Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials
The Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials has jurisdiction over the economic and safety regulation of railroads and the agencies that administer those regulations. Economic regulation is administered by the five-member Surface Transportation Board (STB). This independent agency also has the authority to address national emergencies as they affect the nation’s rail transportation system.
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is responsible for administering and overseeing railroad safety laws, railroad infrastructure and development programs, performing research and developing technology, and has federal oversight of Amtrak.
Amtrak is the nation’s major provider of intercity passenger rail service. Also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, Amtrak was established by law in 1970 and assumed the responsibility from private sector railroads for providing passenger rail services. The Subcommittee continues to oversee efforts to increase efficiency and improve service in Amtrak’s operations.
The Subcommittee also has jurisdiction over the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, which is responsible for providing regulations and safety oversight of pipelines and pipeline facilities, as well as overseeing the transportation of hazardous materials.
Railroad retirement benefits and unemployment systems, as well as rail labor relations also fall under the jurisdiction of this subcommittee.
Issues and agencies under the jurisdiction of the Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee include:
- Economic regulation of railroads
- Surface Transportation Board (STB)
- Railroad safety, including safety practices, equipment, and reporting
- Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)
- Railroad development programs, such as high-speed rail research and development
- Rail infrastructure programs
- Rail security
- Amtrak Inspector General
- Northeast Corridor Infrastructure and Operations Advisory Commission
- Railroad retirement (regarding the benefit aspects) and unemployment
- Railroad Retirement Board, which administers the retirement and unemployment programs unique to railroads
- Railroad Retirement Board Inspector General
- National Railroad Retirement Investment Trust
- Railway Labor Act
- The National Mediation Board, which administer the Railway Labor Act
- Federal Employers’ Liability Act, which is the railroad worker-compensation statute
- Hazardous materials transportation
- Pipeline transportation safety
- Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)
- Sep 13, 2018 : “The State of Positive Train Control Implementation in the United States”
- Jun 21, 2018 : "PIPES Act of 2016 Implementation: Oversight of Pipeline Safety Programs"
- Apr 17, 2018 : Oversight of the Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act of 2015
- Feb 15, 2018 : Oversight of Positive Train Control Implementation in the United States
- Aug 29, 2016 : Continued Oversight of the California High-Speed Rail Project
- Feb 25, 2016 : Reauthorization of DOT’s Pipeline Safety Program
- Jun 24, 2015 : The State of Positive Train Control Implementation in the United States
- May 13, 2015 : The 35th Anniversary of the Staggers Rail Act: Railroad Deregulation Past, Present, and Future
- Apr 14, 2015 : Oversight of the Ongoing Rail, Pipeline, and Hazmat Rulemakings
- Feb 3, 2015 : How the Changing Energy Markets Will Affect U.S. Transportation