Text: S.546 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

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Public Law No: 114-321 (12/16/2016)

 
[114th Congress Public Law 321]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]



[[Page 130 STAT. 1623]]

Public Law 114-321
114th Congress

                                 An Act


 
   An Act 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. <<NOTE: Dec. 16, 2016 -  [S. 546]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: RESPONSE Act of 
2016. 6 USC 101 note.>> 
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``RESPONSE Act of 2016''.
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) <<NOTE: Deadline.>>  Establishment.--Not later than 30 
        days after the date of the enactment of the RESPONSE Act of 
        2016, 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, Protection and 
                National Preparedness of the Federal Emergency 
                Management Agency, or designee.
                    ``(B) The Chief Safety Officer of the Pipeline and 
                Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, or designee.
                    ``(C) The Associate Administrator for Hazardous 
                Materials Safety of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials 
                Safety Administration, or designee.
                    ``(D) The Director of the Office of Emergency 
                Communications of the Department of Homeland Security, 
                or designee.
                    ``(E) The Director for the Office of Railroad, 
                Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Investigations of the 
                National Transportation Safety Board, or designee.
                    ``(F) The Chief Safety Officer and Associate 
                Administrator for Railroad Safety of the Federal 
                Railroad Administration, or designee.

[[Page 130 STAT. 1624]]

                    ``(G) The Assistant Administrator for Security 
                Policy and Industry Engagement of the Transportation 
                Security Administration, or designee.
                    ``(H) The Assistant Commandant for Response Policy 
                of the Coast Guard, or designee.
                    ``(I) The Assistant Administrator for the Office of 
                Solid Waste and Emergency Response of the Environmental 
                Protection Agency, or designee.
                    ``(J) Such other qualified individuals as the co-
                chairpersons shall jointly appoint as soon as 
                practicable after the date of the enactment of the 
                RESPONSE Act of 2016 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.
                          ``(ii) Individuals who have the requisite 
                      technical knowledge and expertise to serve on the 
                      RESPONSE Subcommittee, including at least 1 
                      representative from each of the following:
                                    ``(I) The rail industry.
                                    ``(II) Rail labor.
                                    ``(III) Persons who offer oil for 
                                transportation by rail.
                                    ``(IV) The communications industry.
                                    ``(V) Emergency response providers, 
                                including individuals nominated by 
                                national organizations representing 
                                State and local governments and 
                                emergency responders.
                                    ``(VI) Emergency response training 
                                providers.
                                    ``(VII) Representatives from tribal 
                                organizations.
                                    ``(VIII) Technical experts.
                                    ``(IX) 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 co-chairpersons consider appropriate.
            ``(3) Co-chairpersons.--The members described in 
        subparagraphs (A) and (B) of paragraph (2) shall serve as the 
        co-chairpersons of the RESPONSE Subcommittee.
            ``(4) <<NOTE: Deadline.>>  Initial meeting.--The initial 
        meeting of the RESPONSE Subcommittee shall take place not later 
        than 90 days after the date of enactment of the RESPONSE Act of 
        2016.
            ``(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

[[Page 130 STAT. 1625]]

        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 hazardous materials incidents.
            ``(6) <<NOTE: Evaluations.>>  Recommendations.--The RESPONSE 
        Subcommittee shall develop recommendations, as appropriate, for 
        improving emergency responder training and resource allocation 
        for hazardous materials incidents involving railroads after 
        evaluating the following topics:
                    ``(A) The quality and application of training for 
                State and local emergency responders related to rail 
                hazardous materials incidents, including training for 
                emergency responders serving small communities near 
                railroads, including the following:
                          ``(i) Ease of access to relevant training for 
                      State and local emergency 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 training course 
                      content related to rail hazardous materials 
                      incidents, with a particular focus on fluctuations 
                      in oil shipments by rail, including regular and 
                      ongoing evaluation of course opportunities, 
                      adaptation to emerging trends, agency and private 
                      sector outreach, effectiveness and ease of access 
                      for State and local emergency responders.
                          ``(iii) Identification of overlap in training 
                      content and identification of opportunities to 
                      develop complementary courses and materials among 
                      governmental and nongovernmental entities.
                          ``(iv) Online training platforms, train-the-
                      trainer, and mobile training options.
                    ``(B) The availability and effectiveness of Federal, 
                State, local, and nongovernmental funding levels related 
                to training emergency responders for rail hazardous 
                materials incidents, including emergency responders 
                serving small communities near railroads, including--
                          ``(i) identifying overlap in resource 
                      allocations;
                          ``(ii) identifying cost savings measures that 
                      can be implemented to increase training 
                      opportunities;
                          ``(iii) leveraging government funding with 
                      nongovernmental funding to enhance training 
                      opportunities and fill existing training gaps;
                          ``(iv) adaptation of priority settings for 
                      agency funding allocations in response to emerging 
                      trends;
                          ``(v) historic levels of funding across 
                      Federal agencies for rail hazardous materials 
                      incident response and training, including funding 
                      provided by the private sector to public entities 
                      or in conjunction with Federal programs; and
                          ``(vi) current funding resources across 
                      agencies.

[[Page 130 STAT. 1626]]

                    ``(C) The strategy for integrating commodity flow 
                studies, mapping, and rail and hazardous materials 
                databases for State and local emergency responders and 
                increasing the rate of access to the individual 
                responder in existing or emerging communications 
                technology.
            ``(7) Report.--
                    ``(A) In general.--Not later than 1 year after the 
                date of the enactment of the RESPONSE Act of 2016, the 
                RESPONSE Subcommittee shall submit a report to the 
                National Advisory Council that--
                          ``(i) includes the recommendations developed 
                      under paragraph (6);
                          ``(ii) specifies the timeframes for 
                      implementing any such recommendations that do not 
                      require congressional action; and
                          ``(iii) identifies any such recommendations 
                      that do require congressional action.
                    ``(B) Review.--Not later than 30 days after 
                receiving the report under subparagraph (A), the 
                National Advisory Council shall begin a review of the 
                report. 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 of the RESPONSE 
                Subcommittee, the National Advisory Council shall submit 
                the report to--
                          ``(i) the co-chairpersons of the RESPONSE 
                      Subcommittee;
                          ``(ii) the head of each other agency 
                      represented on the RESPONSE Subcommittee;
                          ``(iii) the Committee on Homeland Security and 
                      Governmental Affairs of the Senate;
                          ``(iv) the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
                      Transportation of the Senate;
                          ``(v) the Committee on Homeland Security of 
                      the House of Representatives; and
                          ``(vi) 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 annual updates to the 
                      congressional committees referred to in paragraph 
                      (7)(C) regarding the status of the implementation 
                      of the recommendations developed under paragraph 
                      (6); and
                          ``(ii) <<NOTE: Coordination.>>  coordinate the 
                      implementation of the recommendations described in 
                      paragraph (6)(G)(i), as appropriate.
                    ``(B) Sunset.--The requirements of subparagraph (A) 
                shall terminate on the date that is 2 years after the 
                date of the submission of the report required under 
                paragraph (7)(A).

[[Page 130 STAT. 1627]]

            ``(9) Termination.--The RESPONSE Subcommittee shall 
        terminate not later than 90 days after the submission of the 
        report required under paragraph (7)(C).''.

    Approved December 16, 2016.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--S. 546:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

HOUSE REPORTS: No. 114-808 (Comm. on Transportation and Infrastructure).
SENATE REPORTS: No. 114-85 (Comm. on Homeland Security and Governmental 
Affairs).
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 162 (2016):
            May 9, considered and passed Senate.
            Nov. 29, considered and passed House, amended.
            Dec. 9, Senate concurred in House amendment.

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