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S. 546 (114th): RESPONSE Act of 2016

The text of the bill below is as of May 9, 2016 (Passed the Senate).

Source: GPO

114th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 546

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

AN ACT

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

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the RESPONSE Act of 2016.

2.

Railroad Emergency Services Preparedness, Operational Needs, and Safety Evaluation Subcommittee

Section 508 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 318) is amended—

(1)

by redesignating subsection (d) as subsection (e); and

(2)

by inserting after subsection (c) the following:

(d)

RESPONSE Subcommittee

(1)

Establishment

Not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of the RESPONSE Act of 2016, the Administrator shall establish, as a subcommittee of the National Advisory Council, the Railroad Emergency Services Preparedness, Operational Needs, and Safety Evaluation Subcommittee (referred to in this subsection as the RESPONSE Subcommittee).

(2)

Membership

Notwithstanding subsection (c), the RESPONSE Subcommittee shall be composed of the following:

(A)

The Deputy Administrator, Protection and National Preparedness of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or designee.

(B)

The Associate Administrator for Hazardous Materials Safety of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, or designee.

(C)

The Director of the Office of Emergency Communications of the Department of Homeland Security, or designee.

(D)

The Director for the Office of Railroad, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Investigations of the National Transportation Safety Board, or designee, only in an advisory capacity.

(E)

The Chief Safety Officer and Associate Administrator for Railroad Safety of the Federal Railroad Administration, or designee.

(F)

The Assistant Administrator for Security Policy and Industry Engagement of the Transportation Security Administration, or designee.

(G)

The Assistant Commandant for Response Policy of the Coast Guard, or designee.

(H)

The Assistant Administrator for the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response of the Environmental Protection Agency, or designee.

(I)

The Chief Safety Officer and Assistant Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or designee.

(J)

Such other qualified individuals as the co-chairpersons shall jointly appoint as soon as practicable after the date of the enactment of the RESPONSE Act of 2016 from among the following:

(i)

Members of the National Advisory Council that have the requisite technical knowledge and expertise to address rail emergency response issues, including members from the following disciplines:

(I)

Emergency management and emergency response providers, including fire service, law enforcement, hazardous materials response, and emergency medical services.

(II)

State, local, and tribal government officials, including Adjutants General.

(ii)

Individuals who have the requisite technical knowledge and expertise to serve on the RESPONSE Subcommittee, including at least 1 representative from each of the following:

(I)

The rail industry.

(II)

The oil industry.

(III)

The communications industry.

(IV)

Emergency response providers, including individuals nominated by national organizations representing local governments and personnel.

(V)

Emergency response training providers.

(VI)

Representatives from national Indian organizations.

(VII)

Technical experts.

(VIII)

Vendors, developers, and manufacturers of systems, facilities, equipment, and capabilities for emergency first responder services.

(iii)

Representatives of such other stakeholders and interested and affected parties as the co-chairpersons consider appropriate.

(3)

Co-chairpersons

The members described in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of paragraph (2) shall serve as the co-chairpersons of the RESPONSE Subcommittee.

(4)

Meetings

(A)

Initial meeting

The initial meeting of the RESPONSE Subcommittee shall take place not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of the RESPONSE Act of 2016.

(B)

Other meetings

After the initial meeting, the RESPONSE Subcommittee shall meet at least twice annually, with at least 1 meeting conducted in person during the first year, at the call of the co-chairpersons.

(5)

Consultation with nonmembers

The RESPONSE Subcommittee and the program offices for emergency first responder training and resources shall consult with other relevant agencies and groups, including entities engaged in federally funded research and academic institutions engaged in relevant work and research, which are not represented on the RESPONSE Subcommittee to consider new and developing technologies and methods that may be beneficial to preparedness and response to rail hazardous materials incidents.

(6)

Recommendations

The RESPONSE Subcommittee shall develop recommendations, as appropriate, for improving emergency first responder training and resource allocation for hazardous materials incidents involving railroads after evaluating the following topics:

(A)

The quality and application of training for local emergency first responders related to rail hazardous materials incidents, with a particular focus on local emergency first responders and small communities near railroads, including the following:

(i)

Ease of access to relevant training for local emergency first responders, including an analysis of—

(I)

the number of individuals being trained;

(II)

the number of individuals who are applying;

(III)

whether current demand is being met;

(IV)

current challenges; and

(V)

projected needs.

(ii)

Modernization of training course content related to rail hazardous materials incidents, with a particular focus on fluctuations in oil shipments by rail.

(iii)

Avoiding overlap of training content across agencies and the private sector to provide complementary opportunities for rail hazardous materials incidents courses and materials, including the following:

(I)

Promoting integrated course content through public-private partnerships.

(II)

Regular and ongoing evaluation of course opportunities, adaptation to emerging trends, agency and private sector outreach, effectiveness and ease of access for local emergency first responders.

(iv)

Online training platforms, train-the-trainer and mobile training options.

(B)

The effectiveness of funding levels related to training local emergency first responders for rail hazardous materials incidents, with a particular focus on local emergency first responders and small communities near railroads, including the following:

(i)

Minimizing overlap in resource allocation among agencies.

(ii)

Minimizing overlap in resource allocation among agencies and private sector.

(iii)

Maximizing public-private partnerships where funding gaps exists for specific training or cost-saving measures can be implemented to increase training opportunities.

(iv)

Adaptation of priority settings for agency funding allocations in response to emerging trends.

(v)

Historic levels of funding across Federal agencies for rail hazardous materials incident response and training, including funding provided by the private sector to public entities or in conjunction with Federal programs.

(vi)

Current funding resources across agencies.

(C)

The strategy for integrating commodity flow studies, mapping, rail and hazardous materials databases and other relevant data for local emergency first responders and increasing the rate of access to the individual responder in existing or emerging communications technology.

(7)

Report

(A)

In general

Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of the RESPONSE Act of 2016, the RESPONSE Subcommittee shall submit a report to the National Advisory Council that—

(i)

includes the recommendations developed under paragraph (6);

(ii)

specifies the timeframes for implementing any such recommendations that do not require congressional action; and

(iii)

identifies any such recommendations that do require congressional action.

(B)

Review

Not later than 30 days after receiving the report under subparagraph (A), the National Advisory Council shall begin a review of the report. The National Advisory Council may ask for additional clarification, changes, or other information from the RESPONSE Subcommittee to assist in the approval of the recommendations.

(C)

Recommendation

Once the National Advisory Council approves the recommendations of the RESPONSE Subcommittee, the National Advisory Council shall submit the report to—

(i)

the co-chairpersons of the RESPONSE Subcommittee;

(ii)

the head of each other agency represented on the RESPONSE Subcommittee;

(iii)

the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate;

(iv)

the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate;

(v)

the Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives; and

(vi)

the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives.

(8)

Interim activity

(A)

Updates and oversight

After the submission of the report by the National Advisory Council under paragraph (7), the Administrator shall—

(i)

provide annual updates to the congressional committees referred to in paragraph (7)(C) regarding the status of the implementation of the recommendations developed under paragraph (6); and

(ii)

coordinate the implementation of the recommendations described in paragraph (6)(G)(i), as appropriate.

(B)

Additional reports

After submitting the report required under paragraph (7), the RESPONSE Subcommittee shall submit additional reports and recommendations in the same manner and to the same entities identified in paragraph (7) if needed or requested from Congress.

(9)

Termination

(A)

In general

Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the RESPONSE Subcommittee shall terminate not later than 4 years after the date of the enactment of the RESPONSE Act of 2016.

(B)

Extension

The Administrator may extend the duration of the RESPONSE Subcommittee for 1 additional year if the Administrator determines that an additional report and recommendations are needed from the RESPONSE Subcommittee after the termination date set forth in subparagraph (A).

.

Passed the Senate May 9, 2016.

Secretary