying out the 
assessment required by subsection (a), the Under Secretary of Homeland 
Security for Border and Transportation Security shall consult with rail 
management, rail labor, owners or lessors of rail cars used to 
transport hazardous materials, first responders, shippers of hazardous 
materials, public safety officials (including those within other 
agencies and offices within the Department of Homeland Security), and 
other relevant parties.
    (c) Report.--
            (1) Contents.--Within 180 days after the date of enactment 
        of this Act, the Under Secretary shall transmit to the Senate 
        Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the 
        House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and 
        Infrastructure a report containing the assessment and 
        prioritized recommendations required by subsection (a) and an 
        estimate of the cost to implement such recommendations.
            (2) Format.--The Under Secretary may submit the report in 
        both classified and redacted formats if the Under Secretary 
        determines that such action is appropriate or necessary.
    (d) 2-Year Updates.--The Under Secretary, in consultation with the 
Secretary of Transportation, shall update the assessment and 
recommendations every 2 years and transmit a report, which may be 
submitted in both classified and redacted formats, to the Committees 
named in subsection (c)(1), containing the updated assessment and 
recommendations.
    (e) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to be 
appropriated to the Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Border and 
Transportation Security $5,000,000 for fiscal year 2006 for the purpose 
of carrying out this section.

SEC. 3. RAIL SECURITY.

    (a) Rail Police Officers.--Section 28101 of title 49, United States 
Code, is amended by striking ``the rail carrier'' each place it appears 
and inserting ``any rail carrier''.
    (b) Review of Rail Regulations.--Within 1 year after the date of 
enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Transportation, in consultation 
with the Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Border and 
Transportation Security, shall review existing rail regulations of the 
Department of Transportation for the purpose of identifying areas in 
which those regulations need to be revised to improve rail security.

SEC. 4. STUDY OF FOREIGN RAIL TRANSPORT SECURITY PROGRAMS.

    (a) Requirement for Study.--Within one year after the date of 
enactment of the Rail Security Act of 2005, the Comptroller General 
shall complete a study of the rail passenger transportation security 
programs that are carried out for rail transportation systems in Japan, 
member nations of the European Union, and other foreign countries.
    (b) Purpose.--The purpose of the study shall be to identify 
effective rail transportation security measures that are in use in 
foreign rail transportation systems, including innovative measures and 
screening procedures determined effective.
    (c) Report.--The Comptroller General shall submit a report on the 
results of the study to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation and the House of Representatives Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure. The report shall include the 
Comptroller General's assessment regarding whether it is feasible to 
implement within the United States any of the same or similar security 
measures that are determined effective under the study.

SEC. 5. PASSENGER, BAGGAGE, AND CARGO SCREENING.

    (a) Requirement for Study and Report.--The Under Secretary of 
Homeland Security for Border and Transportation Security, in 
cooperation with the Secretary of Transportation, shall--
            (1) analyze the cost and feasibility of requiring security 
        screening for passengers, baggage, and cargo on passenger 
        trains; and
            (2) report the results of the study, together with any 
        recommendations that the Under Secretary may have for 
        implementing a rail security screening program to the Senate 
        Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the 
        House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and 
        Infrastructure within 1 year after the date of enactment of 
        this Act.
    (b) Pilot Program.--As part of the study under subsection (a), the 
Under Secretary shall complete a pilot program of random security 
screening of passengers and baggage at 5 passenger rail stations served 
by Amtrak selected by the Under Secretary. In conducting the pilot 
program, the Under Secretary shall--
            (1) test a wide range of explosives detection technologies, 
        devices and methods;
            (2) require that intercity rail passengers produce 
        government-issued photographic identification which matches the 
        name on the passenger's tickets prior to boarding trains; and
            (3) attempt to give preference to locations at the highest 
        risk of terrorist attack and achieve a distribution of 
        participating train stations in terms of geographic location, 
        size, passenger volume, and whether the station is used by 
        commuter rail passengers as well as Amtrak passengers.
    (c) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to be 
appropriated to the Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Border and 
Transportation Security to carry out this section $5,000,000 for fiscal 
year 2006.

SEC. 6. CERTAIN PERSONNEL LIMITATIONS NOT TO APPLY.

    Any statutory limitation on the number of employees in the 
Transportation Security Administration of the Department of 
Transportation, before or after its transfer to the Department of 
Homeland Security, does not apply to the extent that any such employees 
are responsible for implementing the provisions of this Act.

SEC. 7. FIRE AND LIFE-SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS.

    (a) Life-safety Needs.--The Secretary of Transportation is 
authorized to make grants to Amtrak for the purpose of making fire and 
life-safety improvements to Amtrak tunnels on the Northeast Corridor in 
New York, NY, Baltimore, MD, and Washington, DC.
    (b) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to be 
appropriated to the Secretary of Transportation for the purposes of 
carrying out subsection (a) the following amounts:
            (1) For the 6 New York tunnels to provide ventilation, 
        electrical, and fire safety technology upgrades, emergency 
        communication and lighting systems, and emergency access and 
        egress for passengers--
                    (A) $100,000,000 for fiscal year 2006;
                    (B) $100,000,000 for fiscal year 2007;
                    (C) $100,000,000 for fiscal year 2008;
                    (D) $100,000,000 for fiscal year 2009; and
                    (E) $170,000,000 for fiscal year 2010.
            (2) For the Baltimore & Potomac tunnel and the Union 
        tunnel, together, to provide adequate drainage, ventilation, 
        communication, lighting, and passenger egress upgrades--
                    (A) $10,000,000 for fiscal year 2006;
                    (B) $10,000,000 for fiscal year 2007;
                    (C) $10,000,000 for fiscal year 2008;
                    (D) $10,000,000 for fiscal year 2009; and
                    (E) $17,000,000 for fiscal year 2010.
            (3) For the Washington, DC Union Station tunnels to improve 
        ventilation, communication, lighting, and passenger egress 
        upgrades--
                    (A) $8,000,000 for fiscal year 2006;
                    (B) $8,000,000 for fiscal year 2007;
                    (C) $8,000,000 for fiscal year 2008;
                    (D) $8,000,000 for fiscal year 2009; and
                    (E) $8,000,000 for fiscal year 2010.
    (c) Infrastructure Upgrades.--There are authorized to be 
appropriated to the Secretary of Transportation for fiscal year 2006 
$3,000,000 for the preliminary design of options for a new tunnel on a 
different alignment to augment the capacity of the existing Baltimore 
tunnels.
    (d) Availability of Appropriated Funds.--Amounts appropriated 
pursuant to this section shall remain available until expended.
    (e) Plans Required.--The Secretary may not make amounts available 
to Amtrak for obligation or expenditure under subsection (a)--
            (1) until Amtrak has submitted to the Secretary, and the 
        Secretary has approved, an engineering and financial plan for 
        such projects; and
            (2) unless, for each project funded pursuant to this 
        section, the Secretary has approved a project management plan 
        prepared by Amtrak addressing appropriate project budget, 
        construction schedule, recipient staff organization, document 
        control and record keeping, change order procedure, quality 
        control and assurance, periodic plan updates, periodic status 
        reports, and such other matters the Secretary deems 
        appropriate.
    (f) Review of Plans.--The Secretary of Transportation shall 
complete the review of the plans required by paragraphs (1) and (2) of 
subsection (e) and approve or disapprove the plans within 45 days after 
the date on which each such plan is submitted by Amtrak. If the 
Secretary determines that a plan is incomplete or deficient, the 
Secretary shall notify Amtrak of the incomplete items or deficiencies 
and Amtrak shall, within 30 days after receiving the Secretary's 
notification, submit a modified plan for the Secretary's review. Within 
15 days after receiving additional information on items previously 
included in the plan, and within 45 days after receiving items newly 
included in a modified plan, the Secretary shall either approve the 
modified plan, or, if the Secretary finds the plan is still incomplete 
or deficient, the Secretary shall identify in writing to the Senate 
Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the House of 
Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure the 
portions of the plan the Secretary finds incomplete or deficient, 
approve all other portions of the plan, obligate the funds associated 
with those other portions, and execute an agreement with Amtrak within 
15 days thereafter on a process for resolving the remaining portions of 
the plan.
    (g) Financial Contribution From Other Tunnel Users.--The Secretary 
shall, taking into account the need for the timely completion of all 
portions of the tunnel projects described in subsection (a)--
            (1) consider the extent to which rail carriers other than 
        Amtrak use the tunnels;
            (2) consider the feasibility of seeking a financial 
        contribution from those other rail carriers toward the costs of 
        the projects; and
            (3) obtain financial contributions or commitments from such 
        other rail carriers at levels reflecting the extent of their 
        use of the tunnels, if feasible.

SEC. 8. MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT.

    (a) Memorandum of Agreement.--Within 60 days after the date of 
enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Transportation and the 
Secretary of Homeland Security shall execute a memorandum of agreement 
governing the roles and responsibilities of the Department of 
Transportation and the Department of Homeland Security, respectively, 
in addressing railroad transportation security matters, including the 
processes the departments will follow to promote communications, 
efficiency, and nonduplication of effort.
    (b) Rail Safety Regulations.--Section 20103(a) of title 49, United 
States Code, is amended by striking ``safety'' the first place it 
appears, and inserting ``safety, including security,''.

SEC. 9. AMTRAK PLAN TO ASSIST FAMILIES OF PASSENGERS INVOLVED IN RAIL 
              PASSENGER ACCIDENTS.

    (a) In General.--Chapter 243 of title 49, United States Code, is 
amended by adding at the end the following:
``Sec. 24316. Plans to address needs of families of passengers involved 
              in rail passenger accidents
    ``(a) Submission of Plan.--Not later than 6 months after the date 
of the enactment of the Rail Security Act of 2005, Amtrak shall submit 
to the Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board and the 
Secretary of Transportation a plan for addressing the needs of the 
families of passengers involved in any rail passenger accident 
involving an Amtrak intercity train and resulting in a loss of life.
    ``(b) Contents of Plans.--The plan to be submitted by Amtrak under 
subsection (a) shall include, at a minimum, the following:
            ``(1) A process by which Amtrak will maintain and provide 
        to the National Transportation Safety Board and the Secretary 
        of Transportation, immediately upon request, a list (which is 
        based on the best available information at the time of the 
        request) of the names of the passengers aboard the train 
        (whether or not such names have been verified), and will 
        periodically update the list. The plan shall include a 
        procedure, with respect to unreserved trains and passengers not 
        holding reservations on other trains, for Amtrak to use 
        reasonable efforts to ascertain the number and names of 
        passengers aboard a train involved in an accident.
            ``(2) A plan for creating and publicizing a reliable, toll-
        free telephone number within 4 hours after such an accident 
        occurs, and for providing staff, to handle calls from the 
        families of the passengers.
            ``(3) A process for notifying the families of the 
        passengers, before providing any public notice of the names of 
        the passengers, by suitably trained individuals.
            ``(4) A process for providing the notice described in 
        paragraph (2) to the family of a passenger as soon as Amtrak 
        has verified that the passenger was aboard the train (whether 
        or not the names of all of the passengers have been verified).
            ``(5) A process by which the family of each passenger will 
        be consulted about the disposition of all remains and personal 
        effects of the passenger within Amtrak's control; that any 
        possession of the passenger within Amtrak's control will be 
        returned to the family unless the possession is needed for the 
        accident investigation or any criminal investigation; and that 
        any unclaimed possession of a passenger within Amtrak's control 
        will be retained by the rail passenger carrier for at least 18 
        months.
            ``(6) A process by which the treatment of the families of 
        nonrevenue passengers will be the same as the treatment of the 
        families of revenue passengers.
            ``(7) An assurance that Amtrak will provide adequate 
        training to its employees and agents to meet the needs of 
        survivors and family members following an accident.
    ``(c) Use of Information.--The National Transportation Safety 
Board, the Secretary of Transportation, and Amtrak may not release to 
any person information on a list obtained under subsection (b)(1) but 
may provide information on the list about a passenger to the family of 
the passenger to the extent that the Board or Amtrak considers 
appropriate.
    ``(d) Limitation on Liability.--Amtrak shall not be liable for 
damages in any action brought in a Federal or State court arising out 
of the performance of Amtrak in preparing or providing a passenger 
list, or in providing information concerning a train reservation, 
pursuant to a plan submitted by Amtrak under subsection (b), unless 
such liability was caused by Amtrak's conduct.
    ``(e) Limitation on Statutory Construction.--Nothing in this 
section may be construed as limiting the actions that Amtrak may take, 
or the obligations that Amtrak may have, in providing assistance to the 
families of passengers involved in a rail passenger accident.
    ``(f) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to be 
appropriated to the Secretary of Transportation for the use of Amtrak 
$500,000 for fiscal year 2006 to carry out this section. Amounts 
appropriated pursuant to this subsection shall remain available until 
expended.''.
    (b) Conforming Amendment.--The chapter analysis for chapter 243 of 
title 49, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the 
following:

``Sec.
``24316.  Plan to assist families of passengers involved in rail 
                            passenger accidents.''.

SEC. 10. SYSTEMWIDE AMTRAK SECURITY UPGRADES.

    (a) In General--Subject to subsection (c), the Under Secretary of 
Homeland Security for Border and Transportation Security is authorized 
to make grants, through the Secretary of Transportation, to Amtrak--
            (1) to secure major tunnel access points and ensure tunnel 
        integrity in New York, Baltimore, and Washington, DC;
            (2) to secure Amtrak trains;
            (3) to secure Amtrak stations;
            (4) to obtain a watch list identification system approved 
        by the Under Secretary;
            (5) to obtain train tracking and interoperable 
        communications systems that are coordinated to the maximum 
        extent possible;
            (6) to hire additional police and security officers, 
        including canine units; and
            (7) to expand emergency preparedness efforts.
    (b) Conditions.--The Secretary of Transportation may not disburse 
funds to Amtrak under subsection (a) unless the projects are contained 
in a systemwide security plan approved by the Under Secretary, in 
consultation with the Secretary of Transportation, and, for capital 
projects, meet the requirements of section 7(e)(2). The plan shall 
include appropriate measures to address security awareness, emergency 
response, and passenger evacuation training.
    (c) Equitable Geographic Allocation.--The Under Secretary shall 
ensure that, subject to meeting the highest security needs on Amtrak's 
entire system, stations and facilities located outside of the Northeast 
Corridor receive an equitable share of the security funds authorized by 
this section.
    (d) Availability of Funds.--There are authorized to be appropriated 
to the Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Border and 
Transportation Security $63,500,000 for fiscal year 2006 for the 
purposes of carrying out this section. Amounts appropriated pursuant to 
this subsection shall remain available until expended.

SEC. 11. FREIGHT AND PASSENGER RAIL SECURITY UPGRADES.

    (a) Security Improvement Grants.--The Under Secretary of Homeland 
Security for Border and Transportation Security is authorized to make 
grants to freight railroads, the Alaska Railroad, hazardous materials 
shippers, owners of rail cars used in the transportation of hazardous 
materials, universities, colleges and research centers, State and local 
governments (for passenger facilities and infrastructure not owned by 
Amtrak), and, through the Secretary of Transportation, to Amtrak, for 
full or partial reimbursement of costs incurred in the conduct of 
activities to prevent or respond to acts of terrorism, sabotage, or 
other intercity passenger rail and freight rail security threats, 
including--
            (1) security and redundancy for critical communications, 
        computer, and train control systems essential for secure rail 
        operations;
            (2) accommodation of cargo or passenger screening equipment 
        at the United States-Mexico border or the United States-Canada 
        border;
            (3) the security of hazardous material transportation by 
        rail;
            (4) secure intercity passenger rail stations, trains, and 
        infrastructure;
            (5) structural modification or replacement of rail cars 
        transporting high hazard materials to improve their resistance 
        to acts of terrorism;
            (6) employee security awareness, preparedness, passenger 
        evacuation, and emergency response training;
            (7) public security awareness campaigns for passenger train 
        operations;
            (8) the sharing of intelligence and information about 
        security threats;
            (9) to obtain train tracking and interoperable 
        communications systems that are coordinated to the maximum 
        extent possible;
            (10) to hire additional police and security officers, 
        including canine units; and
            (11) other improvements recommended by the report required 
        by section 2, including infrastructure, facilities, and 
        equipment upgrades.
    (b) Accountability.--The Under Secretary shall adopt necessary 
procedures, including audits, to ensure that grants made under this 
section are expended in accordance with the purposes of this Act and 
the priorities and other criteria developed by the Under Secretary.
    (c) Equitable Allocation.--The Under Secretary shall equitably 
distribute the funds authorized by this section, taking into account 
geographic location, and shall encourage non-Federal financial 
participation in awarding grants. With respect to grants for passenger 
rail security, the Under Secretary shall also take into account 
passenger volume and whether a station is used by commuter rail 
passengers as well as intercity rail passengers.
    (d) Conditions.--The Secretary of Transportation may not disburse 
funds to Amtrak under subsection (a) unless Amtrak meets the conditions 
set forth in section 10(b) of this Act.
    (e) Allocation Between Railroads and Others.--Unless as a result of 
the assessment required by section 2 the Under Secretary of Homeland 
Security for Border and Transportation Security determines that 
critical rail transportation security needs require reimbursement in 
greater amounts to any eligible entity, no grants under this section 
may be made--
            (1) in excess of $65,000,000 to Amtrak; or
            (2) in excess of $100,000,000 for the purposes described in 
        paragraphs (3) and (5) of subsection (a).
    (f) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to be 
appropriated to the Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Border and 
Transportation Security $350,000,000 for fiscal year 2006 to carry out 
the purposes of this section. Amounts appropriated pursuant to this 
subsection shall remain available until expended.
    (g) High Hazard Materials Defined.--In this section, the term 
``high hazard materials'' means poison inhalation hazard materials, 
Class 2.3 gases, Class 6.1 materials, and anhydrous ammonia.

SEC. 12. OVERSIGHT AND GRANT PROCEDURES.

    (a) Secretarial Oversight.--The Secretary of Transportation may use 
up to 0.5 percent of amounts made available to Amtrak for capital 
projects under the Rail Security Act of 2005 to enter into contracts 
for the review of proposed capital projects and related program 
management plans and to oversee construction of such projects.
    (b) Use of Funds.--The Secretary may use amounts available under 
subsection (a) of this subsection to make contracts for safety, 
procurement, management, and financial compliance reviews and audits of 
a recipient of amounts under subsection (a).
    (c) Procedures for Grant Award.--The Under Secretary shall 
prescribe procedures and schedules for the awarding of grants under 
this Act, including application and qualification procedures (including 
a requirement that the applicant have a security plan), and a record of 
decision on applicant eligibility. The procedures shall include the 
execution of a grant agreement between the grant recipient and the 
Under Secretary. The Under Secretary shall issue a final rule 
establishing the procedures not later than 90 days after the date of 
enactment of this Act.

SEC. 13. RAIL SECURITY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT.

    (a) Establishment of Research and Development Program.--The Under 
Secretary of Homeland Security for Border and Transportation Security, 
in conjunction with the Secretary of Transportation, shall carry out a 
research and development program for the purpose of improving freight 
and intercity passenger rail security that may include research and 
development projects to--
            (1) reduce the vulnerability of passenger trains, stations, 
        and equipment to explosives and hazardous chemical, biological, 
        and radioactive substances;
            (2) test new emergency response techniques and 
        technologies;
            (3) develop improved freight technologies, including--
                    (A) technologies for sealing rail cars;
                    (B) automatic inspection of rail cars;
                    (C) communication-based train controls; and
                    (D) emergency response training;
            (4) test wayside detectors that can detect tampering with 
        railroad equipment; and
            (5) support enhanced security for the transportation of 
        hazardous materials by rail, including--
                    (A) technologies to detect a breach in a tank car 
                and transmit information about the integrity of tank 
                cars to the train crew;
                    (B) research to improve tank car integrity, with a 
                focus on tank cars that carry high hazard materials (as 
                defined in section 11(g) of this Act;
                    (C) techniques to transfer hazardous materials from 
                rail cars that are damaged or otherwise represent an 
                unreasonable risk to human life or public safety;
            (6) other projects recommended in the report required by 
        section 2.
    (b) Coordination With Other Research Initiatives.--The Under 
Secretary of Homeland Security for Border and Transportation Security 
shall ensure that the research and development program authorized by 
this section is coordinated with other research and development 
initiatives at the Department and the Department of Transportation. The 
Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Border and Transportation 
Security shall carry out any research and development project 
authorized by this section through a reimbursable agreement with the 
Secretary of Transportation if the Secretary of Transportation--
            (1) is already sponsoring a research and development 
        project in a similar area; or
            (2) has a unique facility or capability that would be 
        useful in carrying out the project.
    (c) Accountability.--The Under Secretary shall adopt necessary 
procedures, including audits, to ensure that grants made under this 
section are expended in accordance with the purposes of this Act and 
the priorities and other criteria developed by the Under Secretary.
    (d) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to be 
appropriated to the Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Border and 
Transportation Security $50,000,000 in each of fiscal years 2006 and 
2007 to carry out the purposes of this section. Amounts appropriated 
pursuant to this subsection shall remain available until expended.

SEC. 14. WELDED RAIL AND TANK CAR SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS.

    (a) Track Standards.--Within 90 days after the date of enactment of 
this Act, the Federal Railroad Administration shall--
            (1) require each track owner using continuous welded rail 
        track to include procedures (in its procedures filed with the 
        Administration pursuant to section 213.119 of title 49, Code of 
        Federal Regulations) to improve the identification of cracks in 
        rail joint bars;
            (2) instruct Administration track inspectors to obtain 
        copies of the most recent continuous welded rail programs of 
        each railroad within the inspectors' areas of responsibility 
        and require that inspectors use those programs when conducting 
        track inspections; and
            (3) establish a program to periodically review continuous 
        welded rail joint bar inspection data from railroads and 
        Administration track inspectors and, whenever the 
        Administration determines that it is necessary or appropriate, 
        require railroads to increase the frequency or improve the 
        methods of inspection of joint bars in continuous welded rail.
    (b) Tank Car Standards.--The Federal Railroad Administration 
shall--
            (1) within 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, 
        validate the predictive model it is developing to quantify the 
        relevant dynamic forces acting on railroad tank cars under 
        accident conditions; and
            (2) within 18 months after the date of enactment of this 
        Act, initiate a rulemaking to develop and implement appropriate 
        design standards for pressurized tank cars.
    (c) Older Tank Car Impact Resistance Analysis and Report.--Within 2 
years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Federal Railroad 
Administration shall--
            (1) conduct a comprehensive analysis to determine the 
        impact resistance of the steels in the shells of pressure tank 
        cars constructed before 1989; and
            (2) transmit a report to the Senate Committee on Commerce, 
        Science, and Transportation and the House of Representatives 
        Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure with 
        recommendations for measures to eliminate or mitigate the risk 
        of catastrophic failure.

SEC. 15. NORTHERN BORDER RAIL PASSENGER REPORT.

    Within 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Under 
Secretary of Homeland Security for Border and Transportation Security, 
in consultation with the heads of other appropriate Federal departments 
and agencies and the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, shall 
transmit a report to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation and the House of Representatives Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure that contains--
            (1) a description of the current system for screening 
        passengers and baggage on passenger rail service between the 
        United States and Canada;
            (2) an assessment of the current program to provide 
        preclearance of airline passengers between the United States 
        and Canada as outlined in ``The Agreement on Air Transport 
        Preclearance between the Government of Canada and the 
        Government of the United States of America'', dated January 18, 
        2001;
            (3) an assessment of the current program to provide 
        preclearance of freight railroad traffic between the United 
        States and Canada as outlined in the ``Declaration of Principle 
        for the Improved Security of Rail Shipments by Canadian 
        National Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway from Canada to 
        the United States'', dated April 2, 2003;
            (4) information on progress by the Department of Homeland 
        Security and other Federal agencies towards finalizing a 
        bilateral protocol with Canada that would provide for 
        preclearance of passengers on trains operating between the 
        United States and Canada;
            (5) a description of legislative, regulatory, budgetary, or 
        policy barriers within the United States Government to 
        providing pre-screened passenger lists for rail passengers 
        travelling between the United States and Canada to the 
        Department of Homeland Security;
            (6) a description of the position of the Government of 
        Canada and relevant Canadian agencies with respect to 
        preclearance of such passengers; and
            (7) a draft of any changes in existing Federal law 
        necessary to provide for pre-screening of such passengers and 
        providing pre-screened passenger lists to the Department of 
        Homeland Security.

SEC. 16. REPORT REGARDING IMPACT ON SECURITY OF TRAIN TRAVEL IN 
              COMMUNITIES WITHOUT GRADE SEPARATION.

    (a) Study.--The Secretary of Homeland Security shall, in 
consultation with State and local government officials, conduct a study 
on the impact of blocked highway-railroad grade crossings on the 
ability of emergency responders, including ambulances and police, fire, 
and other emergency vehicles, to perform public safety and security 
duties in the event of a terrorist attack.
    (b) Report.--Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of 
this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall submit a report to 
the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of 
Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation of the Senate on the findings of the study conducted 
under subsection (a) and recommendations for reducing the impact of 
blocked crossings on emergency response.

SEC. 17. WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION PROGRAM.

    (a) In General.--Subchapter A of chapter 201 of title 49, United 
States Code, is amended by inserting after section 20115 the following:
``Sec. 20116. Whistleblower protection for rail security matters
    ``(a) Discrimination Against Employee.--No rail carrier engaged in 
interstate or foreign commerce may discharge a railroad employee or 
otherwise discriminate against a railroad employee because the employee 
(or any person acting pursuant to a request of the employee)--
            (1) provided, caused to be provided, or is about to provide 
        or cause to be provided, to the employer or the Federal 
        Government information relating to a perceived threat to 
        security; or
            ``(2) provided, caused to be provided, or is about to 
        provide or cause to be provided, testimony before Congress or 
        at any Federal or State proceeding regarding a perceived threat 
        to security; or
            ``(3) refused to violate or assist in the violation of any 
        law, rule or regulation related to rail security.
    ``(b) Dispute Resolution.--A dispute, grievance, or claim arising 
under this section is subject to resolution under section 3 of the 
Railway Labor Act (45 U.S.C. 153). In a proceeding by the National 
Railroad Adjustment Board, a division or delegate of the Board, or 
another board of adjustment established under section 3 to resolve the 
dispute, grievance, or claim the proceeding shall be expedited and the 
dispute, grievance, or claim shall be resolved not later than 180 days 
after it is filed. If the violation is a form of discrimination that 
does not involve discharge, suspension, or another action affecting 
pay, and no other remedy is available under this subsection, the Board, 
division, delegate, or other board of adjustment may award the employee 
reasonable damages, including punitive damages, of not more than 
$20,000.
    ``(c) Procedural Requirements.--Except as provided in subsection 
(b), the procedure set forth in section 42121(b)(2)(B) of this title, 
including the burdens of proof, applies to any complaint brought under 
this section.
    ``(d) Election of Remedies.--An employee of a railroad carrier may 
not seek protection under both this section and another provision of 
law for the same allegedly unlawful act of the carrier.
    ``(e) Disclosure of Identity.--
            ``(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this 
        subsection, or with the written consent of the employee, the 
        Secretary of Transportation may not disclose the name of an 
        employee of a railroad carrier who has provided information 
        about an alleged violation of this section.
            ``(2) The Secretary shall disclose to the Attorney General 
        the name of an employee described in paragraph (1) of this 
        subsection if the matter is referred to the Attorney General 
        for enforcement.''.
    (b) Conforming Amendment.--The chapter analysis for chapter 201 of 
title 49, United States Code, is amended by inserting after the item 
relating to section 20115 the following:

``20116. Whistleblower protection for rail security matters.''.
                                 <all>