Monday, April 24, 2017

Committee Hearings – Week of 04-23-17

With both the House and Senate back in Washington after their two-week recess, the main focus this week will be on getting a spending bill passed for the remainder of FY 2017. The deadline for that is Saturday, else the dreaded government shutdown will occur (unlikely). With that on the congressional platter the hearing schedule is relatively light this week; there is just one hearing that may be of specific interest to readers of this blog. It will address hazmat transportation issues.

HAZMAT Transportation

On Wednesday the Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will be holding a hearing looking at “Building a 21st Century Infrastructure for America: The State of Railroad, Pipeline, and Hazardous Materials Safety Regulations and Opportunities for Reform”. The witness list includes:

• Linda B. Darr, American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association;
• Roger Nober, BNSF Railway
• Paul Rankin, Reusable Industrial Packaging Association;
• Robin Rorick, American Petroleum Institute;
• Donald J. Santa, Jr., Interstate Natural Gas Association of America; and
• John Tolman, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen

I expect that we will hear very little about new regulations that the industries need to protect the public and more about what current and proposed rules need to be reviewed, revamped, or removed.

On the Floor

Nothing of specific interest expected to come to the floor of either the House or Senate this week beyond the FY 2017 Continuing Resolution. That bill has not yet been made public; still too much horse trading going on for that. It is interesting that we are seeing news this week about what bill components (or lack thereof) might result in a Trump veto of the spending bill coming out of a Republican controlled Congress.

As always, I will leave the gross reporting on the bill to the national press. I will focus on the specifics of what the bill might mean to the chemical safety, security and transportation communities and the control system cybersecurity community.

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