Florida Senate - 2020 CS for SB 676 By the Committee on Infrastructure and Security; and Senator Mayfield 596-02444-20 2020676c1 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 railroad companies when 9 that authority is not federally preempted; requiring 10 the department to obtain information necessary to 11 perform its duties; requiring the department to keep 12 certain records; requiring the department to adopt 13 rules; providing requirements for such rules; 14 authorizing the department to impose administrative 15 penalties; creating s. 341.606, F.S.; requiring the 16 Division of Emergency Management to offer accident 17 response training to certain local communities and 18 local agencies under certain circumstances; creating 19 s. 341.607, F.S.; requiring certain railroad companies 20 to furnish copies of federal accident reports to the 21 department; requiring the department to annually 22 publish certain information on its website; requiring 23 railroad companies that transport liquefied natural 24 gas on or within certain tracks or corridors to submit 25 an annual report to the department containing 26 specified information; prohibiting the use of reported 27 information for the purpose of economically regulating 28 railroad companies; requiring the department, in 29 coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration 30 and other necessary entities, to adopt certain 31 criteria by rule; creating s. 341.608, F.S.; requiring 32 certain railroad companies to comply with federal law 33 and certain regulations; creating s. 341.609, F.S.; 34 providing that certain railroad companies are 35 responsible for ensuring that impacted roadbeds meet 36 specified transition requirements under certain 37 circumstances; providing construction; creating s. 38 341.6101, F.S.; requiring the department’s railroad 39 inspectors, in accordance with a specified program, to 40 meet certain certification requirements and to 41 coordinate their activities with those of federal 42 inspectors in this state in compliance with certain 43 federal regulations; requiring the department’s 44 inspectors to report the results of their inspections 45 to the department, subject to certain requirements, 46 unless the results are confidential under state or 47 federal law; requiring the department to make the 48 reports available on its website; creating s. 341.611, 49 F.S.; providing severability; providing for 50 retroactive application; providing an effective date. 51 52 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 53 54 Section 1. Section 341.601, Florida Statutes, is created to 55 read: 56 341.601 Short title.—Sections 341.601-341.611 may be cited 57 as the “Florida High-Speed Passenger Rail Safety Act.” 58 Section 2. Section 341.602, Florida Statutes, is created to 59 read: 60 341.602 Definitions.—As used in ss. 341.601-341.611, the 61 term: 62 (1) “Department” means the Department of Transportation. 63 (2) “Freight railroad carrier” means any person, railroad 64 corporation, or other legal entity engaged in the business of 65 providing freight rail transportation. 66 (3) “Governmental entity” means the state, any of its 67 agencies, or any of its political subdivisions. 68 (4) “Hazardous materials” includes all materials, wastes, 69 or substances designated or defined as hazardous by 49 C.F.R. 70 parts 100-199 and their implementing regulations, by 42 U.S.C. 71 s. 9601, or in any state law, rule, or program that regulates 72 the handling or transporting of such materials, wastes, or 73 substances. 74 (5) “High-speed passenger rail system” means any intrastate 75 passenger rail system that operates or proposes to operate its 76 passenger trains at a maximum speed in excess of 80 miles per 77 hour. 78 (6) “Public railroad-highway grade crossing” means a 79 location at which a railroad track is crossed at grade by a 80 public road. 81 (7) “Rail corridor” means a linear, continuous strip of 82 real property that is used for rail service. The term includes 83 the corridor and structures essential to railroad operations, 84 including the land, buildings, improvements, rights-of-way, 85 easements, rail lines, roadbeds, guideway structures, switches, 86 yards, parking facilities, power relays, switching houses, rail 87 stations, any ancillary developments, and any other facilities 88 or equipment used for the purposes of construction, operation, 89 or maintenance of a railroad that provides rail service. 90 (8) “Railroad company” means any individual, partnership, 91 association, corporation, or company and its respective lessees, 92 trustees, or court-appointed receivers which develops or 93 provides ground transportation that runs on rails, and includes, 94 but is not limited to, any of the following: 95 (a) A high-speed passenger rail system. 96 (b) A freight railroad carrier. 97 (c) A company that owns a rail corridor. 98 (9) “Sealed corridor” means a rail corridor that uses 99 safety measures to block all lanes of travel where a roadway 100 crosses a railroad track and that uses pedestrian treatments at 101 grade crossings and controls between crossings to prevent 102 trespassing. 103 Section 3. Section 341.603, Florida Statutes, is created to 104 read: 105 341.603 Legislative intent.—It is the intent of the 106 Legislature to: 107 (1) Encourage the creation of safe and economical 108 transportation options, including high-speed passenger rail 109 systems, for this state’s residents and visitors. 110 (2) Promote and enhance the safe operation of high-speed 111 passenger rail systems within this state to protect the health, 112 safety, and welfare of the public. 113 Section 4. Section 341.604, Florida Statutes, is created to 114 read: 115 341.604 Applicability.—This act applies to any railroad 116 company that operates a high-speed passenger rail system and any 117 railroad company that allows a high-speed passenger rail system 118 to operate on or within its rail corridor. 119 Section 5. Section 341.605, Florida Statutes, is created to 120 read: 121 341.605 Powers and duties of the department; rules.— 122 (1) To the extent that such authority is not preempted by 123 federal law or regulation, the department shall: 124 (a) Regulate railroad companies in this state. 125 (b) Obtain from any party all necessary information to 126 enable it to perform its duties and carry out the requirements 127 of this act. 128 (c) Keep a record of its findings, decisions, and 129 determinations made, and investigations conducted, under this 130 act. 131 (d) Adopt rules by January 1, 2021, to administer this act. 132 Such rules must include minimum standards or criteria for: 133 1. Public railroad-highway grade crossing design, 134 including, but not limited to, installation of appropriate 135 safety equipment, such as remote health monitoring and traffic 136 signal preemption systems; 137 2. Implementation of sealed corridors and of safety 138 measures to be used at sealed corridors; 139 3. Installation or realignment of crossing gates at 140 severely skewed, acute-angled public railroad-highway grade 141 crossings along the rail corridor; and 142 4. Field surveys of the rail corridor to be conducted for 143 the purpose of identifying areas where fencing is necessary to 144 protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public, 145 including, but not limited to, minimum requirements for 146 construction and materials. 147 (2) The department may impose on a railroad company an 148 administrative penalty not exceeding $10,000 for each violation 149 of the rules adopted by the department as provided in this 150 section. Each violation constitutes a separate violation. 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: 163 341.607 Reporting 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, unless notified by the Federal Government that the 173 compendium is inconsistent with federal requirements. 174 (3) A railroad company that transports liquefied natural 175 gas on the same tracks, or within the same rail corridor, used 176 by a high-speed passenger rail system within this state shall 177 submit an annual report to the department containing the size of 178 the average and largest liquefied natural gas train, as measured 179 in metric tons, operated in this state by the railroad company 180 in the previous calendar year. 181 (4) All reporting requirements are for informational 182 purposes only. The information reported may not be used to 183 economically regulate the railroad company. 184 (5) The department, in coordination with the Federal 185 Railroad Administration and other public and private entities, 186 as necessary, shall adopt by rule criteria to determine a 187 reasonable worst-case unplanned release of liquefied natural 188 gas. 189 Section 8. Section 341.608, Florida Statutes, is created to 190 read: 191 341.608 Minimum safety standards for high-speed passenger 192 rail systems.—In addition to complying with federal law, Federal 193 Railroad Administration regulations, and other applicable 194 federal regulations, a railroad company operating a high-speed 195 passenger rail system shall comply with the rules adopted by the 196 department pursuant to s. 341.605. 197 Section 9. Section 341.609, Florida Statutes, is created to 198 read: 199 341.609 Maintenance and repair of roadbeds, tracks, 200 culverts, and certain streets and sidewalks.— 201 (1) If the railroad company that constructs or operates a 202 high-speed passenger rail system is required to install safety 203 improvements that modify the width of a roadbed, the company is 204 responsible for ensuring that the impacted roadbed meets the 205 department’s transition requirements as set forth in the most 206 recent edition of the department’s Design Standards and the 207 Manual of Uniform Minimum Standards for Design, Construction, 208 and Maintenance for Streets and Highways. 209 (2) This section may not be construed to impair any 210 existing contractual agreements between a railroad company 211 operating a high-speed passenger rail system and a governmental 212 entity within the state. 213 Section 10. Section 341.6101, Florida Statutes, is created 214 to read: 215 341.6101 Safety inspections and inspectors.— 216 (1) In accordance with the State Rail Safety Participation 217 Program, which is designed to promote safety in all areas of 218 railroad operations to reduce deaths, injuries, and damage to 219 railroad property, the department’s railroad inspectors must be 220 certified by the Federal Railroad Administration and shall 221 coordinate their activities with those of federal inspectors in 222 this state in compliance with 49 C.F.R. part 212 and any other 223 federal regulations governing state safety participation. 224 (2) Unless the results are otherwise confidential under 225 state or federal law, the department’s railroad inspectors shall 226 report in writing the results of their inspections in the manner 227 and on forms prescribed by the department. The department shall 228 make these reports available on its website for the public to 229 access. 230 Section 11. Section 341.611, Florida Statutes, is created 231 to read: 232 341.611 Severability.—If any provision of this act or its 233 application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the 234 invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of 235 this act which can be given effect without the invalid provision 236 or application, and to this end, the provisions of this act are 237 severable. 238 Section 12. Sections 341.601-341.611 are remedial in nature 239 and shall apply retroactively. 240 Section 13. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.