Clerk session vote number: 293
Description: To provide an extension of Federal-aid highway, highway safety, motor carrier safety, transit, and other programs funded out of the Highway Trust Fund pending enactment of a multiyear law reauthorizing such programs, and for other purposes
Bill summary: 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 FY2012 federal highway spending levels plus inflation for FY2013 and FY2014 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 FY2013 and FY2014 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 FY2013-FY2014 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 surface transportation, (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.
Makes natural habitat and wetlands mitigation projects eligible for national highway performance program funds.
(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.
Makes the costs of debris removal due to such a disaster an eligible expense for emergency relief program funding.
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) Revises surface transportation program (STP) eligibility requirements.
Revises formulae for the state apportionment of STP funds in urbanized areas with populations over 200,000, nonurbanized areas with populations over 5,000, and in other areas.
Requires a state to obligate a specified amount of the apportionment of STP funds for the improvement of certain deficient off-system bridges.
Authorizes a state to obligate a specified amount of the apportionment of STP funds on roads classified as minor collectors in areas with populations less than 5,000.
(Sec. 1109) Requires the Secretary to deduct a certain amount from Federal Highway Administration (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 FY2013-FY2014 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) determine the cost of replacing structurally deficient bridges, (3) establish national inspection standards for evaluating all highway bridges and tunnels for safety and serviceability, and (4) establish a training program for highway bridge and tunnel inspectors.
Authorizes a state to use STP 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: (1) study the best practices for implementing cost-effective roadway safety infrastructure improvements on high-risk rural roads; and (2) develop, based on the study results, a best practices manual for federal, state, and local efforts to reduce fatalities and serious bodily injury crashes on such roads.
(Sec. 1113) Revises CMAQ program eligibility requirements.
Authorizes a state to obligate CMAQ program funds apportioned for a transportation project in a nonattainment area for ozone, carbon monoxide, or particulate matter for a project that shifts traffic demand to nonpeak hours or other transportation modes, increases vehicle occupancy rates, or otherwise reduces demand for roads through means such as telecommuting, ridesharing, carsharing, alternative work hours, and pricing.
Authorizes a state to obligate the apportionment of CMAQ program funds: (1) for projects to reduce particulate matter within areas designated nonattainment for ozone or carbon monoxide, or both, and for PM-10 resulting from transportation activities; and (2) to establish electric vehicle charging stations or natural gas vehicle refueling stations.
Requires states to obligate 25% of the apportionment of CMAQ program funds for projects to reduce fine particulate matter emissions within areas designated as nonattainment or maintenance for PM2.5, including diesel retrofits.
Requires each metropolitan planning organization (MPO) serving a nonattainment or maintenance area with a population over 1 million people to develop a performance plan that describes projects that will achieve certain emission and traffic congestion reduction targets.
Requires the Secretary to assess the outcomes of emissions or traffic congestion reduction projects funded under the CMAQ program.
(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, surface transportation program, preventive maintenance, and ferry boats and terminal facilities projects.
Repeals the current territorial highway program.
(Sec. 1115) Directs the Secretary to; (1) establish a national freight network to improve movement of freight on highways, including freight intermodal connectors and national highway and aerotropolis transportation systems; and (2) develop, periodically update, and post on the Department of Transportation (DOT) website a national freight strategic plan including specified assessments and best practices.
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.
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 prepare biennially a report containing a description of the conditions and performance of the national freight network.
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) Authorizes the Secretary to increase the federal share of costs for Interstate System (IS) projects to 95% and 90% for any other project meeting specified requirements that improves the efficient movement of freight.
(Sec. 1117) Directs the Secretary to encourage states to establish state freight advisory committees to provide advice on freight-related priorities, issues, projects, and funding needs.
(Sec. 1118) Directs the Secretary to encourage states to develop state freight plans for immediate and long-range planning activities and investments with respect to freight.
(Sec. 1119) 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. 1120) Amends the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) to require the Secretary to provide grants to state departments of transportation, tribal governments, transit agencies, or multi-state agencies for projects of national and regional significance.
Requires congressional approval for federal funding of such projects.
Authorizes appropriations for FY2013.
(Sec. 1121) Revises the formula for the allocation of federal-aid highway funds to states for construction of ferry boats and ferry terminal facilities.
Authorizes appropriations for FY2013-FY2014.
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 FY2014.
(Sec. 1122) Directs the Secretary to reserve a specified proportion of transportation enhancements program funds apportioned to a state for FY2009 for surface transportation alternatives, recreational trails program, and safe routes to school program projects as well as planning or constructing boulevards and other roadways of former IS routes or other divided highways.
Makes certain allocations of reserved funds to states or MPOs for such projects in urbanized areas with populations over 200,000, nonurbanized areas with populations over 5,000, and in other areas.
(Sec. 1123) Directs the Secretary to carry out a Tribal High Priority Projects program.
Authorizes Indian tribes to submit applications for emergency or disaster projects to the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary.
Authorizes appropriations for FY2013-FY2014.
Subtitle B: Performance Management
- (Sec. 1201) Revises metropolitan transportation and statewide transportation planning requirements.
Requires MPOs, in developing long-range 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.
Authorizes an MPO to elect to develop multiple scenarios for consideration as part of the development of the metropolitan transportation plan.
(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.
Authorizes states to establish regional transportation organizations for the nonmetropolitan transportation planning of federal-aid highway projects.
(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.
Directs the Secretary to establish performance measures and standards for states to use to assess: (1) IS and NHS pavements and bridges, (2) highway injuries and fatalities, (3) traffic congestion and gas emissions, and (4) freight movement on the IS.
Requires states to: (1) establish performance targets that reflect such assessments; and (2) report biennially to the Secretary on the condition and performance of the NHS, progress in achieving the performance targets, and the ways states are addressing congestion at freight bottlenecks.
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.
Declares that it is U.S. policy to expedite the delivery of surface transportation projects by substantially reducing the average length of the environmental review process for them.
(Sec. 1302) Authorizes a state (at its own expense) to acquire real property interests for an approved surface transportation project before the completion of its environmental review process under NEPA without affecting subsequent project approval by the state or any federal agency.
Authorizes the Secretary to authorize the use of federal funds for a state's early acquisition of real property interests for a surface transportation project. Requires the Secretary to complete the NEPA environmental review process before authorizing such a use.
(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, improve the safety, 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) Directs the Secretary to initiate a rulemaking to allow for the use of programmatic approaches meeting specified requirements to conduct environmental reviews of surface transportation projects.
(Sec. 1306) Authorizes the Secretary within 30 days after the close of the public comment period on a draft environmental impact statement, to convene a meeting with the project sponsor, lead agency, resource agencies, and any relevant state agencies to ensure that all parties are on schedule to meet deadlines for decisions to be made regarding the project.
Authorizes the Secretary, if those agencies cannot provide reasonable assurances that those deadlines will be met, and before the completion of the record of decision, to initiate an accelerated issue resolution and referral process according to specified requirements. Prescribes administrative penalties for federal agency failure to render a decision.
(Sec. 1307) 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. 1308) Decreases from 180 days to 150 days after Federal Register publication of a notice the deadline for filing a claim seeking judicial review of the permit, license, or approval for a highway or public transportation capital project.
(Sec. 1309) Requires the Secretary, upon the request of a project sponsor or the governor of the state in which the project is located, to provide additional technical assistance to resolve within four years any project issues and project delay related to environmental review under NEPA.
(Sec. 1310) Authorizes the federal lead agency (DOT) to adopt and use a planning product (resulting from the decisionmaking process) in proceedings relating to any class of action in the environmental review process of a surface transportation project.
(Sec. 1311) Authorizes a state or MPO, as part of the statewide or metropolitan transportation process, to develop one or more programmatic mitigation plans to address potential environmental impacts of future transportation projects.
(Sec. 1312) Prohibits the Secretary from requiring a state, as a condition of assuming responsibility for categorical exclusions, to forego project delivery methods otherwise permissible for highway projects.
Authorizes a state to terminate its assumption of responsibility for designating activities for categorical exclusion from requirements for environmental assessments or environmental impact statements.
(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. 1313) 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.
Prohibits transfer to a state, however, of DOT responsibilities for: (1) metropolitan, statewide, or nonmetropolitan transportation planning; or (2) any conformity determination under the Clean Air Act with respect to the bar against support or financial assistance to any activity that does not conform to an approved or promulgated state implementation plans for national primary and secondary ambient air quality standards.
Prohibits the Secretary from requiring a state, as a condition of participation in the surface transportation project delivery program, to forego project delivery methods otherwise permissible for projects.
Requires a written agreement to: (1) require the state to provide the Secretary information necessary to ensure that it is adequately carrying out such responsibilities, (2) have a term of no more than five years, and (3) be renewable.
Requires the Secretary to monitor state compliance with the written agreement after its fourth year of participation in the program, including state provision of financial resources to carry out the agreement.
Authorizes a state to terminate its participation in the program at any time by giving the Secretary 90 days notice.
(Sec. 1314) Repeals certain requirements for joint activities of the Secretary with the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
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.
(Sec. 1315) Requires the Secretary to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking to treat repair or reconstruction of any road, highway, or bridge damaged or declared emergency as a result of a natural disaster as categorically excluded from environmental assessment or environmental impact statement requirements under NEPA.
(Sec. 1316) Directs the Secretary to designate any federal-aid highway project within an existing right-of-way as categorically excluded from environmental assessments or environmental impact statement requirements under NEPA.
(Sec. 1317) Requires the Secretary to designate a categorical exclusion for projects receiving less than $5 million (or projects with a total estimated cost of not more than $30 million and federal funding of less than 15% of project costs).
(Sec. 1318) 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. 1319) 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. 1320) Declares the sense of Congress about early cooperation on environmental review and project delivery activities between DOT and other federal agencies with relevant jurisdiction in the environmental review process, including development of policies and designation of staff that advise planning agencies or project sponsors of studies or other information foreseeably required for later federal action and early consultation with state and local agencies and Indian tribes.
Requires DOT and such federal agencies to provide technical assistance to a state or local planning agency if requested.
Authorizes the lead agency to establish memoranda of agreement with the project sponsor, state, and local governments and other appropriate entities to accomplish specified early coordination activities.
(Sec. 1321) 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. 1322) Requires the Comptroller General (GAO) to: (1) review state laws for conducting environmental reviews of federal-aid highway projects, and (2) determine the frequency and cost of environmental reviews at the federal level that duplicate state reviews providing equivalent environmental protections and opportunities for public involvement.
(Sec. 1323) 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) Jason's Law - 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.
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.
Authorizes a state to establish electric vehicle charging stations or natural gas vehicle refueling stations for battery-powered or natural gas-fueled trucks or other motor vehicles at such parking facilities.
(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 definition of "carpool project" eligible to be a federal-aid highway project to include real-time ridesharing projects, including those where drivers, using an electronic transfer of funds, recover the costs directly associated with a trip through the use of location technology to quantify those direct costs.
(Sec. 1502) Revises the administrative penalty for a state's failure to commence on-site construction of, or acquisition of rights-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. 1503) 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, except for any project delivered using the design-build method of construction.
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.
Directs the Secretary to encourage the use of advanced technologies, including 3-dimensional modeling, during environmental, planning, financial management, design, simulation, and construction processes of federal-aid highway projects.
Directs the Secretary to review the oversight program for monitoring the effective and efficient use of funds authorized to carry out federal-aid highway programs.
Directs the Secretary to compile, and make available on the DOT website, data on the annual expenditure of funds for federal-aid highway projects.
(Sec. 1504) 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. 1505) Authorizes the Secretary to permit a state transportation department to approve a justification report the Secretary requests or requires for a project that adds a point of access to, or exit from, the Interstate System.
(Sec. 1506) Makes a technical amendment to existing limitations on the use of convict labor in the construction of federal-aid highways.
Requires a recipient of federal assistance to encourage contractors working on a highway projects to make a best faith effort in the hiring of veterans with the requisite skills and abilities to work on federal-aid highway projects.
(Sec. 1507) Makes eligible for federal-aid highway assistance preventive maintenance activities, including pavement preservation programs and activities for federal highways.
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. 1508) 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 90% 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. 1509) Revises and prescribes requirements for state transfer of federal-aid highway funds.
(Sec. 1510) 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. 1511) Authorizes a state to issue special permits for operation on the IS during a major disaster to overweight vehicles and loads that can easily be dismantled or divided.
(Sec. 1512) Revises the toll roads, bridges, tunnels, and ferries program.
Transfers from the Secretary to this Act the authority to permit federal participation in the construction of a toll highway, bridge, or tunnel.
Allows a state, interstate compact of states, or public entity to: (1) reconstruct, restore, or rehabilitate a IS high occupancy vehicle (HOV) highway, bridge, or tunnel toll facility over which it has jurisdiction provided certain requirements are met, and (2) levy tolls on vehicles (excluding HOVs).
Requires all federal-aid highway toll facilities to implement technologies or business practices that provide for the interoperability of electronic toll collection programs.
(Sec. 1513) Makes eligible to be a federal-aid highway project the addition of electric charging stations or natural gas vehicle refueling stations to new or previously federally-funded fringe and corridor parking facilities.
(Sec. 1514) Requires a state agency that allows high occupancy toll vehicles and low emission and energy efficient vehicles to use an 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. 1515) Authorizes a state to use up to 100% of its apportionment of federal-aid highway funds for the repair or replacement of transportation facilities that have suffered serious damage as a result of a natural disaster or catastrophic failure from an external cause.
(Sec. 1516) 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. 1517) Requires the Secretary (who currently is merely authorized) to use photogrammetric methods, whenever practicable, in federal highway mapping services, and utilize commercial enterprises for such services.
Directs the Secretary to develop a process for the oversight and monitoring of state compliance with DOT guidance encouraging them to use private sector sources for surveying and mapping services.
(Sec. 1518) Applies Buy America requirements to federal-aid highway projects.
(Sec. 1519) Makes $3 million available for FY2013-FY2014 (effectively consolidating the programs) for: (1) the operation lifesaver program, (2) work zone safety grants, and (3) the national work zone safety information and public road safety clearinghouses.
Repeals specified federal-aid highway programs.
(Sec. 1520) Amends the Denali Commission Act of 1998 to authorize the Denali Commission to accept transfers of funds from other federal agencies.
(Sec. 1521) 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. 1522) 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. 1524) 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. 1525) 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. 1526) 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. 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) 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 100% for FY2012-FY2021.
Requires each state represented on the Appalachian Regional Commission to establish a plan for the completion of the designated corridors in the state of the Appalachian development highway system, including annual performance targets, with a target completion date.
Prohibits a state from establishing such a plan, however, if: (1) the percentage of its remaining ADHS needs is greater than 15% of the total cost-to-complete estimate for the entire ADHS, and (2) the plan would result in a reduction of obligated funds for the ADHS within the state for any subsequent fiscal year.
(Sec. 1529) Directs the Secretary to issue guidance to state transportation departments urging that standards, guidance, and options for design and application of traffic control devices provided in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices not be considered a substitute for engineering judgment.
(Sec. 1530) Urges the Secretary of Education and the Secretary of Labor to use training and employment education program funds to develop programs for transportation-related careers and trades.
(Sec. 1531) Requires the Secretary to provide Congress notice of grants of $500,000 or more at least three days before the grant award is made.
(Sec. 1532) Directs the Secretary to submit a budget justification for each DOT agency concurrently with the President's annual budget to Congress.
(Sec. 1533) Prohibits the use of a state's apportionment of highway safety improvement program funds to purchase, operate, or maintain an automated traffic enforcement system. Exempts from such prohibition automated traffic enforcement systems used to improve safety in school zones.
(Sec. 1534) Directs the Secretary to compile, and make available on the DOT website, best practices on how states, public transportation agencies, and other public officials can work with the private sector in the development, financing, construction, and operation of transportation facilities.
Requires the Secretary to develop standard public-private partnership transaction model contracts for the most popular types of public-private partnerships for the development, financing, construction, and operation of such facilities.
(Sec. 1535) Directs the Comptroller General (GAO) to report to Congress on 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 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. 1536) 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. 1537) Requires the President's budget request to Congress to include, for FY2014 and each ensuing fiscal year, an estimate of: (1) the nationwide average availability of the authorized depth and width of all U.S. navigation channels authorized to be maintained by appropriations from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund that would result from harbor maintenance activities funded by the budget request, and (2) the average annual amount of appropriations from the Fund that would be required to increase that average availability to 95% over a three-year period.
(Sec. 1538) Directs the Secretary of the Army, acting through the Chief of Engineers, to: (1) expedite a feasibility study under the Water Resources Development Act of 2007 on the range of options and technologies available to prevent the spread of aquatic nuisance species (including Asian carp) between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Basins through the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal and other aquatic pathways; and (2) if the project is justified, proceed directly to project preconstruction engineering and design.
Requires the report on the study to focus on: (1) such prevention as the permanent hydrological separation of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Basins, and (2) specified watersheds of rivers and tributaries in Illinois and Indiana associated with the Chicago Area Waterway System (CAWS).
Defines "hydrological separation" as a physical separation on the CAWS that would disconnect the Mississippi River watershed from the Lake Michigan watershed and prevent the transfer of all aquatic species between such bodies of water.
Requires, within 90 days after enactment of this Act, an interim report to Congress on milestones that will be met prior to final completion of the study. Requires the final report to be completed within 18 months.
(Sec. 1539) Requires agreements between the Secretary and state transportation departments for construction of IS projects to contain a clause prohibiting the state from changing the boundary of any right-of-way on the IS to accommodate construction of, or afford access to, an automotive service station or other commercial establishment serving motor vehicle users. Requires the Secretary, however, to allow a state to acquire, construct, operate, and maintain a rest area along an IS highway in the state. Limits commercial activities within such areas.
Authorizes a state to permit the installation, according to criteria established by the Secretary, of signs that acknowledge the sponsorship of rest areas within the rest areas or along the main traveled way of the system, provided that such signs shall not affect the safe and efficient utilization of the IS and the primary system.
Subtitle F: Gulf 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.
(Sec. 1604) Directs the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to establish a Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Science, Observation, Monitoring, and Technology Program to carry out research, observation, and monitoring to support the long-term sustainability of the ecosystem, fish stocks, fish habitat, and the recreational, commercial, and charter fishing industry in the Gulf of Mexico.
(Sec. 1605) Makes a specified percentage of Trust funds available to Gulf Coast states to award competitive grants to nongovernmental entities and consortia to establish centers of excellence to conduct research only in the Gulf Coast region.
(Sec. 1607) Prohibits the use of funds made available by this Act to acquire land in fee title by the federal government unless: (1) the land is acquired by exchange or donation; or (2) the acquisition is necessary for the restoration and protection of the natural resources, ecosystems, fisheries, marine and wildlife habitats, beaches, and coastal wetlands of the Gulf Coast region, and has the concurrence of the governor of the state in which the acquisition will take place.
(Sec. 1608) Grants the Inspector General of the Department of the Treasury authority to conduct, supervise, and coordinate audits and investigations of projects, programs, and activities funded under this subtitle.
Title II: America Fast Forward Financing Innovation
- America Fast Forward Financing Innovation Act of 2012 - (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 an applicant for assistance to demonstrate a reasonable expectation that the contracting process for project construction can commence within 90 days after a federal credit instrument is obligated for the project.
Requires the Secretary to establish a rolling application process under 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 federal credit instruments 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 the interest rate of 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.
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) the clean fuels grant program, (2) job access and reverse commute formula grants, (3) the New Freedom Program, (4) alternative transportation in parks and public lands, (5) certain project review requirements, (6) the over-the-road bus accessibility program, (7) the elderly individuals and individuals with disabilities pilot program, (8) the public-private partnership pilot program, (9) the national fuel cell bus technology development program, (10) specified allocations for national research and technology programs, and (11) grants for nonfixed route paratransit services for individuals with disabilities.
(Sec. 20003) Revises public transportation policies and purposes.
(Sec. 20005) Revises metropolitan transportation planning and statewide transportation planning requirements.
Requires each MPO, in cooperation with state and public transportation operators, to develop long-range metropolitan transportation plans and TIPs for metropolitan planning areas of the state through a performance-driven, outcome-based approach to metropolitan transportation planning.
Revises requirements for designation of a MPO for an urbanized area.
Allows the restructuring of any MPO without being redesignated.
Repeals the specific consent of Congress to California and Nevada to designate a MPO for the Lake Tahoe region.
Requires each MPO to update its metropolitan transportation plan at least once every five 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.
Requires that regionally significant projects proposed for funding be identified individually in a TIP, and those not regionally significant to be grouped in one line item if not identified individually in the TIP.
Prescribes requirements for a financial plan.
Requires a designated MPO to develop a TIP 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.
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 statewide transportation planning requirements.
Requires states to establish performance targets for use in the transportation decisionmaking of federal-aid projects in urbanized areas with populations of fewer than 200,000 individuals. Requires states to integrate such targets into the development of the statewide transportation plan and statewide transportation improvement program (STIP).
Authorizes a state to establish and designate regional transportation planning organizations to enhance the planning, coordination, and implementation of statewide strategic long-range transportation plans and TIPs, with an emphasis on addressing the needs of nonmetropolitan areas of the state.
(Sec. 20007) 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.
(Sec. 20008) 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) or small start projects as well as core capacity improvement projects.
Defines "core capacity improvement projects" as substantial corridor-based capital investments in an existing fixed guideway system that increases corridor capacity by not less than 10%. 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.
Defines "small start project" to mean a new fixed guideway capital project or corridor-based bus rapid transit project for which: (1) federal assistance for such project is less than $75 million, and (2) the total estimated net capital project cost is less than $250 million.
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, replacing them with grants for new fixed guideway projects and core capacity improvement projects.
Makes a special rule for fixed guideway bus rapid transit projects. Directs the Secretary, for up to three such projects, to: (1) establish a minimum 80% federal share, and (2) not lower the project's rating for degree of local financial commitment for certain purposes as a result of this federal share.
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. 20009) 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.
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) rural 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 make recommendations to Congress on establishing certain performance measures for such grants.
(Sec. 20010) Revises the nonurbanized formula grant program.
Authorizes the Secretary to award rural formula grants to recipients in rural areas for public transportation planning activities.
Directs the Secretary to carry out a public transportation assistance program in the Appalachian region.
Directs the Secretary to apportion specified amounts of rural formula grants each fiscal year for public transportation on Indian reservations.
(Sec. 20011) 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.
Authorizes the Secretary to award competitive grants to urbanized areas with populations of fewer than 200,000 individuals and nonattainment areas and maintenance areas for ozone or carbon monoxide to finance projects for the deployment of low or no emission buses that make greater reductions in energy consumption and harmful emissions.
Sets the federal share of project costs at 80%.
Eliminates the international public transportation information program.
(Sec. 20012) 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. 20013) Replaces requirements for a national transit institute with requirements to promote better coordination between public and private sector providers of public transportation.
Directs the Secretary to: (1) provide technical assistance to recipients of federal transit grant assistance on practices and methods to best utilize private providers of public transportation, (2) educate recipients on federal transportation laws and regulations that impact such private providers, and (3) identify any federal transportation regulations or practices that impede greater use of public-private partnerships and private investment in public transportation capital projects.
Requires a report to Congress on the effect of contracting out public transportation operations and administrative functions on cost, availability and level of service, efficiency, and quality of service.
(Sec. 20014) Revises bus testing facility requirements.
Revises requirements for discretionary 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.
Directs the Secretary, within two years after enactment of this Act, to issue a final rule for performance standards for maintainability, reliability, performance (including braking performance), structural integrity, fuel economy, emissions, and noise. Requires the rule to: (1) include a bus model scoring system that results in a weighted, aggregate score using specified testing categories, and (2) establish a "pass/fail" standard using such aggregate score.
(Sec. 20015) 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.
Prescribes the federal share of project costs at 50%.
Directs the Secretary to establish a national transit institute. Requires the Secretary to award grants to public four-year degree-granting institutions of higher education to carry out the duties of the institute, including to develop training and educational programs for federal, state, and local transportation employees, U.S. citizens, and foreign nationals engaged in federal-aid public transportation work.
(Sec. 20016) 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.
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.
Declares that a grant for a project to be assisted under this chapter that involves acquiring vehicles for purposes of complying with or maintaining compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) or the Clean Air Act is for 85% of the net project cost.
Allows the local matching share provided by a recipient of assistance for a capital project to include any amounts expended by a provider of public vanpool transportation for the acquisition of rolling stock for use in the recipient's service area, excluding any amounts the provider may have received in federal, state, or local government assistance for such acquisition.
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.
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.
Prohibits an assistance recipient from denying reasonable access for a private intercity or charter transportation operator to federally funded public transportation facilities, including intermodal facilities, park and ride lots, and bus-only highway lanes.
(Sec. 20017) Replaces special requirements for capital projects, including those on environmental reviews, with a new public transportation emergency relief program.
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. 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. Denies, however, an employer is required to give a preference to any veteran over an equally qualified applicant who is a member of any racial or ethnic minority, female, a disabled person, or former employee.
(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 or state that receives federal assistance to certify it has established an agency safety plan that identifies and evaluates safety risks throughout its public transportation system.
Allows a state safety plan for a recipient of a rural area formula grant to be drafted and certified by either the recipient or the state. Directs the Secretary to issue a rule designating small public transportation providers or systems receiving an urbanized area formula grant which may have their state safety plans drafted or certified by a state.
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. Requires any eligible state that has within its jurisdiction a rail fixed guideway public transportation system that operates in more than one eligible state, jointly with all other eligible states in which the operates, to: (1) ensure uniform safety standards and enforcement procedures compliant with these requirements, and establish an approved state safety oversight program; or (2) designate an entity having certain characteristics carry out the approved state safety oversight program.
Requires the Secretary to make grants to states to develop state safety oversight programs, with an 80% federal share of program costs.
Authorizes the Secretary to take certain enforcement actions against eligible states which 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) Makes ineligible for federal public transportation assistance public transportation operators that fail to establish required programs to test their employees for alcohol or controlled substances. Authorizes the Secretary to bar any operators already receiving such funds from receiving an appropriate amount of it if found not to be in compliance with such testing regulations.
(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. 20025) Requires a recipient of federal public transportation assistance to report to the Secretary, for inclusion in the National Transit Database, any information relating to a transit asset inventory or condition assessment conducted by the recipient.
Directs the Secretary to develop appropriate internal control activities to ensure that public transportation safety incident data is reported accurately and reliably by public transportation systems and state safety oversight agencies to the State Safety Oversight Rail Accident Database.
(Sec. 20026) Revises requirements for the apportionment of appropriations for formula grants to states for use in public transportation.
(Sec. 20027) Replaces requirements for the apportionment of urbanized area formula grants for fixed guideway modernization with requirements for a state of good repair grant program.
Authorizes the Secretary to make grants to assist state and local governments to finance eligible fixed guideway and high intensity motorbuses (provided on a facility with access for other high-occupancy vehicles) 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 formulae for a high intensity fixed guideway state of good repair as well as a high intensity motorbus state of good repair.
(Sec. 20028) Authorizes appropriations from the HTF Mass Transit Account for FY2013 and FY2014 for: (1) certain formula grant programs, including allocations for specified projects; (2) research, development, demonstration, and deployment projects; (3) the transit cooperative research program; (4) technical assistance and standards development; (5) human resources and training; (6) the emergency relief program; (7) capital investment grants; (8) administration; and (9) oversight activities.
(Sec. 20029) Replaces requirements for the alternatives analysis grant program with requirements for a bus and bus facilities formula grant program.
Authorizes the Secretary to make bus and bus facilities formula grants to assist fixed route bus service operators in financing capital projects to: (1) replace, rehabilitate, and purchase buses and related equipment; and (2) construct bus-related facilities.
Sets the federal share of project costs at 80%.
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 FY2014 for National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) safety programs, including: (1) the highway safety research and development program, (2) national priority safety programs, (3) the National Driver Register, and (4) 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 FY2014 SAFETEA-LU's high visibility enforcement 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 the first fiscal year after enactment of Mariah's Act in which a state has an approved highway safety plan, provide for a data-driven traffic safety enforcement program in areas most at risk for accidents.
Repeals the Secretary's authority to encourage states to use technologically advanced traffic enforcement devices (including the use of automatic speed detection devices such as photo-radar) by law enforcement officers.
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.
Prohibits a state from expending the apportionment of state highway safety program funds to purchase, operate, or maintain an automated traffic enforcement system.
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, as a condition of the approval of the state's highway safety program, 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.
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.
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.
Makes for each fiscal year $2.5 million of the apportionment of highway safety program funds to states available to the Secretary for a cooperative research and evaluation program for priority highway safety countermeasures.
Directs the NHTSA Administrator to carry out a collaborative research effort on in-vehicle technology to prevent alcohol-paired driving.
(Sec. 31104) Requires the Secretary to make continual improvements to modernize the National Driver Register's data processing system.
(Sec. 31105) Makes the occupant protection incentive grant program part of a new national priority safety programs to address national priorities for reducing highway deaths and injuries.
Specifies allocations of national priority safety program funds for occupant protection, state traffic safety information system improvements, impaired driving countermeasures, distracted driving, motorcyclist safety, and state graduated driver licensing laws.
Sets at a maximum 80% the federal share of the costs of activities funded from occupant protection grants.
Sets differing grant eligibility criteria for states with an observed seat belt use of: (1) 90% or higher, or (2) below 90%.
Revises eligibility requirements for grants to states for traffic safety information system improvements programs.
Directs the Secretary to award impaired driving countermeasures incentive 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.
Directs the Secretary to award distracted driving incentive 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.
Directs the Secretary to award grants to states that adopt and implement motorcyclist safety programs to reduce the number of single- and multi-vehicle crashes involving motorcyclists.
Prescribes motorcyclist safety grant eligibility requirements.
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. 31106) 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 2014.
(Sec. 31107) 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, the Secretary is required to review state highway safety programs triennially.)
Repeals the requirement that the Comptroller General analyze the effectiveness of NHTSA oversight of traffic safety grants.
(Sec. 31108) Directs the Secretary to establish a National Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council.
(Sec. 31109) Repeals 12 specified federal highway safety programs, including safety belt performance grants, innovative project grants, and child safety and child booster seat incentive grants.
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 $35 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) 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. 31209) 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) require motor vehicle safety recall information be made available to the public on the Internet; and (2) publicize the means for contacting NHTSA in a manner that targets mechanics, passenger motor vehicle dealership personnel, and manufacturer personnel.
(Sec. 31303) Requires certain motor vehicle manufacturer communications to be made available on a publicly accessible Internet website.
(Sec. 31304) Authorizes the Secretary to promulgate rules 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 or misleading information.
(Sec. 31305) 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. 31306) 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. 31307) Establishes whistleblower protections for motor vehicle manufacturer, part supplier, and dealership employees, including requirements for complaint procedures and enforcement of orders.
Directs the Comptroller General (GAO) to study the whistleblower protections established by law with respect to this program, update the GAO study of other such DOT-administered programs, identify differences between requirements applicable to different programs and the number of claims (and their outcomes) brought pursuant to each requirement, and report any recommendations for program changes to Congress.
(Sec. 31308) 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. 31309) 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. 31310) 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. 31311) 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. 31312) 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. 31313) Repeals certain insurance reporting requirements.
(Sec. 31314) 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 complete an examination of the need for safety standards for electronic systems to prevent unauthorized access in passenger motor vehicles.
Subtitle E: Child Safety Standards -
(Sec. 31501) Directs the Secretary to modify federal motor vehicle safety standards to: (1) improve the protection of children seated in child restraint systems during side impact crashes, (2) better simulate a single representative motor vehicle rear seat, (3) improve the ease of use for lower anchorages and tethers in all rear seat child restraint anchorage systems, and (4) provide a safety belt use warning system for designated seating positions in the rear seat.
(Sec. 31504) Authorizes the Secretary to initiate research into effective ways to minimize the risk of hyperthermia or hypothermia to children or other unattended passengers in the rear seating positions 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 require the Secretary to register a person to provide motorcoach services only if that person has: (1) been issued a USDOT number; (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 three-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 150 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 150 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. Directs the Secretary to require each motorcoach owner and operator granted new registration to provide motorcoach services to undergo a safety review within 120 days after operations begin.
(Sec. 32103) Authorizes the Secretary to withhold, suspend, amend, or revoke the registration of a motor carrier, broker, or freight forwarder for failure to: (1) obey a subpoena issued by the Secretary; (2) 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) disclose any relationship 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 report quadrennially on the appropriateness of current minimum financial requirements and bond and insurance requirements for motor carriers, brokers, and and freight forwarders.
(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) Directs the Secretary to require: (1) a motor carrier, broker, or freight forwarder to update its registration information no later 30 days after a change in specified essential information; and (2) a motor carrier of passengers in particular to update its registration information, including numbers of vehicles, annual mileage, and individuals responsible for compliance with federal safety regulations quarterly for the first two years after being issued a registration.
(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 suspend, amend, or revoke the registration of an officer for violation of this prohibition.
Subtitle B: Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety -
(Sec. 32201) 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. 32202) 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. 32203) 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 Surface Transportation Board (STB) or to pay certain civil penalties.
(Sec. 32206) 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, by March 31, 2013, to complete a field study of the efficacy of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) 2011 restart rule (the 34-hours of service [HOS] restart rule) with respect to commercial motor vehicle operators subject to federal maximum driving time requirements.
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 logging device meeting certain performance and design standards and requirements. Requires the Secretary to institute appropriate measures to ensure information collected by such devices is used by enforcement personnel only to determine compliance with HOS requirements.
(Sec. 32302) 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 the Secretary to use certain SAFETEA-LU funds to support the development costs for such electronic filing systems.
(Sec. 32303) 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. 32304) Directs the Secretary to issue final regulations establishing minimum entry-level training requirements for individual operators of commercial motor vehicles.
(Sec. 32305) 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 request drug and alcohol information pertaining to a CDL applicant before renewing or issuing an individual a CDL.
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. 32306) 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. 32307) 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. 32308) 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.
Directs the Secretary to establish accelerated licensing procedures to assist veterans to acquire CDLs.
Subtitle D: Safe Roads Act of 2012 -
Safe Roads Act of 2012 - (Sec. 32402) Directs the Secretary to establish, operate, and maintain 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 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.
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) 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. 32505) Increases monetary penalties for evasion of specified regulations.
(Sec. 32506) Eliminates ability to pay from consideration in determining the amount of a civil penalty for violations of commercial motor vehicle safety regulations.
(Sec. 32507) 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. 32508) 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. 32509) 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) Sets forth the goal of the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program is to ensure that the Secretary, states, local government agencies, and other political jurisdictions work in partnership to establish motor carrier, commercial motor vehicle, and driver safety improvement programs.
(Sec. 32602) Revises requirements for the performance and registration information program.
(Sec. 32603) Authorizes appropriations from the HTF (other than the Mass Transit Account) for FMCSA programs through FY2014, including: (1) motor carrier safety grants; (2) FMCSA administrative expenses; (3) CDL program improvement grants; (4) border enforcement grants; (5) performance and registration information system management grants; (6) commercial vehicle information systems and networks deployment grants; (7) safety data improvement grants; (8) a set-aside for high priority activities that improve commercial motor vehicle safety and compliance with commercial motor vehicle safety regulations; (9) a set-aside for new entrant motor carrier audit grants; (10) FMCSA and NHTSA outreach and education; and (11) the commercial motor vehicle operators grant program.
Revises border enforcement grant requirements.
Eliminates the requirement for the reimbursement to states of up to 100% of the costs for carrying out border commercial motor vehicle safety programs and projects. Authorizes the Secretary instead to identify and implement processes to reduce the administrative burden on the states and DOT concerning the application and management of the commercial motor vehicle safety and operators grant programs.
(Sec. 32604) Revises CDL program improvement grant requirements.
Prohibits state use of grant funds to rent, lease, or buy land or buildings.
(Sec. 32605) 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 safety belts at each seating position.
Requires the Secretary to prescribe regulations establishing improved strength and crush resistance standards for motorcoach roofs.
Directs the Secretary to consider requiring: (1) advanced glazing standards for each motorcoach portal to prevent passenger ejection, (2) motorcoaches to be equipped with stability enhancing technology to reduce the number and frequency of rollover crashes, and (3) motorcoaches to be equipped with direct tire pressure monitoring systems.
Directs the Secretary to: (1) consider issuing a rule to upgrade performance standards for tires used on motorcoaches, or (2) report to Congress on why such a standard is not warranted.
Authorizes the Secretary to assess the feasibility, benefits, and costs of applying any safety belt installation of anti-ejection safety countermeasure requirements to, and so requiring a retrofit for, motorcoaches manufactured before the date on which the requirement applies to new motorcoaches.
(Sec. 32704) Requires the Secretary to: (1) conduct research and testing with respect to fire prevention and mitigation (for which standards may be issued), occupant impact protection, compartmentalization safety countermeasures, and collision avoidance; and (2) issue final motor vehicle safety standards if warranted.
(Sec. 32706) Directs the Secretary to ensure the concurrence of transportation research programs. Authorizes the combining of rulemakings into a single rulemaking proceeding.
(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.
Directs the Secretary to establish requirements to improve accessibility to the public of safety rating information of motorcoach services and operations.
(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 review and assess the current knowledge and skill testing requirements for a CDL passenger endorsement to determine what improvements to such requirements are necessary to ensure the safe operation of commercial passenger motor vehicles.
(Sec. 32710) Directs the Secretary to complete a rulemaking proceeding to consider requiring states to conduct annual inspections of commercial passenger motor vehicles.
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) 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. 32912) Extends the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee from June 30, 2012, to September 30, 2013.
(Sec. 32913) Revises requirements with respect to the waiver of federal commercial motor vehicle safety regulations.
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. 32914) 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. 32915) 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. 32916) 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. 32917) 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. 32918) 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 $75,000.
(Sec. 32919) Prohibits a person 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. Exempts from these registration requirements: (1) a non-vessel-operating common carrier or ocean freight forwarder when arranging for inland transportation as part of an international through movement involving ocean transportation between the United States and a foreign port, (2) a licensed customs broker engaging in a movement under a customs bond or a transaction involving customs business, and (3) an indirect air carrier holding an approved Standard Security Program.
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.
Part III: Technical Amendments
- (Sec. 32931) Makes technical amendments to federal motor carrier vehicle safety requirements.
(Sec. 32934) Exempts certain farm vehicles and their operators from specified requirements governing commercial motor vehicles and operators, including those for commercial driver's licenses, drug-testing, medical certificates, hours of service, and vehicle inspection, repair, and maintenance.
Directs the Secretary to conduct a safety study of such exemption.
Title IV: Hazardous Materials Transportation Safety Improvement Act of 2012
- Hazardous Materials Transportation Safety Improvement Act of 2012 - (Sec. 33004) 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.
Changes from national nonprofit employee organizations engaged solely in fighting fires to national nonprofit fire service organizations the eligible recipients of a grant for training instructors to conduct hazardous materials response training programs.
Defines "portable training" as live, instructor-led training provided by certified fire service instructors that can be offered in any suitable setting, rather than specific designated facilities. Requires instructors to travel to locations convenient to students and utilize local facilities and resources.
(Sec. 33005) 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. 33006) 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. 33007) 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. 33008) Directs the Secretary to develop uniform performance standards for hazmat enforcement training of government hazmat inspectors and investigators.
(Sec. 33009) 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. 33010) 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.
Subjects persons to a civil penalty of $450 for violations related to hazmat training.
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. 33012) Directs the Secretary to issue regulations that establish: (1) standard operating procedures for the administration of the special permit and approval programs for hazmat transportation, and (2) objective criteria for the evaluation of special permit and approval applications.
Directs the Secretary to review and analyze special permits that have been in continuous effect for 10 years to determine if they may be converted into the hazmat regulations. Requires the Secretary, three years after the review and analysis, to issue regulations to incorporate them into the hazmat regulations if appropriate.
(Sec. 33013) 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. 33014) Directs the Secretary to conduct a study of the implementation of the hazmat motor carrier safety permit program.
(Sec. 33015) Requires the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to evaluate the safety of transporting flammable liquids in the external product piping of cargo tank motor vehicles (wetlines). Prohibits the Secretary from issuing a final rule regarding the transportation of flammable liquids through wetlines before completion of the evaluation, or two years after enactment of this Act, whichever is earlier, unless it is determined that a risk to public safety, property, or the environment is present or an imminent hazard exists and that the regulations will address that risk or hazard.
(Sec. 33016) Repeals the limitation to nonprofit hazmat employee organizations of hazmat employee training grants. Requires the award of such a grant through a competitive process to any nonprofit organization that meets specified criteria.
(Sec. 33017) Authorizes appropriations to the Secretary for FY2013 and FY2014.
Authorizes the Secretary to make certain expenditures from the Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness Fund, in particular for hazmat training grants.
Title IV: Sport Fish Restoration and Recreational Boating Safety Act of 2012
- Sport Fish Restoration and Recreational Boating Safety Act of 2012 - (Sec. 34002) Amends the Federal Aid in Fish Restoration Act to extend through FY2014 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 V: Miscellaneous
- (Sec. 35001) Declares that the substantial restoration of the natural quiet and experience of the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona shall be considered to be achieved in the Park if, for at least 75% of every day, half of the Park is free of sound produced by commercial air tour operations that have an allocation to conduct such tours in the Park.
Requires the Secretary to continuously monitor noise from aircraft operating over the Park below 17,999 feet MSL to ensure compliance with such substantial restoration in the Park.
Requires all commercial air tour aircraft operating in the Grand Canyon National Park Special Flight Rules Area to convert fully to quiet aircraft technology within 15 years after enactment of this Act. Requires the Secretary and the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to provide incentives for commercial air tour operators that convert to quiet aircraft technology before that date, such as increasing their flight allocations 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.
(Sec. 35002) Authorizes the Director of the National Park Service (NPS) to deny an application to begin commercial air tour operations at Great Smoky Mountains National Park (North Carolina and Tennessee) without the establishment of an air tour management plan if the Director determines that such operations would adversely affect park resources or visitor experiences.
(Sec. 35003) Declares that certain state, territorial, or local government-owned aircraft qualify as public aircraft if the FAA Administrator determines that: (1) there are extraordinary circumstances, (2) the aircraft will be used for search and rescue missions, (3) a community would not otherwise have access to search and rescue services, and (4) the government entity demonstrates that granting the waiver is necessary to prevent an undue economic burden on that government.
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, 2014, the expenditure authority for the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), including the Mass Transit Account, as well as for the Sport fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund and the Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund; and (2) extend through September 30, 2016, current excise tax rates on motor fuels (i.e., gasoline, certain alcohol fuels, diesel fuel and kerosene, and special motor fuels), excise taxes on heavy trucks and trailers sold at retail, highway tires, the use tax on heavy vehicles, and the Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund tax.
Extends through September 30, 2016, also: (1) the authority for floor stocks refunds on tires and taxable fuel, (2) the exclusion from manufacturer's excise taxes of sales of certain items for export or use, (3) tax exemptions for the use of certain vehicles, (4) authority for transfers of certain taxes to the HTF or of motorboat fuel taxes from the HTF to the land and water conservation fund, and (5) transfers of small-engine fuel taxes from the HTF into the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund.
Title II: Revenue Provisions
Subtitle A: Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund
- (Sec. 40201) Transfers to the Highway Trust Fund $2.4 billion from the Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) Trust Fund.
Subtitle B: Pension Provisions -
Part I: Pension Funding Stabilization
(Sec. 40211) 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.
Requires defined benefit funding plan notices each plan year to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), each plan participant and beneficiary, and other specified recipients to include: (1) a statement that this Act modified the method for determining the interest rates used to determine the actuarial value of benefits earned under the plan, providing for a 25-year average of interest rates to be taken into account in addition to a two-year average; (2) a statement that, as a result of MAP-21, the plan sponsor may contribute less money to the plan when interest rates are at historical lows; and (3) a table showing the funding target attainment percentage, the funding shortfall, and the minimum required contribution for the applicable plan year and each of the two preceding plan years.
Part II: PBGC Premiums
- (Sec. 40221) Amends ERISA to provide increases in single-employer and multiemployer plan annual premium rates, both flat and variable.
Eliminates inflation adjustments for flat-rate premiums for plan years beginning in 2013 or 2014.
Part III: Improvements of PBGC
- (Sec. 40231) Amends the ERISA to revise administrative requirements with respect to the board of directors of the PBGC.
Prohibits the PBGC Director and members of the board from participating in any PBGC decision where the Director or member has a direct financial interest. Prohibits any activities by the Director with a potential or appearance of a conflict of interest without board approval.
Establishes the position of risk management officer within the PBGC whose duties include evaluating and mitigating the risk that the corporation might experience.
Declares the sense of Congress that the PBGC board should form committees, including an audit committee and an investment committee composed of at least two members, to enhance the board's overall effectiveness.
Directs the PBGC to contract with the National Academy of Public Administration to: (1) review the governance structures of governmental and nongovernmental organizations analogous to the PBGC, and (2) make recommendations regarding the composition and member term lengths of the PBGC board.
(Sec. 40232) Directs the PBGC board to appoint a Participant and Plan Sponsor Advocate which, among other duties, shall: (1) act as a liaison between the PBGC, sponsors of PBGC-insured defined benefit pension plans, and participants in pension plans trusteed by the PBGC; (2) advocate for the full attainment of the rights of participants in plans trusteed by the PBGC; and (3) assist pension plan sponsors and participants in resolving disputes with the PBGC.
(Sec. 40233) Directs the PBGC to contract with an independent agency or organization, such as the Social Security Administration (SSA), to conduct an annual peer review of the PBGC's Single-Employer Pension Insurance Modeling System and Multiemployer Pension Insurance Modeling System.
(Sec. 40234) Repeals the PBGC's (borrowing) authority to issue to the Secretary of the Treasury notes or other obligations in the aggregate amount of $100 million.
Part IV: Transfers of Excess Pension Assets
- (Sec. 40241) Extends through 2021 the authority for transfers of excess pension assets of a defined benefit plan to a retiree health benefits account.
(Sec. 40242) Allows the transfer of excess pension assets of a defined benefit plan to a retiree group term life insurance account.
Subtitle C: Additional Transfers to Highway Trust Fund
- (Sec. 40251) Amends the Internal Revenue Code to make additional appropriations to the HTF for FY2013 and FY2014.
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 FY2013-FY2014 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 use up to one percent of federal transportation research and education funds to award competitive cash prizes to individuals or entities to stimulate innovation in basic and applied research and technology development that has the potential for application to the national transportation system.
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; and (5) explore advanced research and leverage the capabilities of the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center.
Directs the Secretary to continue to carry out a technology and innovation deployment program.
Directs the Secretary to obligate funds for FY2013-FY2014 to accelerate the deployment of asphalt pavement technology for highways.
(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.)
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.
Directs 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) Requires that a certain percentage 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: (1) the International Highway Transportation Outreach Program, (2) the Surface Transportation Environmental Cooperative Research Program, and (3) the National Cooperative Freight Transportation Research Program.
(Sec. 52009) 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 national centers, (2) 10 grants for regional centers in each of the 10 Standard Federal Regions, and (3) 20 grants for Tier 1 university transportation centers.
(Sec. 52010) Repeals the University Transportation Research Grant Program.
(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; and (3) use of proceeds received by the Bureau from the sale of data products.
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 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.
Directs the Secretary to encourage the deployment of ITS technologies that will improve National Highway System (NHS) performance in such areas as traffic operations, emergency response, incident management, surface transportation network management, freight management, traffic flow information, and congestion management by accelerating the adoption of innovative ITS technologies.
(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 Congress on: (1) the status of dedicated short-range communications technology and applications developed through research and development, (2) the known and potential gaps in short-range communications technology and applications, (3) a recommended implementation path for dedicated short-range communications technology and applications, (4) guidance on the relationship of the proposed deployment of dedicated short-range communications to the National ITS Architecture and ITS Standards, (5) 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 - Subtitle A: Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-determination Program
- (Sec. 100101) Amends the Secure Rural 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. 100121) 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. Exempts a phased retiree serving in the U.S. Postal Service from this mentoring requirement.
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.
Exempts from the 10-percent additional tax on early distributions from qualified retirement plans any distributions from a phased retirement annuity or a composite retirement annuity.
(Sec. 100122) 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.
Excludes from treatment as a manufacturer of tobacco products, however, any person who sells a machine directly to a consumer at retail for the consumer's personal home use if the machine is not used at a retail premises and is designed to produce tobacco products only in personal use quantities.
(Sec. 100123) Amends the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 to accelerate from October 1, 2013, to October 1, 2012, the effective date of specified federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) requirements under title XIX (Medicaid) of the Social Security Act for certain states recovering from a major disaster.
Increases from 25% to 50% a specified factor in the formula for determining the FMAP for a disaster-recovery FMAP adjustment state in FY2013.
(Sec. 100124) Repeals the mandatory minimum tonnage of exported agricultural commodities or products that must be transported each fiscal year on U.S. commercial vessels, as well as other related requirements.
Repeals the requirement that the Secretary of Transportation finance any increased ocean freight charges incurred in any fiscal year resulting from application of such transportation requirements for certain agricultural exports sponsored by the Secretary of Agriculture.
(Sec. 100125) Amends the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 to limit to $15 million the total annual payment from the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund to a certified state or Indian tribe.
Title II: Flood Insurance - Subtitle A: Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization
- Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 - (Sec. 100203) Amends the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 (NFIA) to extend through FY2017 the National Flood Insurance Program and the financing for it.
(Sec. 100204) Directs the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) (in the Department of Homeland Security [DHS]) to make flood insurance available to cover residential properties of five or more residences in a maximum coverage amount equal to that made available to commercial properties. Declares individuals residing in residential properties of five or more residences may obtain insurance for the contents and personal articles located in such residences.
(Sec. 100205) Prohibits the FEMA Administrator from estimating flood insurance premium rates for: (1) any severe repetitive loss property; (2) any property that has incurred flood-related damage in which the cumulative amounts of flood insurance payments equaled or exceeded the property's fair market value; (D) any business property; or (E) any property which on or after enactment of this Act has experienced or sustained substantial damage exceeding 50% percent of the property's fair market value, or substantial improvement exceeding 30% percent of the property's fair market value.
Prohibits the FEMA Administrator also from extending a premium subsidy to: (1) new or lapsed policies; or (2) any prospective insured who refuses to accept an offer for FEMA mitigation assistance (which may be an offer to relocate), including such an offer following a major disaster or in connection with a repetitive loss property or a severe repetitive loss property.
Defines "severe repetitive loss property" as one consisting of one to four residences covered under a flood insurance contract that has incurred flood-related damage: (1) for which four or more separate flood insurance claims payments have been made, each of which exceeding $5,000 with the cumulative amount exceeding $20,000; or (2) for which at least two separate claims payments have been made under such coverage, with the cumulative amount of such claims exceeding the value of the property.
Requires estimates of flood insurance risk premium rates to include all costs, including: (1) an estimate of the expected value of future costs, (2) all costs associated with the transfer of risk, and (3) the costs associated with an individual risk transfer with respect to FEMA-defined risk classes.
Revises the formula for the annual limitation on risk premium increases to require higher than current increases.
Directs the FEMA Administrator to give policyholders that are not required to escrow their premiums and fees for flood insurance the option to pay their premiums either annually or in more frequent installments.
(Sec. 100207) Requires adjustment of the flood insurance risk premium rate for property in an area participating in the national flood insurance program to reflect the current risk of flood to such property.
(Sec. 100208) Amends the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973 to increase from $350 to $2,000 the cap on the civil monetary penalty against regulated lenders for making, increasing, extending, or renewing loans, or the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) or the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) for purchasing loans, in violation of certain NFIA requirements. Repeals the $100,000 cap on the total amount of penalties assessed against any single regulated lending institution or enterprise during any calendar year.
(Sec. 100209) Exempts from requirements for the escrow of flood insurance premium or fee payments on the borrower's behalf any regulated lending institution whose total assets are less than $1 billion and which has not previously been required by federal or state law to deposit taxes, insurance premiums, fees, or any other charges in an escrow account for the entire term of a loan, nor has itself had a consistent and uniform policy of requiring such deposits for loans secured by residential improved real estate or a mobile home.
Applies flood insurance premium and fee payment escrow requirements and this exemption to any loan (not just residential loans) secured by improved real estate or a mobile home.
(Sec. 100210) Amends NFIA to prescribe minimum annual deductibles for flood damage claims, differing with regard to whether a structure was built or had substantial improvement: (1) on or before December 31, 1974, or before the effective date of an initial flood insurance rate map (pre-FIRM); or (2) after December 31, 1974, or after the effective date of an initial flood insurance rate map (post-FIRM).
Sets the minimum annual deductible for pre-FIRM properties as: (1) $1,500, if the flood insurance covers structural damage of $100,000 or less; and (2) $2,000, if the flood insurance covers structural damage greater than $100,000.
Sets the minimum annual deductible for post-FIRM properties at $1,000 in the first instance, and $1,250 in the second.
(Sec. 100211) Revises requirements for the FEMA Administrator's prescription of chargeable flood insurance premium rates. Repeals the requirement that the Administrator consult with certain entities before prescribing rates.
Requires chargeable flood insurance premium rates to be adequate, on the basis of accepted actuarial principles, to cover the average historical loss year (including catastrophic loss years) obligations incurred by the National Flood Insurance Fund.
(Sec. 100212) Directs the FEMA Administrator to establish a National Flood Insurance Reserve Fund to meet the expected future obligations of the flood insurance program. Prescribes a reserve ratio for the Reserve Fund of 1% percent of the sum of the total potential loss exposure of all outstanding flood insurance policies in force in the prior fiscal year (or an appropriate higher percentage, taking into consideration any circumstance that may raise a significant risk of substantial future losses to it).
(Sec. 100213) Requires any funds borrowed by FEMA for the Program to include a repayment schedule, which shall be transmitted not only to the Secretary but to specified congressional committees.
(Sec. 100214) Prohibits FEMA from denying payment of certain flood insurance claims by condominium owners who purchased such flood insurance separate and apart from the flood insurance purchased by the condominium association, based on the flood insurance coverage of the association or others on the association's overall property.
(Sec. 100215) Establishes the Technical Mapping Advisory (TMA) Council to recommend mapping standards and guidelines for flood insurance rate maps.
Directs the Council to develop recommendations on how to: (1) ensure that flood insurance rate maps incorporate the best available climate science to assess flood risks, and (2) ensure that FEMA uses the best available methodology to consider the impact of the rise in the sea level and future development on flood risk. Requires the FEMA Administrator to incorporate any such future risk assessment into updated National Flood Insurance Program rate maps.
(Sec. 100216) Requires the FEMA Administrator, in coordination with the TMA Council, to establish an ongoing program for review, update, and maintenance of Program rate maps.
Directs the Administrator to: (1) work to enhance communication and outreach to states, local communities, and property owners about the effects of any potential changes to Program rate maps that may result from this mapping program, and which such changes may have on flood insurance purchase requirements; and (2) engage with local communities to enhance communication and outreach to their residents on such effects.
Authorizes a community that believes its flood insurance rates would be affected by FEMA adoption of any TMA Council rate map recommendation to request an update of its own rate maps. Requires the FEMA Administrator to establish a protocol for evaluating such community map update requests.
Authorizes appropriations for FY2013-FY2017.
(Sec. 100217) Allows appeals to the local government of any designation of an identified special flood hazard area, but only on the ground that such designation is scientifically or technically incorrect.
(Sec. 100218) Requires the Administrator to make make an independent Scientific Resolution Panel available to any community that has: (1) filed a timely map appeal, completed 60 days of consultation with FEMA on the appeal, and not allowed more than 120 days (or longer under a waiver) to pass since the end of the appeal period; or (2) received an unsatisfactory ruling under the map revision process.
Requires any property owner or lessee appealing a proposed flood elevation determination to submit related scientific and technical data to the appeals to the Scientific Resolution Panel for review.
Requires the Panel, following deliberations, to issue a determination resolving a dispute, with binding recommendations, not subject to further judicial review, for the base flood elevation determination or the designation of a special flood hazard area that shall be reflected in the Flood Insurance Rate Maps.
(Sec. 100219) Removes the limitation placed upon state or local government contributions for the cost of updating flood maps.
(Sec. 100220) Directs the Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS), the FEMA Administrator, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the heads of specified federal agencies to: (1) coordinate and share data on flood risk determination and geospatial data; and (2) report to Congress an interagency budget crosscut and coordination report that displays the budget proposed for agencies working on flood risk determination data and digital elevation models, including planned agency transfers, and describes how these efforts complement one another.
(Sec. 100221) Directs the National Academy of Public Administration to study and report to Congress on how FEMA can: (1) improve interagency coordination on flood mapping, including a funding strategy to leverage and coordinate budgets and expenditures; and (2) establish joint funding mechanisms with other governmental agencies.
(Sec. 100222) Amends the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974 (RESPA) to require that certain public information booklets include the availability of federal flood insurance, regardless of whether the real estate is located in a special flood hazard area.
(Sec. 100223) Requires the FEMA Administrator, upon state insurance commissioner request, to cause Program representatives to participate in state disaster claims mediation programs.
(Sec. 100224) Requires Write Your Own (WYO) program companies to submit to FEMA biennial expense reports for the prior five years. Requires FEMA to pass them on to the Comptroller General.
(The WYO program, part of the National Flood Insurance Program, is a cooperative undertaking of the insurance industry and FEMA which allows participating property and casualty insurance companies to write and service the Standard Flood Insurance Policy in their own names. The companies receive an expense allowance for policies written and claims processed while the federal government retains responsibility for underwriting losses.)
Requires the Administrator to: (1) develop a methodology for determining amounts to reimburse property and casualty insurance companies participating in the WYO program for selling, writing, and servicing flood insurance policies and adjusting claims; and (2) conduct a rulemaking proceeding to formulate revised reimbursements to WYO companies for their related expenses.
Directs the Comptroller General to study the efficacy, adequacy, and sufficiency of such rules.
(Sec. 100225) Revises requirements for mitigation assistance grants. Specifies grants: (1) to states and communities to carry out mitigation activities that reduce flood damage to severe repetitive loss properties, and (2) to property owners for mitigation activities that reduce flood damage to individual structures for which two or more flood insurance claim payments for losses have been made if neither the state nor community in which such a structure is located has the capacity to manage such grants.
Allows a flood risk mitigation plan to be part of a multi-hazard mitigation plan.
Restricts the Administrator to approving only mitigation activities that are technically feasible and cost-effective, or will eliminate future payments from the National Flood Insurance Fund (NFIF) for severe repetitive loss structures through an acquisition or relocation activity.
Eliminates beach nourishment from eligible mitigation activities. Declares to be eligible mitigation activities: (1) elevation, relocation, or floodproofing of utilities; (2) state or community development or update of mitigation plans (as under current law); and (3) technical assistance to certain communities to identify eligible activities, develop grant applications, and implement mitigation grants.
Directs the Administrator to consider as an eligible mitigation activity the demolition and rebuilding of properties to at least base flood elevation or greater.
Specifies state and community matching requirements for severe repetitive loss structures (0%, or the expected savings to the NFIF from expected avoided damages through acquisition or relocation activities), repetitive loss structures (10%), and other mitigation activities (25%). Specifies the annual allocation of NFIF amounts for such activities.
(Sec. 100226) Directs the Administrator and the Secretary of the Army, acting through the Chief of Engineers, jointly to establish a Flood Protection Structure Accreditation Task Force to develop a process to better align the information and data collected by or for the Corps of Engineers under the Inspection of Completed Works Program with flood protection structure accreditation requirements so that sufficient information and data collected for either purpose can be used interchangeably.
(Sec. 100227) Requires the Administrator to review and report to Congress on the processes and procedures: (1) for determining that a flood event has commenced or is in progress, (2) for notifying the public about such an event, and (3) about the timing of public notification of flood insurance requirements and availability. Requires the review and report to include the effects and implications that weather conditions have on the determination that a flood event has commenced or is in progress.
Deems a specified effective date of policies covering properties affected by the flooding of the Missouri River in 2011.
Requires the Administrator, within 90 days after submitting this report, and taking into consideration the results of the review, to develop procedures to timely notify policyholders who have purchased their coverage within 30 days of a determination of a flood in progress, and who may be affected by it, of that determination and how it may affect their coverage.
(Sec. 100228) Makes technical amendments to the requirements for additional flood insurance in excess of ordinary limits for residential and commercial properties.
(Sec. 100229) Prohibits designation as a special flood hazard area, unless certain criteria are met, of any area or community participating in the Program that is: (1) or includes Community Identification Number 360467 and is impacted by the Jamaica Bay flooding source, or (2) Community Identification Number 360495. Requires any such designation to be based on: (1) flood hazard analyses of hydrologic, hydraulic, or coastal flood hazards that have been properly calibrated and validated, and are specific and directly relevant to the geographic area being studied; and (2) ground elevation information of sufficient accuracy and precision to meet FEMA guidelines for accuracy at the 95% confidence level.
Requires the Administrator to remap, using compliant information and procedures, any rate map for either area if it has been designated a special flood hazard area on the basis of information that does not comply with these requirements. Requires reimbursement of policyholders, according to a specified formula, if a required revision and update to a rate map for such an area results in a reduction in the risk premium rate.
(Sec. 100230) Makes eligible for flood insurance any person residing in a community participating in the Program that has made adequate progress on the reconstruction or improvement of a flood protection system that will afford flood protection for a 100-year floodplain. Limits the risk premium rate for such a person to one that does not exceed the risk premium rate that would be chargeable if the flood protection system had been completed. Specifies criteria for adequate progress.
Prescribes eligibility requirements and community request procedures with respect to a person residing in a community participating in the Program that has begun reconstruction or improvement of a flood protection system that will afford flood protection for a 100-year floodplain (without regard to the level of Federal funding of or participation in the reconstruction or improvement).
(Sec. 100231) Requires the Comptroller General to report to Congress on: (1) expansion of the Program, (2) pre-FIRM structures receiving discounted premiums, and (3) a review of the three largest FEMA contractors used in administering the Program.
Directs the FEMA Administrator to contract with the National Academy of Sciences for a study exploring methods for understanding graduated risk behind levees and the associated land development, insurance, and risk communication dimensions.
(Sec. 100232) Directs the FEMA Administrator and the Comptroller General to conduct separate studies to to assess a broad range of options, methods, and strategies for privatizing the National Flood Insurance Program.
Authorizes the Administrator to carry out appropriate private risk-management initiatives to determine the capacity of private insurers, reinsurers, and financial markets to assist communities, on a voluntary basis only, in managing the full range of financial risks associated with flooding.
Requires the Administrator to report to Congress a private market pricing assessment regarding the capacity of the private reinsurance, capital, and financial markets to assist communities, on a voluntary basis, in managing the full range of financial risks associated with flooding by requesting proposals to assume a portion of the insurance risk of the National Flood Insurance Program. Requires the report to describe and assess proposals responding to the request.
Authorizes the Administrator to secure reinsurance of flood insurance coverage from the private market, at rates and on terms that are reasonable and appropriate, in an amount sufficient to maintain the Program's ability to pay claims.
Requires the Administrator to conduct annual assessments of the Program's ability to pay claims.
(Sec. 100233) Directs the Comptroller General to study: (1) the availability of additional living expenses and business interruption coverage in the private marketplace for flood insurance, (2) the feasibility of allowing the Program to offer such coverage at the consumer's option, (3) the estimated cost to consumers if the Program priced such optional coverage at true actuarial rates, (4) the impact such optional coverage would have on consumer participation in the Program, and (5) the fiscal impact such optional coverage would have upon the NFIF if it were included in the Program at the price equal to the true actuarial rate.
(Sec. 100234) Requires each flood insurance policy under the Program, subject to administrative penalty, to state all conditions, exclusions, and other limitations pertaining to coverage, regardless of the underlying insurance product, in plain English, in boldface type, and in a font size that is twice the size of the text of the body of the policy. Authorizes the FEMA Administrator to impose a civil penalty of %50,000 on any person failing to comply with this requirement.
(Sec. 100235) Directs the Administrator to study the impact, effectiveness, and feasibility of amending NFIA to include widely used and nationally recognized building codes as part of the floodplain management criteria developed for land management and use.
(Sec. 100236) Requires the Administrator also to study methods to: (1) encourage and maintain participation in the Program; (2) educate consumers about the Program and the flood risk associated with their property; (3) establish an affordability framework for the Program, including methods to aid individuals to afford risk-based premiums through targeted assistance rather than generally subsidized rates, including means-tested vouchers.
Requires the Administrator to contract with the National Academy of Sciences to submit to the Administrator, with respect to such study, an economic analysis of the costs and benefits to the federal government of a flood insurance program with full risk-based premiums, combined with means-tested federal assistance to aid individuals who cannot afford coverage, through an insurance voucher program.
(Sec. 100237) Directs the Comptroller General to examine: (1) the factors contributing to the current rates of participation in the Program by Indian tribes and their members, and (2) methods of encouraging such participation.
(Sec. 100239) Directs Each federal entity for lending regulation by regulation to direct regulated lending institutions to accept private flood insurance as satisfaction of the flood insurance coverage requirement if the private coverage meets federal coverage requirements. Imposes the same requirement on the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac).
Requires each lender to disclose to mortgage borrowers that such flood insurance is available from private insurance companies.
(Sec. 100240) Directs the FEMA Administrator to allow the construction of a permanent flood risk reduction levee by a state, local, or tribal government on specified hazard mitigation land in North Dakota if certain criteria are met, including provision of an adequate maintenance plan.
(Sec. 100241) Makes an exception to the 30-day waiting period before a new flood insurance contract becomes effective. Waives the waiting period for the initial purchase of flood insurance coverage for private property if: (1) the property is affected by flooding on federal land that is a result of, or is exacerbated by, post-wildfire conditions; and (2) the flood insurance coverage was purchased not later than 60 days after the fire containment date relating to the wildfire that caused such post-wildfire conditions.
(Sec. 100242) Permits nonsupporting breakaway walls in any space, below the lowest elevated floor of a building, that is used solely for a swimming pool between November 30 and June 1 of any year, in an area designated as Zone V on a flood insurance rate map.
Permits openings in walls in such a space in an area designated as Zone A on a flood insurance rate map.
Declares that nothing in these permissions shall be construed to alter the terms and conditions of eligibility and insurability of standard flood insurance coverage for a building.
(Sec. 100243) Amends the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 to make eligible for assistance under a community development block grant (CDBG): (1) supplementing state or local funding for administration of building code enforcement by local building code enforcement departments, including individual certification or departmental accreditation, and for capital expenditures specifically dedicated to the administration of such a department; and (2) providing assistance to local governmental agencies responsible for floodplain management activities in communities participating in the national flood insurance program, but only for implementing outreach activities to encourage and facilitate the purchase of flood insurance protection by property owners and renters and to promote educational activities that increase awareness of flood risk reduction. Subjects such activities to specified requirements.
(Sec. 100244) Amends the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973 with respect to force-placed flood insurance purchased by a lender or servicer on a borrower's behalf, in certain circumstances, when the property involved lies in a special flood hazard area but the borrower has not purchased flood insurance or has purchased an inadequate amount of such insurance.
Requires the lender or servicer to terminate any such flood insurance bought on the borrower's behalf within 30 days after receiving confirmation of the borrower's existing flood insurance coverage. Requires a refund to the borrower of all premiums the borrower has paid for any insurance purchased by the lender or servicer during any period when the borrower's flood insurance coverage and the insurance coverage purchased by the lender or servicer were each in effect, and any related fees charged to the borrower.
(Sec. 100245) Amends NFIA to grant the FEMA Administrator discretion to refuse to accept the transfer of the administration of any flood insurance policies written and administered by an insurance company or other insurer, or any insurance agent or broker.
(Sec. 100246) Repeals the $250,000 cap on the authorization of appropriations for reimbursement of certain non-legal expenses incurred by a real property owner or lessee, or by the community, in effecting a successful appeal, in whole or part, of a flood elevation determination or designation of a special flood hazard area.
Declares instead that the amounts available for implementing a reimbursement shall not exceed $250,000.
Requires that any such appeal be based on a scientific or technical error on FEMA's part.
(Sec. 100247) Requires the Director of the Federal Insurance Office to assess the current state of the U.S. market for natural catastrophe insurance.
(Sec. 100248) Directs the FEMA Administrator to allow the construction of a flood protection improvement by a state, local, or tribal government on covered hazard mitigation land in Findlay, Ohio, if specified criteria are met.
(Sec. 100249) Declares that no cause of action shall exist, and no claim may be brought against the United States, for violation of any notification requirement imposed upon the United States by this subtitle.
Subtitle B: Alternative Loss Allocation -
Consumer Option for an Alternative System to Allocate Losses Act of 2012 or COASTAL Act of 2012 - (Sec. 100252) Amends the Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System Act of 2009 to direct the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to develop an assessment model for determining the magnitude and variations of coastal storm surges and wind speeds associated with named storms (Named Storm Event Model).
Covers as "states" the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and any other U.S. territory or possession.
Requires the Administrator to: (1) identify named storms that may constitute a threat to coastal states, (2) develop a post-event assessment for such named storm, (3) establish a specified protocol to collect and assemble all requisite data to produce post-storm assessments, (4) identify federal and state systems capable of collecting such data, and (5) establish the Coastal Wind and Water Event Database.
Directs the Comptroller General (GAO) to audit federal efforts to collect such data.
(Sec. 100253)Amends the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 to direct the DHS Secretary , acting through the FEMA Administrator, to establish by rule a standard formula (COASTAL Formula) to determine and allocate wind losses and flood losses for claims involving indeterminate losses.
Requires an insurance claims adjuster certified under the national flood insurance program determine that a loss is an indeterminate loss only if: (1) no material remnant of physical buildings or man-made structures remain except building foundations for the specific property for which the claim is made; and (2) there is insufficient or no tangible evidence created, yielded, or otherwise left behind of the specific property for which the claim is made as a result of the named storm.
Prescribes procedures for allocation of indeterminate loss claims and their payment.
Authorizes the FEMA Administrator to use the post-storm assessment and the COASTAL Formula to: (1) review flood loss payments for indeterminate losses; and (2) assist the national flood insurance program to properly cover qualified flood loss for claims for indeterminate losses, and avoid paying for any loss or damage to property caused by any peril (including wind), other than flood or storm surge, that is not covered under a standard national flood insurance program policy.
Requires the National Academy of Sciences to: (1) evaluate the expected financial impact on the national flood insurance program of the use of the COASTAL Formula, (2) evaluate the validity of the scientific assumptions upon which the formula is based, and (3) determine whether the COASTAL Formula can achieve a degree of accuracy of at least 90% in allocating flood losses for indeterminate losses.
Directs the FEMA Administrator to disclose the COASTAL Formula and a summary of its results to any policyholder making an indeterminate loss claim.
Authorizes the FEMA Administrator to impose a civil penalty of up to $1,000 on any insurance claims adjuster who knowingly and willfully makes a false or inaccurate determination relating to an indeterminate loss. Requires deposit of any such civil penalties in the National Flood Insurance Fund.
Subtitle C: HEARTH Act Amendment
- (Sec. 100261) Prescribes certain requirements with respect to housing assistance for the homeless under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.
Extends the meaning of "local government" to an instrumentality of a unit of general purpose local government other than a public housing agency established pursuant to legislation and designated by the local government chief executive to act on the local government's behalf with regard to activities funded under the Act for housing assistance for the homeless. Includes as a "local government" a combination of general purpose local governments, such as an association of governments, that is recognized by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Excludes the District of Columbia from coverage as a state.
Directs the HUD Secretary to continue to permit assistance and projects to be treated as assistance for special projects subject to requirements of the Multifamily Housing Property Disposition Reform Act of 1994 as well as to implementing HUD regulations.
Authorizes a metropolitan city and an urban county that each receive a housing assistance for the homeless allocation, and are located within a geographic area covered by a single continuum of care, to jointly request the HUD Secretary to permit the urban county or the metropolitan city to receive and administer their combined allocations under a single grant.
Title III: Student Loan Interest Rate Extension
- (Sec. 100301) Amends the Higher Education Act of 1965 to extend specified reduced interest rates for Federal Direct Stafford Loans to undergraduate students whose first disbursement is made between July 1, 2006, and July 1, 2013 (currently, July 6, 2012).
(Sec. 100302) Makes ineligible for a Federal Direct Stafford Loan any new borrower on or after July 1, 2013, if the period of time for which the borrower has received Federal Direct Stafford Loans, in the aggregate, exceeds a period of enrollment consisting of the lesser of: (2) 150% of the published length of the educational program in which the student is enrolled; or (2) a period of time equal to the difference between 150% of the published length of the longest educational program in which the borrower was, or is, enrolled, and any periods of enrollment in which the borrower received a Federal Direct Stafford Loan, if the borrower was previously enrolled in one or more other educational programs that began on or after July 1, 2013. Requires the Secretary of Education to specify in regulations how the aggregate period of enrollment shall be calculated for borrowers in certain circumstances.
Permits such a borrower to still receive any Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan for which such borrower is otherwise eligible.
Division G: Surface Transportation Extension -
Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012, Part II -
Title I: Federal-Aid Highways -
(Sec. 111001) Amends the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2011, Part II to continue through September 30, 2012 (the end of FY2012), and authorizes appropriations through that date for, specified federal-aid highway programs under the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), the SAFETEA-LU Technical Corrections Act of 2008, the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA), and the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century. Includes among extended funds those for: (1) the surface transportation research, development, and deployment program; (2) training and education; (3) the Bureau of Transportation Statistics; (4) university transportation research; and (5) intelligent transportation systems (ITS) research.
Subjects funding for such programs generally to the same manner of distribution, administration, limitation, and availability for obligation, however, at 280/366 of the total amount, as funds authorized to be appropriated for such programs and activities out of the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) for FY2011.
Subjects contract authority for such programs through FY2012, however, to a specified pro rata limitation on obligations included in any Act making appropriations for FY2012 or a portion of that fiscal year. Waives this obligation limitation, though, for emergency relief and for the equity bonus program.
Extends the allocation of certain transportation program funds to: (1) states for specific programs, including the Interstate and National Highway System program, the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement program, the highway safety improvement program, the Surface Transportation program, and the Highway Bridge program; and (2) the territories and Puerto Rico. Prohibits use of program funds for a high-speed MAGLEV system between Las Vegas, Nevada, and Anaheim, California.
Authorizes appropriations from the HTF (other than the Mass Transit Account) for administrative expenses of the federal-aid highway program through FY2012.
Title II: Extension of Highway Safety Programs -
(Sec. 112001) Amends SAFETEA-LU to extend through FY2012 the authorization of appropriations for specified National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) safety programs, including: (1) highway safety research and development, (2) the occupant protection incentive grant program, (3) the safety belt performance grant program, (4) state traffic safety information system improvements, (5) the alcohol-impaired driving countermeasures incentive grant program, (6) the National Driver Register, (7) the high visibility enforcement program, (8) motorcyclist safety, (9) the child safety and child booster seat safety incentive grant program, and (10) NHTSA administrative expenses.
(Sec. 112002) Extends for that same period the authorization of appropriations for Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) programs, including: (1) motor carrier safety grants, (2) FMCSA administrative expenses, (3) commercial driver's license program improvement grants, (4) border enforcement grants, (5) performance and registration information system management grants, (6) commercial vehicle information systems and networks deployment grants, (7) safety data improvement grants, (8) a set-aside for new entrant motor carrier audit grants, (10) FMCSA and NHTSA outreach and education, (9) and (10) the working group for development of practices and procedures to enhance federal-state relations.
(Sec. 112003) Extends for the same period the funding for hazardous materials (hazmat) research projects.
Title III: Public Transportation Programs -
(Sec. 113001) Extends through FY2012 the allocation of capital investment grant funds for federal transit programs, including the metropolitan planning program and the state planning and research program.
(Sec. 113002) Extends the special rule authority of the Secretary to award urbanized area formula grants to finance the operating cost of equipment and facilities for use in public transportation in an urbanized area with a population of at least 200,000.
(Sec. 113003) Allocates through FY2012 certain amounts for formula and bus grants and capital investment grants for: (1) certain new fixed guideway capital projects; (2) new fixed guideway ferry systems and extension projects in Alaska and Hawaii; (3) payments to the Denali Commission for docks, waterfront development projects, and related transportation infrastructure; (4) ferry boats or ferry terminal facilities; (5) a set-aside for the national fuel cell bus technology development program; (6) projects in nonurbanized areas; (7) intermodal terminal projects; and (8) bus testing.
(Sec. 113004) Extends the apportionment of nonurbanized area formula grants for public transportation on Indian reservations.
(Sec. 113005) Repeals the special rule for October 1, 2011, through June 30, 2012, for the apportionment of capital investment grant funds for certain fixed guideway modernization projects, which required the Secretary to apportion 75% of each dollar amount for such projects.
(Sec. 113006) Extends for that same period the authorization of appropriations from the HTF Mass Transit Account for: (1) formula and bus grant projects, including allocations for specified projects; (2) capital investment grants; (3) transit research, including allocations for transit cooperative research programs, the National Transit Institute, the university centers program, transportation projects to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the National Technical Assistance Center for senior transportation, and national research programs; and (4) administration expenses.
(Sec. 113007) Extends through FY2012 certain SAFETEA-LU programs, including: (1) the contracted paratransit pilot program, (2) the public-private partnership pilot program, (3) project authorizations for final design and construction and preliminary engineering of specified fixed guideway projects, and (4) the elderly individuals and individuals with disabilities pilot program.
Extends certain allocations for national research and technology programs.
Title IV: Effective Date
- (Sec. 114001) Sets the effective date of Division G at July 1, 2012.
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
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Bill titles: To provide an extension of Federal-aid highway, highway safety, motor carrier safety, transit, and other programs funded out of the Highway Trust Fund pending enactment of a multiyear law reauthorizing such programs, and for other purposes.; Amended during conference: "An act to authorize funds for Federal-aid highways, highway safety programs, and transit programs, and for other purposes."; America Fast Forward Financing Innovation Act of 2012; Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012; COASTAL Act of 2012; Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Enhancement Act of 2012; Consumer Option for an Alternative System to Allocate Losses Act of 2012; Federal Public Transportation Act of 2012; Hazardous Materials Transportation Safety Improvement Act of 2012; Highway Investment, Job Creation, and Economic Growth Act of 2012; Jason's Law; Mariah's Act; Motor Vehicle and Highway Safety Improvement Act of 2012; Motorcoach Enhanced Safety Act of 2012; Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act of 2012; Safe Roads Act of 2012; Sport Fish Restoration and Recreational Boating Safety Act of 2012; Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012, Part II; Transportation Research and Innovative Technology Act of 2012
Links for more info on the vote: congress.gov