Florida Senate - 2020                              CS for SB 676
       By the Committee on Infrastructure and Security; and Senator
       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.
   52  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   54         Section 1. Section 341.601, Florida Statutes, is created to
   55  read:
   56         341.601Short 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         341.602Definitions.—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         341.603Legislative 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         341.604Applicability.—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         341.605Powers 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         341.607Reporting 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, 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         341.608Minimum 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         341.609Maintenance 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         341.6101Safety 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.