Text: H.R.1043 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (02/24/2015)

 
[Congressional Bills 114th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 1043 Introduced in House (IH)]

114th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 1043

To establish the Railroad Emergency Services Preparedness, Operational 
Needs, and Safety Evaluation (RESPONSE) Subcommittee under the Federal 
  Emergency Management Agency's National Advisory Council to provide 
recommendations on emergency responder training and resources relating 
  to hazardous materials incidents involving railroads, and for other 
                               purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                           February 24, 2015

  Mr. Kind (for himself, Mr. Richmond, Mr. Lipinski, Ms. Pingree, Mr. 
    Walz, and Mr. Sean Patrick Maloney of New York) introduced the 
 following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Transportation 
                           and Infrastructure

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
To establish the Railroad Emergency Services Preparedness, Operational 
Needs, and Safety Evaluation (RESPONSE) Subcommittee under the Federal 
  Emergency Management Agency's National Advisory Council to provide 
recommendations on emergency responder training and resources relating 
  to hazardous materials incidents involving railroads, 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 ``RESPONSE Act of 2015''.

SEC. 2. RAILROAD EMERGENCY SERVICES PREPAREDNESS, OPERATIONAL NEEDS, 
              AND SAFETY EVALUATION SUBCOMMITTEE.

    Section 508 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 318) is 
amended--
            (1) by redesignating subsection (d) as subsection (e); and
            (2) by inserting after subsection (c) the following:
    ``(d) RESPONSE Subcommittee.--
            ``(1) Establishment.--Not later than 30 days after the date 
        of the enactment of the RESPONSE Act of 2015, the Administrator 
        shall establish, as a subcommittee of the National Advisory 
        Council, the Railroad Emergency Services Preparedness, 
        Operational Needs, and Safety Evaluation Subcommittee (referred 
        to in this subsection as the `RESPONSE Subcommittee').
            ``(2) Membership.--Notwithstanding subsection (c), the 
        RESPONSE Subcommittee shall be composed of the following:
                    ``(A) The Deputy Administrator for Protection and 
                National Preparedness of the Federal Emergency 
                Management Agency, or designee.
                    ``(B) The Director of the Office of Emergency 
                Communications of the Department of Homeland Security, 
                or designee.
                    ``(C) The Director for the Office of Railroad, 
                Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Investigations of the 
                National Transportation Safety Board, or designee, only 
                in an advisory capacity.
                    ``(D) The Associate Administrator for Railroad 
                Safety of the Federal Railroad Administration, or 
                designee.
                    ``(E) The Assistant Administrator for Security 
                Policy and Industry Engagement of the Transportation 
                Security Administration, or designee.
                    ``(F) The Assistant Commandant for Response Policy 
                of the Coast Guard, or designee.
                    ``(G) The Assistant Administrator for the Office of 
                Solid Waste and Emergency Response of the Environmental 
                Protection Agency, or designee.
                    ``(H) The Associate Administrator for Hazardous 
                Materials Safety of the Pipeline and Hazardous 
                Materials Safety Administration, or designee.
                    ``(I) The Chief Safety Officer and Assistant 
                Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety 
                Administration, or designee.
                    ``(J) Such other qualified individuals as the 
                Administrator shall appoint as soon as practicable 
                after the date of the enactment of the RESPONSE Act of 
                2015 from among the following:
                            ``(i) Members of the National Advisory 
                        Council that have the requisite technical 
                        knowledge and expertise to address rail 
                        emergency response issues, including members 
                        from the following disciplines:
                                    ``(I) Emergency management and 
                                emergency response providers, including 
                                fire service, law enforcement, 
                                hazardous materials response, and 
                                emergency medical services.
                                    ``(II) State, local, and tribal 
                                government officials with expertise in 
                                preparedness, protection, response, 
                                recovery, and mitigation, including 
                                Adjutants General.
                                    ``(III) Elected State, local, and 
                                tribal government executives.
                                    ``(IV) Such other individuals as 
                                the Administrator determines to be 
                                appropriate.
                            ``(ii) Individuals who have the requisite 
                        technical knowledge and expertise to serve on 
                        the RESPONSE Subcommittee, including 
                        representatives of--
                                    ``(I) the rail industry;
                                    ``(II) the oil industry;
                                    ``(III) the communications 
                                industry;
                                    ``(IV) emergency response 
                                providers, including individuals 
                                nominated by national organizations 
                                representing local governments and 
                                personnel;
                                    ``(V) representatives from national 
                                Indian organizations;
                                    ``(VI) technical experts; and
                                    ``(VII) vendors, developers, and 
                                manufacturers of systems, facilities, 
                                equipment, and capabilities for 
                                emergency responder services.
                            ``(iii) Representatives of such other 
                        stakeholders and interested and affected 
                        parties as the Administrator considers 
                        appropriate.
            ``(3) Chairperson.--The Deputy Administrator for Protection 
        and National Preparedness shall serve as the Chairperson of the 
        RESPONSE Subcommittee, or designee.
            ``(4) Meetings.--
                    ``(A) Initial meeting.--The initial meeting of the 
                RESPONSE Subcommittee shall take place not later than 
                90 days after the date of the enactment of the RESPONSE 
                Act of 2015.
                    ``(B) Other meetings.--After the initial meeting, 
                the RESPONSE Subcommittee shall meet at least twice 
                annually, with at least 1 meeting conducted in person 
                during the first year, at the call of the Chairperson.
            ``(5) Consultation with nonmembers.--The RESPONSE 
        Subcommittee and the program offices for emergency responder 
        training and resources shall consult with other relevant 
        agencies and groups, including entities engaged in federally 
        funded research and academic institutions engaged in relevant 
        work and research, which are not represented on the RESPONSE 
        Subcommittee to consider new and developing technologies and 
        methods that may be beneficial to preparedness and response to 
        rail incidents.
            ``(6) Recommendations.--The RESPONSE Subcommittee shall 
        evaluate the following topics and develop recommendations for 
        improving emergency responder training and resource allocation 
        for hazardous materials incidents involving railroads:
                    ``(A) Quality and application of training for local 
                emergency first responders related to rail hazardous 
                materials incidents, with a particular focus on local 
                emergency responders and small communities near 
                railroads, including the following:
                            ``(i) Ease of access to relevant training 
                        for local emergency first responders, including 
                        an analysis of--
                                    ``(I) the number of individuals 
                                being trained;
                                    ``(II) the number of individuals 
                                who are applying;
                                    ``(III) whether current demand is 
                                being met;
                                    ``(IV) current challenges; and
                                    ``(V) projected needs.
                            ``(ii) Modernization of course content 
                        related to rail hazardous materials incidents, 
                        with a particular focus on response to the 
                        exponential rise in oil shipments by rail.
                            ``(iii) Training content across agencies 
                        and the private sector to provide complementary 
                        opportunities for rail hazardous materials 
                        incidents courses and materials to avoid 
                        overlap, including the following:
                                    ``(I) Overlap of course content 
                                among agencies.
                                    ``(II) Integrated course content 
                                through public-private partnerships.
                                    ``(III) Regular and ongoing 
                                evaluation of course opportunities, 
                                adaptation to emerging trends, agency 
                                and private sector outreach, 
                                effectiveness and ease of access for 
                                local emergency responders.
                            ``(iv) Online training platforms, train-
                        the-trainer and mobile training options.
                    ``(B) Effectiveness of funding levels related to 
                training local emergency responders for rail hazardous 
                materials incidents, with a particular focus on local 
                emergency responders and small communities, including 
                the following:
                            ``(i) Minimizing overlap in resource 
                        allocation among agencies.
                            ``(ii) Minimizing overlap in resource 
                        allocation among agencies and private sector.
                            ``(iii) Maximizing public-private 
                        partnerships where funding gaps exists for 
                        specific training or cost-saving measures can 
                        be implemented to increase training 
                        opportunities.
                            ``(iv) Adaptation of priority settings for 
                        agency funding allocations in response to 
                        emerging trends.
                            ``(v) Historic levels of funding across 
                        agencies and private sector for rail hazardous 
                        materials incidents.
                            ``(vi) Current funding resources across 
                        agencies.
                    ``(C) Strategy for integration of commodity flow 
                studies, mapping, and access platforms for local 
                emergency responders and how to increase the rate of 
                access to the individual responder in existing or 
                emerging communications technology.
                    ``(D) The need for emergency response plans for 
                rail, similar to existing law related to maritime and 
                stationary facility emergency response plans for 
                hazardous materials, including the following:
                            ``(i) The requirements of such emergency 
                        plans on each train and the format and 
                        availability of such emergency plans to 
                        emergency responders in communities through 
                        which the materials travel.
                            ``(ii) How the industry would implement 
                        such plans.
                            ``(iii) The thresholds that require 
                        emergency plans for each train related to 
                        hazardous materials in its cargo.
                            ``(iv) Gaps in existing regulations across 
                        agencies.
                    ``(E) The need for a rail hazardous materials 
                incident database, including the following:
                            ``(i) An assessment of the appropriate 
                        entity to host the database.
                            ``(ii) A definition of `rail hazardous 
                        materials incident' that would constitute the 
                        level of reporting from the industry.
                            ``(iii) The projected cost of such a 
                        database and how that database would be 
                        maintained and enforced.
                    ``(F) Increasing access to relevant, useful, and 
                timely information for the local emergency responder 
                for training purposes and in the event of a rail 
                hazardous materials incident, including the following:
                            ``(i) Existing information that the 
                        emergency responder can access, what the 
                        current rate of access and usefulness is for 
                        the emergency responder, and what current 
                        information should remain and what should be 
                        reassessed.
                            ``(ii) Utilization of existing technology 
                        in the hands of the first responder to maximize 
                        delivery of useful and timely information for 
                        training purposes or in the event of an 
                        incident.
                            ``(iii) Assessment of emerging 
                        communications technology that could assist the 
                        emergency responder in the event of an 
                        incident.
                    ``(G) Determination of the most appropriate 
                agencies and offices for the implementation of the 
                recommendations, including--
                            ``(i) recommendations that can be 
                        implemented without congressional action and 
                        appropriate time frames for such actions; and
                            ``(ii) recommendations that would require 
                        congressional action.
            ``(7) Report.--
                    ``(A) In general.--Not later than 1 year after the 
                date of the enactment of the RESPONSE Act of 2015, the 
                RESPONSE Subcommittee shall submit a report containing 
                the recommendations developed under paragraph (6) to 
                the National Advisory Council.
                    ``(B) Review.--The National Advisory Council shall 
                take up the RESPONSE Subcommittee's report within 30 
                days for review and deliberation. The National Advisory 
                Council may ask for additional clarification, changes, 
                or other information from the RESPONSE Subcommittee to 
                assist in the approval of the recommendations.
                    ``(C) Recommendation.--Once the National Advisory 
                Council approves the recommendations from the RESPONSE 
                Subcommittee, the National Advisory Council shall 
                submit the report to--
                            ``(i) the Administrator;
                            ``(ii) the head of each agency represented 
                        on the RESPONSE Subcommittee;
                            ``(iii) the Committee on Homeland Security 
                        and Governmental Affairs of the Senate;
                            ``(iv) the Committee on Homeland Security 
                        of the House of Representatives; and
                            ``(v) the Committee on Transportation and 
                        Infrastructure of the House of Representatives.
            ``(8) Interim activity.--
                    ``(A) Updates and oversight.--After the submission 
                of the report by the National Advisory Council under 
                paragraph (7), the Administrator shall--
                            ``(i) provide quarterly updates to the 
                        congressional committees referred to in 
                        paragraph (7) regarding the status of the 
                        implementation of the recommendations developed 
                        under paragraph (6); and
                            ``(ii) coordinate the implementation of the 
                        recommendations described in paragraph 
                        (6)(G)(i).
                    ``(B) Additional reports.--After submitting the 
                report required under paragraph (7), the RESPONSE 
                Subcommittee shall submit additional reports and 
                recommendations in the same manner and to the same 
                entities identified in paragraph (7) if needed or 
                requested from Congress or from the Administrator.
            ``(9) Termination.--
                    ``(A) In general.--Except as provided in 
                subparagraph (B), the RESPONSE Subcommittee shall 
                terminate not later than 4 years after the date of the 
                enactment of the RESPONSE Act of 2015.
                    ``(B) Extension.--The Administrator may extend the 
                duration of the RESPONSE Subcommittee, in 1-year 
                increments, if the Administrator determines that 
                additional reports and recommendations are needed from 
                the RESPONSE Subcommittee after the termination date 
                set forth in subparagraph (A).''.
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