H.R. 974: MOVE Freight Act of 2013

113th Congress, 2013–2015. Text as of Mar 05, 2013 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO and Cato Institute Deepbills

I

113th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 974

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

March 5, 2013

(for himself, Mr. Smith of Washington, Mr. Blumenauer, Ms. Hahn, Ms. Brown of Florida, and Mrs. Napolitano) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure

A BILL

To amend titles 23 and 49, United States Code, to establish national policies and programs to strengthen freight-related infrastructure, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title; table of contents

(a)

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Multimodal Opportunities Via Enhanced Freight Act of 2013 or the MOVE Freight Act of 2013 .

(b)

Table of contents

The table of contents for this Act is as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

Sec. 2. Findings.

Title I—National and State Freight Policy and Planning

Sec. 101. National freight policy.

Sec. 102. State freight plans.

Title II—National Freight Infrastructure Investment

Sec. 201. National freight infrastructure investment grants.

2.

Findings

Congress finds the following:

(1)

The rapid and cost efficient movement of goods throughout the United States supply chain, and particularly through United States trade gateways and corridors, is vital to securing the Nation’s economic future and maintaining the Nation’s competitiveness in world markets.

(2)

More than $16 trillion worth of freight was moved in the United States in 2010, accounting for $13 trillion in domestic shipments and $3 trillion in international exports and imports.

(3)

Freight is forecasted to grow, with indicators showing that United States shipments will more than double between 2010 and 2040 to roughly $39.5 trillion annually, with an estimated $10.3 trillion worth of goods using multiple modes of transportation each year.

(4)

By 2020, the Nation’s projected surface transportation infrastructure deficiencies are expected to cost the national economy cumulatively almost $900 billion in gross domestic product, rising to $2.7 billion through 2040.

(5)

It is the responsibility of the Federal Government to support business by helping to ensure multimodal freight networks that will provide reliable, efficient, and safe transportation, allowing cost-effective transport of goods to markets near and far.

(6)

A national campaign of strategic investment to expand capacity and increase efficiency can circumvent the projected loss in United States productivity and decline in global competitiveness.

(7)

In establishing national policies and programs to strengthen freight-related infrastructure, the President, Federal officials, and other relevant stakeholders should consider the critical importance of freight to United States businesses and global economic competitiveness.

(8)

Under the Constitution, it is the role of the Federal Government to protect and promote commerce with foreign nations and among the States through all reasonable means, including through investment in goods movement infrastructure.

I

National and State Freight Policy and Planning

101.

National freight policy

(a)

National freight network defined

Section 101(a) of title 23, United States Code, is amended—

(1)

by redesignating paragraphs (15) through (34) as paragraphs (16) through (35), respectively; and

(2)

by inserting after paragraph (14) the following:

(15)

National freight network

The term national freight network means a network composed of highways, railways, navigable waterways, seaports, airports, freight intermodal connectors, and aerotropolis transportation systems most critical to the multimodal movement of freight.

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(b)

Establishment and designation of national freight network

Subsections (c) and (d) of section 167 of title 23, United States Code, are amended to read as follows:

(c)

Establishment of national freight network

(1)

In general

The Secretary shall establish a national freight network in accordance with this section to assist States in strategically directing resources toward improved system performance for efficient movement of freight—

(A)

on highways (including highways on the national highway system), railways, navigable waterways, freight intermodal connectors, and aerotropolis transportation systems; and

(B)

into and out of inland ports, seaports, and airports.

(2)

Network components

The national freight network shall consist of multimodal transportation infrastructure, including—

(A)

the primary freight network, as designated by the Secretary under subsection (d) (referred to in this section as the primary freight network) as the network composed of highways, railways, navigable waterways, seaports, airports, freight intermodal connectors, and aerotropolis transportation systems most critical to the multimodal movement of freight;

(B)

the portions of the Interstate System not designated as part of the primary freight network; and

(C)

critical rural freight corridors established under subsection (e).

(d)

Designation of primary freight network

(1)

Initial designation of primary freight network

(A)

Designation

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this section, the Secretary shall designate a multimodal primary freight network—

(i)

based on an inventory of national freight volume conducted by the Secretary, in consultation with stakeholders, including system users, transport providers, and States;

(ii)

that shall be comprised of—

(I)

not more than 27,000 miles of existing major freight corridors that are most critical;

(II)

critical rail corridors;

(III)

critical intermodal connections; and

(IV)

critical inland port, seaport, and airport infrastructure, at the discretion of the Secretary.

(B)

Factors for designation

In designating the primary freight network, the Secretary shall consider—

(i)

the generation of national economic benefits, including job creation, expanded business opportunities, and benefits to the gross domestic product;

(ii)

the origins and destinations of freight movement in the United States;

(iii)

the total freight tonnage and value of freight moved;

(iv)

the percentage of annual average daily traffic;

(v)

land and maritime ports of entry;

(vi)

access to energy exploration, development, installation, or production areas;

(vii)

population centers; and

(viii)

network connectivity.

(2)

Additional miles on multimodal primary freight network

In addition to the miles of existing major freight corridors initially designated under paragraph (1), the Secretary may increase the number of miles designated as part of the primary freight network by not more than 3,000 additional miles of freight corridors (which may include existing or planned corridors) critical to future efficient movement of goods on the primary freight network.

(3)

Redesignation of primary freight network

Effective beginning 10 years after the designation of the primary freight network and every 10 years thereafter, using the designation factors described in paragraph (1), the Secretary shall redesignate the primary freight network (including additional mileage described in paragraph (2)).

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102.

State freight plans

Section 1118(a) of MAP–21 (23 U.S.C. 167 note; 126 Stat. 473) is amended—

(1)

by striking encourage and inserting require; and

(2)

by adding at the end the following: Each State shall coordinate with neighboring states to ensure multistate network continuity and con­nec­tiv­i­ty..

II

National Freight Infrastructure Investment

201.

National freight infrastructure investment grants

(a)

Establishment of Program

Chapter 55 of title 49, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

III

Financial Assistance

5581.

National freight infrastructure investment grants

(a)

Establishment of Program

The Secretary of Transportation shall establish a competitive grant program to provide financial assistance for capital investments that improve the efficiency of the national transportation system to move freight.

(b)

Eligible Projects

An applicant is eligible for a grant under this section for—

(1)

a port development or improvement project;

(2)

a multimodal terminal facility project;

(3)

a land port of entry project;

(4)

a freight rail improvement or capacity expansion project;

(5)

an intelligent transportation system project primarily for freight benefit that reduces congestion or improves safety;

(6)

a project that improves access to a port or terminal facility;

(7)

an aerotropolis system, which for purposes of this section is a planned and coordinated multimodal freight and passenger transportation network that, as determined by the Secretary, provides efficient, cost-effective, sustainable, and intermodal connectivity to a defined region of economic significance centered around a major airport; or

(8)

planning, preparation, or design of any project described in this subsection.

(c)

Project Selection Criteria

In determining whether to award a grant to an eligible applicant under this section, the Secretary shall consider the extent to which the project—

(1)

supports the objectives of the national freight strategic plan developed under section 167(f) of title 23;

(2)

leverages Federal investment by encouraging non-Federal contributions to the project, including contributions from public-private partnerships;

(3)

improves the mobility of goods and commodities;

(4)

incorporates new and innovative technologies, including freight-related intelligent transportation systems;

(5)

improves energy efficiency or reduces greenhouse gas emissions;

(6)

helps maintain or protect the environment, including reducing air and water pollution;

(7)

reduces congestion;

(8)

improves the condition of the freight infrastructure, including bringing it into a state of good repair;

(9)

improves safety, including reducing transportation accidents, injuries, and fatalities;

(10)

demonstrates that the proposed project cannot be readily and efficiently realized without Federal support and participation; and

(11)

enhances national or regional economic development, growth, and competitiveness.

(d)

Letters of Intent

(1)

Issuance

The Secretary may issue a letter of intent to an applicant announcing an intention to obligate, for a major capital project under this subsection, an amount from future available budget authority specified in law that is not more than the amount stipulated as the financial participation of the Secretary in the project.

(2)

Notice to Congress

At least 30 days before issuing a letter under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall notify in writing the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives of the proposed letter or agreement. The Secretary shall include with the notification a copy of the proposed letter or agreement, the criteria used under subsection (c) for selecting the project for a grant award, and a description of how the project meets such criteria.

(3)

Limitation

An obligation or administrative commitment may be made only when amounts are made available. The letter of intent shall state that the contingent commitment is not an obligation of the Federal Government, and is subject to the availability of funds under Federal law and to Federal laws in force or enacted after the date of the contingent commitment.

(e)

Federal Share of Net Project Cost

(1)

Estimate of net project cost

Based on engineering studies, studies of economic feasibility, and information on the expected use of equipment or facilities, the Secretary shall estimate the net project cost.

(2)

Federal share

The Federal share of a grant for the project shall not exceed 80 percent of the project net capital cost.

(3)

Priority

The Secretary shall give priority in allocating future obligations and contingent commitments to incur obligations to grant requests seeking a lower Federal share of the project net capital cost.

(f)

Cooperative agreements

(1)

In general

An applicant may enter into an agreement with any public, private, or nonprofit entity to cooperatively implement any project funded with a grant under this subchapter.

(2)

Forms of participation

Participation by an entity under paragraph (1) may consist of—

(A)

ownership or operation of any land, facility, vehicle, or other physical asset associated with the project;

(B)

cost sharing of any project expense or non-Federal share of the project cost, including in-kind contributions;

(C)

carrying out administration, construction management, project management, project operation, or any other management or operational duty associated with the project; and

(D)

any other form of participation approved by the Secretary.

(g)

Oversight Program

(1)

Establishment

(A)

In general

The Secretary shall establish an oversight program to monitor the effective and efficient use of funds authorized to carry out this section.

(B)

Minimum requirement

At a minimum, the program shall be responsive to all areas relating to financial integrity and project delivery.

(2)

Financial integrity

(A)

Financial management systems

The Secretary shall perform annual reviews that address elements of the applicant’s financial management systems that affect projects approved under subsection (a).

(B)

Project costs

The Secretary shall develop minimum standards for estimating project costs and shall periodically evaluate the practices of applicants for estimating project costs, awarding contracts, and reducing project costs.

(3)

Project delivery

The Secretary shall perform annual reviews that address elements of the project delivery system of an applicant, which elements include one or more activities that are involved in the life cycle of a project from conception to completion of the project.

(4)

Responsibility of the applicants

(A)

In general

Each applicant shall submit to the Secretary for approval such plans, specifications, and estimates for each proposed project as the Secretary may require.

(B)

Applicant subrecipients

The applicant shall be responsible for determining that a subrecipient of Federal funds under this section has—

(i)

adequate project delivery systems for projects approved under this section; and

(ii)

sufficient accounting controls to properly manage such Federal funds.

(C)

Periodic review

The Secretary shall periodically review the monitoring of subrecipients by the applicant.

(5)

Specific oversight responsibilities

Nothing in this section shall affect or discharge any oversight responsibility of the Secretary specifically provided for under this title or other Federal law.

(h)

Major Projects

(1)

In general

A recipient of a grant for a project under this section with an estimated total cost of $500,000,000 or more, and a recipient for such other projects as may be identified by the Secretary, shall submit to the Secretary for each project—

(A)

a project management plan; and

(B)

an annual financial plan.

(2)

Project management plan

A project management plan shall document—

(A)

the procedures and processes that are in effect to provide timely information to the project decisionmakers to effectively manage the scope, costs, schedules, quality of, and the Federal requirements applicable to, the project; and

(B)

the role of the agency leadership and management team in the delivery of the project.

(3)

Financial plan

A financial plan shall—

(A)

be based on detailed estimates of the cost to complete the project; and

(B)

provide for the annual submission of updates to the Secretary that are based on reasonable assumptions, as determined by the Secretary, of future increases in the cost to complete the project.

(i)

Other projects

A recipient of Federal financial assistance for a project under this section with an estimated total cost of $100,000,000 or more that is not covered by subsection (h) shall prepare an annual financial plan. Annual financial plans prepared under this subsection shall be made available to the Secretary for review upon the request of the Secretary.

(j)

Other terms and conditions

The Secretary shall determine what additional grant terms and conditions are necessary and appropriate to meet the requirements of this section.

(k)

Regulations

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this section, the Secretary shall prescribe regulations to implement this section.

(l)

Applicant defined

In this section, the term applicant includes a State, a political subdivision of a State, government-sponsored authorities and corporations, and the District of Columbia.

(m)

Secretarial oversight

(1)

Construction oversight

The Secretary may use no more than 1 percent of amounts made available in a fiscal year for capital projects under this section to enter into contracts to oversee the construction of such projects.

(2)

Compliance reviews and audits

The Secretary may use amounts available under paragraph (1) to make contracts for safety, procurement, management, and financial compliance reviews and audits of a recipient of amounts under paragraph (1).

(3)

Federal costs

The Federal Government shall pay the entire cost of carrying out a contract under this subsection.

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(b)

Conforming Amendment

The analysis for chapter 55 of title 49, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

Subchapter III—Financial Assistance

5581. National freight infrastructure investment grants.

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