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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Mar 14, 2012.
Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act or MAP-21 - Division A: Federal-Aid Highways and Highway Safety Construction Programs - Title I: Federal-Aid Highways - Subtitle A: Authorizations and Programs - (Sec. 1101) Authorizes appropriations out of the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) (other than the Mass Transit Account) equal to current federal highway spending levels plus inflation for FY2012 and FY2013 for: (1) certain new and existing core federal-aid highway programs; (2) the transportation infrastructure finance and innovation program; (3) the federal lands, tribal transportation, and federal lands access programs; and (4) the territorial and Puerto Rico highway program.
Requires the expenditure of 10% of amounts made available for federal-aid highways and public transportation programs on small business concerns owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.
Requires states to compile annual lists of small disadvantaged business enterprises according to minimum uniform criteria established by the Secretary of Transportation (DOT).
(Sec. 1102) Prescribes obligation ceilings for federal-aid highway and highway safety construction programs, with specified exceptions.
Prescribes requirements, including a formula, and restrictions for certain FY2012 and FY2013 distributions from the obligation limitation for federal-aid highways. Requires the Secretary to redistribute to the states any federal-aid highway program funds that, because of the imposition of any obligation limitation, will not be allocated or otherwise made available for obligation to them for surface transportation program projects.
(Sec. 1104) Revises the National Highway System (NHS) program.
Repeals the maximum mileage of 178,250 miles for NHS highways.
Eliminates authority to add new congressional high-priority corridors. Repeals the specification of uses of obligated federal funds for state and territory eligible NHS projects.
Repeals specified authority for the transfer to a state's apportionment of certain Interstate construction funds, whether in surplus or not.
Amends the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 to designate as future Interstate Route I-11 certain Arizona and Nevada segments of the CANAMEX Corridor. (Sec. 1105) Authorizes appropriations for Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) administrative expenses.
Directs the Secretary to distribute federal-aid highway funds apportioned to states for each fiscal year: (1) among the national highway performance (new core program), the transportation mobility (new core program), the highway safety improvement, the national freight (new core program), and the congestion mitigation and air quality improvement (CMAQ) programs; as well as (2) to metropolitan transportation planning.
(Sec. 1106) Directs the Secretary to establish and implement a national highway performance program. (Effectively consolidates the interstate maintenance, NHS, and part of the highway bridge programs.)
Requires states to develop risk-based asset management plans that include strategies leading to projects that would make progress toward achieving state targets and national goals to improve infrastructure condition and performance on the NHS.
Requires a state to obligate a specified amount of the apportionment of national highway performance program funds for the restoration of certain Interstate System (IS) pavement and NHS bridges.
(Sec. 1107) Revises the emergency relief fund program.
Reauthorizes appropriations for the emergency relief fund for the repair or reconstruction of highways, roads, and trails damaged as a result of a disaster.
Authorizes the Secretary to obligate fund amounts for the repair or reconstruction of disaster-affected tribal transportation facilities, federal lands transportation facilities, and other federally-owned roads that are open to public travel, whether or not they are federal-aid highways.
(Sec. 1108) Directs the Secretary to establish and implement a transportation mobility program (TMP). (Effectively replaces the surface transportation program.)
Authorizes a state to obligate the apportionment of TMP funds for projects to improve conditions and performance on federal-aid highways and bridges and tunnels on public roads.
Makes certain TMP allocations to areas of a state based on population.
Requires a state to obligate a specified amount of the apportionment of TMP funds for the improvement of certain deficient off-system bridges.
(Sec. 1109) Requires the Secretary to deduct a certain amount from FHWA administrative funds per fiscal year (instead of whenever certain apportionments are made) for: (1) surface transportation and technology on-the-job training programs, and (2) training programs for minority business enterprises to achieve proficiency to compete for federal-aid highway contracts and subcontracts.
(Sec. 1110) Directs the Secretary to deduct for each of FY2012-FY2013 at least $10 million from FHWA administrative expenses for highway use tax evasion projects.
(Sec. 1111) Revises the highway bridge program.
Directs the Secretary to: (1) inventory all highway bridges and tunnels, (2) establish national inspection standards for evaluating all highway bridges and tunnels for safety and serviceability, and (3) establish a training program for highway bridge and tunnel inspectors.
Authorizes a state to use TMP funds to replace certain bridges and ferries that have been destroyed.
(Sec. 1112) Revises the highway safety improvement program.
Directs the Secretary to establish requirements for regularly recurring updates and approval of state strategic highway safety plans.
Requires the Secretary to issue guidance to states on establishing performance measures and targets for state highway safety improvement programs to reduce serious injuries and fatalities on highways.
(Sec. 1113) Revises the CMAQ program.
Requires states and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) to give priority to projects that are proven to reduce PM2.5, including diesel retrofits, in areas designated as nonattainment or maintenance for PM2.5. Requires, also, that 50% of such funds be suballocated for projects to reduce fine particulate matter emissions within areas designated as nonattainment or maintenance for ozone, carbon monoxide, or PM2.5, including diesel retrofits.
Requires each tier I MPO representing a nonattainment or maintenance area (population of more than 50,000 individuals) to develop a performance plan that describes projects that will achieve certain emission and traffic congestion reduction targets.
Authorizes a state to reserve a specified amount of CMAQ program funds for: (1) the transportation enhancements, recreational trails, and safe routes to school programs; and (2) planning, designing, or constructing boulevards and roadways largely in the right-of-way of former Interstate System routes or other divided highways.
(Sec. 1114) Revises and replaces the Puerto Rico highway program with the Territorial and Puerto Rico highway program. (Effectively consolidates the programs.)
Makes certain allocations for the Puerto Rico highway and territorial highway programs for resurfacing and reconstruction, highway safety improvement, transportation mobility program, preventive maintenance, and ferry boats and terminal facilities projects.
(Sec. 1115) Directs the Secretary to: (1) establish a national freight program to improve movement of freight on highways, including freight intermodal connectors and aerotropolis transportation systems; and (2) develop, periodically update, and post on the Department of Transportation (DOT) website a national freight strategic plan.
Defines "aerotropolis transportation system" as a planned and coordinated multimodal freight and passenger transportation network that provides efficient, cost-effective, sustainable, and intermodal connectivity to a defined region of economic significance centered around a major airport.
Authorizes a state to obligate its apportionment of national freight program funds for projects to improve the movement of freight on the national freight network.
Directs the Secretary to designate a primary freight network consisting of 27,000 centerline miles of existing roadways most critical to the movement of freight.
Authorizes a state to designate a road within state borders, meeting specified criteria, as a critical rural freight corridor.
Directs the Secretary to develop and post on the DOT public website a national freight strategic plan including specified assessments and best practices.
Requires states to develop, and periodically update, state performance targets for freight movement on the primary freight network. Requires states that have not met or made significant progress toward meeting such targets, however, to submit biennially to the Secretary a freight performance improvement plan.
Directs the Secretary to begin development of new transportation investment data and planning tools or to improve existing tools to support an outcome-oriented, performance-based approach to evaluate proposed freight-related and other transportation projects.
(Sec. 1116) Revises requirements for making authorized funds available for the tribal transportation, federal lands transportation, and federal lands access programs for various transportation planning and highway improvement projects.
(Sec. 1117) Revises requirements for the Alaska highway program.
Authorizes the Secretary, upon agreement with the state of Alaska, to expend federal-aid highway funds apportioned to the state for necessary reconstruction on: (1) a specified segment of the Alaska Highway, or (2) the Alaska Marine Highway System.
(Sec. 1118) Directs the Secretary to establish a grant program for eligible surface transportation infrastructure projects of national and regional significance.
Authorizes appropriations for FY2013.
Directs the Comptroller General and the DOT Inspector General separately to assess the establishment, solicitation, selection, and justification process with respect to the funding of such projects
(Sec. 1119) Revises the formula for the allocation of federal-aid highway funds to states for construction of ferry boats and ferry terminal facilities.
Directs the Secretary to establish within the FHWA a Ferry Boat Coordination Team to: (1) coordinate federal programs affecting ferry and ferry facility construction, maintenance, operations, and security; and (2) promote ferry transportation.
Authorizes appropriations for FY2012-FY2013.
Revises requirements for the National Ferry Database to include information on federal, state, and local government funding sources for ferry systems. Requires the Secretary to ensure that the database is consistent with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) national transit database.
Makes amounts for the Bureau of Transportation Statistics available for the database through FY2013.
Subtitle B: Performance Management - (Sec. 1201) Revises metropolitan transportation planning and statewide transportation planning requirements.
Requires designation of an MPO for each urbanized area with a population of more than 200,000 individuals and for small urbanized areas with populations between 50,000 and 200,000 individuals. (Currently, an MPO must be designated for each urbanized area with a population of more than 50,000 individuals.)
Requires the Secretary to prescribe a rule that establishes certain minimum requirements (including population) for designation of a tier I and tier II MPO.
Requires MPOs, in developing metropolitan transportation plans and transportation improvement programs (TIPs) for metropolitan planning areas, to use a process that establishes certain performance measures and targets for the metropolitan transportation planning of federal-aid highway projects.
(Sec. 1202) Requires each state, in developing a statewide transportation plan and a statewide transportation improvement program (STIP), to use similar performance measures and targets for the statewide transportation planning of federal-aid highway projects.
Requires each state to incorporate the metropolitan transportation plans and TIPs for each metropolitan area into the statewide transportation plan and STIP.
(Sec. 1203) Declares that it is in the interest of the United States to focus the federal-aid highway program on certain national goals, including to: (1) significantly reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads, (2) maintain the highway infrastructure system in a state of good repair, (3) improve the efficiency of the surface transportation system, (4) improve the national freight network and support regional economic development, (5) enhance the performance of the transportation system while protecting the natural environment, and (6) reduce project delivery delays.
Subtitle C: Acceleration of Project Delivery - (Sec. 1301) Directs the Secretary to carry out a project delivery acceleration initiative to identify, develop, and advance the use of best practices and deployment of technology and innovation to accelerate project delivery and to reduce project costs for transportation projects and programs while enhancing safety and protecting the environment.
(Sec. 1302) Authorizes a public authority to acquire real property that may be used for an approved surface transportation project before completion of the environmental review process under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) for the project, if the acquisition does not: (1) have an adverse environmental effect, (2) limit the choice of reasonable alternatives for the proposed project, or (3) prevent the lead agency from making an impartial decision as to whether to select an alternative that is being considered during the environmental review process.
(Sec. 1303) Authorizes a contracting agency (state transportation department) to award, on a competitive basis, a two-phase contract to a construction manager or general contractor for pre-construction and construction services on federal-aid highway projects.
(Sec. 1304) Declares that it is in the national interest to promote the use of innovative technologies and practices that increase the efficiency of construction of, improve the safety of, and extend the service life of highways and bridges.
Allows the federal share payable on account of a project or activity, at state discretion, to be up to 100% percent if it: (1) contains innovative project delivery methods that improve work zone safety for motorists or workers and the quality of the facility; (2) contains innovative technologies, manufacturing processes, financing, or contracting methods that improve the quality, extend the service life, or decrease the long-term costs of maintaining highways and bridges; (3) accelerates project delivery while complying with other applicable federal laws (including regulations) and not causing any significant adverse environmental impact; or (4) reduces congestion related to highway construction.
(Sec. 1305) Revises requirements for the provision of federal funds at state request for a project subject to the environmental review process to support activities that directly and meaningfully contribute to expediting and improving transportation project planning and delivery for projects in that state.
Requires the affected federal agency and the state agency, with respect to funds for dedicated staffing at that federal agency, to enter into a memorandum of understanding that establishes the projects and priorities to be addressed by the use of those funds.
(Sec. 1306) Authorizes a multimodal project lead DOT authority (operating administration or secretarial office) to apply a categorical exclusion (that does not involve significant environmental impact), designated under the implementing regulations or procedures of a cooperating DOT authority that is not the lead authority, for other components of a multimodal transportation project if specified conditions are met.
(A "categorical exclusion" under NEPA is a category of actions which do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment and which have been found to have no such effect in procedures adopted by a federal agency in implementing environmental regulations and for which, therefore, neither an environmental assessment nor an environmental impact statement is required.)
(Sec. 1307) Authorizes a state to terminate its assumption of responsibility for designating activities for categorical exclusion from requirements for environmental assessments or environmental impact statements.
(Sec. 1308) Converts the surface transportation project delivery pilot program into a permanent program, making all states eligible to participate.
Revises requirements for the written agreement between DOT and a state that assumed DOT responsibilities for environmental review, consultation, or other action required under any federal environmental law pertaining to the review or approval of a specific project. Requires the agreement to require the Secretary, after five years, to evaluate the state's ability to carry out those responsibilities.
Repeals the requirement for periodic DOT compliance audits of participating states.
Authorizes a state to terminate its participation in the program at any time by giving the Secretary a 90-days notice.
(Sec. 1309) Directs the Secretary to publish notice of proposed rulemaking for categorical exclusions for federal-aid highway projects that are located solely within the right-of-way of an existing highway and are intended to improve safety, alleviate congestion, or improve pavement conditions.
(Sec. 1310) Directs the Secretary to: (1) survey the DOT's use of categorical exclusions for transportation projects since 2005; and (2) publish a review of the survey, including any requests for new categorical exclusions.
Requires the Secretary to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking to propose new categorical exclusions received by the Secretary.
(Sec. 1311) Prescribes procedures for accelerating the project delivery decisionmaking process with respect to: (1) environmental review of projects, (2) coordination among relevant agencies in meeting project deadlines, and (3) issue resolution and referral.
(Sec. 1314) Directs the Secretary to establish an initiative to review and develop consistent procedures for environmental permitting and procurement requirements for DOT formula grant programs. Requires the Secretary to publish the initiative in an electronically accessible format.
(Sec. 1315) Authorizes the Secretary to establish an alternative relocation payment demonstration program for the payment of relocation assistance to persons displaced by federally-assisted programs and projects.
(Sec. 1316) Directs the Secretary to compare the completion times of categorical exclusions, environmental assessments, and environmental impact statements for federal-aid highway projects among specified time periods.
Directs the Secretary to report to Congress on such review, including any change in the timing for completions and reasons for any such change, as well as reasons for any delays in excess of five years.
Requires the Secretary to report to Congress on the types and justification for additional categorical exclusions granted by the Secretary.
Directs the Comptroller General and the DOT Inspector General each to assess the accelerated project delivery reforms made in this Act.
Subtitle D: Highway Safety - (Sec. 1401) Expresses the sense of Congress that it is a national priority to address projects for the shortage of long-term parking for commercial motor vehicles on the NHS to improve the safety of motorized and nonmotorized users and for commercial motor vehicle operators.
Makes eligible to be a federal-aid highway project the construction of long-term parking facilities for commercial motor vehicles on the NHS (Jason's Law).
Directs the Secretary to survey and assess the availability of parking facilities for commercial motor vehicles in each state. Requires survey results be made available to the public on the DOT website.
(Sec. 1402) Revises open container requirements.
Requires the Secretary to withhold 2.5% (currently 3%) of a state's apportionment of national highway performance and surface transportation program funds if it has not enacted or is not enforcing a law that prohibits the possession of any open alcoholic beverage container, or the consumption of such beverage, in the passenger area of any motor vehicle on a public highway.
Requires such funds to be withheld until the state certifies to DOT the means by which it will use those funds for: (1) alcohol-impaired driving countermeasures and enforcement activities, and (2) the state highway safety improvement program.
(Sec. 1403) Amends the federal-aid highway program to modify the minimum penalties states are required to impose on motorists convicted multiple times for driving while intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol.
Requires repeat offenders to have: (1) all their driving privileges suspended (currently, only a driver's license suspension) for at least one year; or (2) their unlimited driving privileges suspended for one year, with limited driving privileges permitted, subject to restrictions and limited exemptions, if an ignition interlock device is installed for at least one year on each of the motor vehicles they own or operate.
Eliminates the specified current alternative penalty of a combination of suspension of all driving privileges for the first 45 days of the suspension period followed by a reinstatement of limited driving privileges for the purpose of getting to and from work, school, or an alcohol treatment program if an ignition interlock device is installed on each of the motor vehicles owned or operated, or both, by the individual.
Applies the same administrative penalties for state failure to enact or enforce a repeat intoxicated driver law as under Sec. 1402 for state failure to prohibit possession of any open alcoholic beverage container or consumption of the beverage in the passenger area of any motor vehicle on a public highway.
(Sec. 1404) Revises and decreases certain penalties for state failure to enact and/or enforce specified laws regarding: (1) vehicle weight limitations; (2) control of junkyards near the NHS, including the Interstate Highway System; (3) certain other vehicle and size and weight requirements; (4) payment of the heavy vehicle use tax; (5) use of safety belts; (6) the national minimum drinking age; (7) suspension or revocation of the driver's licenses of drug offenders; (8) a zero tolerance blood alcohol concentration for minors; and (9) operation of motor vehicles by intoxicated persons.
Revises penalties for state failure to comply with specified requirements regarding commercial driver's licenses.
(Sec. 1405) Directs the Secretary to modify a specified regulation regarding Work Zone Safety Management Measures and Strategies to ensure that: (1) positive protective measures are used to separate workers on highway construction projects from motorized traffic in all work zones in areas that offer workers no means of escape (such as tunnels and bridges), unless an engineering study determines otherwise; (2) temporary longitudinal traffic barriers are used to protect workers on highway construction projects in long-duration stationary work zones when the project design speed is anticipated to be high and the nature of the work requires workers to be within one lane-width from the edge of a live travel lane, unless certain requirements are met; and (3) when positive protective devices are necessary for highway construction projects, those devices are paid for on a unit-pay basis, unless doing so would create a conflict with certain innovative contracting approaches.
Subtitle E: Miscellaneous - (Sec. 1501) Revises the administrative penalty for a state's failure to commence on-site construction of, or acquisition of right-of-way for, a highway project within 10 years (or an approved reasonable longer period) after the date on which federal funds are first made available for preliminary engineering of the project. Requires the state to pay an amount equal to the amount of federal funds reimbursed for the preliminary engineering (currently, an amount equal to the amount of federal funds made available for such engineering).
(Sec. 1502) Prohibits the Secretary from assigning responsibilities to a state for design, plans, specifications, estimates, contract awards, and inspections of interstate NHS projects deemed in a high risk category.
Requires a state to develop and carry out a value engineering program with respect to NHS projects receiving federal assistance.
Authorizes a state, subject to DOT project approval, to obligate funds to determine that subrecipients of federal funds have adequate project delivery systems and sufficient accounting controls to properly manage such funds. Makes the federal share of costs for such activities 100%. Allows the financial plan of a recipient of federal financial assistance for a major project with an estimated total cost of $500 million or more to include a phasing plan when applicable. (Sec. 1503) Requires the Secretary to ensure the use of practical highway project design solutions so that transportation needs are met and that funds available for such projects are used efficiently.
Revises requirements for NHS design criteria to change certain discretionary considerations to mandatory. Prohibits the Secretary from approving any pavement markings project that includes use of glass beads containing more than 200 parts per million of arsenic or lead.
(Sec. 1504) Makes technical amendments to existing: (1) limitations on the use of convict labor in the construction of federal-aid highways, and (2) requirements that non-domiciled workers employed on remote projects for the construction of federal-aid highways or portions of them in Alaska receive meals and lodging.
(Sec. 1505) Requires a state department (as under current law) or other direct recipient of federal-aid highway funds that is without legal authority to maintain a federal-aid highway project to enter into a formal agreement with appropriate county or municipality officials for the maintenance of such project.
(Sec. 1506) Authorizes the federal share of project costs at 100% for: (1) maintaining minimum levels of retroreflectivity of highway signs or pavement markings, and (2) shoulder and centerline rumble strips and stripes.
Replaces the federal share of up to 100% payable on account of any repair or reconstruction of forest highways and other public lands roads and trails, as well as Indian reservation roads, with a federal share of up to 100% of the cost of repairing federal land transportation, federal land access transportation, and tribal transportation facilities. Allows a federal share of up to 100% also for eligible permanent repairs to restore damaged facilities to predisaster condition if the eligible expenses incurred by the state owing to natural disasters or catastrophic failures in a federal fiscal year exceeds the state's annual federal-aid highway apportionment for the fiscal year in which the disasters or failures occurred. Repeals DOT authority to enter into agreements with a state at its request to reimburse the state for the federal share of the costs of preliminary and construction engineering at an agreed percentage of actual construction costs for each project, in lieu of the actual engineering costs. Authorizes the use of non-DOT federal agency funds to pay the non-federal share of the cost of any transportation project that is within, adjacent to, or provides access to federal land, if the federal share of the project is funded under federal highway or public transportation law. Allows the use of funds authorized to be appropriated to carry out the tribal transportation program and the federal lands transportation program to pay the non-federal share of the cost of any project funded under federal highway or public transportation law that provides access to or within federal or tribal land. (Sec. 1507) Revises and prescribes requirements for state transfer of federal-aid highway funds, reducing from 50% of an apportionment to 20% the amount that may be transferred between apportionments.
(Sec. 1508) Authorizes a state to issue special permits for operation on the Interstate System (IS) during a major disaster to overweight vehicles and loads that can easily be dismantled or divided.
(Sec. 1509) Makes eligible to be a federal-aid highway project the addition of electric charging stations to new or previously federally-funded fringe and corridor parking facilities.
(Sec. 1510) Requires a state agency that allows high occupancy toll vehicles and low emission and energy efficient vehicles to use a high occupancy vehicle (HOV) facility to report to the Secretary that such facility is not presently degraded, and that the presence of such vehicles will not cause that facility to become degraded and certify that it will carry out certain requirements with respect to such facility. ("Degraded" means failure of vehicles operating on HOV lanes to maintain minimum average operating speed 90% of the time during morning and/or evening weekday peak hour periods.)
Adds the additional requirement that a state bring a degraded facility back into compliance with the minimum average operating speed within 180 days after a degradation has been identified.
(Sec. 1511) Requires states to obligate federal-aid highway funds to install diesel emission control technology on non-road or on-road diesel equipment, with an engine that does not meet EPA current model year new engine standards for particulate matter for the applicable engine power group, that is operated for at least 80 hours on a federal-aid highway construction project within a PM2.5 nonattainment or maintenance area. Permits exemption from these requirements any projects with total costs of $5 million or less.
Allows a state to take credit in a state implementation plan for national ambient air quality standards for any emission reductions that occur from implementation of such requirements.
(Sec. 1513) Amends the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) to extend and make permanent the exemption from certain federal axle weight restrictions for public agency transit passenger buses operating on Dwight D. Eisenhower System of Interstate and Defense Highways.
(Sec. 1514) Amends the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970 to increase payments made by a displacing agency for: (1) relocation expenses for displaced farms, nonprofit organizations, or small businesses; and (2) replacement housing for displaced homeowners and certain other tenants.
Authorizes the lead agency to adjust such amounts for inflation or the cost of living.
Prescribes requirements for federal agency coordination in carrying out relocation and acquisition activities.
(Sec. 1515) Directs the Secretary to encourage states and regional transportation planning agencies to enter into contracts and cooperative agreements with qualified youth service or conservation corps for specified transportation improvement projects.
(Sec. 1516) Makes $15 million available for each fiscal year (effectively consolidating the programs) for: (1) the operation lifesaver program; (2) the national work zone safety information, public road safety, bicycle and pedestrian safety, and national safe routes to school clearinghouses; (3) work zone safety grants; and (4) grants to prohibit racial profiling.
Repeals specified federal-aid highway programs.
Makes certain unobligated allocations of funds to a state for the deployment of magnetic levitation (MAGLEV) transportation projects available to such state for any eligible surface transportation program project.
(Sec. 1517) Rescinds $2.391 billion of unobligated balances of certain federal-aid highway programs for FY2012.
Rescinds $3.054 billion of unobligated balances of federal-aid highway program funds apportioned to each state for FY2013.
(Sec. 1518) Directs the Secretary to modify a federal regulation regarding material or product selection requirements to ensure that states have the autonomy to determine culvert and storm sewer material types to be included in the construction of federal-aid highway projects.
(Sec. 1519) Requires the Secretary, in implementing provisions of this Act that authorize the Secretary to develop performance measures, to limit the number of such performance measures to the most significant and effective ones.
Authorizes a state, in the development and implementation of any performance target, to provide for different performance targets for urbanized and rural areas.
(Sec. 1520) Requires contractors and subcontractors to meet certain training certification requirements to work on eligible bridge projects.
(Sec. 1521) Increases from 400 to 550 pounds the maximum gross vehicle weight and axle weight limitations for heavy-duty vehicles equipped with idle reduction technology operating on the the Dwight D. Eisenhower System of Interstate and Defense Highways.
(Sec. 1522) Directs the Comptroller General to report to Congress on Highway Trust Fund (HTF) expenditures (including for purposes other than construction and maintenance of highways and bridges) for each of FY2009-FY2011, with updates every five years. Requires the report to include information similar to that included in the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report numbered "GAO-09-729R" and entitled "Highway Trust Fund Expenditures on Purposes Other Than Construction and Maintenance of Highways and Bridges During Fiscal Years 2004-2008."
(Sec. 1523) Requires states when allocating funds apportioned for construction of federal-aid highways to give consideration to the need for evacuation routes, including those serving or adjacent to facilities operated by the Armed Forces.
(Sec. 1524) Requires the Secretary of Defense (DOD) to consult with the Secretary when, in the course of a mandatory transportation needs assessment, he or she determines the magnitude of any improvements required to address the transportation impact of a DOD action to access to a military reservation.
(Sec. 1525) Amends the Safe, Accountability, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) to extend the express lanes demonstration program through FY2013.
Removes from the definition of an "eligible toll facility" under the demonstration program any facility modified or constructed to create additional tolled lane capacity (including a facility constructed by a private entity or using private funds).
(Sec. 1526) Directs the Secretary to initiate a rulemaking to exempt locally identified historic street name signs or replicas of historic signs from complying with a specified street name signs requirement of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.
(Sec. 1527) Prescribes requirements for the consolidation of multimodal project grants.
Authorizes a state, local, or tribal government, U.S. territory, transit agency, port authority, or MPO that receives multiple grant awards from the DOT to support one multimodal project to request the Secretary to designate one modal administration in DOT to be the lead administering authority for the project.
(Sec. 1528) Applies Buy America requirements to federal-aid highway projects.
(Sec. 1529) Exempts certain farm vehicles and their operators from specified requirements governing commercial motor vehicles and operators, including those for commercial driver's licenses, medical certificates, hours of service, and vehicle inspection, repair, and maintenance.
Directs the Secretary to conduct a safety study of such exemption.
(Sec. 1530) Expresses the sense of Congress that the timely completion of the Appalachian development highway system (ADHS) is in the U.S. national interest.
Prescribes the federal share of costs for ADHS projects at 95% for FY2012-FY2021.
(Sec. 1531) Amends the Denali Commission Act of 1998 to authorize the Denali Commission to accept transfers of funds from other federal agencies.
(Sec. 1532) Directs the Secretary to submit to Congress an updated report on the costs and benefits of the prevention and control of corrosion on U.S. surface transportation infrastructure.
(Sec. 1533) Expresses the sense of the Senate that: (1) the Administration should request full use of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund for operating and maintaining the nation's navigation system; (2) Fund amounts should be fully expended to operate and maintain U.S. navigation channels; and (3) Congress should ensure that other programs, projects, and activities of the Civil Works program of the Corps of Engineers, especially those related to inland navigation and flood control, are not adversely impacted.
(Sec. 1534) Authorizes the Secretary of Energy (DOE) to transfer up to $150 million made available in prior appropriations acts for the development and demonstration of national security-related enrichment technologies.
Directs the DOE Secretary to provide federal funds, resources, or other benefit for research, development, or deployment of national security-related enrichment technologies, following specified procedures. Requires a funds recipient to grant the United States a royalty-free, non-exclusive license in all enrichment-related intellectual property and associated technical data owned, licensed, or otherwise controlled by the recipient as of enactment of this Act, or thereafter developed or acquired to meet the requirements of a funding agreement with DOE.
(Sec. 1535) Expresses the sense of the Senate that federal agencies should ensure, using the shortest existing applicable process, that all applicable environmental reviews, approvals, licensing, and permit requirements are completed expeditiously following a disaster or emergency.
Subtitle F: Gulf Coast Restoration - Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act of 2012 - (Sec. 1602) Establishes a Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund for deposit of administrative and civil penalties paid in connection with the Deepwater Horizon incident.
(Sec. 1603) Amends the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to make available to the Gulf Coast states (Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas) 35% of amounts from the Fund each fiscal year for expenditure for ecological and economic restoration of the Gulf Coast ecosystem, including specified recovery activities. Prescribes formulae for allocation of such amounts to coastal political subdivisions of those states meeting certain criteria.
Establishes the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council to allocate Fund amounts and draw up a comprehensive plan for projects and programs to restore and protect the natural resources, ecosystems, fisheries, marine and wildlife habitats, beaches, coastal wetlands, and economy of the Gulf Coast.
Establishes in the Treasury: (1) the National Endowment for the Oceans to fund grants for programs and activities intended to restore, protect, maintain, or understand living marine resources and their habitats and resources in ocean and coastal waters; and (2) the Gulf of Mexico Research Endowment to provide long-term funding for the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Science, Monitoring, and Technology Program and the Fisheries and Ecosystem Endowment established in Sec. 1604.
(Sec. 1604) Establishes within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) a Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Science, Observation, Monitoring, and Technology Program. Directs the NOAA Administrator to award competitive grants to nongovernmental entities and consortia in the Gulf Coast region to establish centers of excellence in the Gulf Coast states.
Directs the Council to establish a Fishery and Ecosystem Endowment to ensure the long-term sustainability of the ecosystem, fish stocks, fish habitat and the recreational, commercial, and charter fishing industry in the Gulf of Mexico.
Allocates funding for the Endowment from the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund.
Subtitle G: Land and Water Conservation Fund - (Sec. 1701) Amends the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965 to extend the Land and Water Conservation Fund through FY2022.
Subtitle H: Offsets - (Sec. 1801) Amends the Internal Revenue Code to delay the effective date of the worldwide interest allocation rule to the first taxable year beginning after December 31, 2021 (currently, after December 31, 2020).
(The taxable income of each domestic corporation, including a financial institution meeting certain criteria, which is a member of a worldwide affiliated group shall be determined by allocating and apportioning the interest expense of each member as if all members of such group were a single corporation. Application of this rule must be elected by the common parent of the pre-election worldwide affiliated group and may be made only for the first taxable year after a certain date, which is here extended to December 31, 2021.)
Title II: America Fast Forward Financing Innovation - America Fast Forward Financing Innovation Act of 2011 [sic] - (Sec. 2002) Amends the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) to revise DOT's TIFIA program of direct loans, loan guarantees, and credit for surface transportation projects.
Revises TIFIA program eligibility requirements to make a project eligible to receive credit assistance if the entity proposing a project submits a letter of interest before submission of a project application and the project meets certain revised creditworthiness criteria.
Requires the reasonably anticipated project costs of an eligible rural infrastructure project to equal or exceed $25 million or one-third of the amount of federal highway assistance funds apportioned for the most recently completed fiscal year to the state in which the project is located. Requires the reasonably anticipated project costs of an eligible an intelligent transportation systems project to equal or exceed $15 million. Requires the Secretary to establish a rolling application process in which eligible projects shall receive credit on terms acceptable to the Secretary, if adequate funds are available to cover the subsidy costs of the federal credit instrument. Authorizes a project sponsor in cases where there is not adequate funding available to fund a credit instrument to elect to enter into a master credit agreement and wait until the following fiscal year to receive credit assistance.
Allows the use of the proceeds of secured loans to refinance existing loan agreements for rural infrastructure projects. Increases from 33% to 49% of the reasonably anticipated eligible project costs the maximum amount of a secured loan that receives an investment grade rating. Requires a loan offered to a rural infrastructure project to be at half the Treasury Rate. Sets the final maturity date of a secured loan as the useful life of the capital asset being financed if that useful life is under 35 years. Authorizes the Secretary to waive the nonsubordination requirement for a secured loan or a line of credit for public agency borrowers that are financing ongoing capital programs and have outstanding senior bonds under a pre-existing indenture, if the secured loan is rated in the A-category or higher and other specified criteria are met. Allows total federal assistance on a project receiving a secured loan of up to 80% of the total project cost. Raises from one to two the number of rating agencies that must give an investment grade rating to the senior obligations of a project for a line of credit to be funded. Replaces the authorization of appropriations with requirements for the apportionment of spending and borrowing authority. Requires the set-aside of 10% of any funding for rural infrastructure projects.
Title III: Highway Spending Controls - (Sec. 3001) Requires the Secretary, with respect to the solvency of the HTF highway account, to: (1) determine whether the estimated balance of the HTF (other than the Mass Transit Account) would fall below $2 billion in FY2012 or $1 billion in FY2013; and (2) calculate, if either event occurs, the amount by which the obligation limitation on federal-aid highway programs for each fiscal year must be reduced to prevent such an occurrence, and then adjust the distribution of the fiscal year obligation limitation to the states to reflect any reduction determined.
Declares that any obligation limitation withdrawn by the Secretary shall lapse immediately following the adjustment. Requires the Secretary to reduce proportionately the appropriation authorized from the HTF (other than the Mass Transit Account) for FY2012 to carry out each of the federal-aid highway and highway safety construction programs (other than emergency relief and certain other funds exempt from the FY2012 obligation limitation). Rescinds the withdrawn amounts permanently.
Prescribes analogous requirements for withdrawal and lapse of obligation limitations for FY2013.
Division B: Public Transportation - Federal Public Transportation Act of 2012 - (Sec. 20002) Amends the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) and SAFETEA-LU to repeal specified programs and related requirements, including: (1) job access and reverse commute formula grants, (2) the New Freedom Program, (3) grants for crime prevention and security, (4) special requirements for capital projects, (5) certain project review requirements, (6) the Alternatives Analysis grants program, (7) the over-the-road bus accessibility program, (8) the elderly individuals and individuals with disabilities pilot program, (9) the public-private partnership pilot program, (10) the national fuel cell bus technology development program, (11) specified allocations for national research and technology programs, and (12) grants for nonfixed route paratransit services for individuals with disabilities.
(Sec. 20003) Revises public transportation policies and purposes and announces national goals.
(Sec. 20005) Revises metropolitan transportation planning and statewide transportation planning requirements.
Increases from 50,000 to 200,000 the minimum population of each urbanized area for which an MPO must be designated. Authorizes designation of a small urbanized area with a population of between 50,000 and 200,000. Continues such a designation until it is redesignated unless it requests the transfer of its planning responsibilities to the state or another state-designated planning organization, or it ceases after three years to meet the minimum requirements for a small urbanized MPO. Allows the restructuring of any MPO without being redesignated. Requires an MPO denied designation to submit to the state where it is located or to a state-designated MPO a six-month plan for transferring its responsibilities to the state-designated MPO and dissolving itself. Removes the limitation of nonattainment zones to ozone or carbon monoxide standards. Defines "maintenance area" as one that was once designated as an air quality nonattainment area but later redesignated by the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as an air quality attainment area. Allows for metropolitan planning areas to be designated maintenance areas as well as nonattainment areas. Requires each MPO, in cooperation with state and public transportation operators, to develop metropolitan transportation plans and transportation improvement programs for metropolitan planning areas of the state through a performance-driven, outcome-based approach to metropolitan transportation planning consistent with certain requirements. Specifies criteria for mandatory designation of an MPO as either a tier I or a tier II MPO. Repeals the general consent of Congress to interstate compacts for cooperative efforts and mutual assistance in support of multistate planning activities and establishment of related agencies. Repeals the specific consent of Congress to California and Nevada to designate a metropolitan planning organization for the Lake Tahoe region. Requires each MPO to update its metropolitan transportation plan at least once every five years (currently, every four years). Continues the requirement of a plan update every four years for an MPO operating in a nonattainment or a maintenance area. Revises requirements for metropolitan transportation plans to include performance measures and targets. Allows MPOs to develop multiple scenarios for consideration as a part of the development of a metropolitan transportation plan. Repeals the requirement that a long-range transportation plan include a discussion of types of potential environmental mitigation activities and potential areas to carry them out. Prescribes requirements for a financial plan. Requires a designated MPO to develop a transportation improvement program for the metropolitan planning area that: (1) contains projects consistent with the current metropolitan transportation plan; (2) reflects the investment priorities established in the current metropolitan transportation plan; and (3), once implemented, will make significant progress toward achieving established performance targets. Directs the Secretary to establish criteria to evaluate the effectiveness of the performance-based planning processes of MPOs. Prohibits the advance of federal funds in any metropolitan planning area classified as a nonattainment area or maintenance area for any highway project that will result in a significant increase in the carrying capacity for single-occupant vehicles, unless the project will achieve or make substantial progress toward achieving specified performance targets. Authorizes the Secretary to make grants to a state or local governmental authority in a pilot program to assist in financing comprehensive transit-oriented development planning (Sec. 20006) Revises requirements for statewide and nonmetropolitan transportation planning.
Requires each state to: (1) incorporate in its statewide transportation plan and statewide transportation improvement program (STIP), without change or by reference, the metropolitan transportation plans and transportation improvement programs, respectively, for each metropolitan planning area in the state; and (2) consult with local officials in small urbanized areas and other than urbanized (nonurbanized) areas in preparing the nonmetropolitan portions of such plans and programs. Directs the Secretary to encourage each governor with responsibility for a portion of: (1) a multistate metropolitan planning area, and the appropriate MPOs, to provide coordinated transportation planning for the entire metropolitan area; and (2) a multistate transportation corridor to provide coordinated transportation planning for the entire designated corridor. Removes the requirement that a statewide transportation plan include a discussion of types of potential environmental mitigation activities and potential areas to carry them out. Requires the state, however, for any nonmetropolitan area that is a nonattainment or maintenance area, to coordinate the development of the statewide transportation plan with the process for development of the transportation control measures of the state implementation plan required by the Clean Air Act. Prescribes requirements for a financial plan in the statewide transportation plan as well as in the STIP. Repeals a state's authority to establish and designate regional transportation planning organizations to enhance the planning, coordination, and implementation of statewide strategic long-range transportation plans and transportation improvement programs, with an emphasis on addressing the needs of nonmetropolitan areas of the state. (Sec. 20007) Repeals the requirement that a metropolitan, nonmetropolitan, statewide, multistate, or STIP plan or program encourage the participation of private enterprise. Authorizes the Secretary to establish a public transportation emergency relief program of grants and enter into contracts and other agreements (including agreements with governmental departments, agencies, and instrumentalities) for: (1) capital projects to protect or repair public transportation equipment and facilities that are in danger of suffering serious damage, or have suffered serious damage, as a result of an emergency or disaster; and (2) eligible operating costs for such equipment and facilities. Prescribes the federal share or project costs at 80%.
(Sec. 20008) Revises the urbanized area formula public transportation grant program for an urbanized area with a population under 200,000.
Extends the FY2012 special rule authority of the Secretary to award such grants to finance the operating cost of equipment and facilities (except rail fixed guideway) for public transportation systems meeting specified bus criteria in an urbanized area with a population of at least 200,000. Authorizes such a grant for a maximum of 2 years of targeted assistance to such an area with a 3-month unemployment rate: (1) greater than 7%, and (2) at least 2 percentage points greater than the lowest 3-month unemployment rate for the area during the preceding 5-year period.
Requires each designated formula grant recipient (entity or state or regional authority responsible for providing public transportation) to expend a specified amount for job access projects to transport eligible low-income individuals to and from their place of employment.
Sets the federal share of project costs at 80%.
Authorizes the Secretary to make competitive formula grants to recipients for passenger ferry projects.
(Sec. 20009) Revises the clean fuel grant program for projects for the acquisition of clean fuel vehicles or the construction of new public transportation facilities to accommodate them in a urbanized nonattainment area or maintenance area for ozone or carbon monoxide with a population of less than 200,000 individuals.
Defines "clean fuel vehicle" to mean: (1) a zero emission bus providing public transportation and producing no carbon or particulate matter, or (2) a passenger vehicle providing public transportation that sufficiently reduces energy consumption or reduces harmful emissions when compared to a comparable standard vehicle.
(Sec. 20010) Revises capital investment grant requirements for new fixed-guideway capital projects.
Authorizes the Secretary to make fixed-guideway capital investment grants to state or local governmental authorities for new fixed-guideway capital projects (including bus rapid transit project that is a minimum operable segment or an extension to an existing bus rapid transit system) and core capacity improvement projects.
Defines "core capacity improvement projects" as substantial corridor-based capital investments in an existing fixed guideway system that adds capacity and functionality. Specifies that such projects replace projects to: (1) modernize existing fixed guideway systems; (2) replace, rehabilitate, and purchase buses and related equipment and construct bus-related facilities; or (3) develop corridors to support new fixed guideway capital projects.
Repeals the requirement of an alternatives analysis as part of the transportation planning process. Prescribes requirements for the project development phases and the engineering phases of new fixed guideway capital projects, core capacity improvement projects, and projects in a program of interrelated projects.
Defines "program of interrelated projects" as the simultaneous development of: (1) two or more new fixed guideway capital projects or core capacity improvement projects; or (2) one or more new fixed guideway capital projects and one or more core capacity improvement projects.
Eliminates distinctions between requirements for projects costing more or less than $75,000,000.
Directs the Secretary to establish a pilot program to demonstrate whether innovative project development and delivery methods or innovative financing arrangements can expedite project delivery for certain new fixed-guideway capital projects and core capacity improvement projects. Prescribes the federal share of project costs at 50%.
(Sec. 20011) Revises requirements for formula grants for the enhanced mobility (currently, special needs) of elderly individuals and individuals with disabilities.
Authorizes the Secretary to make formula grants to recipients for: (1) public transportation projects that exceed the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, (2) public transportation projects that improve access to fixed route service and decrease reliance by disabled individuals on complementary paratransit, and (3) alternatives to public transportation that assist seniors and disabled individuals with transportation.
Sets at 100% the government share of the costs of administering a program of projects. (Retains the 80% government share of a single project's net capital costs.)
Directs the Secretary to apportion formula grants to: (1) urbanized areas with populations of more than 200,000 individuals, (2) small urbanized areas with populations of less than 200,000 individuals, and (3) nonurbanized areas.
Revises project certification requirements to: (1) require that a project be included in a locally developed, coordinated public transit-human services transportation plan; and (2) replace the requirement of coordination with private nonprofit providers of services with a requirement of coordination with transportation services assisted by other federal departments and agencies.
Directs the Secretary to issue a final rule meeting specified criteria to establish performance measures for grants. Requires each grant recipient, within three months after issuance of the final rule, to establish annual performance targets in relation to such measures.
(Sec. 20012) Revises the nonurbanized formula grant program.
Authorizes the Secretary to award nonurbanized formula grants to recipients in nonurbanized areas for public transportation planning activities.
Directs the Secretary to carry out a public transportation assistance program in the Appalachian region.
Authorizes the use of nonurbanized formula grants for job access projects to transport eligible low-income individuals to and from their place of employment.
Directs the Secretary to apportion specified amounts of nonurbanized formula grants each fiscal year for public transportation on Indian reservations.
Directs the Secretary to establish a pilot program authorizing the use of nonurbanized formula grants for eligible intercity bus service projects using the capital costs of unsubsidized service of private operators as an in-kind match for such projects.
(Sec. 20013) Revises public transportation research, development, demonstration, and deployment projects requirements.
Authorizes the Secretary to make grants to or enter into contracts, cooperative agreements, or other agreements with state and local governments, providers of public transportation, private or non-profit organizations, institutions of higher education, and technical and community colleges for public transportation research, innovation, development, demonstration, and deployment projects.
Eliminates the international public transportation information program.
(Sec. 20014) Replaces national research program grants with technical assistance and standards development grants.
Authorizes the Secretary to make grants to and enter into contracts, cooperative agreements, and other agreements with nonprofit organizations, institutions of higher education, or technical or community colleges to administer centers to provide, through a competitive process, for technical assistance and the development of standards and best practices to improve public transportation.
(Sec. 20015) Revises bus testing facility requirements.
Requires the Secretary to certify four comprehensive facilities (currently, must maintain one facility) for testing new bus models for maintainability, reliability, safety, performance (including braking performance), structural integrity, fuel economy, emissions, and noise.
Prohibits a facility operator from having a financial interest in the outcome of testing carried out by the facility.
Revises requirements authorizing the obligation of federal public transportation funds to acquire new bus models. Requires such a tested bus to meet certain performance and minimum safety standards.
(Sec. 20016) Revises human resource grant programs requirements.
Directs the Secretary to establish an additional competitive grant program to assist the development of innovative activities eligible for the basic grants for activities that address human resource needs to train and develop the public transportation workforce.
Requires an urbanized area formula grant recipient or subrecipient to expend at least 0.5% of grant amounts for such activities.
Prescribes the federal share of project costs at 50%.
(Sec. 20017) Revises requirements authorizing a state or local government to use federal public transportation assistance to acquire an interest in, or buy property of, a private company engaged in public transportation, for a capital project for property acquired from a private company engaged in public transportation after July 9, 1964, or to operate a public transportation facility or equipment.
Applies Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970 and NEPA requirements to federal assistance for public transportation capital projects.
Eliminates notice and public hearing requirements for an applicant for a capital project.
Authorizes the Secretary to assist a recipient of financial assistance in acquiring a right-of-way for a corridor project before completion of the environmental reviews. Prohibits, however, the right-of-way from being developed in anticipation of the project until all environmental reviews for the project have been completed.
Eliminates the pilot program for the reimbursement of bond proceeds in a debt service reserve established by urbanized area formula grant recipients for public transportation projects.
Repeals the requirement that the government share for financial assistance to a state-owned railroad be the same as the government share for federal-aid highway funds apportioned to the state in which the railroad operates.
Directs the Secretary to study the feasibility of providing a fixed guideway categorical exclusion from NEPA environmental assessment or environmental impact statement requirements for streetcar, bus rapid transit, and light rail projects located within an existing transportation right-of-way.
(Sec. 20018) Revises multiyear rolling stock contract requirements.
Allows a grant recipient to make a multiyear contract to procure rolling stock (railroad cars) and replacement parts with an option to buy additional stock or replacement parts for seven years after the date of the original contract for rail procurements. Allows a multiyear contract with the same condition for bus procurements, but only for five years after the date of the original contract.
Requires recipients and subrecipients of federal financial assistance for public transportation to ensure that contractors working on a capital project funded using the assistance give a hiring preference to certain Armed Forces veterans with the requisite skills and abilities to perform construction work required under the contract.
(Sec. 20019) Replaces requirements for turnkey system projects, acquisition of rolling stock, and procurement of associated capital maintenance items with requirements for transit asset management.
Directs the Secretary to establish a national transit asset management system requiring recipients and subrecipients of federal assistance for public transportation to develop a transit asset management plan, including public transportation capital asset inventories and condition assessments.
Directs the Secretary to issue a final rule to establish performance measures based on the state of good repair standards for capital assets established under the system. Requires each recipient, within three months after issuance of the final rule, to establish annual performance targets in relation to such measures.
(Sec. 20020) Revises project management oversight requirements to change from monthly to quarterly an assistance recipient's commitment under a project management plan to submit to the Secretary a project budget and project schedule.
Repeals: (1) certain limitations on the amounts of funds the Secretary may use for contracts, and (2) the requirement that a recipient of financial assistance for a public transportation project with an estimated total cost of $1 billion or more submit to the Secretary an annual financial plan for the project.
(Sec. 20021) Replaces requirements for investigations of safety hazards and security risks with requirements for a public transportation safety program.
Directs the Secretary to create a national public transportation safety plan that establishes minimum safety performance standards for all modes of public transportation.
Directs the Secretary to establish a public transportation safety certification training program for federal and state employees responsible for safety of public transportation systems.
Requires a public transportation agency that receives federal assistance to certify it has established an agency safety plan that identifies and evaluates safety risks throughout its public transportation system.
Requires eligible states, in order to obligate the apportionment of formula grant funds for public transportation, to have an approved safety oversight program for overseeing and enforcing federal law on rail fixed guideway public transportation safety.
Requires each state safety oversight program to establish a state safety oversight agency for the safety of rail fixed guideway public transportation systems. Authorizes the Secretary to make grants to states to develop a state safety oversight program.
Authorizes the Secretary to take certain enforcement actions (including imposition of civil penalties) against recipients who do not comply with federal law with respect to the safety of the public transportation system.
Directs the Secretary to study the safety of public transportation buses that travel on highway routes.
(Sec. 20022) Directs the Secretary to establish an enforcement program, including imposition of penalties, for failure of public transportation operators to test their employees for alcohol or controlled substances.
(Sec. 20023) Prohibits discrimination against a person because of disability in connection with federally-assisted projects or programs.
Directs the Comptroller General to evaluate the progress and effectiveness of the Federal Transit Administration in assisting recipients of federal public transportation assistance with compliance with such nondiscrimination requirements.
(Sec. 20026) Requires a recipient of federal public transportation assistance to report to the Secretary, for inclusion in the National Transit Database, any information on: (1) the causes of a reportable incident, and (2) a transit asset inventory or condition assessment conducted by a recipient.
(Sec. 20027) Revises requirements for the apportionment of appropriations for formula grants to states for use in public transportation.
(Sec. 20028) Replaces requirements for the apportionment of urbanized area formula grants for fixed guideway modernization with requirements for the state of good repair grant program.
Authorizes the Secretary to make grants to assist state and local governments to finance eligible fixed guideway, high intensity motorbuses (provided on a facility with access for other high-occupancy vehicles), and bus and bus facility projects to maintain public transportation systems in a state of good repair.
Prescribes requirements for the apportionment of urbanized area formula grants to states and local governments for such projects.
Prescribes a high intensity fixed guideway state of good repair formula.
Authorizes grants to assist state and local governmental authorities in financing fixed guideway capital projects to maintain public transportation systems in a state of good repair.
(Sec. 20029) Authorizes appropriations from the HTF Mass Transit Account for FY2012 and FY2013 for: (1) certain formula grant programs, including allocations for specified projects; (2) the emergency relief program; (3) capital investment grants; (4) the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks program; (5) the fixed guideway state of good repair grant program; (6) administration; and (7) oversight activities.
(Sec. 20030) Revises requirements for formula grant apportionments based on growing states and high density states factors.
Division C: Transportation Safety and Surface Transportation Policy - Title I: Motor Vehicle and Highway Safety Improvement Act of 2012 - Motor Vehicle and Highway Safety Improvement Act of 2012 or Mariah's Act - Subtitle A: Highway Safety - (Sec. 31101) Authorizes appropriations out of the HTF (other than the Mass Transit Account) through FY2013 for National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) safety programs, including: (1) the highway safety research and development program, (2) the combined occupant protection incentive grants program, (3) state traffic safety information system improvements, (4) the impaired driving countermeasures incentive grants program, (5) distracted driving incentive grants program, (6) the National Driver Register, (7) driver alcohol detection system for safety research, (8) state graduated driver licensing laws, and (9) NHTSA administrative expenses.
Requires use of such funds for such programs only, and prohibits their use by a state or local government for construction purposes.
Extends through FY2013 certain SAFETEA-LU programs, including: (1) the high visibility enforcement program, and (2) the motorcyclist safety grant program.
(Sec. 31102) Revises NHTSA highway safety programs requirements.
Requires state highway safety programs to comply with certain uniform guidelines that meet specified criteria, including requirements for an effective accident record system. Prohibits the Secretary from approving a state highway program which does not, beginning FY2013, provide for a robust, data-driven traffic safety enforcement program in areas most at risk for accidents. Lowers from 50% to 20% the minimum amount of any reduction in the apportionment to a state that does not have an approved highway safety program, or is not implementing one, until the Secretary approves such a program or determines that the state is implementing one. Revises the dates for: (1) apportionment to a state of withheld funds upon compliance with the highway safety program requirement, or (2) reapportionment to other states of such withheld funds if the state does not correct its failure to comply by a certain deadline. Repeals authority for a grant to states that use a comprehensive computerized safety recordkeeping system designed to correlate data regarding traffic accidents, drivers, motor vehicles, and roadways. Repeals the requirement that the Secretary establish an approval process by which a state may apply for all highway safety grants for which a single consolidated application process with one annual deadline is appropriate. Directs the Secretary to require a state to submit for Secretary approval annual highway safety plans that comply with certain safety performance measures and reporting requirements. Directs the Secretary to require states to develop for DOT approval highway safety plans that comply with certain performance measures by July 1, 2012, and annually thereafter.
Earmarks an amount of the state highway safety programs apportionment for expenditure by the Secretary, acting through the NHTSA Administrator, for a cooperative program to research and evaluate priority highway safety countermeasures.
Authorizes a state to use a portion of program funds to implement a statewide teen traffic safety program.
(Sec. 31103) Revises highway safety research and development program requirements.
Authorizes the Secretary to carry out collaborative research and development (R&D) projects, to encourage innovative solutions to highway safety problems, with federal laboratories that are either: (1) government-owned and government-operated, or (2) government-owned and contractor-operated.
Authorizes the Secretary, acting through the NHTSA Administrator, to expend a specified amount to establish an electronic clearinghouse and technical assistance service to collect and disseminate research and analysis of medical information and best practices on drivers with medical issues that may be used by state driver licensing agencies in making licensing qualification decisions.
Authorizes the Secretary, acting through the NHTSA Administrator, to establish an international highway safety information and cooperation program to permit the exchange of certain information with foreign countries that could be used to enhance highway safety.
Requires any NHTSA report relating to a highway traffic accident or the investigation of an accident to be made available to the public in a manner that does not identify individuals.
Directs the Secretary, acting through the NHTSA Administrator, to develop and test (including by a federal laboratory) model specifications and testing procedures for devices, including any designed to measure the concentration of alcohol in the body.
(Sec. 31104) Requires the Secretary to make continual improvements to modernize the National Driver Register's data processing system.
(Sec. 31105) Replaces the occupant protection incentive grant program with a combined occupant protection incentive grant program (for both high seat and lower seat belt use). Sets the maximum federal share of the costs of related activities at 80%.
Sets differing grant eligibility criteria for states with an observed seat belt use of: (1) 90% or higher, or (2) below 90%.
(Sec. 31106) Revises state traffic safety information system improvements program eligibility requirements.
(Sec. 31107) Replaces the the alcohol-impaired driving countermeasures incentive grant program with the impaired driving countermeasures incentive grants program.
Authorizes the Secretary to award grants to states that adopt and implement: (1) programs to reduce driving under the influence of alcohol (as under current law), drugs, or combination of alcohol and drugs; or (2) alcohol-ignition interlock laws. Requires separate grants to each state that adopts and enforces a mandatory alcohol-ignition interlock law for all individuals convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or of driving while intoxicated.
Prescribes differing eligibility grant criteria for states with: (1) a high-range average impaired driving fatality rate of 0.60 or higher, (2) a low-range rate of 0.30 or lower, and (3) a mid-range rate between 0.30 and 0.60.
Differentiates specified programs for which grants can be used between mandatory (high-range states) and discretionary (mid-range and low-range states). Authorizes mid-range and low-range states to use grants for costs associated with a 24-7 sobriety law or program that authorizes a state court or a state agency, as a condition of sentence, probation, parole, or work permit, to: (1) require an individual who pled guilty or was convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs to abstain totally from alcohol or drugs for a period of time; and (2) subject the individual to alcohol or drug testing at least twice a day, by continuous transdermal electronic alcohol monitoring, or by an alternate method with the Secretary's concurrence. (Sec. 31108) Replaces the state highway safety data improvements incentive grants program with a distracted driving incentive grants program.
Authorizes the Secretary to award grants to states that enact and enforce a law that: (1) prohibits drivers (including those under age 18) from texting through a personal wireless communications device (including a cell phone, but not a global navigation satellite [GPS] system receiver) while driving (with specified emergency exceptions), (2) makes a violation of the statute a primary offense, and (3) establishes minimum and increased fines and civil and criminal penalties for violations.
Directs the Secretary to study all forms of distracted driving.
(Sec. 31109) Amends SAFETEA-LU to revise the High Visibility Enforcement Program.
Requires the NHTSA Administrator to increase from at least two to at least three the number of high-visibility traffic safety law enforcement campaigns to be carried out through 2013.
(Sec. 31110) Revises eligibility criteria for state motorcyclist safety grants.
(Sec. 31111) Directs the NHTSA Administrator to carry out collaborative research to continue to explore the feasibility and potential benefits of, and the public policy challenges associated with, more widespread deployment of in-vehicle technology to prevent alcohol-impaired driving.
(Sec. 31112) Directs the Secretary to award incentive grants to states with graduated driver licensing laws that require novice drivers under age 21 to comply with a two-stage licensing process before receiving an unrestricted driver's license.
Requires such laws, at a minimum, to include: (1) a learner's permit stage that lasts at least six months, prohibits driver use of a cellular phone or other communications device in nonemergency situations, and remains in effect until the driver attains age 16 and enters the intermediate stage, or attains 18; (2) an intermediate stage in effect until the driver attains age 18 that lasts at least six months, prohibits driver use of a cellular phone or other communications device in nonemergency situations, restricts nighttime driving, prohibits more than one non-familial passenger under age 21 unless there is a licensed driver at least age 21 present in the vehicle; and (3) any other requirement that the Secretary may require.
Deems a state that meets such minimum requirements to be in compliance if the state enacted a law before January 1, 2011, establishing a class of license that permits licensees or applicants under age 18 to drive a motor vehicle in connection with work performed on or for the operation of a farm owned by family members of the licensees or applicants, or if demonstrable hardship would result from the denial of a license to such licensees or applicants.
(Sec. 31113) Authorizes the Secretary to review the highway safety programs of the U.S. Virgins Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands as often as the Secretary determines to be appropriate. (Currently, requires the Secretary to review triennially state highway safety programs).
Repeals the requirement that the Comptroller General analyze the effectiveness of NHTSA oversight of traffic safety grants.
(Sec. 31114) Directs the Secretary to establish a National Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council.
Subtitle B: Enhanced Safety Authorities - (Sec. 31201) Subjects a motorcycle helmet to federal motor vehicle equipment safety requirements.
(Sec. 31202) Repeals the exception for safety belt interlocks and buzzers designed to indicate a safety belt is not in use from the general prohibition against knowingly making inoperative any part of a device or element of design installed on or in a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment in compliance with an applicable motor vehicle safety standard unless its manufacturer, distributor, dealer, or repair business reasonably believes the vehicle or equipment will not be used when the device or element is inoperative.
Prohibits, instead, a motor vehicle safety standard from requiring a manufacturer to comply with the standard by using a safety belt interlock designed to prevent starting or operating a motor vehicle if an occupant is not using a safety belt.
(Sec. 31203) Increases from $15 million to $250 million the maximum civil penalties for persons who commit a related series of daily violations of federal motor vehicle safety requirements.
Revises and increases the number of factors the Secretary must consider in determining the amount of a civil penalty or compromise.
(Sec. 31204) Directs the Secretary to conduct specified motor vehicle safety research and development (R&D) activities.
(Sec. 31205) Directs the Secretary, with respect to odometer disclosures required when ownership of a motor vehicle is transferred, to prescribe regulations permitting any written disclosures or notices and related matters to be provided electronically.
(Sec. 31206) Increases from $2,000 to $10,000 for each violation, and from $100,000 to $1 million for a related series of violations, the civil penalties for violations of federal prohibitions against tampering with motor vehicle odometers.
Increases from $1,500 to $10,000 the alternative amount of maximum civil damages for violating a federal prohibition against fraudulent tampering with odometers.
(Sec. 31207) Prohibits a person from selling, offering for sale, introducing in interstate commerce, or importing into the United States motor vehicles or motor vehicle equipment containing a safety defect about which a notice or order of noncompliance with federal motor vehicle safety requirements has been issued, unless it receives a required recall remedy before being sold to a U.S. consumer.
(Sec. 31208) Authorizes the Secretary to issue regulations to require persons who import motor vehicles and equipment, including a registered importer (as under current law), to provide and meet certain financial responsibility requirements.
Requires the Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) to first offer an opportunity to remedy within 30 days any deficiency in sufficient financial responsibility which the Secretary of Transportation believes to be the case with an importer of motor vehicles or motor vehicle equipment. Authorizes the DHS Secretary to refuse admission into the U.S. customs territory of any motor vehicle or equipment imported by a person that fails to remedy such a deficiency. (Sec. 31209) Prescribes conditions for the importation of vehicles and equipment relating to required identifying information. Requires a rulemaking to reduce duplicative requirements by coordinating with DHS.
Exempts from such information requirements and rules original motor vehicle manufacturers that have already submitted identifying information about imported motor vehicles which are certified to comply with federal motor vehicle safety standards.
(Sec. 31210) Requires an officer or employee designated by the Secretary to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the DHS Secretary for inspections and sampling of motor vehicle equipment being offered for import to determine compliance with federal transportation law.
Subtitle C: Transparency and Accountability - (Sec. 31301) Directs the Secretary to: (1) improve public accessibility to information on the NHTSA vehicle safety databases; (2) require motor vehicle safety recall information be made available to the public on the Internet; and (3) establish a NHTSA passenger vehicle safety defect hotline for manufacturer, dealer, and mechanic personnel.
(Sec. 31303) Requires certain motor vehicle manufacturer communications to: (1) be made available on a publicly accessible Internet website, and (2) include all notices to dealerships of software upgrades and recommended vehicle modifications.
(Sec. 31304) Requires public disclosure of possible defects of motor vehicles or related equipment (Early Warning data) reported to the Secretary by motor vehicle manufacturers.
(Sec. 31305) Directs the Secretary to require the senior official of a company responsible for safety to certify certain information submitted to the Secretary in response to requests for information in NHTSA safety defect or compliance investigations. Prescribes civil penalties for knowingly and willfully submitting false, misleading, or incomplete information.
(Sec. 31306) Directs the Secretary to include information on crash avoidance as well as any other areas the Secretary determines will improve motor vehicle safety in the passenger motor vehicle information program.
(Sec. 31307) Directs the Secretary to issue regulations to require passenger motor vehicle manufacturers to affix, in a readily accessible location, a device that provides information on how to submit a safety-related motor vehicle defect complaint to NHTSA.
(Sec. 31308) Establishes whistleblower protections for motor vehicle manufacturer, part supplier, and dealership employees, including requirements for complaint procedures and enforcement of orders.
(Sec. 31309) Prohibits a motor vehicle manufacturer or other person who is subject to federal motor vehicle safety regulation from employing NHTSA employees for the two-year period following the employee's termination of employment with NHTSA. Prohibits former NHTSA employees from knowingly lobbying NHTSA within the same two-year period. Prescribes civil penalties for violations of such prohibitions.
Directs the DOT Inspector General to review DOT policies regarding: (1) official communication with former DOT employees concerning motor vehicle safety compliance matters for which they had responsibility during the last 12 months of their DOT tenure, and (2) post-employment restrictions on DOT transportation safety employees.
(Sec. 31310) Directs the Secretary to report to Congress on the quality of data collected through the National Automotive Sampling System, including the Special Crash Investigations Program.
(Sec. 31311) Authorizes the Secretary, in cases where a manufacturer's second notification (recall) of a defective motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment or noncompliance with a federal motor vehicle safety standard does not result in an adequate number of motor vehicles or replacement equipment being returned for remedy, to: (1) send additional notifications in the manner prescribed by the Secretary, (2) take additional steps to locate and notify each registered owner or lessee or the most recent purchaser or lessee, and (3) emphasize in the notification the magnitude of the safety risk caused by the defect or noncompliance.
(Sec. 31312) Adds refunding the purchase price as one of the ways by which a manufacturer of defective or noncomplying motor vehicle or replacement equipment may remedy a defect or noncompliance.
(Sec. 31313) Declares that filing for bankruptcy shall not negate a manufacturer's duty to comply with motor vehicle safety standards and requirements for the recall of defective motor vehicle and motor vehicle equipment.
(Sec. 31314) Repeals certain insurance reporting requirements.
(Sec. 31315) Amends the Automobile Information Disclosure Act to permit the addition of safety rating categories on labels (Monroney stickers) required by every manufacturer to be affixed to the windshield or side window of every new automobile.
Subtitle D: Vehicle Electronics and Safety Standards - (Sec. 31401) Establishes within NHTSA a Council for Vehicle Electronics, Vehicle Software, and Emerging Technologies to build and integrate NHTSA expertise in passenger motor vehicle electronics and other new and emerging technologies.
Directs the Secretary to establish within NHTSA an honors program enabling engineering, computer science, and other students interested in a career in vehicle safety to train with engineers and other safety officials.
(Sec. 31402) Directs the Secretary to prescribe federal motor vehicle safety standards that: (1) mitigate unintended acceleration in passenger motor vehicles through a brake override system; (2) mitigate potential obstruction of pedal movement in passenger motor vehicles; (3) require electronic systems in passenger motor vehicles to meet minimum performance standards; (4) establish standards for the operation of passenger motor vehicles equipped with push-button ignition systems, particularly in emergency situations when the vehicle is in motion; and (5) prohibit electronic visual entertainment screens visible to the driver while driving.
(Sec. 31406) Directs the Secretary to modify federal motor vehicle safety standards to: (1) require new passenger motor vehicles sold in the United States to be equipped with an event data recorder (EDR) that records vehicle operational data that can be stored and accessed for analysis; and (2) reduce commercial motor vehicle rollovers and loss of control crashes with stability enhancing technologies, such as electronic stability control systems.
Subtitle E: Child Safety Standards - (Sec. 31501) Directs the Secretary to modify federal motor vehicle safety standards to: (1) establish frontal crash protection requirements for child restraint systems for children weighing over 65 pounds; (2) improve the protection of children seated in child restraint systems during side impact crashes; (3) improve visibility of, accessibility to, and ease of use for lower anchorages and tethers in all rear seat child restraint anchorage systems; (4) establish a maximum allowable weight of the child and child restraint for use of such systems; and (5) provide a safety belt use warning system for designated seating positions in the rear seat.
(Sec. 31504) Requires the Secretary to complete research to develop performance requirements to warn drivers that a child or other unattended passenger remains in the rear seating position after the vehicle motor is turned off.
(Sec. 31505) Directs the Secretary, in cases where a deadline for issuing a final rule under this Act cannot be met, to: (1) explain to Congress why it cannot be met, and (2) establish a new deadline.
Subtitle F: Improved Daytime and Nighttime Visibility of Agricultural Equipment - (Sec. 31601) Directs the Secretary to promulgate a rule to: (1) improve the daytime and nighttime visibility of agricultural equipment operating on public roads; and (2) establish minimum lighting and marking standards for such equipment.
Requires the Secretary to review and revise such standards at least once every five years to reflect the latest revision of American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) Standard 279 entitled "Lighting and Marking of Agricultural Equipment on Highways".
Title II: Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Enhancement Act of 2012 - Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Enhancement Act of 2012 - Subtitle A: Commercial Motor Vehicle Registration - (Sec. 32101) Revises commercial motor vehicle registration requirements to prohibit the Secretary from registering a person to provide motorcoach services until that person has: (1) submitted a comprehensive management plan that is in place to ensure compliance with DOT motor carrier safety regulations; (2) disclosed any common ownership, common management, common control, or common familial relationships between the carrier and any other motor carrier, freight forwarder, or broker that have occurred in the five-years preceding the filing of an application for registration; and (3) passed the DOT written proficiency examination the Secretary is hereby directed to establish to test a motor carrier's knowledge of federal and state motor carrier safety regulations, standards, and orders.
Amends the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999 to revise exemptions from federal maximum driving and on-duty time motor carrier regulations for drivers transporting agricultural commodities and farm supplies during planting and harvest periods.
Extends the exemptions to drivers transporting agricultural farm supplies: (1) from a wholesale or retail distribution point of the farm supplies to a farm or other location where such supplies are intended to be used within a 100 air-mile radius from the distribution point, or (2) from a wholesale distribution point of the farm supplies to a retail distribution point of the farm supplies within a 100 air-mile radius from the wholesale distribution point.
(Sec. 32102) Reduces from 18 months to 12 months after motorcoach operations begin the deadline for mandatory safety reviews of newly registered motorcoach owners or operators. Authorizes the Secretary to register a person to provide motorcoach services after that person undergoes a pre-authorization safety audit.
(Sec. 32103) Authorizes the Secretary to withhold, suspend, amend, or revoke the registration of a motor carrier, broker, or freight forwarder: (1) for failure to obey a subpoena issued by the Secretary; (2) for failure to disclose in its application a material fact relevant to its willingness and ability to comply with federal law, regulations, or a registration condition; or (3) that is or was related through common ownership, common management, common control, or common familial relationship to any other motor carrier, broker, or freight forwarder.
Requires the Secretary to develop data analysis capacity and programs for the means to determine such a relationship.
(Sec. 32104) Directs the Secretary to: (1) issue a report on the appropriateness of current minimum financial requirements and bond and insurance requirements for motor carriers, brokers, and and freight forwarders; and (2) not later than six months after publication of the report, initiate a rulemaking, if necessary, to revise such requirements.
(Sec. 32105) Directs the Secretary to register an employer or person subject to safety jurisdiction and regulation. Authorizes an employer or person to operate a commercial motor vehicle only if that employer or person is registered by the Secretary and receives a DOT number.
Sets forth conditions for withholding, revoking, or suspending such registration.
(Sec. 32106) Eliminates the $300 limit on the registration fee for new motor carrier registrants using the Unified Carrier Registration System.
(Sec. 32107) Authorizes the Secretary to require a motor carrier, broker, or freight forwarder to update its registration information no later 30 days after a change in specified essential information.
(Sec. 32108) Increases civil penalties against motor carriers or foreign motor carriers of passengers or motor carriers of hazardous waste for: (1) failing to comply with certain reporting and recordkeeping requirements, and (2) operating without being registered.
(Sec. 32109) Revises the requirement that the Secretary revoke the registration of a motor carrier that has been conducting unsafe operations which are an imminent hazard to public health or property. Makes revocation mandatory regardless of whether the unsafe operations are in the present or were in the past.
(Sec. 32110) Increases from a range of $100-$5,000 to a range of $1,000-$10,000 the civil penalties against a motor carrier, motor carrier of migrant workers, or motor private carrier for failing to respond to a subpoena or requirement of the Secretary to appear and testify or produce records. Authorizes the Secretary to withhold, suspend, amend, or revoke the registration of a motorcoach carrier for failure to obey such subpoena or requirement.
(Sec. 32111) Revises conditions for fleetwide out-of-service orders as penalties for operating without required registration. Changes the primary reference from motor vehicles to motor carriers. (Thus authorizes the Secretary to order motor carrier operations out-of-service for a motor carrier operating without a required registration.)
(Sec. 32112) Revises requirements related to the duty of employers and employees to comply with commercial motor vehicle safety regulations.
Prohibits two or more motor carriers, employers, or persons from using common ownership, common management, common control, or common familial relationship to avoid compliance, or conceal noncompliance or a history of noncompliance with commercial motor vehicle safety regulations or an order of the Secretary. Authorizes the Secretary to impose appropriate sanctions for violation of this prohibition. Applies such sanctions to conduct that is intentional or knowing and to repeated instances of negligent conduct.
(Sec. 32113) Authorizes the Secretary to take an action pursuant to federal commercial motor vehicle safety requirements against any successor of a motor carrier, employer, or owner or operator to the same extent as the Secretary may take action against the motor carrier, employer, or owner or operator.
Subtitle B: Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety - (Sec. 32201) Repeals the exemption of brokers of motor carriers of passengers from the jurisdiction of either the Secretary or the Surface Transportation Board (STB).
(Sec. 32202) Redefines "employer," for purposes of the application of federal commercial motor vehicle safety standards, to include a person that offers for rent or lease in interstate commerce motor vehicles used to transport more than eight passengers (including the driver) from the same location, or as part of the same business provides names or contact information of drivers, or holds itself out to the public as a charter bus company.
(Sec. 32203) Directs the Secretary to analyze the need for crashworthiness standards on property-carrying commercial motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight of at least 26,001 pounds involved in interstate commerce.
(Sec. 32204) Authorizes the Secretary to prohibit from operating a commercial motor vehicle in interstate and foreign commerce any Canadian employer that has received an unfit safety determination to operate such a vehicle from an authorized agency in Canada, until that same agency determines that the employer is fit.
(Sec. 32205) Prescribes requirements with respect to: (1) state reporting to the Federal Convictions and Withdrawal Database or other similar database of any motor vehicle-related convictions of foreign commercial drivers, (2) disqualification of foreign commercial drivers for driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance or certain other felony violations, and (3) revocation of the registration of a foreign motor carrier for failure to comply with an order of the Secretary or the STB or to pay certain civil penalties.
(Sec. 32208) Directs the Secretary to study the safety of rental trucks during the 7-year period ending on December 31, 2011.
Subtitle C: Driver Safety - (Sec. 32301) Directs the Secretary to prescribe regulations to require commercial motor vehicles involved in interstate commerce, and operated by a driver subject to both federal hours-of-service and record of duty status requirements, to be equipped with an electronic on-board recording device meeting certain performance and design standards and requirements.
(Sec. 32302) Directs the Secretary, ensuring that the relevant data is accurate, to incorporate into its Compliance, Safety, Accountability program a safety fitness rating methodology that assigns sufficient weight to adverse vehicle and driver performance based-data that elevate crash risks to warrant an unsatisfactory rating for a commercial motor vehicle carrier.
(Sec. 32303) Revises medical examiner requirements.
Requires the Secretary to establish a national registry of medical examiners.
Requires a medical examiner to pass an examination developed by the Secretary in order to be listed in the national registry.
Requires the Secretary to review annually the licensing agencies of 10 states to assess the accuracy, validity, and timeliness of physical examination reports and medical examiner certificates submitted to them.
Prescribes requirements for the electronic filing of medical examiner certificates.
Authorizes appropriations from the HTF (other than the Mass Transit Account) for grants to states or licensing agencies to support the development costs for such electronic filing systems.
(Sec. 32304) Requires an employer to ascertain at least once every 12 months the driving record of each commercial motor vehicle driver it employs.
Requires the Secretary to issue minimum standards and develop a plan for development of a national driver record notification system.
(Sec. 32305) Directs the Secretary to issue final regulations establishing minimum entry-level training requirements for individual operators of commercial motor vehicles.
(Sec. 32306) Revises the commercial driver's license (CDL) information system program.
Requires the comprehensive national plan to modernize the CDL information system to specify that states must use the systems to receive and submit conviction and disqualification data.
Requires a state by a certain deadline to implement a state CDL information system and practices for the exclusive electronic exchange of driver history record information on the federal system, including the posting of convictions, withdrawals, and disqualifications.
Requires a state to submit a plan to DOT for a state CDL program plan complying with the requirements of this section during the period beginning on the date the plan is submitted and ending on September 30, 2016. (Sec. 32307) Requires regulations on minimum standards for testing and ensuring the fitness of a commercial motor vehicle driver to ensure that an individual taking the tests would not be subject to a disqualification for a noncommercial motor vehicle offense resulting in resulted in license revocation, cancellation, or suspension, including a drug or alcohol related offense. (Sec. 32308) Authorizes the Secretary to require a state, as a condition of receiving a commercial motor vehicle driver information program grant, to provide the Secretary access to all the state's licensing status and driver history records via an electronic information system.
(Sec. 32309) Requires the Secretary to disqualify an individual from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a first violation (one year disqualification) or multiple violations (life disqualification) of the rule against operating a commercial motor vehicle when the individual's CDL is revoked, suspended, or canceled based on the individual's operation of any motor vehicle, regardless if commercial or non-commercial.
(Sec. 32310) Defines "disqualification" under federal law as: (1) the suspension, revocation, or cancellation of a commercial driver's license by the state of issuance; (2) a withdrawal of an individual's privilege to drive a commercial motor vehicle by a state or other jurisdiction as the result of a violation of state or local law relating to motor vehicle traffic control (except for a parking, vehicle weight, or vehicle defect violation); or (3) a determination that an individual is unfit or is not qualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle.
(Sec. 32311) Revises certain employer responsibility requirements.
Prohibits an employer from allowing an employee to operate a commercial motor vehicle during a period that the employer should reasonably know that such employee has a revoked, suspended, or canceled driver's license, or has more than one driver's license.
(Sec. 32312) Directs the Secretary, in coordination with the Secretary of Defense (DOD), to assess federal and state regulatory, economic, and administrative challenges faced by current and former Armed Forces members in obtaining CDLs who, during their service, received safety training and operated qualifying commercial vehicles.
Subtitle D: Safe Roads Act of 2012 - Safe Roads Act of 2012 - (Sec. 32402) Directs the Secretary to establish a national clearinghouse for verified positive alcohol and controlled substance test results and test refusals of commercial motor vehicle operators as well as violations by them of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) alcohol and controlled substances regulations.
Prohibits an employer from hiring an individual to operate a commercial motor vehicle unless, during the preceding three-year period, the individual: (1) did not test positive for use of alcohol and controlled substances, or completed the return-to-duty process after initially testing positive; (2) did not refuse to be tested, or completed the return-to-duty process after initially refusing to be tested; or (3) did not violate FMCSA alcohol and controlled substances regulations.
Subjects an employer, employee, medical review officer, or service agent to certain civil and criminal penalties for violations of such requirements.
(Sec. 31403) Authorizes the Secretary to require a state to revoke, suspend, or cancel a CDL of a commercial motor vehicle operator who is found to have used alcohol or a controlled substance until the operator completes a rehabilitation process.
Changes from mandatory to discretionary the authority of the Secretary to permanently disqualify from operating a commercial vehicle an individual that uses: (1) a commercial vehicle in the commission of a felony involving manufacturing, distributing, or dispensing a controlled substance, or possession with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense a controlled substance; or (2) alcohol or a controlled substance during operation of a commercial vehicle three or more times.
(Sec. 32404) Authorizes appropriations from the HTF (other than the Mass Transit Account) for the Secretary to develop, design, and implement the national clearinghouse.
Subtitle E: Enforcement - (Sec. 32501) Revises requirements for enforcement of various specified regulations regarding commercial motor vehicles, including: (1) safety inspection of carrier equipment by an employee of a recipient of a grant to a state for a motor carrier safety program or the enforcement of related federal regulations; and (2) authorization to adopt procedures to place out of service the commercial motor vehicle of a foreign-domiciled or domestic motor carrier that fails to promptly allow a DOT property inspection and copying of records.
(Sec. 32503) Prescribes a civil penalty of up to $25,000 for violation of operation out of service orders.
(Sec. 32504) Prescribes a minimum 10-day prohibition against operation in interstate commerce of the commercial motor vehicles if an owner or operator determined unfit. Applies this minimum period of prohibition to owners or operators of vehicles transporting passengers as well as those transporting hazardous materials (hazmat).
(Sec. 32505) Revises requirements for penalty schedules designed to induce timely compliance for persons failing to comply promptly with the requirements set forth in any notices and orders. Allows such penalties to include a minimum duration for any out of service period of up to 90 days.
(Sec. 32506) Authorizes the Secretary, or an authorized state official carrying out motor carrier safety enforcement activities, to enforce an imminent hazard out-of-service order, or a related regulation, by towing and impounding a commercial motor vehicle until the order is rescinded.
(Sec. 32507) Increases monetary penalties for evasion of specified regulations.
(Sec. 32508) Disqualifies from operating a commercial motor vehicle any individual assessed a civil penalty with respect to regulations governing motor vehicle safety, hazmat transportation, motor carriers, water carriers, brokers, or freight forwarders, if that individual fails to pay the penalty or fails to comply with the terms of a settlement with the Secretary.
(Sec. 32509) Eliminates ability to pay from consideration in determining the amount of a civil penalty for violations of commercial motor vehicle safety regulations.
(Sec. 32510) Requires the Secretary to disqualify an individual from operating a commercial motor vehicle for up to 30 days if allowing the individual to continue to do so would create an imminent hazard in the sense of any condition of vehicle, employee, or commercial motor vehicle operations which substantially increases the likelihood of serious injury or death if not discontinued immediately.
(Sec. 32511) Prohibits the commercial motor vehicle operations of any employee, vehicle, or employer affecting interstate commerce if that employee, vehicle, or all or part of an employer's commercial motor vehicle operations is ordered out of service. Applies the same prohibition against any person prohibited from operating in interstate commerce because of nonpayment of penalties.
(Sec. 32512) Authorizes the Secretary to bring a civil action in a venue meeting specified criteria to enforce safety laws and regulations when violated by an employer, employee, or other person providing transportation or service.
(Sec. 32513) Authorizes the Secretary to disclose commercial motor vehicle safety-related information to appropriate personnel of state or local governmental agencies or instrumentalities authorized to carry out respective commercial motor vehicle safety activities and commercial driver's license laws.
(Sec. 32514) Amends the Hazardous Materials Transportation Authorization Act of 1994 with respect to grade crossing safety regulations as they relate to commercial motor vehicle safety.
Subtitle F: Compliance, Safety, Accountability - (Sec. 32601) Directs the Secretary to carry out a Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program to make compliance, safety, and accountability grants to assist states, local governments, and other entities and persons with motor carrier safety and enforcement activities and programs.
Authorizes the Secretary to carry out a New Entrant Safety Assurance Program of grants to states and local governments for 100% of the costs of pre-authorization safety audits and new entrant safety audits for commercial motor vehicle owners and operators.
Authorizes the Secretary to make grants to an entity, state, or other person for 100% of the costs of border commercial motor vehicle safety programs and related enforcement activities and projects.
Authorizes the Secretary to make grants for 80% of the costs of high priority activities and projects to improve commercial motor vehicle safety and compliance with commercial motor vehicle safety regulations.
(Sec. 32602) Revises requirements for the performance and registration information program.
Directs the Secretary, as a condition of a state's participation in the program, to implement a process to reinstate the vehicle registration or return the registration plates of a commercial motor vehicle that has been canceled or seized because of a commercial motor carrier's violation of an out-of-service order if the Secretary permits such carrier to resume operations after issuance of such order.
Repeals the Secretary's authority to make a grant to a state to implement performance and registration information system management requirements.
(Sec. 32603) Revises the definition of a "commercial motor vehicle" to change the number of passengers it must be designed or used to transport from more than 10 (including the driver) to: (1) more than 8 passengers (including the driver) for compensation, or (2) more than 15 passengers (including the driver) if not for compensation.
(Sec. 32604) Revises commercial motor vehicle driver safety fitness requirements.
Authorizes the Secretary to maintain a procedure for determining a commercial motor vehicle driver's safety fitness and for prohibiting such driver from operating in interstate commerce.
(Sec. 32605) Authorizes the Secretary to withhold increasing percentages of a state's motor carrier safety improvement grant funds if for at least 180 days in successive fiscal years the state uses an electronic commercial motor vehicle inspection selection system that does not employ a DOT-approved selection methodology.
(Sec. 32606) Authorizes appropriations from the HTF (other than the Mass Transit Account) for specified FMCSA programs in FY2012 and FY2013, including: (1) compliance, safety, and accountability grants, (2) data and technology grants, (3) driver safety grants, and (4) FMCSA administrative expenses.
(Sec. 32607) Authorizes the Secretary to use FMCSA administrative expense funds to: (1) ensure a review is completed on each motor carrier that demonstrates through performance data that it poses the highest safety risk; and (2) require, at a minimum, that a review be conducted whenever a motor carrier is among the highest risk carriers for two consecutive months. (Relocates this existing requirement from the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users [SAFETEA-LU].)
(Sec. 32608) Directs the Secretary to establish a data and technology grant program to assist states with implementation and maintenance of commercial motor vehicle data systems.
(Sec. 32609) Revises CDL program improvement grant requirements.
Converts the commercial driver's license program improvement grant program to a driver focused grant program to improve driver safety.
(Sec. 32610) Directs the Secretary to report to Congress on resuming the Commercial Vehicle Information Systems and Networks Program.
Subtitle G: Motorcoach Enhanced Safety Act of 2012 - Motorcoach Enhanced Safety Act of 2012 - (Sec. 32703) Directs the Secretary to prescribe regulations requiring motorcoaches to be installed with: (1) safety belts at each seating position, (2) advanced glazing in each portal to prevent passenger ejection, (3) stability enhancing technology to reduce the number and frequency of rollover crashes, and (4) direct tire pressure monitoring systems.
Requires the Secretary to prescribe regulations establishing improved strength and crush resistance standards for motorcoach roofs.
(Sec. 32704) Requires the Secretary to initiate rulemaking proceedings to establish: (1) flammability standards for motorcoach exterior and interior components, (2) requirements to prevent wheel well fires, and (3) requirements for motorcoaches to be equipped with improved designs for emergency passenger evacuation and fire suppression systems.
Directs the Secretary to: (1) issue a final rule upgrading performance standards for tires used on motorcoaches, or (2) report to Congress on why such a standard is not warranted.
(Sec. 32705) Requires the Secretary to: (1) conduct improved fire extinguisher, compartmentalization safety countermeasures, occupant impact protection, and collision avoidance research and testing; and (2) issue final motor vehicle safety standards if warranted.
(Sec. 32706) Authorizes the Secretary to register a person to provide motorcoach services only after that person: (1) undergoes a pre-authorization safety audit, including verification of drug and alcohol testing, vehicle maintenance, and safety management programs; (2) has been interviewed about the carrier's safety management controls and written safety oversight policies and practices; and (3) has demonstrated proficiency to comply with such requirements.
Authorizes the Secretary to establish a fee to cover audit costs.
Requires each newly registered motorcoach owner or operator transporting property to undergo a safety review within the first 18 months after operations begin.
(Sec. 32707) Requires the Secretary to: (1) determine the safety fitness and assign a rating, updated triennially, for each registered motorcoach operator; and (2) establish a process for monitoring regularly the safety performance of each operator following the assignment of a rating.
Prohibits a person from selling or offering to sell interstate motorcoach transportation services, or to provide broker services for such transportation, unless that person conspicuously displays at the point of sale or provision of broker services: (1) the legal name and DOT number of the single motor carrier responsible for the transportation and for compliance with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, and (2) the URL for the FMCSA website which posts motor carrier and commercial motor vehicle driver scores in the Safety Measurement System.
Prescribes civil penalties for violations of such requirements.
Directs the Secretary to prescribe regulations requiring the prominent display of safety fitness ratings in each terminal of departure, motorcoach, and at all points of sale for motorcoach services by: (1) each motor carrier that owns or leases one or more motorcoaches; and (2) any person who sells tickets for motorcoach services.
(Sec. 32708) Directs the Secretary to report to Congress on the feasibility, benefits, and costs of establishing a certification system for motorcoach driver training programs of public and private schools and of motor carriers and motorcoach operators that provide such training.
(Sec. 32709) Directs the Secretary to report to Congress on whether to require drivers operating passenger vans of 9 to 15 passengers (including driver) in interstate commerce to have a CDL passenger-carrying endorsement and be tested for drugs and alcohol.
(Sec. 32710) Directs the Secretary to: (1) evaluate the use of event data recorders on motorcoaches, and (2) issue standards based on the results of that evaluation.
(Sec. 32711) Directs the Secretary to complete a rulemaking proceeding to consider requiring states to conduct annual inspections of commercial passenger motor vehicles.
(Sec. 32712) Requires the Secretary to: (1) prescribe regulations on the use of electronic or wireless devices (including cell phones and other distracting devices) by motorcoach operators; and (2) prohibit their use in cases where they interfere with the driver's safe operation of a motorcoach, but not when necessary for driver or public safety in emergency situations.
Subtitle H: Safe Highways and Infrastructure Preservation - (Sec. 32801) Directs the Secretary to study and compile a list of all state truck size and weight limit laws.
Subtitle I: Miscellaneous - Part I: Miscellaneous - (Sec. 32911) Directs the Secretary to task the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee to study the extent to which detention time contributes to motor carrier drivers violating hours of service requirements and driver fatigue.
(Sec. 32912) Requires minimum federal commercial motor vehicle safety regulations to ensure that commercial motor vehicle operators are not coerced by a motor carrier, shipper, receiver, or transportation intermediary to violate such regulations.
(Sec. 32913) Revises membership of the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee to include nonprofit employee labor organizations representing commercial motor vehicle drivers. Extends the termination date for the Committee from March 31, 2012, to September 30, 2013.
(Sec. 32914) Revises requirements with respect to the waiver of federal commercial motor vehicle safety regulations. Repeals the limitation of the waiver of commercial motor vehicle regulations to nonemergency and unique events.
Requires the Secretary to post on the Medical Review Board website: (1) any request for an exemption from the physical qualification standards for commercial motor vehicle drivers, and (2) specified information about any person granted such an exemption. Repeals the limitation to the Federal Register of the required publication of a detailed description of each pilot program to evaluate alternatives to regulations relating to, or innovative approaches to, motor carrier, commercial motor vehicle, and driver safety. Requires FMCSA website links to the Medical Review Board and exemptions websites. (Sec. 32915) Revises commercial motor vehicle registration requirements.
Requires the Secretary to issue a distinctive registration number to persons registered to provide transportation or service as a motor carrier, freight forwarder, or broker.
Requires the Secretary to make such registration and certain financial security information publicly available on the Internet.
(Sec. 32916) Prohibits a motor carrier from brokering transportation services unless it is registered as a broker.
Authorizes a registered motor carrier to provide transportation of property with self-propelled motor vehicles owned or leased by the motor carrier or interchanges only if the originating carrier physically transports the cargo at some point and retains liability for the cargo and for payment of interchanged carriers. Prohibits a registered motor carrier from arranging such transportation unless it obtains a separate registration as a freight forwarder or broker for transportation.
(Sec. 32917) Requires the Secretary to register a person to provide service as a freight forwarder or to be a broker for transportation of property only if that person is fit (as under current law) and is also qualified by sufficient experience to act as one.
Requires each freight forwarder and each broker to employ as an officer an individual with at least three years of relevant experience or with satisfactory evidence of the individual's knowledge of related rules, regulations, and industry practices.
(Sec. 32918) Directs the Secretary, within four years after enactment of this Act, to require a freight forwarder or broker to renew its registration. Requires each registration renewal to last for at most five years but also to be renewable.
(Sec. 32919) Revises financial security requirements for brokers and freight forwarders.
Authorizes the Secretary to register a person as a broker or freight forwarder only if that person files with the Secretary a surety bond, proof of trust fund, or other financial security (or combination of them) adequate to ensure financial responsibility of a minimum of $100,000.
(Sec. 32920) Prohibits any person (other than a non-vessel-operating common carrier or ocean freight forwarder providing brokerage services as part of an international through movement involving ocean transportation between the United States and a foreign port) from providing interstate brokerage services unless the person: (1) is registered and in compliance with federal broker registration requirements, and (2) has satisfied federal financial security requirements.
Subjects such person to civil penalties for violation of such prohibition.
Part II: Household Goods Transportation - (Sec. 32921) Requires the Secretary to register a person to provide transportation of household goods as a household goods motor carrier only after that person has also completed a DOT proficiency examination demonstrating knowledge and intent to comply with federal laws relating to consumer protection, estimating, consumers' rights and responsibilities, and options for limitations of liability for loss and damage.
Revises household goods motor carrier registration requirements to require the Secretary to require registered household goods motor carriers to undergo a consumer protection standards review 18 months after beginning operations.
(Sec. 32922) Authorizes the United States to assign to an aggrieved shipper all or a portion of a civil penalty payable by a person who has held a household goods shipment hostage. Allows the Secretary to order a person found holding a household goods shipment hostage to return the goods to an aggrieved shipper.
(Sec. 32923) Declares that nothing with regard to household goods civil penalties shall be construed to prohibit the Secretary from accepting partial payment of a civil penalty as part of a settlement agreement in the public interest, or from holding imposition of any part of a civil penalty in abeyance.
(Sec. 32924) Directs the Secretary to: (1) develop and implement, through the FMCSA, a joint household goods transportation assistance program; and (2) establish a task force to develop recommendations to ensure consumers are informed of federal laws concerning the transportation of household goods by a motor carrier.
Part III: Technical Amendments - (Sec. 32931) Makes technical amendments to federal motor carrier vehicle safety requirements.
Title III: Surface Transportation and Freight Policy Act of 2012 - Surface Transportation and Freight Policy Act of 2012 - (Sec. 33002) Establishes national surface transportation and national freight transportation policies and goals.
(Sec. 33003) Directs the Secretary to develop and implement a strategic National Surface Transportation and Freight Performance Plan to: (1) assess the current performance of the national surface transportation system; (2) analyze emerging and long-term projected trends that will impact the performance, needs, and uses of such system; (3) include a strategy and investment plan to meet the policies and goals; and (4) provide a list of priority freight corridors and gateways to be improved and developed.
Requires the Secretary to: (1) report the plan to Congress, and (2) post it on the DOT website.
Requires the Secretary to develop performance criteria and data collections systems for each federal surface transportation program.
(Sec. 33004) Directs the Secretary to: (1) develop new or improve existing tools to support an outcome-oriented, performance-based approach to evaluate proposed freight and other surface transportation projects; and (2) collect transportation data to support a range of evaluation methods to assist in making transportation investment decisions.
Directs the Secretary, in order to develop the tools and the Plan, to establish a pilot program to require the Secretary to select three to five states and MPOs for case studies designed to provide analysis and data collection with respect to transportation programs as well as to apply methods that measure the effectiveness of program participants in achieving national transportation goals.
(Sec. 33005) Amends federal shipping law to revise Port Infrastructure Development Fund requirements. Eliminates certain prohibitions and exceptions with respect to certain transfers to the Fund.
(Sec. 33006) Directs the Secretary to establish standards to ensure that the design of federal surface transportation projects provides, in all phases of project planning, development, and operation, for the safety of motorized and nonmotorized users of the transportation network. Authorizes the Secretary to waive application of such standards to states that have adopted laws or policies providing for the safe and adequate accommodation of such users.
(Sec. 33007) Directs the Secretary, upon request for a waiver of Buy America requirements for surface transportation projects (including Amtrak), to provide notice and an opportunity for public comment no later than 15 days before making a determination on such request.
Requires the Secretary to report annually to Congress on: (1) each highway, public transportation, or railroad project issued a waiver; (2) the country of origin and product specifications for the steel, iron, or manufactured goods acquired for a project in which a waiver was granted; and (3) the monetary value of contracts awarded pursuant to each such waiver.
(Sec. 33008) Expresses the sense of Congress that the Memorandum of Agreement between DOT and the Department of Commerce entitled "Development of a Domestic Supply Base for Intermodal Transportation in the U.S." can significantly improve the scope and depth of the domestic supply base for transportation infrastructure, particularly for U.S. small businesses.
(Sec. 33009) Directs the Secretary to issue guidance and establish design standards for transportation infrastructure to help states, MPOs, and local governments plan for natural disasters in the design and development of transportation infrastructure.
(Sec. 33010) Directs the Comptroller General to review the toll rate setting practices of selected interstate tolling authorities: (1) over any bridge constructed under the Bridge Act of 1906, the General Bridge Act of 1946, or the International Bridge Act of 1972; and (2) over or through any federal-aid highway bridge or tunnel.
Title IV: Hazardous Materials Transportation Safety Improvement Act of 2012 - Hazardous Materials Transportation Safety Improvement Act of 2012 - (Sec. 34004) Requires states or Indian tribes receiving grants to train emergency responders to hazmat transportation accidents to certify that the responders receiving the training will have the ability to protect nearby persons, property, and the environment from the effects of such accidents or incidents involving the transportation in accordance with existing regulations or National Fire Protection Association standards.
(Sec. 34005) Authorizes the Secretary to conduct pilot projects (including at least one in a rural area) to evaluate the feasibility of using paperless hazard communications systems, including wireless communications devices, to convey hazard information between all parties in the transportation chain.
(Sec. 34006) Authorizes the Secretary to assess and review the methods used by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) for collecting, analyzing, and reporting accidents and incidents involving hazmat transportation. Requires the Secretary to develop an action plan and timeline for improving the collection, analysis, reporting, and use of data by PHMSA.
(Sec. 34007) Directs the Secretary to prescribe regulations establishing uniform procedures among facilities for the safe loading and unloading of hazmat on and off tank cars and cargo tank trucks.
(Sec. 34008) Authorizes the Secretary to develop and implement a hazmat technical assessment, research and development, and analysis program to: (1) reduce risks associated with hazmat transportation; and (2) identify and evaluate new technologies for safe, secure, and efficient hazmat transportation.
(Sec. 34009) Directs the Secretary to establish a multimodal hazmat enforcement training program for government hazmat inspectors and investigators.
(Sec. 34010) Requires a designated officer, employee, or agent of the Secretary to provide reasonable notice to an affected offeror, carrier, packaging manufacturer or tester, or other person responsible for the package containing hazmat of: (1) the decision to exercise inspection and investigation authority, (2) any findings made, and (3) any actions being taken as a result of a finding of noncompliance.
Requires regulations for inspections and investigations to address: (1) the safe and expeditious resumption of transportation of perishable hazmat, including radiopharmaceuticals and other medical products, that may require timely delivery due to life-threatening situations; (2) the means by which noncompliant packages presenting an imminent hazard are placed out-of-service until the condition is corrected; (3) the means by which noncompliant packages that do not present a hazard are moved to their final destination; (4) appropriate training and equipment for inspectors; and (5) the proper closure of packaging.
(Sec. 34011) Increases the civil penalties for: (1) knowing violations of a hazmat transportation regulation, order, special permit, or approval from $50,000 to $75,000; and (2) violations that result in death, serious illness, or injury or substantial destruction of property from $100,000 to $175,000.
Authorizes the Secretary to impose a civil penalty on persons who obstruct or prevent an inspection or investigation regarding hazmat transportation.
Prohibits any person who has failed to pay an assessed civil penalty for noncompliance with a hazmat transportation regulation or order from conducting hazmat transportation.
(Sec. 34013) Revises requirements for the issuance of special permits, approvals, and exclusions.
Requires the Secretary to determine that an applicant is fit to conduct an authorized activity before approving the issuance, renewal, or modification of a special permit or granting party status to a special permit implementing new technologies or authorizing a variance from regulations for the safe transport of hazmat.
Requires the PHMSA Administrator to consult, coordinate, or notify the modal contact official responsible for the specified mode of transportation that will be utilized under a special permit or approval.
Requires the Secretary to approve or deny a special permit or approval within 180 days of the first day of the month following the filing of a request, or publish an explanation for the delay. Authorizes the Secretary to grant requests for emergency processing of such permits if: (1) it is for national security, (2) routine processing would result in significant injury to persons or property, or (3) it is necessary to prevent significant economic loss or damage to the environment.
Requires the Secretary to conduct annual review of special permits.
(Sec. 34014) Revises certain hazmat highway route designation requirements.
Requires states to submit biennially to the Secretary a list of its currently effective hazmat route designations.
(Sec. 34015) Authorizes appropriations to the Secretary for FY2012 and FY2013.
Authorizes the Secretary to make certain expenditures from the Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness Fund, in particular for hazmat training grants.
Title V: National Rail System Preservation, Expansion, and Development Act of 2012 - National Rail System Preservation, Expansion, and Development Act of 2012 - Subtitle A: Federal and State Roles in Rail Planning and Development Tools - (Sec. 35101) Revises long-range national rail plan requirements.
Directs the Secretary, in coordination with the Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration and the Surface Transportation Board, to develop, and routinely update, a long-range national rail plan to implement national policy for high-speed and intercity passenger rail transportation and freight rail transportation.
Directs the Secretary to develop, and update annually, regional rail plans (except for the Northeast Corridor) for implementing the national rail plan, including plans for public investment projects to increase the movement of freight.
Revises state rail plan requirements.
Authorizes states to prepare state rail plans, consistent with the national rail plan and regional rail plans, to set forth state policy on freight and intercity passenger rail transportation, including commuter rail operations.
Prescribes requirements for a state long-range rail service and investment program, particularly for rail capital projects.
Requires the Secretary to provide adequate and reasonable notice and opportunity for comment to the public, rail carriers, commuter and transit authorities, local government, and other interested parties when preparing or reviewing the national rail plan or a regional rail plan.
(Sec. 35102) Directs the Secretary, in coordination with Amtrak, freight railroads, and other parties, as appropriate, to develop guidance for developing improved (including automated) means of measuring on-time performance delays.
(Sec. 35103) Directs the Secretary to conduct a data needs assessment meeting specified criteria to support development of an intercity passenger rail network.
(Sec. 35104) Directs the Secretary to study the best means to further the development of high-speed and intercity passenger rail service within U.S. shared-use corridors.
(Sec. 35105) Amends the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 to direct the Next Generation Corridor Equipment Pool Committee to establish an equipment pooling entity consisting of Amtrak, states that purchase intercity passenger rail rolling stock (railroad cars) and equipment, and other states and entities to acquire such stock and equipment for state-supported corridor services capital projects.
Makes such capital projects eligible for intercity passenger rail service corridor capital investment grants.
(Sec. 35106) Increases from one-half to 1% the amount of certain appropriations for capital grants the Secretary may withhold for the costs of capital project management oversight and joint capital planning carried out by Amtrak.
(Sec. 35107) Revises the intercity passenger rail service corridor capital investment grant program.
Prohibits the Secretary from approving a grant for an intercity passenger rail service corridor project unless that: (1) project is part of the national rail plan, a regional rail plan, a state rail plan (as under current law), or the capital spending plan; and (2) grant recipient has met certain financial requirements and continues to maintain control over the use of intercity passenger rail equipment and facilities.
Revises requirements for the high-speed rail corridor development grant program, which must be consistent with the national rail plan, regional rail plans, and state rail plans.
Revises requirements for the intercity passenger rail service corridor congestion grant program.
Revises requirements for congestion grants to states or Amtrak to finance the capital costs of facilities, infrastructure, and equipment to emphasize projects to reduce freight or commuter railroad congestion that impacts intercity passenger trains, enhance route performance, and preserve intercity passenger rail service.
Increases from 80% to 100% the federal share of project costs.
Eliminates the authority and mandates for certain additional high-speed intercity passenger rail corridor projects.
(Sec. 35108) Subjects awards to commuter rail passengers to the $200 million aggregate cap on the allowable amounts that can be awarded to all rail passengers, against all defendants, for all claims, including those for punitive damages, arising from a single accident or incident.
Makes rail passenger transportation provider contracts that allocate financial responsibility for claims enforceable notwithstanding any other provision of law, common law, or public policy, or the nature of the conduct giving rise to the damages or liability.
Encompasses commuter rail transportation as part of rail passenger transportation with respect to limitations on liability for claims.
Directs the Secretary to study options for improving passenger rail liability requirements and arrangements, including those related to environmental liability, necessary for the continued development and improvement of the national passenger rail system and the national rail plan.
(Sec. 35109) Requires at least 10% of amounts made available under certain intercity passenger rail service corridor and high-speed rail corridor development programs to be expended through a small business concern owned and controlled by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.
(Sec. 35110) Directs the Secretary to study the workforce development needs in the passenger and freight rail industry in order to assist in creating programs to improve the rail industry.
(Sec. 35111) Directs the Secretary to study the best means for providing preferences to veterans in the award of contracts and subcontracts for intercity passenger rail service corridor projects and high-speed rail corridor development projects.
Subtitle B: Amtrak - (Sec. 35201) Authorizes a state, in addition to other permitted uses, to expend intercity passenger rail service corridor grant program funds to temporarily pay Amtrak for the operating costs, in excess of certain limits, for services provided to state-supported short-distance corridors or routes on the national rail passenger transportation system.
Requires the Secretary to develop transition assistance guidance for: (1) phasing-out the temporary assistance, and (2) a grant application process for states and Amtrak.
(Sec. 35202) Revises the purpose of the Northeast Corridor Infrastructure and Operations Advisory Commission to require it to develop a unified, regional, Comprehensive Long-Range Northeast Corridor Strategy for investment in future high-speed, intercity, commuter, and freight rail operations in the Northeast Corridor.
Directs the Federal Railroad Administration, in coordination with the Commission, Amtrak, the states, and other corridor users, to complete a long-range Northeast Corridor High-Speed and Intercity Service Development Plan.
Directs the Commission to report to Congress on the role of Amtrak's Northeast Corridor service between Washington, D.C., and Boston, Massachusetts, in the economic development of the Northeast Corridor region.
Eliminates the specific authorization of appropriations to the Commission for FY2013.
(Sec. 35203) Directs Amtrak to complete: (1) a program of improvements on the Northeast Corridor that will result by 2040 in the development and operation of a new high-speed rail system capable of 200 miles-per-hour or greater between Washington, D.C., and Boston, Massachusetts; (2) improvements identified in the Northeast Corridor Infrastructure Master Plan published by Amtrak on May 19, 2010; and (3) a business and financing plan for such program.
Requires Amtrak to submit the business and financing plan to the Federal Railroad Administration and the Northeast Corridor Infrastructure and Operations Advisory Commission for use in the development of the Northeast Corridor High Speed and Intercity Service Development Plan and the Comprehensive Long-Range Northeast Corridor Strategy.
Prohibits the Secretary from precluding the use of federal funds made available for the purchase of rolling stock to purchase high-speed rail equipment that otherwise complies with all applicable federal standards.
(Sec. 35204) Directs the Secretary to complete the programmatic environmental review process for high-speed and intercity passenger rail programs, projects, or services for the Northeast Corridor within three years of enactment of this Act.
(Sec. 35205) Authorizes the Secretary to delegate to Amtrak his or her authority in carrying out programmatic or project level environmental reviews under NEPA for such projects.
(Sec. 35206) Authorizes appropriations through FY2013 to the Office of the Inspector General of Amtrak.
Requires the Amtrak Inspector General to assess progress made by Amtrak management in implementing the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008. (Currently, the DOT Inspector General must make such assessment.)
Directs the Amtrak Inspector General and Amtrak to identify funding needs and authority improvements necessary to effectuate policies, procedures, protocols, and firewalls between Amtrak and the Amtrak Inspector General to ensure the Inspector General's independence.
(Sec. 35207) Authorizes the Secretary to require a for-profit entity to compensate the United States for the entity's use of capital assets owned by a public entity or built or improved by Amtrak with certain federal funds.
(Sec. 35208) Prohibits Amtrak from making on-time performance incentive payments to a host railroad for intercity passenger train service where that train's on-time performance averages less than 80% for any 2 consecutive calendar quarters.
(Sec. 35209) Revises composition of Amtrak's Board of Directors to decrease from five to four the number of individuals who may be appointed to the Board from the same political party.
(Sec. 35210) Subjects to Buy America requirements all contracts eligible for Amtrak assistance for a project out within the scope of an applicable NEPA finding, determination, or decision, regardless of the funding source for such contracts, if at least one of those contracts is federally-funded.
Subtitle C: Rail Safety Improvements - (Sec. 35301) Revises requirements for the Secretary's review and approval of the mandatory plan of each Class I railroad and each entity providing intercity or commuter rail passenger transportation for implementing positive train control systems on its main line by December 31, 2015. Revises the requirement that the Secretary conduct an annual review to ensure that railroad carriers are complying with their plans. Requires the annual review to cover each entity, including a railroad carrier or entity that has elected to fully implement such systems before the deadline.
Authorizes the Secretary, after completing the annual report on the progress of railroad carriers in implementing the positive train control systems, to extend the implementation deadline, upon application, in one-year increments, if specified circumstances exist.
(Sec. 35302) Amends the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976 to make the implementation of positive train control systems eligible for direct loans and loan guarantees.
(Sec. 35303) Directs the Secretary and the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to coordinate to assess spectrum needs and availability for implementing positive train control systems.
Subtitle D: Freight Rail - (Sec. 35401) Makes a state eligible for a local rail line relocation and improvement project grant for any construction project for the improvement of the route or structure of a rail line that involves a lateral or vertical relocation of any portion of a road.
(Sec. 35402) Requires the Surface Transportation Board (STB) to: (1) establish a database of complaints it receives; and (2) post a quarterly report of formal and informal service complaints, including any resolution as well as other specified information.
(Sec. 35403) Directs the STB to revise the maximum amount of rate relief available to railroad shippers in cases brought pursuant to a simplified and expedited method developed for determining the reasonableness of challenged rail rates in those cases in which a full stand-alone cost presentation is too costly, given the value of the case. Sets the maximum amounts as: (1) $1.500 million in a rate case brought using the "three-benchmark" procedure, and (2) $10 million in a rate case brought using the "simplified stand-alone cost" procedure.
(Sec. 35404) Requires the STB to comply with specified rate review deadlines, unless it extends them after a request from any party or in the interest of due process.
(Sec. 35405) Directs the STB to study how it will apply its revenue adequacy constraint, using replacement costs to value the assets of rail facilities and equipment.
(Sec. 35406) Requires the STB to make quarterly reports to specified congressional committees on its progress toward addressing issues raised in unfinished regulatory proceedings, regardless of whether a proceeding is subject to a statutory or regulatory deadline.
(Sec. 35407) Directs the STB Chairman to: (1) review its workforce to assist in the development of a comprehensive, long-term human capital improvement plan; and (2) develop a comprehensive, long-term human capital improvement plan for STB personnel.
(Sec. 35408) Amends the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976 to require the Secretary, in order to find that an entity had adequate collateral as a condition for receiving a direct loan or loan guarantee for railroad rehabilitation and improvement, to accept the net present value on a future stream of state or local subsidy income or a dedicated revenue as collateral offered to secure a loan.
Makes eligible the use of direct loans and loan guarantees to conduct preliminary engineering, environmental review, permitting, or other pre-construction activities.
Directs the Secretary to report to specified congressional committees detailed recommendations for improving the Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing program administration, including timely processing of applications, expansion of eligibilities, and other issues that impede passenger and rail carriers from utilizing the program.
Subtitle E: Technical Corrections - (Sec. 35501) Makes specified technical corrections to the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 and the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008.
(Sec. 35502) Authorizes Amtrak, if it cannot agree with a rail carrier on a sale to Amtrak of an interest in property of the carrier necessary for intercity rail passenger transportation, to apply to the STB (currently, the Interstate Commerce Commission) for a condemnation order establishing Amtrak's need for the interest and requiring the carrier to convey it on reasonable terms, including just compensation.
Subtitle F: Licensing and Insurance Requirements for Passenger Rail Carriers - (Sec. 35601) Directs the STB to establish a certification process to authorize a person to provide passenger rail transportation over a railroad line subject to STB jurisdiction. States that such a certification shall not be required for or apply to a freight railroad providing or hosting passenger rail transportation over its own railroad line. Prohibits any person from providing passenger rail transportation over a railroad line subject to STB jurisdiction, as the certification process is established, unless the person is granted a certificate. Cites conditions for the granting of a certificate.
Subjects to a penalty of $300 per passenger any person providing such transportation under STB jurisdiction without a certificate.
Title VI: Sport Fish Restoration and Recreational Boating Safety Act of 2012 - Sport Fish Restoration and Recreational Boating Safety Act of 2012 - (Sec. 36002) Amends the Federal Aid in Fish Restoration Act to extend through FY2013 the required: (1) division of appropriations among specified activities for coastal wetlands, boating safety, boating infrastructure, national outreach and communications, and certain activities under the Clean Vessel Act; and (2) set-aside for expenses for administration of the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Act.
Title VII: Miscellaneous - (Sec. 37001) Declares that the final plan of the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the management of air traffic above the Grand Canyon shall not apply to or otherwise affect the regulation of flights over the Grand Canyon at altitudes above the Special Flight Rules Area for the Grand Canyon in effect as of the date of enactment of this Act, or as subsequently modified by mutual agreement of the Secretary and the Administrator.
Requires all commercial air tour aircraft operating in the Grand Canyon National Park Special Flight Rules Area, by 15 years after enactment of this Act, to convert fully to quiet aircraft technology. Requires the Secretary and the Administrator to provide incentives for commercial air tour operators that convert to quiet aircraft technology before that date, such as increasing the flight allocations for such operators on a net basis consistent with the National Park Air Tours Management Act of 2000, provided that the cumulative impact of such operations does not increase noise at Grand Canyon National Park.
Division D: Finance - Highway Investment, Job Creation, and Economic Growth Act of 2012 - Title I: Extension of Highway Trust Fund Expenditure Authority and Related Taxes - (Sec. 40101) Amends the Internal Revenue Code to: (1) extend through September 30, 2013, the expenditure authority for the Highway Trust Fund; and (2) extend through September 30, 2015, current excise tax rates on motor fuels (i.e., gasoline, diesel fuel and kerosene, and special motor fuels), excise taxes on heavy highway vehicles and highway tires, and the use tax on heavy vehicles.
Title II: Other Provisions - (Sec. 40201) Extends through 2012: (1) the special exemption for small bond issuers (issuers of $10 million or less of tax-exempt obligations in a calendar year) from tax-exempt interest expense allocation rules, (2) the exemption of tax-exempt interest on private activity bonds from treatment as an item of tax preference for alternative minimum tax (AMT) purposes, and (3) the equalization of the tax exclusion for employer-provided mass transit and parking benefits.
(Sec. 40203) Allows a state, through a state infrastructure bank, to issue transportation and regional infrastructure project (TRIP) bonds and deposit proceeds into the TRIP bond account of the bank. Requires such proceeds to be used for capital improvements to any transportation infrastructure project of any governmental unit or other person, including roads, bridges, rail and transit systems, ports, and inland waterways.
(Sec. 40205) Exempts sewage and water facility bonds issued before January 1, 2018, from the volume cap applicable to private activity bonds.
Title III: Revenue Provisions - (Sec. 40301) Transfers to the Highway Trust Fund: (1) $3 billion from the Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) Trust Fund, (2) one-third of the LUST Trust Fund financing rate with respect to motor fuels, (3) revenue from the gas guzzler tax, (4) additional revenue from restrictions placed on the cellulosic biofuel producer tax credit by this Act, and (5) certain tariffs on motor cars and other motor vehicles with a specified cylinder capacity.
(Sec. 40303) Amends the Internal Revenue Code to appropriate to the HTF amounts equivalent to gas guzzler taxes received in the Treasury before October 1, 2016.
(Sec. 40304) Requires the Secretary of the Treasury to notify the Secretary of State of the identity of any individual who has a seriously delinquent tax debt in excess of $50,000 (adjusted for inflation after 2012) for action with respect to the denial, revocation, or limitation of the individual's passport.
(Sec. 40305) Imposes the 100% continuous levy on payments due to Medicare providers and suppliers for delinquent tax debts.
(Sec. 40306) Amends the Internal Revenue Code to appropriate to the HTF amounts equivalent to certain duties on imported vehicles received in the Treasury between October 1, 2011, and October 1, 2016.
(Sec. 40307) Allows nonrecognition of gain for income tax purposes in a corporate reorganization for certain controlled corporations that exchange property solely for stock other than nonqualified preferred stock.
(Sec. 40308) Allows the enforcement of a federal tax levy on thrift savings plan accounts.
(Sec. 40309) Requires a 45-year recovery period for the depreciation of applicable leased highway property, using the straight line method of depreciation. Defines "applicable leased highway property" as highway property subject to a lease to a private entity from a state or locality, under which such entity receives a right-of way on public lands underlying the highway property and a grant of a franchise permitting the entity to receive funds (e.g., tolls) from the operation of such highway.
Requires that the amortization period of intangibles relating to applicable leased highway property shall not be less than the term of the applicable lease for such property.
(Sec. 40310) Extends through 2021 the authority for transfers of excess pension assets of a defined benefit plan to a retiree health benefits account.
(Sec. 40311) Allows the transfer of excess pension assets of a defined benefit plan to a retiree group term life insurance account.
(Sec. 40312) Amends the Internal Revenue Code and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) with respect to minimum funding standards for single-employer defined benefit pension plans, in particular the "effective interest rate" (the single rate of interest which, if used to determine the present value of a plan's accrued or earned benefits, would result in an amount equal to the plan's funding target for the plan year). Prescribes a formula for calculation of the alternative segment rate component of interest rate used in determining the present value of the benefits of a plan.
(Sec. 40313) Makes additional appropriations to the HTF for FY2012-FY2014.
(Sec. 40314) Makes appropriations for FY2012 and FY2014 to the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Trust Fund and the Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund under the Social Security Act.
Division E: Research and Education - Transportation Research and Innovative Technology Act of 2012 - Title I: Funding - (Sec. 51001) Authorizes appropriations out of the HTF (other than the Mass Transit Account) for FY2012-FY2013 for: (1) the highway research and development program, (2) the technology and innovation deployment program, (3) transportation training and education programs, (4) the intelligent transportation systems (ITS) program, (5) the university transportation centers program, and (6) the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
Title II: Research, Technology, and Education - (Sec. 52002) Replaces the Surface Transportation Research Program with the Surface Transportation Research, Development, and Technology Program.
Authorizes the Secretary, upon the request of a state, to transfer program amounts apportioned to that state to another state or the FHWA to fund transportation research, development, and technology transfer activities of mutual interest on a pooled fund basis.
Authorizes the Secretary to award competitive prizes to individuals or entities for surface transportation innovations that have the potential for application to the FHWA's research and technology objectives and activities to improve transportation system performance.
Requires the Secretary to establish minimum eligibility requirements, according to certain criteria for such prizes.
(Sec. 52003) Replaces the National Technology Deployment Program with the Research and Technology Development and Deployment Program.
Requires the Secretary to carry out highway research and development activities to: (1) improve highway safety; (2) improve infrastructure integrity; (3) strengthen transportation planning and environmental decisionmaking; (4) reduce congestion, improve highway operations, and enhance freight productivity; (5) assess policy and system financing alternatives; (6) assess infrastructure investment needs; (7) explore Next Generation (NextGen) solutions and capitalize on the capabilities of the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center; and (8) align national challenges and disseminate relevant information to improve the performance of the transportation system.
Directs the Secretary to continue to carry out a technology and innovation deployment program.
Directs the Secretary to obligate funds for FY2012-FY2013 to accelerate the deployment of asphalt pavement and concrete pavement technologies used on the national highway system.
Directs the Secretary to carry out a research program to examine outcomes of actions funded under the congestion mitigation and air quality (CMAQ) improvement program since enactment of SAFETEA-LU. Requires the Secretary to make $1 million available for each fiscal year to carry out such program.
(Sec. 52004) Directs the National Highway Institute to develop highway training and education programs for employees of any other applicable federal agency. (Currently, for FHWA, state, and local transportation agency employees.)
Repeals the requirement for a set-aside of up to .5% of certain funds apportioned to a state for expenditure by the state transportation department for the payment of up to 80% of the cost of tuition and direct educational expenses (excluding salaries) in connection with the highway training and education of employees of state and local transportation agencies.
Sets at 50% the federal share of costs for local technical assistance centers providing surface transportation technology and education and training to highway and transportation agencies and their personnel in urbanized and rural areas.
Authorizes the Secretary to make grants to establish centers for surface transportation excellence to promote strategic national surface transportation programs for state transportation departments in the areas of environment, surface transportation safety, rural safety, and project finance.
(Sec. 52005) Decreases from 25% to 24% the amount a state must expend of its apportionment for state transportation planning and research for highway, public transportation, and intermodal transportation system research, development, and technology transfer activities. Reduces from 75% to 70% the minimum amount of such funds a state's total expenditures for transportation planning must exceed to allow the Secretary to waive this mandatory 24% expenditure.
Requires that at least 6% of a state's apportionment of transportation planning and research funds be made available to the Secretary for implementation of future strategic highway research program findings and results.
(Sec. 52006) Repeals the International Highway Transportation Outreach Program and the Surface Transportation Environmental Cooperative Research Program.
(Sec. 52008) Revises the national cooperative freight transportation research program to direct the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to coordinate all of its transportation-related cooperative research programs to ensure program efficiency, effectiveness, and the dissemination of research findings.
(Sec. 52009) Authorizes the Secretary to carry out a program to award competitive cash prizes to an individual or entity to stimulate innovation in basic and applied research, technology development, and prototype demonstration with potential for application to the national transportation system.
Prescribes program eligibility requirements.
(Sec. 52010) Revises the national university transportation centers grant program.
Requires each university transportation center, in addition to its current role, to: (1) provide for a critical transportation knowledge base outside DOT; and (2) to address critical workforce needs and educate the next generation of transportation leaders.
Prescribes requirements for a competitive selection process for: (1) 5 grants for each of FY2012 and FY2013 for national centers, (2) 10 grants for regional centers in each of the 10 Standard Federal Regions, and (3) 20 grants for each of FY2012 and FY2013 for Tier 1 university transportation centers.
(Sec. 52011) Codifies federal law concerning the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) in the Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA). (BTS was created in 1992 under the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act [ISTEA] and later transferred to become part of RITA on February 20, 2005.)
Requires the BTS Director to establish an intermodal transportation database.
Establishes in the BTS a National Transportation Library to provide transportation information and information products and services to DOT, other federal agencies, and the public.
Requires the BTS Director to establish an advisory council on transportation statistics.
Prescribes requirements for: (1) transportation statistical collection, analysis, and dissemination; (2) furnishing of transportation information, data, or reports by federal agencies; (3) use of proceeds received by the Bureau from the sale of data products; and (4) information collection.
Requires the Director to develop a national transportation atlas database composed of geospatial databases.
Authorizes the Secretary to make R&D grants to, or enter into cooperative agreements or contracts with, public and non-profit entities (including state transportation departments, MPOs, and institutions of higher education) for R&D of new methods of transportation data collection, standardization, management, integration, dissemination, interpretation, and analysis.
Subjects to a specified fine an owner or person in charge of a freight company that neglects, or refuses when requested by the BTS Director or other authorized BTS employee or contractor, to answer completely all questions relating to the company or to make available company records or statistics.
(Sec. 52012) Authorizes the use of amounts for RITA administration and operations to purchase promotional items of nominal value for use in the recruitment of individuals and promotion of RITA programs.
Authorizes the RITA Administrator, with a 50% federal share, to carry out collaborative R&D with non-federal entities, federal laboratories, and other federal agencies.
(Sec. 52013) Revises transportation R&D strategic planning requirements.
Requires the Secretary's five-year transportation R&D strategic plan to describe the primary purposes of the DOT transportation R&D program, which shall also include, at a minimum, improving goods movement.
Title III: Intelligent Transportation Systems Research - (Sec. 53001) Revises requirements for the use of specified research, technology, and education funds for Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) activities.
Authorizes the Secretary to develop and implement incentives to accelerate the deployment of ITS technologies and services within all funding programs authorized by this Act.
Directs the Secretary to establish a competitive grant program to accelerate the deployment, operation, systems management, intermodal integration, and interoperability of the ITS program and ITS-enabled operational strategies to accomplish specified objectives with respect to improvement of the surface transportation system, reduction of traffic congestion, and minimization of fatalities and injuries, among others.
(Sec. 53002) Expresses the goals and purposes of the ITS program.
(Sec. 53003) Directs the Secretary to conduct an ongoing ITS program to: (1) research, develop, and operationally test ITS systems; and (2) provide technical assistance in the nationwide application of those systems as a component of the U.S. surface transportation systems.
Requires the Secretary to maintain, and share information from, a repository for technical and safety data collected as a result of federally sponsored ITS projects.
Establishes an ITS Advisory Committee.
(Sec. 53004) Directs the Secretary to carry out a comprehensive program of ITS research and development, and operational tests of intelligent vehicles, intelligent infrastructure systems, and other similar activities.
Sets the federal share for such projects at 80%.
(Sec. 53005) Directs the the Secretary to develop a National ITS Architecture and supporting ITS Standards and protocols to promote the use of systems engineering methods in the widespread deployment and evaluation of ITS systems as a component of U.S. surface transportation systems, including interoperability among, and the efficiency of, ITS technologies implemented throughout the United States.
Requires the Secretary to support the development and maintenance of standards and protocols using the services of standards development organizations whose memberships are composed of, and represent, the surface transportation and ITS industries.
Authorizes the Secretary to establish a provisional standard using the work product of appropriate standards development organizations if the development or balloting of an ITS standard jeopardizes the timely achievement of ITS program objectives.
(Sec. 53006) Requires the Secretary to report to specified congressional committees on: (1) a recommended implementation path for dedicated short-range communications technology and applications, (2) guidance on the relationship of the proposed deployment of dedicated short-range communications to the National ITS Architecture and ITS Standards, and (3) ensured competition by not preferencing the use of any particular frequency for vehicle to infrastructure operations.
Division F: Miscellaneous - Title I: Reauthorization of Certain Programs - (Sec. 100101) Amends the Secure Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000 to establish, for FY2012 and each following fiscal year, an amount that is equal to 95% of the full funding amount used for the previous fiscal year to make secure payments to eligible states and counties that contain certain lands.
Revises requirements for notification by a county of its election to accept payments under such Act, Requires the governor of each state to notify the Secretary of Agriculture of an eligible county's election. Revises the consequences for a county's failure to make an election by the deadline to consider that it has elected to expend only 80% (currently 85%) of the funds involved, with the remainder to be available to the Secretary to carry out projects in the county.
Permits a resource advisory committee under the Act to propose using up to 10% of certain project funds of an eligible county for administrative expenses associated with that committee's operations.
Keeps the annual percentage for FY2010-FY2011 in place under the merchantable timber contracting pilot program for the implementation of approved projects in participating counties involving the sale of merchantable timber using separate contracts through FY2016.
Reauthorizes the Act through FY2016.
Declares that, for each county that failed to make an election for FY2011, there shall be available to the Secretary of Agriculture, to carry out projects with federal, state, and local governments and private entities to further fish and wildlife habitat protection, restoration, and enhancement, 15% of the total share of the state payment that otherwise would have been made to the county for FY2011.
Subtitle B: Payment in Lieu of Taxes Program - (Sec. 100111) Entitles counties or other eligible units of local government in which U.S.-owned entitlement land is located to certain payments under the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) Program through FY2013.
Subtitle C: Offsets - (Sec. 100112) Amends the Internal Revenue Code, with respect to the tax treatment of certain life insurance contract transactions, to require reporting to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of: (1) information identifying persons who acquire a life insurance contract, or any interest therein, in a reportable policy sale; (2) information identifying a seller who transfers an interest in a life insurance contract and the seller's investment in the contract; and (3) reportable death benefit payments.
(Sec. 100113) Requires a basis adjustment for mortality, expense, or other reasonable charges incurred under an annuity or life insurance contract.
(Sec. 100114) Exempts from rules limiting the exclusion from gross income of life insurance death benefit amounts any amounts realized from the transfer of a life insurance contract, or any interest therein, that is a reportable policy sale. Defines "reportable policy sale" as the acquisition of an interest in a life insurance contract, directly or indirectly, if the acquirer has no substantial family, business, or financial relationship with the insured apart from the acquirer's interest in such life insurance contract.
(Sec. 100115) Allows a retirement-eligible federal employee under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) or the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), with the concurrence of the head of the employing agency, to make a one-time election to enter phased retirement status under which such employee shall be appointed to a position for which the working percentage (the number of hours worked by the employee per pay period divided by the number of hours worked by a full-time employee in a comparable position) is 50%. Authorizes the Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to provide for a different working percentage which shall not be less than 20% or more than 80%. Denies eligibility for any employee after the date such employee is required to be separated from service under mandatory retirement requirements.
Imposes certain requirements for and limitations on the employment of such a phased retiree, including that such retiree: (1) must have been employed on a full-time basis for not less than the three-year period ending on the date of an election under this Act; (2) may not be employed in more than one position at any time, but may transfer to another position in the same or different agency; and (3) must spend not less than 20% of working hours mentoring other employees.
Sets forth rules for the computation of: (1) a phased retirement annuity, which shall be paid in addition to the basic pay for the position to which a phased retiree is appointed; and (2) a composite annuity, which a phased retiree shall be entitled to receive upon electing to enter full retirement status.
Authorizes a phased retiree: (1) with the concurrence of the head of the employing agency, to elect to terminate phased retirement status and return to a full-time work schedule; or (2) elect to enter full retirement status at any time.
(Sec. 100116) Amends the Internal Revenue Code, with respect to taxes on tobacco products, papers, and tubes, to treat as a "manufacturer of tobacco products" any person who, for commercial purposes, makes available for consumer use a machine capable of making cigarettes, cigars, or other tobacco products.
Deems such a person, with respect to any tobacco products manufactured by the machine, the person removing tobacco products or cigarette papers or tubes, or any processed tobacco, from the factory or from internal revenue bond, or releasing them from customs custody, including smuggling or other unlawful importation of such articles into the United States.
Title II: Stop Tax Haven Abuse - Revises requirements for special measures for jurisdictions, financial institutions, international transactions, or types of accounts of primary money laundering concern. Applies such measures also to jurisdictions outside the United States and financial institutions operating outside the United States that significantly impede U.S. tax enforcement.
Authorizes as sanctions upon such jurisdictions or financial institutions the prohibition of, or the imposition of conditions upon, the authorization, approval, or use in the United States of a credit card, charge card, debit card, or similar credit or debit financial instrument by any domestic financial institution, financial agency, or credit card company or association, for or on behalf of a foreign banking institution, if the correspondent account, payable-through account, credit card, charge card, debit card, or similar credit or debit financial instrument, involves any such jurisdiction or institution, or if any such transaction may be conducted through such an account or financial instrument.
Division G: Air Transportation - (Sec. 100301) Transfers from the the FAA Administrator to the Director of the National Park Service (NPS) sole authority to establish air tour management plans, issue air tour permits for commercial air tour operations conducted in accordance with an air tour management plan, enter into a voluntary agreement with a commercial air tour operator, and administer existing or issue new interim operating permits.
Retains in the FAA Administrator authority to ensure that any action taken under this section does not adversely affect aviation safety or the management of the national airspace system.
Exempts from air tour management program requirements a national park that has 50 or fewer commercial air tour flights a year, unless the NPS Director determines that an air tour management plan or voluntary agreement is necessary to protect park resources and values or park visitor use and enjoyment.
Authorizes the NPS Director to deny an application to begin commercial air tour operations at Crater Lake National Park (Oregon) without the establishment of an air tour management plan if the Director determines that such operations would adversely affect park resources or visitor experiences.
Authorizes the NPS Director, as an alternative to an air tour management plan, to enter into a voluntary agreement with a commercial air tour operator to manage commercial air tour operations over a national park.
Requires the NPS Director to determine and assess a fee on a commercial air tour operator conducting commercial air tour operations over a national park, including the Grand Canyon National Park.
Establishes civil penalties of up to $25,000 for each violation of requirements or regulations for overflights of National Parks.
Makes technical amendments to current requirements. Continues the exemption from all such requirements of: (1) Grand Canyon National Park and tribal lands within or abutting it; and (2) air tour operators while flying over or near the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, solely as a transportation route, to conduct an air tour over the Grand Canyon National Park.
Amends the National Parks Air Tour Management Act of 2000 to authorize the NPS Director to retain the advisory group previously established to provide continuing advice and counsel with respect to commercial air tour operations over and near national parks. Requires the group to include representatives of Native Hawaiians. Terminates the alternating one-year terms of the FAA representative and the NPS representative as chair of the group to make the NPS representative the sole chairperson. Replaces certain FAA responsibilities under such Act with NPS responsibilities.
Division H: Budgetary Effects - (Sec. 100401) Declares that the budgetary effects of this Act shall not be entered on either PAYGO scorecard maintained in the House pursuant to the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010 or recorded on any PAYGO scorecard maintained in the Senate under S. Con. Res. 21 (110th Congress).