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                                                       Calendar No. 155
114th Congress     }                                    {       Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session       }                                    {       114-85
_______________________________________________________________________




                          RESPONSE ACT OF 2015

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

                   COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND

                          GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                          UNITED STATES SENATE

                              to accompany

                                 S. 546

              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

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]


                 July 21, 2015.--Ordered to be printed
                 
                                   ______

                         U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE 

49-010                         WASHINGTON : 2015                  
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
        COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                    RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin, Chairman
JOHN McCAIN, Arizona                 THOMAS R. CARPER, Delaware
ROB PORTMAN, Ohio                    CLAIRE McCASKILL, Missouri
RAND PAUL, Kentucky                  JON TESTER, Montana
JAMES LANKFORD, Oklahoma             TAMMY BALDWIN, Wisconsin
MICHAEL B. ENZI, Wyoming             HEIDI HEITKAMP, North Dakota
KELLY AYOTTE, New Hampshire          CORY A. BOOKER, New Jersey
JONI ERNST, Iowa                     GARY C. PETERS, Michigan
BEN SASSE, Nebraska

                    Keith B. Ashdown, Staff Director
                  Christopher R. Hixon, Chief Counsel
             David S. Luckey, Director of Homeland Security
       William H.W. McKenna, Chief Counsel for Homeland Security
              Gabrielle A. Batkin, Minority Staff Director
           John P. Kilvington, Minority Deputy Staff Director
               Mary Beth Schultz, Minority Chief Counsel
     Stephen R. Vina, Minority Chief Counsel for Homeland Security
         Robert H. Bradley, Minority Professional Staff Member
                     Laura W. Kilbride, Chief Clerk
                     
                     
                     
                     
                     
                     
                     
                     
                     
                     
                                                       Calendar No. 155
114th Congress     }                                    {       Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session       }                                    {       114-85

======================================================================



 
                          RESPONSE ACT OF 2015

                                _______
                                

                 July 21, 2015.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Johnson, from the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
                    Affairs, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 546]

    The Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
Affairs, to which was referred the bill (S. 546) 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, having considered the same, 
reports favorably thereon without amendment and recommends that 
the bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
   I. Purpose and Summary.............................................1
  II. Background and Need for the Legislation.........................2
 III. Legislative History.............................................3
  IV. Section-by-Section Analysis.....................................4
   V. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact.................................5
  VI. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate.......................5
 VII. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported...........6

                         I. Purpose and Summary

    The Railroad Emergency Services Preparedness, Operational 
Needs, and Safety Evaluation (RESPONSE) Act of 2015 would 
establish a subcommittee (``the RESPONSE Subcommittee'') to the 
Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) National Advisory 
Council (NAC) to address training and resources for first 
responders to hazardous materials incidents on U.S. railroads. 
The bill would require the RESPONSE Subcommittee to issue 
recommendations to specified committees of Congress and Federal 
agencies on emergency responder training and resource 
allocation.

              II. Background and the Need for Legislation

    Each year, U.S. railroads transport approximately 2 million 
carloads of hazardous materials, including chemicals like crude 
oil and ethanol.\1\ The number of railcars carrying crude oil 
alone, on major freight railroads in the U.S., grew by more 
than 4,100 percent between 2008 and 2013.\2\ These increases in 
transportation of hazardous materials over rail also increase 
the chance of a derailment involving those hazardous materials. 
In 2014, for example, 13 derailments resulted in the release of 
hazardous materials.\3\ These accidents continued in 2015 with 
derailments of trains transporting hazardous materials in Mount 
Carbon, West Virginia; Galena, Illinois; and Heimdal, North 
Dakota, which all took place outside of major population 
centers.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Transparency and Training: Preparing our First Responders for 
Emerging Threats and Hazards: Hearing Before the Subcomm. on Emergency 
Management, Intergovernmental Relations, and the District of Columbia 
of the S. Comm. on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs, 113th 
Cong. 31 (2014) (statement of Lisa A. Stabler, President, 
Transportation Technology Center, Inc.) [hereinafter Transparency and 
Training].
    \2\See, e.g., Ass'n of Amer. R.Rs., Moving Crude Oil By Rail 3 
(2014).
    \3\See U.S. Dep't of Transp., Hazmat Intelligence Portal, Incident 
Detail Report (2014), available at http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/hazmat/
library/data-stats/incidents.
    \4\Nat'l Transp. Safety Bd., Safety Recommendation to the Pipeline 
and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (2015), available at 
http://www.ntsb.gov/safety/safety-recs/recletters/R-15-014-017.pdf; see 
also the Envtl. Prot. Agency, Galena Train Derailment, http://
www2.epa.gov/il/galena-train-derailment (last visited June 29, 2015); 
Press Release, Nat'l Transp. Safety Bd., NTSB Investigates Freight 
Train Accident in North Dakota (May 6, 2015), available at http://
www.ntsb.gov/news/press-releases/Pages/PR20150506.aspx.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    After a derailment, local first responders have to quickly 
respond in order to protect their communities. Due to the 
potential risks of a derailment involving hazardous materials, 
there is a need to ensure training, coordination, and 
capabilities of our Nation's first responders are adequate to 
address hazardous materials incidents on the national rail 
system. The value of training state and local first responders 
for hazardous material derailments was exemplified in December 
2013 by the Casselton Fire Department's successful response to 
the derailment of a train carrying crude oil near Casselton, 
North Dakota. Within minutes of the derailment--in large part 
because of their training, preparation, and exercises--the 
town's 28 volunteer firefighters responded to the incident, 
established a perimeter, and initiated the correct response 
protocol, including the evacuation of approximately 1,400 
people from Casselton, all without any injuries or 
fatalities.\5\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\Transparency and Training, supra note 1 at 27-28 (statement of 
Tim McLean, Chief, Casselton Fire Department); Nat'l Transp. Safety 
Bd., DCA14MR004, Preliminary Report 1 (2014).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Committee also recognizes the value of the railroad 
industry's efforts to enhance rail safety, especially as it 
relates to transportation of hazardous materials and training 
of first responders. Railroads have testified at previous 
hearings about their significant capital investments into 
accident prevention, mitigation, and emergency response.\6\ For 
example, railroads provide regular training to emergency 
responders, including through direct training of local 
emergency responders, providing access to training centers and 
resources like hazmat safety trains, conducting drills, 
visiting local firehouses, and establishing the Security and 
Emergency Response Training Center in Pueblo, Colorado.\7\ 
Railroads have also voluntarily adopted more stringent 
standards for new tank cars used to carry ethanol and crude 
oil.\8\ In part as a result of infrastructure improvements and 
those investments, railroads have never been safer and are one 
of the safest transportation modes and employers in the 
country.\9\ Data from the Department of Transportation shows 
that over the past five years, vehicles on highways have 
suffered eighteen times as many hazardous material releases as 
railroads, despite the significant volume of hazardous 
materials that railroads transport.\10\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \6\See, e.g., Transparency and Training, supra note 1 at 31 
(statement of Lisa A. Stabler, President, Transportation Technology 
Center, Inc.); Staying on Track: Next Steps in Improving Passenger and 
Freight Rail Safety: Hearing Before the S. Comm. on Commerce, Science, 
and Transportation, 113th Cong. 54 (2014) (statement of Edward R. 
Hamberger, President and Chief Executive Officer, Ass'n of Amer. R.R.) 
[hereinafter Staying on Track].
    \7\Transparency and Training, supra note 1 at 32-37 (statement of 
Lisa A. Stabler, President, Transportation Technology Center, Inc.); 
see also Security and Emergency Response Training Center, Crude by Rail 
Emergency Response, http://sertc.org/courses/crude-by-rail-emergency-
response-cbr/ (last visited June 17, 2015).
    \8\Ass'n of Amer. R.Rs., supra note 2 at 8.
    \9\Staying on Track, supra note 5 at 56-58, 63 (statement of Edward 
R. Hamberger, President and Chief Executive Officer, Ass'n of Amer. 
R.R.); U.S. Dep't of Transp., Fed. R.R. Admin., Safety Fact Sheet (Feb. 
2014), available at http://www.fra.dot.gov/Elib/Details/L04936.
    \10\See U.S. Dep't of Transp., supra note 3 (identifying 65,956 
incidents on highways and 3,640 incidents on rail between July 1, 2010, 
and July 1, 2015).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Recognizing the importance of continued emergency responder 
training for derailments involving hazardous materials, the 
RESPONSE Act would establish a subcommittee under the NAC to 
evaluate existing training, resources, and information for 
emergency responders who respond to those types of incidents. 
Specifically, the RESPONSE Subcommittee would be tasked with 
bringing together all the relevant Federal agencies, industry 
representatives, emergency responders, and technical experts to 
review training, resources, strategies, and information 
emergency responders have and need to respond to hazardous 
materials incidents on U.S. railroads. Within one year of 
enactment, the RESPONSE Subcommittee would provide the NAC a 
report with its findings and recommendations for transmittal to 
specified committees of Congress and Executive agencies. The 
RESPONSE Subcommittee would terminate four years after 
enactment unless the FEMA Administrator (``the Administrator'') 
extends its duration.

                        III. Legislative History

    In the 113th Congress, on March 25, 2014, the Committee's 
Subcommittee on Emergency Management, Intergovernmental 
Relations, and the District of Columbia held a hearing titled, 
``Transparency and Training: Preparing our First Responders for 
Emerging Threats and Hazards.''\11\ The purpose of the hearing 
was to examine the challenges posed to first responders by 
transportation of hazardous materials, including over the 
railroad, and to discuss existing opportunities to train 
emergency response officials for incidents involving hazard 
materials.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \11\Transparency and Training, supra note 1; see also Staying on 
Track, supra note 5 (providing information on general rail safety and 
related improvements).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On June 26, 2014, Senator Heitkamp introduced S. 2547, the 
RESPONSE Act of 2014. The bill was referred to the Committee 
but the Committee did not consider the bill during the 113th 
Congress.
    In the 114th Congress, on February 24, 2015, Senator 
Heitkamp, along with Senators Baldwin, King, and Schumer, 
introduced S. 546, the RESPONSE Act of 2015, which was referred 
to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
    The Committee considered S. 546 at a business meeting on 
March 4, 2015. The Committee ordered the bill, without 
amendment, reported favorably by voice vote. Senators present 
for the vote were: Johnson, Portman, Lankford, Ayotte, Ernst, 
Carper, McCaskill, Baldwin, Heitkamp, and Peters.

        IV. Section-by-Section Analysis of the Bill, as Reported


Section 1. Short title

    This section provides the bill's short title, the 
``RESPONSE Act of 2015.''

Section 2. Railroad Emergency Services Preparedness, Operational Needs, 
        and Safety Evaluation Subcommittee

    This section amends section 508 of the Homeland Security 
Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 318) to establish the Railroad Emergency 
Services Preparedness, Operational Needs, and Safety Evaluation 
Subcommittee under the NAC.
    This section requires the Administrator to establish the 
RESPONSE Subcommittee within 30 days of enactment of this bill, 
and requires the RESPONSE Subcommittee to meet no later than 90 
days after the bill's enactment, and twice a year thereafter. 
At least one of the meetings held during the first year of the 
Subcommittee's existence must be conducted in person. This 
section also provides membership requirements, including that 
the RESPONSE Subcommittee shall include representatives of 
specified federal agencies and experts, industry 
representatives, emergency response providers, and other 
appointees by the Administrator, and shall be chaired by FEMA's 
Deputy Administrator for Protection and National Preparedness. 
The Committee intends that the Administrator appoint a wide 
range of stakeholders to the RESPONSE Subcommittee--including 
industry representatives and emergency response providers.
    Section 2 also establishes the reporting requirements for 
the RESPONSE Subcommittee, mandating a report from the RESPONSE 
Subcommittee on its findings and recommendations to the NAC 
within one year of the bill's enactment, and providing for the 
possibility of additional reports requested by the 
Administrator or the Congressional committees enumerated in 
Section 508(d)(7)(C) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, as 
amended by this bill. The initial report must include 
recommendations, as appropriate, for improving emergency 
responder training and resource allocation for hazardous 
material incidents involving railroads, including on: quality 
and application of training for local emergency responders; 
effectiveness of funding levels related to training; strategy 
for integration of commodity flow studies, mapping, and access 
platforms; the need for emergency response plans; the need for 
a rail hazardous material incident database; increasing access 
to timely and actionable information; and implementation of the 
recommendations.
    Within 30 days of receipt of a report from the RESPONSE 
Subcommittee, the NAC must review and determine whether to 
approve the RESPONSE Subcommittee's recommendations, and submit 
the report to specified Federal agencies and committees of 
Congress. The NAC may seek additional clarification, changes, 
or other information from the RESPONSE Subcommittee prior to 
approval of the recommendations. The Committee intends that 
such requests toll the NAC's 30 day determination requirement 
until the RESPONSE Subcommittee provides the requested 
clarification, changes, or recommendations. Following the 
formal approval and submission to Congress of the 
recommendations, the Administrator would be responsible for 
coordinating the implementation of the recommendations and 
providing the relevant Congressional committees with quarterly 
updates on implementation of those recommendations.
    The RESPONSE Subcommittee will terminate four years after 
enactment, unless renewed by the Administrator, who can extend 
the Subcommittee's duration for one year increments if the 
Administrator determines additional reports and recommendations 
are needed.

                   V. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact

    Pursuant to the requirements of paragraph 11(b) of rule 
XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee has 
considered the regulatory impact of this bill and determined 
that the bill will have no regulatory impact within the meaning 
of the rules. The Committee agrees with the Congressional 
Budget Office's statement that the bill contains no 
intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) and would impose no costs 
on state, local, or tribal governments because this bill.

             VI. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

                                                    March 18, 2015.
Hon. Ron Johnson, Chairman,
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 546, the RESPONSE 
Act of 2015.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Martin von 
Gnechten.
            Sincerely,
                                              Douglas W. Elmendorf.
    Enclosure.

S. 546--RESPONSE Act of 2015

    S. 546 would establish the Railroad Emergency Services 
subcommittee under the Federal Emergency Management Agency's 
(FEMA's) National Advisory Council (NAC). The bill would direct 
the subcommittee to evaluate several aspects of the ability of 
emergency personnel to respond to hazardous materials incidents 
involving trains. S. 546 would require the subcommittee to 
provide recommendations to the NAC within one year of 
organizing the subcommittee and quarterly reports on the 
implementation of those recommendations. Under the legislation, 
the subcommittee would terminate after four years unless FEMA 
extends it.
    Based on information provided by FEMA, CBO estimates that 
implementing S. 546 would cost $1 million, subject to the 
availability of appropriated funds, over the next five years--
primarily for new staff to serve the subcommittee. Enacting S. 
546 would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, 
pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    S. 546 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Martin von 
Gnechten. The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy 
Assistant for Budget Analysis.

       VII. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by 
S. 546 as reported are shown as follows (existing law proposed 
to be omitted is enclosed in brackets, new matter is printed in 
italic, and existing law in which no change is proposed is 
shown in roman):

HOMELAND SECURITY ACT OF 2002

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



TITLE V--NATIONAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



SEC. 508. NATIONAL ADVISORY COUNCIL.

    (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    (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, as appropriate, 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 timeframes 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).
    [(d)](e) Applicability of Federal Advisory Committee Act.--
          (1) * * *

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