Florida Senate - 2018 SB 572 By Senator Mayfield 17-00417B-18 2018572__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to high-speed passenger rail; creating 3 s. 341.601, F.S.; providing a short title; creating s. 4 341.602, F.S.; providing definitions; creating s. 5 341.603, F.S.; providing legislative intent; creating 6 s. 341.604, F.S.; providing applicability; creating s. 7 341.605, F.S.; providing powers and duties of the 8 Florida Department of Transportation; authorizing the 9 department to regulate railroads where that authority 10 is not federally preempted; authorizing the department 11 to collect information from relevant parties; 12 requiring the department to keep certain records; 13 requiring the department to adopt rules; creating s. 14 341.606, F.S.; requiring the Florida Division of 15 Emergency Management to offer, under certain 16 circumstances, the local communities and local 17 emergency services located along the rail corridor 18 training specifically designed to help them respond to 19 an accident involving rail passengers or hazardous 20 materials; creating s. 341.607, F.S.; providing 21 reporting requirements for certain railroad companies; 22 requiring the department to publish certain 23 information on its website; requiring the department, 24 in coordination with the Federal Railroad 25 Administration and other necessary entities, to 26 develop certain rules; specifying that reporting 27 requirements are for informational purposes only and 28 are not to be used to economically regulate a railroad 29 company; creating s. 341.608, F.S.; specifying minimum 30 safety standards for a high-speed passenger rail 31 system; requiring certain railroad companies to comply 32 with certain federal laws and regulations; specifying 33 safety equipment and technology requirements for 34 certain railroad companies; requiring certain railroad 35 companies to meet specified requirements before 36 operating a high-speed passenger rail system; creating 37 s. 341.609, F.S.; requiring construction, maintenance, 38 and repair of certain infrastructure by certain 39 railroad companies; specifying requirements for 40 certain roadbed modifications; providing for 41 construction; creating s. 341.6101, F.S.; requiring 42 the department’s railroad inspectors, in accordance 43 with a specified program, to meet certain 44 certification requirements and to coordinate their 45 activities with those of federal inspectors in the 46 state in compliance with certain federal regulations; 47 requiring the inspectors to report the results of 48 their inspections, subject to certain requirements; 49 requiring the reports to be made available on the 50 department’s website unless they are deemed 51 confidential; creating s. 341.611, F.S.; requiring the 52 department to adopt rules that identify standards for 53 it to conduct field surveys of certain rail corridors; 54 providing requirements for the field surveys; 55 requiring the department to hold certain public 56 meetings; requiring certain railroad companies to 57 construct and maintain fences under certain 58 circumstances; providing fencing requirements; 59 providing that a railroad company operating a high 60 speed passenger rail system is liable for all damages 61 arising from its failure to construct or maintain the 62 fence, under certain circumstances; creating s. 63 341.612, F.S.; requiring a railroad company operating 64 a high-speed passenger rail system to be solely 65 responsible for certain maintenance, improvement, and 66 upgrade costs; specifying that a governmental entity 67 is not responsible for any costs associated with the 68 maintenance and improvements necessary to operate a 69 high-speed passenger rail system unless the 70 governmental entity expressly consents in writing; 71 providing construction; creating s. 341.613, F.S.; 72 establishing jurisdiction for the state to enforce 73 specified provisions; requiring penalties for 74 violations of specified provisions to be imposed upon 75 the railroad company that commits such violations; 76 creating s. 341.614, F.S.; providing severability; 77 providing an effective date. 78 79 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 80 81 Section 1. Section 341.601, Florida Statutes, is created to 82 read: 83 341.601 Short title.—Sections 341.601-341.614 shall be 84 known as the “Florida High-Speed Passenger Rail Safety Act.” 85 Section 2. Section 341.602, Florida Statutes, is created to 86 read: 87 341.602 Definitions.—As used in ss. 341.601-341.614, the 88 term: 89 (1) “Department” means the Florida Department of 90 Transportation. 91 (2) “Freight railroad carrier” means any person, railroad 92 corporation, or other legal entity in the business of providing 93 freight rail transportation. 94 (3) “Governmental entity” means the state, any of its 95 agencies, or any of its political subdivisions. 96 (4) “Hazardous materials” includes all materials and 97 substances that are now designated or defined as hazardous by 49 98 C.F.R. parts 100-199 and its implementing regulations, by 49 99 U.S.C. s. 9601, and in any state law, rule, or program that 100 regulates handling or transporting of such materials, wastes, or 101 substances. 102 (5) “High-speed passenger rail system” means any new 103 intrastate passenger rail system that operates or proposes to 104 operate its passenger trains at a maximum speed in excess of 80 105 miles per hour and which was not carrying passengers before 106 January 1, 2017. 107 (6) “Pedestrian grade crossing” means a separate sidewalk 108 or pathway where pedestrians, but not vehicles, cross railroad 109 tracks. 110 (7) “Public railroad-highway grade crossing” means a 111 location at which a railroad track is crossed at grade by a 112 public road. 113 (8) “Rail corridor” means a linear, continuous strip of 114 real property that is used for rail service. The term includes 115 the corridor and structures essential to railroad operations, 116 including the land, buildings, improvements, rights-of-way, 117 easements, rail lines, rail beds, guideway structures, switches, 118 yards, parking facilities, power relays, switching houses, rail 119 stations, any ancillary development, and any other facilities or 120 equipment used for the purposes of construction, operation, or 121 maintenance of a railroad that provides rail service. 122 (9) “Railroad company” means any individual, partnership, 123 association, corporation, or company and its respective lessees, 124 trustees, or receivers, appointed by a court, which develops or 125 provides ground transportation that runs on rails, including, 126 but not limited to, any of the following: 127 (a) A high-speed passenger rail system. 128 (b) A freight railroad carrier. 129 (c) A company that owns a rail corridor. 130 Section 3. Section 341.603, Florida Statutes, is created to 131 read: 132 341.603 Public purpose and intent.—It is the intent of the 133 Legislature to: 134 (1) Encourage the creation of safe and cost-effective 135 transportation options for this state’s residents and visitors, 136 including high-speed passenger rail systems. 137 (2) Promote and enhance the safety of high-speed passenger 138 rail systems operating within the state to protect the health, 139 safety, and welfare of the public. 140 Section 4. Section 341.604, Florida Statutes, is created to 141 read: 142 341.604 Applicability.—This act applies to any railroad 143 company operating a high-speed passenger rail system and any 144 railroad company that allows a high-speed passenger rail system 145 to operate on or within its rail corridor. 146 Section 5. Section 341.605, Florida Statutes, is created to 147 read: 148 341.605 Powers and duties of the department; rules.— 149 (1) The department may regulate railroad companies in this 150 state insofar as such authority is not preempted by federal laws 151 or regulations. 152 (2) The department may obtain from any party all necessary 153 information to enable it to perform its duties and carry out the 154 requirements set forth in this act. 155 (3) The department shall keep a record of all its findings, 156 decisions, determinations, and investigations carried out under 157 this act. 158 (4) The department shall adopt rules, pursuant to the 159 requirements of chapter 120, to administer this act. 160 Section 6. Section 341.606, Florida Statutes, is created to 161 read: 162 341.606 Training for local emergency services.—If a high 163 speed passenger rail system operates within the same rail 164 corridor or on the same set of tracks as another railroad 165 company that transports hazardous materials, the Florida 166 Division of Emergency Management must offer the local 167 communities and local emergency services located along the rail 168 corridor training specifically designed to help them respond to 169 an accident involving rail passengers or hazardous materials. 170 Section 7. Section 341.607, Florida Statutes, is created to 171 read: 172 341.607 Reporting requirements.— 173 (1) A railroad company operating a high-speed passenger 174 rail system shall furnish to the department a copy of the 175 accident reports filed with the Federal Railroad Administration 176 for each train accident that occurs within the rail corridor. 177 (2) The department shall annually publish on its official 178 website a compendium of the reports that include any fatalities, 179 injuries, and accidents during the reporting timeframe which 180 have occurred within a rail corridor where a high-speed 181 passenger rail system operates. 182 (3) A railroad company that transports liquefied natural 183 gas on the same tracks or within the same rail corridor used by 184 a high-speed passenger rail system within the state must submit 185 an annual report to the department containing: 186 (a) All insurance carried by the railroad company which 187 covers any losses resulting from a reasonable worst-case 188 unplanned release of liquefied natural gas. 189 (b) Coverage amounts, limitations, and other conditions of 190 the insurance identified in paragraph (a). 191 (c) The average and largest liquefied natural gas train, as 192 measured in metric tons, operated in the state by the railroad 193 company in the previous calendar year. 194 (d) Information sufficient to demonstrate the railroad 195 company’s ability to pay the costs of remediating a reasonable 196 worst-case unplanned release of liquefied natural gas, 197 including, but not limited to, insurance, reserve accounts, 198 letters of credit, or other financial instruments or resources 199 on which the company can rely to pay all such costs. The 200 department, in coordination with the Federal Railroad 201 Administration and other public and private entities, as 202 necessary, shall develop rules to determine applicable criteria 203 for a reasonable worst-case unplanned release of liquefied 204 natural gas. 205 (4) All reporting requirements are for informational 206 purposes only and may not be used to economically regulate the 207 railroad company. 208 Section 8. Section 341.608, Florida Statutes, is created to 209 read: 210 341.608 Minimum safety standards for high-speed passenger 211 rail.— 212 (1) A railroad company operating a high-speed passenger 213 rail system shall comply with all of the federal laws and 214 regulations administered by the Federal Railroad Administration. 215 (2) A railroad company operating a high-speed passenger 216 rail system must install safety equipment that has been approved 217 by the Federal Railroad Administration. Safety technology at a 218 minimum shall include positive train control pursuant to 49 219 C.F.R. part 229. 220 (3) Before operating a high-speed passenger rail system, a 221 railroad company shall also: 222 (a) Install or realign crossing gates, including those at 223 severely skewed, acute-angled locations as identified by either 224 the department or the Federal Railroad Administration, so the 225 gates are parallel to the tracks and in accordance with the most 226 recent edition of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices 227 published by the Federal Highway Administration and adopted by 228 the department pursuant to s. 316.0745. 229 (b) Equip all automatic public railroad-highway grade 230 crossing warning systems with remote health monitoring 231 technology capable of constantly monitoring the highway-railroad 232 crossing to: 233 1. Detect false activations; 234 2. Detect other crossing signal malfunctions; and 235 3. Notify the train dispatcher and railroad maintenance 236 personnel whenever such a malfunction is detected. 237 (c) Construct and maintain fencing in accordance with s. 238 341.611. 239 Section 9. Section 341.609, Florida Statutes, is created to 240 read: 241 341.609 Maintenance and repair of roadbeds, tracks, 242 culverts, and certain streets and sidewalks.— 243 (1) A railroad company that constructs or operates a high 244 speed passenger rail system on tracks that intersect with a 245 public street or highway at grade shall, at its sole cost and 246 expense, construct and thereafter maintain, renew, and repair 247 all railroad roadbed, track, and railroad culverts within the 248 confines of the public street or highway, and the streets or 249 pedestrian grade crossings lying between the rails and for a 250 distance outside the rails of 1 foot beyond the end of the 251 railroad ties. 252 (2) If the railroad company that constructs or operates a 253 high-speed passenger rail system is required to install safety 254 improvements that modify the width of a roadbed, the company is 255 responsible for ensuring that the impacted roadbed meets the 256 department’s transition requirements as set forth in the most 257 recent edition of the department’s Design Standards and the 258 Manual of Uniform Minimum Standards for Design, Construction and 259 Maintenance for Streets and Highways. 260 (3) This section does not impair any existing contractual 261 agreements between the railroad company operating the high-speed 262 passenger rail system and a governmental entity within the 263 state. 264 Section 10. Section 341.6101, Florida Statutes, is created 265 to read: 266 341.6101 Safety inspections and inspectors.— 267 (1) In accordance with the State Rail Safety Participation 268 Program, which is designed to promote safety in all areas of 269 railroad operations to reduce deaths, injuries, and damage to 270 railroad property, the department’s railroad inspectors shall be 271 certified by the Federal Railroad Administration and shall 272 coordinate their activities with those of federal inspectors in 273 the state in compliance with 49 C.F.R. part 212 and any other 274 federal regulations governing state safety participation. 275 (2) Unless the results are otherwise confidential under 276 state or federal law, the department’s railroad inspectors shall 277 report in writing the results of their inspections in the manner 278 and on forms prescribed by the department. These reports shall 279 be made available on the department’s website for the public to 280 access. 281 Section 11. Section 341.611, Florida Statutes, is created 282 to read: 283 341.611 Fencing and separation requirements to protect the 284 public.— 285 (1) The department shall adopt rules that identify 286 standards for it to conduct field surveys of the rail corridor 287 being used by a high-speed passenger rail system. The field 288 surveys must indicate areas where fencing is necessary for the 289 health, safety, and welfare of the public. 290 (2) At a minimum, the field survey should identify 291 pedestrian traffic generators, such as nearby schools and parks, 292 and signs of current pedestrian traffic that crosses the 293 railroad tracks. The department must hold at least one public 294 meeting in each community where new or substantially modified 295 fencing is proposed before designs and plans for such fencing 296 are finalized. 297 (3) Once it has been determined that a fence is necessary 298 to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the surrounding 299 community, the railroad company operating a high-speed passenger 300 rail system shall construct and maintain the fence on both sides 301 of its railroad tracks in a manner sufficient to prevent 302 intrusion. 303 (4) The fencing must be placed 1 foot inside the edge of 304 the railroad company’s right-of-way. 305 (5) The fencing must be maintained by the railroad company 306 operating a high-speed passenger rail system, unless a 307 governmental entity has contractually consented to undertaking 308 the responsibility for maintaining the fence within its 309 jurisdiction. 310 (6) The fence must be at least 4 1/2 feet in height. 311 Ornamental fencing must be used within urban areas. Chain-link 312 fencing may be used in locations outside of urban areas. 313 (7) If a railroad company operating a high-speed passenger 314 rail system neglects to construct or maintain a required fence, 315 the railroad company is liable for all damages arising from its 316 failure to construct or maintain such fence unless another 317 entity is responsible for maintenance under subsection (5). 318 Section 12. Section 341.612, Florida Statutes, is created 319 to read: 320 341.612 Safety improvements associated with the operation 321 of a high-speed passenger rail system.— 322 (1) A railroad company operating a high-speed passenger 323 rail system shall be solely responsible for all maintenance 324 costs associated with the safety equipment installed at public 325 railroad-highway grade crossings and at pedestrian grade 326 crossings which are related to the system’s operation and 327 safety. A governmental entity is not responsible for any costs 328 associated with the maintenance necessary to operate a high 329 speed passenger rail system unless the governmental entity 330 expressly consents in writing. 331 (2) A railroad company operating a high-speed passenger 332 rail system shall be solely responsible for all costs associated 333 with the improvements and upgrades at all public railroad 334 highway grade crossings on which the state does not use federal 335 funds to eliminate hazards, and at pedestrian grade crossings 336 relating to the system’s operation and safety. A governmental 337 entity is not responsible for any costs associated with the 338 improvements necessary to operate a high-speed passenger rail 339 system unless the governmental entity expressly consents in 340 writing. 341 (3) This section does not impair any existing contractual 342 agreements between a railroad company and a governmental entity 343 within the state. 344 (4) This section does not require a railroad company to 345 share in the cost of work for the elimination of hazards at 346 public railroad-highway grade crossings on which the state uses 347 federal funds to eliminate hazards. 348 Section 13. Section 341.613, Florida Statutes, is created 349 to read: 350 341.613 Enforcement.—Jurisdiction to enforce ss. 341.601 351 341.614 shall be as provided by s. 316.640, and any penalty for 352 a violation of ss. 341.601-341.614 shall be imposed upon the 353 railroad company that commits such violation. 354 Section 14. Section 341.614, Florida Statutes, is created 355 to read: 356 341.614 Severability.—If any provision of this act or its 357 application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the 358 invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of 359 this act which can be given effect without the invalid provision 360 or application, and to this end the provisions of this act are 361 severable. 362 Section 15. This act shall take effect July 1, 2018.