Text: H.R.6299 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (09/29/2010)


111th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. R. 6299

To amend title 23, United States Code, to reauthorize and modify the surface transportation project delivery pilot program, and for other purposes.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
September 29, 2010

Ms. Richardson introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure


A BILL

To amend title 23, United States Code, to reauthorize and modify the surface transportation project delivery pilot program, and for other purposes.

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

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Jobs Through Environmental Safeguarding and Streamlining Act of 2010”.

SEC. 2. Surface transportation project delivery pilot program.

(a) Assumption of responsibility.—

(1) ADDITIONAL RESPONSIBILITY.—Section 327(a)(2)(B)(ii)(I) of title 23, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

“(I) responsibility for any conformity determination (other than a conformity determination for an individual project) required under section 176 of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7506); or”.

(2) HIGHWAY PROJECTS INVOLVING MORE THAN ONE DOT MODAL ADMINISTRATION.—Section 327(a)(2) of such title is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(F) HIGHWAY PROJECTS INVOLVING MORE THAN ONE DOT MODAL ADMINISTRATION.—

“(i) TREATMENT OF PROJECTS.—For purposes of subparagraph (A), a project shall be treated as a ‘highway project’ if the Secretary determines that the Federal Highway Administration is the lead agency for the project.

“(ii) ASSIGNMENT OF AUTHORITIES.—In the case of a highway project that involves the Federal Highway Administration and another modal administration of the Department of Transportation, the authorities of the Secretary that may be assigned to a State under this subsection shall include the authorities of the Secretary that relate to the Federal Highway Administration and the other modal administration.”.

(b) State participation.—

(1) NUMBER OF PARTICIPATING STATES.—Section 327(b)(1) of such title is amended—

(A) in the paragraph heading by striking “Number of participating States” and inserting “In general”; and

(B) by striking “not more than 5” and all that follows through “Texas)” and inserting “any State that meets the selection criteria contained in paragraph (4)”.

(2) WRITTEN AGREEMENT.—Section 327(c) of such title is amended to read as follows:

“(c) Written agreement.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—A written agreement under this section shall—

“(A) be executed by the Governor or the top-ranking transportation official in the State who is charged with responsibility for highway construction;

“(B) be in such form as the Secretary may prescribe;

“(C) provide that the State—

“(i) agrees to assume all or part of the responsibilities of the Secretary described in subsection (a);

“(ii) agrees to carry out those responsibilities using the best available science;

“(iii) expressly consents, on behalf of the State, to accept the jurisdiction of the Federal courts for the compliance, discharge, and enforcement of any responsibility of the Secretary assumed by the State;

“(iv) certifies that State laws (including regulations) are in effect that—

“(I) authorize the State to take the actions necessary to carry out the responsibilities being assumed; and

“(II) are comparable to section 552 of title 5, including providing that any decision regarding the public availability of a document under those State laws is reviewable by a court of competent jurisdiction; and

“(D) agrees to maintain the financial resources necessary to carry out the responsibilities being assumed.

“(2) EXCLUDED PROJECTS.—A written agreement with a State under this section may include a list of projects in the State that are excluded from the program. The list shall be updated annually by mutual agreement between the Secretary and the State.

“(3) TERM.—A written agreement with a State under this section shall—

“(A) have a term of not more than 5 years; and

“(B) be renewable.

“(4) USE OF PROJECT DELIVERY METHODS.—A written agreement with a State under this section may not impose on the State a limitation on the use of a project delivery method if the limitation would not otherwise apply to the State under this title or another provision of law. In this paragraph, the term ‘project delivery method’ includes the authority of a State to acquire rights-of-way and conduct final design work for a project with State funds on an at-risk basis prior to completion of the environmental review process for the project.”.

(3) AUDITS AND MONITORING.—Section 327(g) of such title is amended—

(A) in the subsection heading by inserting “and monitoring” after “Audits”;

(B) by redesignating paragraph (2) as paragraph (3);

(C) by inserting after paragraph (1) the following:

“(2) MONITORING.—If a State has been participating in the program pursuant to a written agreement under subsection (c) for a period of 10 consecutive years, the Secretary may monitor compliance by the State with the agreement instead of conducting audits under paragraph (1). If a State, while participating in the monitoring program under this section, repeatedly fails to comply with all aspects of the written agreement under subsection (c), the Secretary shall commence the auditing process. The Secretary shall develop procedures for conducting monitoring under this paragraph.”; and

(D) in paragraph (3) (as redesignated by subparagraph (B) of this paragraph) by inserting after “paragraph (1)” the following: “, and the results of monitoring conducted under paragraph (2),”.

(c) Report to Congress.—Section 327(h) of such title is amended to read as follows:

“(h) Report to Congress.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of the Jobs Through Environmental Safeguarding and Streamlining Act of 2010, and every 4 years thereafter, the Secretary shall submit to Congress, and make available to the public, a report on the results of the program.

“(2) CONTENTS.—For each reporting period, the report shall contain, at a minimum, the following:

“(A) An assessment of whether delays were reduced and project delivery was enhanced as a result of the program.

“(B) An assessment of whether there were cost savings for States participating in the program and the Department of Transportation as a result of the program.

“(C) An assessment of whether environmental concerns were protected and considered in States participating in the program at a level consistent with nonparticipating States.

“(D) Recommendations for changes (if any) that could be made to enhance or improve the program.

“(E) An assessment of the impact and effectiveness of an environmental document quality control program of the transportation department of any State participating in the program.”.

(d) Termination date.—Section 327(i)(1) of such title is amended by striking “date of enactment of this section” and inserting “date of enactment of the Jobs Through Environmental Safeguarding and Streamlining Act of 2010”.

(e) Demonstration program.—Section 327 of such title is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(j) Use of State environmental review laws for low impact projects.—

“(1) DEMONSTRATION PROGRAM.—Subject to the requirements of this subsection, the Secretary shall carry out a demonstration program to permit eligible States that assume responsibilities of the Secretary under subsection (a)(2) to carry out the responsibilities through the implementation of the environmental laws of the State instead of Federal environmental laws.

“(2) LIMITATION ON STATE AUTHORITY.—

“(A) LIMITATION.—The authority of a State under the demonstration program shall be limited to conducting the Secretary’s responsibilities for environmental reviews, consultation, and other requirements with respect to low impact projects.

“(B) LOW IMPACT PROJECT DEFINED.—In this subsection, the term ‘low impact project’ means a highway project that meets such criteria as may be established by the Secretary by regulation.

“(3) ELIGIBLE STATES.—The Secretary may permit a State to participate in the demonstration program only if the Secretary determines, after reviewing the environmental laws of the State, and such other materials as the Secretary may require, that—

“(A) the environmental laws of the State provide a substantially equivalent level of environmental protection as applicable Federal laws; and

“(B) participation by the State in the demonstration program will not diminish protection of the environment.

“(4) CONCURRENCE OF OTHER AGENCIES.—The Secretary may permit a State to participate in the demonstration program only with the concurrence of the Council on Environmental Quality, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Commerce, and the heads of other appropriate Federal environmental and natural resource agencies, as identified by the Secretary.

“(5) AUDITS AND MONITORING.—A State participating in the demonstration program shall continue to be subject to the requirements of subsection (g), including requirements relating to the public availability of audits and monitoring results.

“(6) MODIFICATION OF WRITTEN AGREEMENT.—The Secretary shall provide for the participation of a State in the demonstration program by modifying the written agreement entered into by the Secretary with the State under subsection (c).

“(7) TERMINATION OF STATE PARTICIPATION.—The Secretary may terminate the participation of a State in the demonstration program in accordance with the procedures specified in subsection (i)(2).

“(8) REPORT TO CONGRESS.—

“(A) IN GENERAL.—Not later than one year after the date on which the first State is selected for participation in the demonstration program, and annually thereafter, the Secretary shall submit to Congress, and make available to the public, a report on the results of the demonstration program.

“(B) CONTENTS.—For each reporting period, the report shall contain, at a minimum, the following:

“(i) A list identifying how many projects have been completed under the demonstration program.

“(ii) An assessment of whether delays were reduced and project delivery was enhanced as a result of the demonstration program.

“(iii) An assessment of whether there have been any adverse impacts or risks to the environment as a result of the demonstration program.

“(9) SUNSET DATE.—The demonstration program shall terminate on the date that is 6 years after the date of enactment of this subsection.”.