With just one day left before the House and Senate start their 7-week summer recess we are starting to see a sharp increase in the number of bills introduced with 89 bills introduced yesterday. Of those bills only three may be of specific interest to readers of this blog:
HR 5762 To improve the safety of hazardous materials rail transportation, and for other purposes. Rep. Bonamici, Suzanne [D-OR-1]
S 3186 A bill to amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to provide for active shooter and mass casualty incident response assistance, and for other purposes. Sen. Carper, Thomas R. [D-DE]
S 3187 A bill to increase the authorization of the National Transportation Safety Board through fiscal year 2020, to require the NTSB to investigate major oil and other hazardous materials derailments, to expand the Secretary of Transportation's emergency order authority, and to require the Secretary of Transportation to establish a volatility standard for crude oil transported by rail. Sen. Merkley, Jeff [D-OR]
It is tempting to call the two railroad hazmat bills election year posturing, but that would not be the case for Merkley who is not facing re-election for another four years. It will be interesting to see if these are actually companion bills (identical bills introduced in both houses of Congress).
It will be interesting to see if Carper’s bill addresses the unique issues of response to active shooter incidents at facilities where hazardous chemicals are stored.