Florida Senate - 2020                                     SB 676
       By Senator Mayfield
       17-00207E-20                                           2020676__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to high-speed passenger rail safety;
    3         creating s. 341.601, F.S.; providing a short title;
    4         creating s. 341.602, F.S.; defining terms; 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.; requiring the Department of
    8         Transportation to regulate railroads when that
    9         authority is not federally preempted; requiring the
   10         department to obtain certain information from parties;
   11         requiring the department to keep certain records;
   12         requiring the department to adopt rules; creating s.
   13         341.606, F.S.; requiring the Division of Emergency
   14         Management to offer accident response training to
   15         certain local communities and local agencies; creating
   16         s. 341.607, F.S.; requiring certain railroad companies
   17         to furnish copies of federal accident reports to the
   18         department; requiring the department to annually
   19         publish certain information on its website; requiring
   20         railroad companies that transport liquefied natural
   21         gas on or within certain tracks or corridors to submit
   22         an annual report to the department containing
   23         specified information; prohibiting the use of reported
   24         information for the purpose of economically regulating
   25         railroad companies; requiring the department, in
   26         coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration
   27         and other necessary entities, to adopt certain rules;
   28         creating s. 341.608, F.S.; requiring certain railroad
   29         companies to comply with federal law and certain
   30         regulations and install certain safety equipment;
   31         requiring railroad companies to meet specified
   32         requirements before operating a high-speed passenger
   33         rail system; requiring sealed corridors at certain at
   34         grade crossings; providing safety measure requirements
   35         for sealed corridors; creating s. 341.609, F.S.;
   36         requiring railroad companies to be responsible for
   37         ensuring that impacted roadbed meets specified
   38         transition requirements under certain circumstances;
   39         providing construction; creating s. 341.6101, F.S.;
   40         requiring the department’s railroad inspectors, in
   41         accordance with a specified program, to meet certain
   42         certification requirements and to coordinate their
   43         activities with those of federal inspectors in the
   44         state in compliance with certain federal regulations;
   45         requiring the department’s inspectors to report the
   46         results of their inspections to the department,
   47         subject to certain requirements, unless the results
   48         are confidential under law; requiring the department
   49         to make the reports available on its website; creating
   50         s. 341.611, F.S.; requiring the department to adopt by
   51         rule standards to be used in conducting field surveys
   52         of certain rail corridors; providing minimum
   53         requirements for the field surveys; requiring the
   54         department to hold certain public meetings; requiring
   55         certain railroad companies to construct and maintain
   56         fences under certain circumstances; providing fencing
   57         requirements; specifying that a railroad company
   58         operating a high-speed passenger rail system is liable
   59         for all damages arising from its failure to construct
   60         or maintain the fence, under certain circumstances;
   61         creating s. 341.612, F.S.; establishing jurisdiction
   62         for the state to enforce specified provisions;
   63         requiring penalties for violations of specified
   64         provisions to be imposed upon the railroad company
   65         that commits such violations; creating s. 341.613,
   66         F.S.; providing severability; providing an effective
   67         date.
   69  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   71         Section 1. Section 341.601, Florida Statutes, is created to
   72  read:
   73         341.601Short title.—Sections 341.601-341.613 may be cited
   74  as the “Florida High-Speed Passenger Rail Safety Act.”
   75         Section 2. Section 341.602, Florida Statutes, is created to
   76  read:
   77         341.602Definitions.—As used in ss. 341.601-341.613, the
   78  term:
   79         (1)“Department” means the Department of Transportation.
   80         (2)“Freight railroad carrier” means any person, railroad
   81  corporation, or other legal entity engaged in the business of
   82  providing freight rail transportation.
   83         (3)“Governmental entity” means the state, any of its
   84  agencies, or any of its political subdivisions.
   85         (4)“Hazardous materials” includes all materials, wastes,
   86  or substances designated or defined as hazardous by 49 C.F.R.
   87  parts 100-199 and their implementing regulations, by 42 U.S.C.
   88  s. 9601, or in any state law, rule, or program that regulates
   89  handling or transporting of such materials, wastes, or
   90  substances.
   91         (5)“High-speed passenger rail system” means any intrastate
   92  passenger rail system that operates or proposes to operate its
   93  passenger trains at a maximum speed in excess of 80 miles per
   94  hour and that was not carrying passengers before January 1,
   95  2017.
   96         (6)“Public railroad-highway grade crossing” means a
   97  location at which a railroad track is crossed at grade by a
   98  public road.
   99         (7)“Rail corridor” means a linear, continuous strip of
  100  real property that is used for rail service. The term includes
  101  the corridor and structures essential to railroad operations,
  102  including the land, buildings, improvements, rights-of-way,
  103  easements, rail lines, roadbeds, guideway structures, switches,
  104  yards, parking facilities, power relays, switching houses, rail
  105  stations, any ancillary developments, and any other facilities
  106  or equipment used for the purposes of construction, operation,
  107  or maintenance of a railroad that provides rail service.
  108         (8)“Railroad company” means any individual, partnership,
  109  association, corporation, or company and its respective lessees,
  110  trustees, or court-appointed receivers which develops or
  111  provides ground transportation that runs on rails, and includes,
  112  but is not limited to, any of the following:
  113         (a)A high-speed passenger rail system.
  114         (b)A freight railroad carrier.
  115         (c)A company that owns a rail corridor.
  116         (9) “Sealed corridor” means a rail corridor that uses
  117  safety measures to block all lanes of travel where a roadway
  118  crosses a railroad track and that uses pedestrian treatments at
  119  grade crossings and controls between crossings to prevent
  120  trespassing.
  121         Section 3. Section 341.603, Florida Statutes, is created to
  122  read:
  123         341.603Legislative intent.—It is the intent of the
  124  Legislature to:
  125         (1)Encourage the creation of safe and economical
  126  transportation options, including high-speed passenger rail
  127  systems, for this state’s residents and visitors.
  128         (2)Promote and enhance the safe operation of high-speed
  129  passenger rail systems within the state to protect the health,
  130  safety, and welfare of the public.
  131         Section 4. Section 341.604, Florida Statutes, is created to
  132  read:
  133         341.604Applicability.—This act applies to any railroad
  134  company that operates a high-speed passenger rail system and any
  135  railroad company that allows a high-speed passenger rail system
  136  to operate on or within its rail corridor.
  137         Section 5. Section 341.605, Florida Statutes, is created to
  138  read:
  139         341.605Powers and duties of the department; rules.—
  140         (1)The department shall regulate railroad companies in
  141  this state to the extent that such authority is not preempted by
  142  federal law or regulation.
  143         (2)The department shall obtain from any party all
  144  necessary information to enable it to perform its duties and
  145  carry out the requirements of this act.
  146         (3)The department shall keep a record of its findings,
  147  decisions, and determinations made, and investigations
  148  conducted, under this act.
  149         (4)The department shall adopt rules to administer this
  150  act.
  151         Section 6. Section 341.606, Florida Statutes, is created to
  152  read:
  153         341.606 Training for local communities and local agencies.
  154  If a high-speed passenger rail system operates on a rail
  155  corridor or on a set of tracks which is also used to transport
  156  hazardous materials, the Division of Emergency Management must
  157  offer the local communities and local agencies located along the
  158  rail corridor training specifically designed to help them
  159  respond to an accident involving rail passengers or hazardous
  160  materials.
  161         Section 7. Section 341.607, Florida Statutes, is created to
  162  read:
  163         341.607Reporting requirements; rulemaking.—
  164         (1)A railroad company that operates a high-speed passenger
  165  rail system shall furnish to the department a copy of the
  166  accident reports filed with the Federal Railroad Administration
  167  for each train accident that occurs within the rail corridor.
  168         (2)The department shall annually publish on its website a
  169  compendium of the reports that include any fatalities, injuries,
  170  or accidents during the reporting timeframe which occurred
  171  within a rail corridor where a high-speed passenger rail system
  172  operates.
  173         (3)A railroad company that transports liquefied natural
  174  gas on the same tracks, or within the same rail corridor, used
  175  by a high-speed passenger rail system within the state shall
  176  submit an annual report to the department containing:
  177         (a)All insurance carried by the railroad company which
  178  covers any losses resulting from a reasonable worst-case
  179  unplanned release of liquefied natural gas.
  180         (b)Coverage amounts, limitations, and other conditions of
  181  such insurance.
  182         (c)The size of the average and largest liquefied natural
  183  gas train, as measured in metric tons, operated in the state by
  184  the railroad company in the previous calendar year.
  185         (d)Information sufficient to demonstrate the railroad
  186  company’s ability to remediate a reasonable worst-case unplanned
  187  release of liquefied natural gas, including, but not limited to,
  188  insurance coverage, reserve accounts, letters of credit, or
  189  other financial instruments or resources on which the company
  190  can rely for such remediation.
  191         (4)All reporting requirements are for informational
  192  purposes only. The information reported may not be used to
  193  economically regulate the railroad company.
  194         (5) The department, in coordination with the Federal
  195  Railroad Administration and other public and private entities,
  196  as necessary, shall adopt by rule criteria to determine a
  197  reasonable worst-case unplanned release of liquefied natural
  198  gas.
  199         Section 8. Section 341.608, Florida Statutes, is created to
  200  read:
  201         341.608Minimum safety standards for high-speed passenger
  202  rail systems.—
  203         (1)In addition to complying with federal law and with
  204  Federal Railroad Administration regulations, a railroad company
  205  operating a high-speed passenger rail system shall install
  206  safety equipment that has been approved by the Federal Railroad
  207  Administration and include, at a minimum, positive train control
  208  systems as provided in 49 C.F.R. part 236.
  209         (2)Before operating a high-speed passenger rail system, a
  210  railroad company shall also:
  211         (a)Install or realign crossing gates, including those at
  212  severely skewed, acute-angled locations as identified by either
  213  the department or the Federal Railroad Administration, so that
  214  the gates are parallel to the tracks and in accordance with the
  215  most recent edition of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control
  216  Devices published by the Federal Highway Administration and
  217  adopted by the department pursuant to s. 316.0745.
  218         (b)Equip all automatic public railroad-highway grade
  219  crossing warning systems with remote health monitoring
  220  technology capable of constantly monitoring the highway-railroad
  221  crossing to:
  222         1.Detect false activations;
  223         2.Detect other crossing signal malfunctions; and
  224         3.Notify the train dispatcher and railroad maintenance
  225  personnel whenever such a malfunction is detected.
  226         (c)Construct and maintain fencing in accordance with s.
  227  341.611.
  228         (3)(a) Sealed corridors must be required at any at-grade
  229  crossing where a high-speed passenger rail system operates on
  230  tracks that are also used to transport hazardous materials,
  231  regardless of the speed at which the high-speed passenger rail
  232  system is operating on such at-grade crossing.
  233         (b) Safety measures that must be used at a sealed corridor
  234  include, but are not limited to, the following:
  235         1. A four-quadrant gate system with separate pedestrian
  236  crossing gates on the two-way streets;
  237         2. Gate arms extending across all lanes of travel on paired
  238  one-way streets; and
  239         3. Median arrangements.
  240         Section 9. Section 341.609, Florida Statutes, is created to
  241  read:
  242         341.609Maintenance and repair of roadbeds, tracks,
  243  culverts, and certain streets and sidewalks.—
  244         (1)If the railroad company that constructs or operates a
  245  high-speed passenger rail system is required to install safety
  246  improvements that modify the width of a roadbed, the company is
  247  responsible for ensuring that the impacted roadbed meets the
  248  department’s transition requirements as set forth in the most
  249  recent edition of the department’s Design Standards and the
  250  Manual of Uniform Minimum Standards for Design, Construction and
  251  Maintenance for Streets and Highways.
  252         (2)This section does not impair any existing contractual
  253  agreements between a railroad company operating a high-speed
  254  passenger rail system and a governmental entity within the
  255  state.
  256         Section 10. Section 341.6101, Florida Statutes, is created
  257  to read:
  258         341.6101Safety inspections and inspectors.—
  259         (1)In accordance with the State Rail Safety Participation
  260  Program, which is designed to promote safety in all areas of
  261  railroad operations to reduce deaths, injuries, and damage to
  262  railroad property, the department’s railroad inspectors must be
  263  certified by the Federal Railroad Administration and shall
  264  coordinate their activities with those of federal inspectors in
  265  the state in compliance with 49 C.F.R. part 212 and any other
  266  federal regulations governing state safety participation.
  267         (2)Unless the results are otherwise confidential under
  268  state or federal law, the department’s railroad inspectors shall
  269  report in writing the results of their inspections in the manner
  270  and on forms prescribed by the department. The department must
  271  make these reports available on its website for the public to
  272  access.
  273         Section 11. Section 341.611, Florida Statutes, is created
  274  to read:
  275         341.611Fencing and separation requirements to protect the
  276  public.—
  277         (1)The department shall adopt by rule standards to be used
  278  by the department in conducting field surveys of the rail
  279  corridor being used by a high-speed passenger rail system. The
  280  field surveys must indicate areas where fencing is necessary to
  281  protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public.
  282         (2)At a minimum, the field surveys must identify
  283  pedestrian traffic generators, such as nearby schools and parks,
  284  and signs of current pedestrian traffic that crosses the
  285  railroad tracks. The department shall hold at least one public
  286  meeting in each community in which new or substantially modified
  287  fencing is proposed before designs and plans for such fencing
  288  are finalized.
  289         (3)Once it has been determined that a fence is necessary,
  290  a railroad company operating a high-speed passenger rail system
  291  shall construct and maintain the fence on both sides of its
  292  railroad tracks in a manner sufficient to prevent intrusion. The
  293  fencing must be:
  294         (a) Placed 1 foot inside the edge of the railroad company’s
  295  right-of-way.
  296         (b)At least 4 1/2 feet in height. Ornamental fencing must
  297  be used within urban areas. Chain-link fencing may be used in
  298  locations outside of urban areas.
  299         (c)Maintained by the railroad company operating a high
  300  speed passenger rail system, unless a governmental entity has
  301  contractually consented to undertake the responsibility for
  302  maintaining the fence within its jurisdiction.
  303         (4)If a railroad company operating a high-speed passenger
  304  rail system does not construct or maintain a fence as required
  305  under subsection (3), the railroad company is liable for all
  306  damages arising from its failure to construct or maintain such
  307  fence unless another entity is responsible for maintenance as
  308  provided by paragraph (3)(c).
  309         Section 12. Section 341.612, Florida Statutes, is created
  310  to read:
  311         341.612Enforcement.—Jurisdiction to enforce ss. 341.601
  312  341.613 is as provided in s. 316.640, and any penalty for a
  313  violation of ss. 341.601-341.613 must be imposed upon the
  314  railroad company that commits such violation.
  315         Section 13. Section 341.613, Florida Statutes, is created
  316  to read:
  317         341.613 Severability.—If any provision of this act or its
  318  application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the
  319  invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of
  320  this act which can be given effect without the invalid provision
  321  or application, and to this end the provisions of this act are
  322  severable.
  323         Section 14. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.