Wednesday, December 2, 2015

HR 22 Conference Report Rule

This afternoon the House Rules Committee met to craft the rule for the House consideration of the Conference Report on HR 22, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. The rule provides for one hour of debate and a single vote on the bill. Consideration of the bill will probably take place tomorrow. An official summary of the bill is available.

Provisions of Interest

The Conference Report provides new language for HR 22 that combines portions of both the House and Senate passed versions of the bill. The 1317 page bill contains a large number of provisions but only 15 would be of specific interest to readers of this blog:

Sec. 1407. Vehicle-to-infrastructure equipment [Grant program].
Sec. 7201. National emergency and disaster response [Waiving compliance].
Sec. 7206. Wetlines [Withdraw proposed rule].
Sec. 7301. Community safety grants [Training grant program].
Sec. 7302. Real-time emergency response information.
Sec. 7303. Emergency response [GAO study].
Sec. 7304. Phase-out of all tank cars used to transport Class 3 flammable liquids [Revised phase-out schedule].
Sec. 7305. Thermal blankets [For DOT 117 and DOT 117R].
Sec. 7306. Minimum requirements for top fittings protection for class DOT–
117R tank cars.
Sec. 7307. Rulemaking on oil spill response plans [Congressional reporting requirement].
Sec. 7308. Modification reporting [DOT 117R conversion reporting to Congress].
Sec. 7309. Report on crude oil characteristics research study [Report to Congress].
Sec. 7310. Hazardous materials by rail liability study [Report to Congress].
Sec. 7311. Study and testing of electronically controlled pneumatic brakes [GAO study].
Sec. 61003. Critical electric infrastructure security.

Most of these provisions are relatively short and easy to understand. Two of them, however, are more complex; §7302 and §61003. Fortunately, I have addressed both of these is some detail as in earlier blog posts.

The §7302 requirements were originally included as §7012 in HR 3763; it would require that regulations implementing the SERC oil-train notification requirements would specifically outline what information would be protected from public disclosure as Sensitive Security Information.

The §61003 requirements were originally included in HR 2271 and then modified as §1104 of HR 8 (and still remain in that bill). This would officially establish Critical Energy Infrastructure Information (CEII) as an official Controlled Unclassified Information which would receive special treatment under the new CUI regulations being promulgated by the National Archives and Records Administration.

Moving Forward

This Conference Report will almost certainly be approved by both the House and Senate by substantial bipartisan majorities and the President has indicated that he intends to sign the bill.

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