Collapse to view only § 301. Leadership, consultation, and cooperation

§ 301.
Leadership, consultation, and cooperation
The Secretary of Transportation shall—
(1) under the direction of the President, exercise leadership in transportation matters, including those matters affecting national defense and those matters involving national or regional emergencies;
(2) provide leadership in the development of transportation policies and programs, and make recommendations to the President and Congress for their consideration and implementation;
(3) coordinate Federal policy on intermodal transportation and initiate policies to promote efficient intermodal transportation in the United States;
(4) promote and undertake the development, collection, and dissemination of technological, statistical, economic, and other information relevant to domestic and international transportation;
(5) consult and cooperate with the Secretary of Labor in compiling information regarding the status of labor-management contracts and other labor-management problems and in promoting industrial harmony and stable employment conditions in all modes of transportation;
(6) promote and undertake research and development related to transportation, including noise abatement, with particular attention to aircraft noise, and including basic highway vehicle science;
(7) consult with the heads of other departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the United States Government on the transportation requirements of the Government, including encouraging them to establish and observe policies consistent with maintaining a coordinated transportation system in procuring transportation or in operating their own transport services;
(8) consult and cooperate with State and local governments, carriers, labor, and other interested persons, including, when appropriate, holding informal public hearings; and
(9) develop and coordinate Federal policy on financing transportation infrastructure, including the provision of direct Federal credit assistance and other techniques used to leverage Federal transportation funds.
(Pub. L. 97–449, § 1(b), Jan. 12, 1983, 96 Stat. 2418; Pub. L. 102–240, title V, § 5002(a), title VI, § 6017, Dec. 18, 1991, 105 Stat. 2158, 2183; Pub. L. 105–178, title I, § 1504, June 9, 1998, 112 Stat. 251.)
§ 302.
Policy standards for transportation
(a) The Secretary of Transportation is governed by the transportation policy of sections 10101 and 13101 of this title in addition to other laws.
(b) This subtitle and chapters 221 and 315 of this title do not authorize, without appropriate action by Congress, the adoption, revision, or implementation of a transportation policy or investment standards or criteria.
(c)
The Secretary shall consider the needs—
(1) for effectiveness and safety in transportation systems; and
(2) of national defense.
(d)
(1)
It is the policy of the United States to promote the construction and commercialization of high-speed ground transportation systems by—
(A) conducting economic and technological research;
(B) demonstrating advancements in high-speed ground transportation technologies;
(C) establishing a comprehensive policy for the development of such systems and the effective integration of the various high-speed ground transportation technologies; and
(D) minimizing the long-term risks of investors.
(2) It is the policy of the United States to establish in the shortest time practicable a United States designed and constructed magnetic levitation transportation technology capable of operating along Federal-aid highway rights-of-way, as part of a national transportation system of the United States.
(e)
Intermodal Transportation.—
It is the policy of the United States Government to encourage and promote development of a national intermodal transportation system in the United States to move people and goods in an energy-efficient manner, provide the foundation for improved productivity growth, strengthen the Nation’s ability to compete in the global economy, and obtain the optimum yield from the Nation’s transportation resources.
(Pub. L. 97–449, § 1(b), Jan. 12, 1983, 96 Stat. 2419; Pub. L. 98–216, § 2(2), Feb. 14, 1984, 98 Stat. 5; Pub. L. 102–240, title I, § 1036(a), title V, § 5001, Dec. 18, 1991, 105 Stat. 1978, 2158; Pub. L. 103–272, § 5(m)(6), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1375; Pub. L. 104–88, title III, § 308(a), Dec. 29, 1995, 109 Stat. 946.)
§ 303.
Policy on lands, wildlife and waterfowl refuges, and historic sites
(a) It is the policy of the United States Government that special effort should be made to preserve the natural beauty of the countryside and public park and recreation lands, wildlife and waterfowl refuges, and historic sites.
(b) The Secretary of Transportation shall cooperate and consult with the Secretaries of the Interior, Housing and Urban Development, and Agriculture, and with the States, in developing transportation plans and programs that include measures to maintain or enhance the natural beauty of lands crossed by transportation activities or facilities.
(c)
Approval of Programs and Projects.—
Subject to subsections (d) and (h), the Secretary may approve a transportation program or project (other than any project for a park road or parkway under section 204 1
1 See References in Text note below.
of title 23) requiring the use of publicly owned land of a public park, recreation area, or wildlife and waterfowl refuge of national, State, or local significance, or land of an historic site of national, State, or local significance (as determined by the Federal, State, or local officials having jurisdiction over the park, area, refuge, or site) only if—
(1) there is no prudent and feasible alternative to using that land; and
(2) the program or project includes all possible planning to minimize harm to the park, recreation area, wildlife and waterfowl refuge, or historic site resulting from the use.
(d)
De Minimis Impacts.—
(1)
Requirements.—
(A)
Requirements for historic sites.—
The requirements of this section shall be considered to be satisfied with respect to an area described in paragraph (2) if the Secretary determines, in accordance with this subsection, that a transportation program or project will have a de minimis impact on the area.
(B)
Requirements for parks, recreation areas, and wildlife or waterfowl refuges.—
The requirements of subsection (c)(1) shall be considered to be satisfied with respect to an area described in paragraph (3) if the Secretary determines, in accordance with this subsection, that a transportation program or project will have a de minimis impact on the area. The requirements of subsection (c)(2) with respect to an area described in paragraph (3) shall not include an alternatives analysis.
(C)
Criteria.—
In making any determination under this subsection, the Secretary shall consider to be part of a transportation program or project any avoidance, minimization, mitigation, or enhancement measures that are required to be implemented as a condition of approval of the transportation program or project.
(2)
Historic sites.—
With respect to historic sites, the Secretary may make a finding of de minimis impact only if—
(A)
the Secretary has determined, in accordance with the consultation process required under section 306108 of title 54, United States Code,2
2 So in original. The words “, United States Code” probably should not appear.
that—
(i) the transportation program or project will have no adverse effect on the historic site; or
(ii) there will be no historic properties affected by the transportation program or project;
(B) the finding of the Secretary has received written concurrence from the applicable State historic preservation officer or tribal historic preservation officer (and from the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation if the Council is participating in the consultation process); and
(C) the finding of the Secretary has been developed in consultation with parties consulting as part of the process referred to in subparagraph (A).
(3)
Parks, recreation areas, and wildlife or waterfowl refuges.—
With respect to parks, recreation areas, or wildlife or waterfowl refuges, the Secretary may make a finding of de minimis impact only if—
(A) the Secretary has determined, after public notice and opportunity for public review and comment, that the transportation program or project will not adversely affect the activities, features, and attributes of the park, recreation area, or wildlife or waterfowl refuge eligible for protection under this section; and
(B)
(e)
Satisfaction of Requirements for Certain Historic Sites.—
(1)
In general.—
The Secretary shall—
(A) align, to the maximum extent practicable, the requirements of this section with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and section 306108 of title 54, including implementing regulations; and
(B) not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this subsection, coordinate with the Secretary of the Interior and the Executive Director of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (referred to in this subsection as the “Council”) to establish procedures to satisfy the requirements described in subparagraph (A) (including regulations).
(2)
Avoidance alternative analysis.—
(A)
In general.—
If, in an analysis required under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), the Secretary determines that there is no feasible or prudent alternative to avoid use of a historic site, the Secretary may—
(i) include the determination of the Secretary in the analysis required under that Act;
(ii)
provide a notice of the determination to—
(I) each applicable State historic preservation officer and tribal historic preservation officer;(II) the Council, if the Council is participating in the consultation process under section 306108 of title 54; and(III) the Secretary of the Interior; and
(iii) request from the applicable preservation officer, the Council, and the Secretary of the Interior a concurrence that the determination is sufficient to satisfy subsection (c)(1).
(B)
Concurrence.—
If the applicable preservation officer, the Council, and the Secretary of the Interior each provide a concurrence requested under subparagraph (A)(iii), no further analysis under subsection (c)(1) shall be required.
(C)
Publication.—
A notice of a determination, together with each relevant concurrence to that determination, under subparagraph (A) shall—
(i) be included in the record of decision or finding of no significant impact of the Secretary; and
(ii) be posted on an appropriate Federal website by not later than 3 days after the date of receipt by the Secretary of all concurrences requested under subparagraph (A)(iii).
(3)
Aligning historical reviews.—
(A)
In general.—
If the Secretary, the applicable preservation officer, the Council, and the Secretary of the Interior concur that no feasible and prudent alternative exists as described in paragraph (2), the Secretary may provide to the applicable preservation officer, the Council, and the Secretary of the Interior notice of the intent of the Secretary to satisfy subsection (c)(2) through the consultation requirements of section 306108 of title 54.
(B)
Satisfaction of conditions.—
To satisfy subsection (c)(2), the applicable preservation officer, the Council, and the Secretary of the Interior shall concur in the treatment of the applicable historic site described in the memorandum of agreement or programmatic agreement developed under section 306108 of title 54.
(f)
References to Past Transportation Environmental Authorities.—
(1)
Section 4(f) requirements.—
The requirements of this section are commonly referred to as section 4(f) requirements (see section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act (Public Law 89–670; 80 Stat. 934) as in effect before the repeal of that section).
(2)
Section 106 requirements.—
The requirements of section 306108 of title 54 are commonly referred to as section 106 requirements (see section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (Public Law 89–665; 80 Stat. 917) as in effect before the repeal of that section).
(g)
Bridge Exemption From Consideration.—
A common post-1945 concrete or steel bridge or culvert (as described in 77 Fed. Reg. 68790) that is exempt from individual review under section 306108 of title 54 shall be exempt from consideration under this section.
(h)
Rail and Transit.—
(1)
In general.—
Improvements to, or the maintenance, rehabilitation, or operation of, railroad or rail transit lines or elements thereof that are in use or were historically used for the transportation of goods or passengers shall not be considered a use of a historic site under subsection (c), regardless of whether the railroad or rail transit line or element thereof is listed on, or eligible for listing on, the National Register of Historic Places.
(2)
Exceptions.—
(A)
In general.—
Paragraph (1) shall not apply to—
(i) stations; or
(ii)
bridges or tunnels located on—
(I) railroad lines that have been abandoned; or(II) transit lines that are not in use.
(B)
Clarification with respect to certain bridges and tunnels.—
The bridges and tunnels referred to in subparagraph (A)(ii) do not include bridges or tunnels located on railroad or transit lines—
(i) over which service has been discontinued; or
(ii) that have been railbanked or otherwise reserved for the transportation of goods or passengers.
(Pub. L. 97–449, § 1(b), Jan. 12, 1983, 96 Stat. 2419; Pub. L. 100–17, title I, § 133(d), Apr. 2, 1987, 101 Stat. 173; Pub. L. 109–59, title VI, § 6009(a)(2), Aug. 10, 2005, 119 Stat. 1875; Pub. L. 113–287, § 5(p), Dec. 19, 2014, 128 Stat. 3272; Pub. L. 114–94, div. A, title I, §§ 1301(b), 1302(b), 1303(b), title XI, § 11502(b), Dec. 4, 2015, 129 Stat. 1376, 1378, 1690.)
§ 303a.
Development of water transportation
(a)
Policy.—
It is the policy of Congress—
(1) to promote, encourage, and develop water transportation, service, and facilities for the commerce of the United States; and
(2) to foster and preserve rail and water transportation.
(b)
Definition.—
In this section, “inland waterway” includes the Great Lakes.
(c)
Requirements.—
The Secretary of Transportation shall—
(1) investigate the types of vessels suitable for different classes of inland waterways to promote, encourage, and develop inland waterway transportation facilities for the commerce of the United States;
(2) investigate water terminals, both for inland waterway traffic and for through traffic by water and rail, including the necessary docks, warehouses, and equipment, and investigate railroad spurs and switches connecting with those water terminals, to develop the types most appropriate for different locations and for transferring passengers or property between water carriers and rail carriers more expeditiously and economically;
(3) consult with communities, cities, and towns about the location of water terminals, and cooperate with them in preparing plans for terminal facilities;
(4)
investigate the existing status of water transportation on the different inland waterways of the United States to learn the extent to which—
(A) the waterways are being used to their capacity and are meeting the demands of traffic; and
(B) water carriers using those waterways are interchanging traffic with rail carriers;
(5) investigate other matters that may promote and encourage inland water transportation; and
(6) compile, publish, and distribute information about transportation on inland waterways that the Secretary considers useful to the commercial interests of the United States.
(Pub. L. 103–272, § 4(j)(6)(A), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1366.)
§ 304.
Application of categorical exclusions for multimodal projects
(a)
Definitions.—
In this section, the following definitions apply:
(1)
Cooperating authority.—
The term “cooperating authority” means a Department of Transportation operating administration or secretarial office that has expertise but is not the lead authority with respect to a proposed multimodal project.
(2)
Lead authority.—
The term “lead authority” means a Department of Transportation operating administration or secretarial office that has the lead responsibility for compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) with respect to a proposed multimodal project.
(3)
Multimodal project.—
The term “multimodal project” has the meaning given the term in section 139(a) of title 23.
(b)
Exercise of Authorities.—
The authorities granted in this section may be exercised for a multimodal project, class of projects, or program of projects that are carried out under this title or title 23.
(c)
Application of Categorical Exclusions for Multimodal Projects.—
In considering the environmental impacts of a proposed multimodal project, a lead authority may apply categorical exclusions designated under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) in implementing regulations or procedures of a cooperating authority for a proposed multimodal project, subject to the conditions that—
(1)
the lead authority makes a determination, with the concurrence of the cooperating authority—
(A) on the applicability of a categorical exclusion to a proposed multimodal project; and
(B) that the project satisfies the conditions for a categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and this section;
(2) the lead authority follows the implementing regulations of the cooperating authority or procedures under that Act; and
(3)
the lead authority determines that—
(A) the proposed multimodal project does not individually or cumulatively have a significant impact on the environment; and
(B) extraordinary circumstances do not exist that merit additional analysis and documentation in an environmental impact statement or environmental assessment required under that Act.
(d)
Cooperating Authority Expertise.—
A cooperating authority shall provide expertise to the lead authority on aspects of the multimodal project in which the cooperating authority has expertise.
(Pub. L. 97–449, § 1(b), Jan. 12, 1983, 96 Stat. 2419; Pub. L. 112–141, div. A, title I, § 1314(a), July 6, 2012, 126 Stat. 547; Pub. L. 114–94, div. A, title I, § 1310, Dec. 4, 2015, 129 Stat. 1397.)
§ 304a.
Accelerated decisionmaking in environmental reviews
(a)
In General.—
In preparing a final environmental impact statement under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), if the lead agency modifies the statement in response to comments that are minor and are confined to factual corrections or explanations of why the comments do not warrant additional agency response, the lead agency may write on errata sheets attached to the statement, instead of rewriting the draft statement, subject to the condition that the errata sheets—
(1) cite the sources, authorities, and reasons that support the position of the agency; and
(2) if appropriate, indicate the circumstances that would trigger agency reappraisal or further response.
(b)
Single Document.—
To the maximum extent practicable, the lead agency shall expeditiously develop a single document that consists of a final environmental impact statement and a record of decision, unless—
(1) the final environmental impact statement makes substantial changes to the proposed action that are relevant to environmental or safety concerns; or
(2) there is a significant new circumstance or information relevant to environmental concerns that bears on the proposed action or the impacts of the proposed action.
(c)
Adoption and Incorporation by Reference of Documents.—
(1)
Avoiding duplication.—
To prevent duplication of analyses and support expeditious and efficient decisions, the operating administrations of the Department of Transportation shall use adoption and incorporation by reference in accordance with this subsection.
(2)
Adoption of documents of other operating administrations.—
(A) the adopting operating administration certifies that the proposed action is substantially the same as the project considered in the document to be adopted;
(B) the other operating administration concurs with such decision; and
(C) such actions are consistent with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).
(3)
Incorporation by reference.—
An operating administration or secretarial office within the Department of Transportation may incorporate by reference all or portions of a draft environmental impact statement, an environmental assessment, or a final environmental impact statement for the use of the adopting operating administration when preparing an environmental assessment or final environmental impact statement for a project if—
(A) the incorporated material is cited in the environmental assessment or final environmental impact statement and the contents of the incorporated material are briefly described;
(B) the incorporated material is reasonably available for inspection by potentially interested persons within the time allowed for review and comment; and
(C) the incorporated material does not include proprietary data that is not available for review and comment.
(Added Pub. L. 114–94, div. A, title I, § 1311(a), Dec. 4, 2015, 129 Stat. 1398.)
§ 305.
Transportation investment standards and criteria
(a)
Subject to sections 301–304 1
1 See References in Text note below.
of this title, the Secretary of Transportation shall develop standards and criteria to formulate and economically evaluate all proposals for investing amounts of the United States Government in transportation facilities and equipment. Based on experience, the Secretary shall revise the standards and criteria. When approved by Congress, the Secretary shall prescribe standards and criteria developed or revised under this subsection. This subsection does not apply to—
(1) the acquisition of transportation facilities or equipment by a department, agency, or instrumentality of the Government to provide transportation for its use;
(2) an inter-oceanic canal located outside the 48 contiguous States;
(3) defense features included at the direction of the Department of Defense in designing and constructing civil air, sea, or land transportation;
(4) foreign assistance programs;
(5) water resources projects; or
(6) grant-in-aid programs authorized by law.
(b)
A department, agency, or instrumentality of the Government preparing a survey, plan, or report that includes a proposal about which the Secretary has prescribed standards and criteria under subsection (a) of this section shall—
(1)
prepare the survey, plan, or report under those standards and criteria and on the basis of information provided by the Secretary on the—
(A) projected growth of transportation needs and traffic in the affected area;
(B) the relative efficiency of various modes of transportation;
(C) the available transportation services in the area; and
(D) the general effect of the proposed investment on existing modes of transportation and on the regional and national economy;
(2)
coordinate the survey, plan, or report—
(A) with the Secretary and include the views and comments of the Secretary; and
(B) as appropriate, with other departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the Government, States, and local governments, and include their views and comments; and
(3) send the survey, plan, or report to the President for disposition under law and procedure established by the President.
(Pub. L. 97–449, § 1(b), Jan. 12, 1983, 96 Stat. 2420.)
§ 306.
Prohibited discrimination
(a) In this section, “financial assistance” includes obligation guarantees.
(b) A person in the United States may not be excluded from participating in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under, a project, program, or activity because of race, color, national origin, or sex when any part of the project, program, or activity is financed through financial assistance under section 332 or 333 or chapter 221 or 249 of this title, section 211 or 216 of the Regional Rail Reorganization Act of 1973 (45 U.S.C. 721, 726), or title V of the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976 (45 U.S.C. 821 et seq.).
(c) When the Secretary of Transportation decides that a person receiving financial assistance under a law referred to in subsection (b) of this section has not complied with that subsection, a Federal civil rights law, or an order or regulation issued under a Federal civil rights law, the Secretary shall notify the person of the decision and require the person to take necessary action to ensure compliance with that subsection.
(d)
If a person does not comply with subsection (b) of this section within a reasonable time after receiving a notice under subsection (c) of this section, the Secretary shall take at least one of the following actions:
(1) direct that no more Federal financial assistance be provided the person.
(2) refer the matter to the Attorney General with a recommendation that a civil action be brought against the person.
(3) carry out the duties and powers provided by title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq.).
(4) take other action provided by law.
(e) When a matter is referred to the Attorney General under subsection (d)(2) of this section, or when the Attorney General has reason to believe that a person is engaged in a pattern or practice violating this section, the Attorney General may begin a civil action in a district court of the United States for appropriate relief.
(Pub. L. 97–449, § 1(b), Jan. 12, 1983, 96 Stat. 2421; Pub. L. 98–216, § 2(3), Feb. 14, 1984, 98 Stat. 5; Pub. L. 103–272, § 5(m)(7), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1376.)
§ 307.
Improving State and Federal agency engagement in environmental reviews
(a)
In General.—
(1)
Requests to provide funds.—
A public entity receiving financial assistance from the Department of Transportation for 1 or more projects, or for a program of projects, for a public purpose may request that the Secretary allow the public entity to provide funds to Federal agencies, including the Department, State agencies, and Indian tribes participating in the environmental planning and review process for the project, projects, or program.
(2)
Use of funds.—
The funds may be provided only to support activities that directly and meaningfully contribute to expediting and improving permitting and review processes, including planning, approval, and consultation processes for the project, projects, or program.
(b)
Activities Eligible for Funding.—
Activities for which funds may be provided under subsection (a) include transportation planning activities that precede the initiation of the environmental review process, activities directly related to the environmental review process, dedicated staffing, training of agency personnel, information gathering and mapping, and development of programmatic agreements.
(c)
Amounts.—
A request under subsection (a) may be approved only for the additional amounts that the Secretary determines are necessary for the Federal agencies, State agencies, or Indian tribes participating in the environmental review process to timely conduct the review.
(d)
Agreements.—
Prior to providing funds approved by the Secretary for dedicated staffing at an affected Federal agency under subsection (a), the affected Federal agency and the requesting public entity shall enter into an agreement that establishes a process to identify projects or priorities to be addressed by the use of the funds.
(e)
Guidance.—
(1)
Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this section, the Secretary shall issue guidance to implement this section.
(2)
Factors.—
As part of the guidance issued under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall ensure—
(A) to the maximum extent practicable, that expediting and improving the process of environmental review and permitting through the use of funds accepted and expended under this section does not adversely affect the timeline for review and permitting by Federal agencies, State agencies, or Indian tribes of other entities that have not contributed funds under this section;
(B) that the use of funds accepted under this section will not impact impartial decisionmaking with respect to environmental reviews or permits, either substantively or procedurally; and
(C) that the Secretary maintains, and makes publicly available, including on the Internet, a list of projects or programs for which such review or permits have been carried out using funds authorized under this section.
(f)
Existing Authority.—
Nothing in this section may be construed to conflict with section 139(j) of title 23.
(Added Pub. L. 114–94, div. A, title I, § 1312(a), Dec. 4, 2015, 129 Stat. 1399.)
§ 308.
Reports
(a) As soon as practicable after the end of each fiscal year, the Secretary of Transportation shall report to the President, for submission to Congress, on the activities of the Department of Transportation during the prior fiscal year.
(b)
The Secretary shall submit to the President and Congress each year a report on the aviation activities of the Department. The report shall include—
(1)
collected information the Secretary considers valuable in deciding questions about—
(A) the development and regulation of civil aeronautics;
(B) the use of airspace of the United States; and
(C) the improvement of the air navigation and traffic control system; and
(2) recommendations for additional legislation and other action the Secretary considers necessary.
(c)
The Secretary shall submit to Congress each year a report on the conditions of the public ports of the United States, including the—
(1) economic and technological development of the ports;
(2) extent to which the ports contribute to the national welfare and security; and
(3) factors that may impede the continued development of the ports.
[(d) Repealed. Pub. L. 104–66, title I, § 1121(h), Dec. 21, 1995, 109 Stat. 724.]
(e)
(1) The Secretary shall submit to Congress in March 1998, and in March of each even-numbered year thereafter, a report of estimates by the Secretary on the current performance and condition of public mass transportation systems with recommendations for necessary administrative or legislative changes.
(2) In reporting to Congress under this subsection, the Secretary shall prepare a complete assessment of public transportation facilities in the United States. The Secretary also shall assess future needs for those facilities and estimate future capital requirements and operation and maintenance requirements for one-year, 5-year, and 10-year periods at specified levels of service.
(Pub. L. 97–449, § 1(b), Jan. 12, 1983, 96 Stat. 2422; Pub. L. 98–216, § 2(1)(A), Feb. 14, 1984, 98 Stat. 4; Pub. L. 104–66, title I, § 1121(h), Dec. 21, 1995, 109 Stat. 724; Pub. L. 105–362, title XV, § 1502(c), Nov. 10, 1998, 112 Stat. 3295.)
§ 309.
High-speed ground transportation
(a) The Secretary of Transportation, in consultation with the Secretaries of Commerce, Energy, and Defense, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Public Works, and the heads of other interested agencies, shall lead and coordinate Federal efforts in the research and development of high-speed ground transportation technologies in order to foster the implementation of magnetic levitation and high-speed steel wheel on rail transportation systems as alternatives to existing transportation systems.
(b)
(1) The Secretary may award contracts and grants for demonstrations to determine the contributions that high-speed ground transportation could make to more efficient, safe, and economical intercity transportation systems. Such demonstrations shall be designed to measure and evaluate such factors as the public response to new equipment, higher speeds, variations in fares, improved comfort and convenience, and more frequent service. In connection with grants and contracts for demonstrations under this section, the Secretary shall provide for financial participation by private industry to the maximum extent practicable.
(2)
(A) In connection with the authority provided under paragraph (1), there is established a national high-speed ground transportation technology demonstration program, which shall be separate from the national magnetic levitation prototype development program established under section 1036(b) of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 and shall be managed by the Secretary of Transportation.
(B)
(i) Any eligible applicant may submit to the Secretary a proposal for demonstration of any advancement in a high-speed ground transportation technology or technologies to be incorporated as a component, subsystem, or system in any revenue service high-speed ground transportation project or system under construction or in operation at the time the application is made.
(ii)
Grants or contracts shall be awarded only to eligible applicants showing demonstrable benefit to the research and development, design, construction, or ultimate operation of any maglev technology or high-speed steel wheel on rail technology. Criteria to be considered in evaluating the suitability of a proposal under this paragraph shall include—
(I) feasibility of guideway or track design and construction;(II) safety and reliability;(III) impact on the environment in comparison to other high-speed ground transportation technologies;(IV) minimization of land use;(V) effect on human factors related to high-speed ground transportation;(VI) energy and power consumption and cost;(VII) integration of high-speed ground transportation systems with other modes of transportation;(VIII) actual and projected ridership; and(IX) design of signaling, communications, and control systems.
(C) For the purposes of this paragraph, the term “eligible applicant” means any United States private business, State government, local government, organization of State or local government, or any combination thereof. The term does not include any business owned in whole or in part by the Federal Government.
(D) The amount and distribution of grants or contracts made under this paragraph shall be determined by the Secretary. No grant or contract may be awarded under this paragraph to demonstrate a technology to be incorporated into a project or system located in a State that prohibits under State law the expenditure of non-Federal public funds or revenues on the construction or operation of such project or system.
(E)
(c)
(1)
In carrying out the responsibilities of the Secretary under this section, the Secretary is authorized to enter into 1 or more cooperative research and development agreements (as defined by section 12 of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 (15 U.S.C. 3710a)), and 1 or more funding agreements (as defined by section 201(b) of title 35, United States Code), with United States companies for the purpose of—
(A) conducting research to overcome technical and other barriers to the development and construction of practicable high-speed ground transportation systems and to help advance the basic generic technologies needed for these systems; and
(B) transferring the research and basic generic technologies described in subparagraph (A) to industry in order to help create a viable commercial high-speed ground transportation industry within the United States.
(2) In a cooperative agreement or funding agreement under paragraph (1), the Secretary may agree to provide not more than 80 percent of the cost of any project under the agreement. Not less than 5 percent of the non-Federal entity’s share of the cost of any such project shall be paid in cash.
(3) The research, development, or utilization of any technology pursuant to a cooperative agreement under paragraph (1), including the terms under which such technology may be licensed and the resulting royalties may be distributed, shall be subject to the provisions of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 (15 U.S.C. 3701 et seq.).
(4) The research, development, or utilization of any technology pursuant to a funding agreement under paragraph (1), including the determination of all licensing and ownership rights, shall be subject to the provisions of chapter 18 of title 35, United States Code.
(5) At the conclusion of fiscal year 1993 and again at the conclusion of fiscal year 1996, the Secretary shall submit reports to Congress regarding research and technology transfer activities conducted pursuant to the authorization contained in paragraph (1).
(d)
(1)
Not later than June 1, 1995, the Secretary shall complete and submit to Congress a study of the commercial feasibility of constructing 1 or more high-speed ground transportation systems in the United States. Such study shall consist of—
(A) an economic and financial analysis;
(B) a technical assessment; and
(C) recommendations for model legislation for State and local governments to facilitate construction of high-speed ground transportation systems.
(2)
The economic and financial analysis referred to in paragraph (1)(A) shall include—
(A) an examination of the potential market for a nationwide high-speed ground transportation network, including a national magnetic levitation ground transportation system;
(B)
an examination of the potential markets for short-haul high-speed ground transportation systems and for intercity and long-haul high-speed ground transportation systems, including an assessment of—
(i) the current transportation practices and trends in each market; and
(ii) the extent to which high-speed ground transportation systems would relieve the current or anticipated congestion on other modes of transportation;
(C) projections of the costs of designing, constructing, and operating high-speed ground transportation systems, the extent to which such systems can recover their costs (including capital costs), and the alternative methods available for private and public financing;
(D) the availability of rights-of-way to serve each market, including the extent to which average and maximum speeds would be limited by the curvature of existing rights-of-way and the prospect of increasing speeds through the acquisition of additional rights-of-way without significant relocation of residential, commercial, or industrial facilities;
(E) a comparison of the projected costs of the various competing high-speed ground transportation technologies;
(F) recommendations for funding mechanisms, tax incentives, liability provisions, and changes in statutes and regulations necessary to facilitate the development of individual high-speed ground transportation systems and the completion of a nationwide high-speed ground transportation network;
(G) an examination of the effect of the construction and operation of high-speed ground transportation systems on regional employment and economic growth;
(H) recommendations for the roles appropriate for local, regional, and State governments to facilitate construction of high-speed ground transportation systems, including the roles of regional economic development authorities;
(I) an assessment of the potential for a high-speed ground transportation technology export market;
(J) recommendations regarding the coordination and centralization of Federal efforts relating to high-speed ground transportation;
(K) an examination of the role of the National Railroad Passenger Corporation in the development and operation of high-speed ground transportation systems; and
(L) any other economic or financial analyses the Secretary considers important for carrying out this section.
(3)
The technical assessment referred to in paragraph (1)(B) shall include—
(A) an examination of the various technologies developed for use in the transportation of passengers by high-speed ground transportation, including a comparison of the safety (including dangers associated with grade crossings), energy efficiency, operational efficiencies, and environmental impacts of each system;
(B) an examination of the potential role of a United States designed maglev system, developed as a prototype under section 1036(b) of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991, in relation to the implementation of other high-speed ground transportation technologies and the national transportation system;
(C) an examination of the work being done to establish safety standards for high-speed ground transportation as a result of the enactment of section 7 of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 1988;
(D) an examination of the need to establish appropriate technological, quality, and environmental standards for high-speed ground transportation systems;
(E) an examination of the significant unresolved technical issues surrounding the design, engineering, construction, and operation of high-speed ground transportation systems, including the potential for the use of existing rights-of-way;
(F) an examination of the effects on air quality, energy consumption, noise, land use, health, and safety as a result of the decreases in traffic volume on other modes of transportation that are expected to result from the full-scale development of high-speed ground transportation systems; and
(G) any other technical assessments the Secretary considers important for carrying out this section.
(e)
(1) Within 12 months after the submission of the study required by subsection (d), the Secretary shall establish the national high-speed ground transportation policy (hereinafter in this section referred to as the “Policy”).
(2)
The Policy shall include—
(A) provisions to promote the design, construction, and operation of high-speed ground transportation systems in the United States;
(B) a determination whether the various competing high-speed ground transportation technologies can be effectively integrated into a national network and, if not, whether 1 or more such technologies should receive preferential encouragement from the Federal Government to enable the development of such a national network;
(C) a strategy for prioritizing the markets and corridors in which the construction of high-speed ground transportation systems should be encouraged; and
(D) provisions designed to promote American competitiveness in the market for high-speed ground transportation technologies.
(3) The Secretary shall solicit comments from the public in the development of the Policy and may consult with other Federal agencies as appropriate in drafting the Policy.
(Added Pub. L. 102–240, title I, § 1036(c)(1), Dec. 18, 1991, 105 Stat. 1982.)
§ 310.
Aligning Federal environmental reviews
(a)
Coordinated and Concurrent Environmental Reviews.—
Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this section, the Department of Transportation, in coordination with the heads of Federal agencies likely to have substantive review or approval responsibilities under Federal law, shall develop a coordinated and concurrent environmental review and permitting process for transportation projects when initiating an environmental impact statement under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) (in this section referred to as “NEPA”).
(b)
Contents.—
The coordinated and concurrent environmental review and permitting process developed under subsection (a) shall—
(1) ensure that the Department of Transportation and agencies of jurisdiction possess sufficient information early in the review process to determine a statement of a transportation project’s purpose and need and range of alternatives for analysis that the lead agency and agencies of jurisdiction will rely on for concurrent environmental reviews and permitting decisions required for the proposed project;
(2) achieve early concurrence or issue resolution during the NEPA scoping process on the Department of Transportation’s statement of a project’s purpose and need, and during development of the environmental impact statement on the range of alternatives for analysis, that the lead agency and agencies of jurisdiction will rely on for concurrent environmental reviews and permitting decisions required for the proposed project absent circumstances that require reconsideration in order to meet an agency of jurisdiction’s obligations under a statute or Executive order; and
(3) achieve concurrence or issue resolution in an expedited manner if circumstances arise that require a reconsideration of the purpose and need or range of alternatives considered during any Federal agency’s environmental or permitting review in order to meet an agency of jurisdiction’s obligations under a statute or Executive order.
(c)
Environmental Checklist.—
(1)
In general.—
Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this section, the Secretary of Transportation and Federal agencies of jurisdiction likely to have substantive review or approval responsibilities on transportation projects shall jointly develop a checklist to help project sponsors identify potential natural, cultural, and historic resources in the area of a proposed project.
(2)
Purpose.—
The purpose of the checklist shall be to—
(A) identify agencies of jurisdiction and cooperating agencies;
(B) develop the information needed for the purpose and need and alternatives for analysis; and
(C) improve interagency collaboration to help expedite the permitting process for the lead agency and agencies of jurisdiction.
(d)
Interagency Collaboration.—
(1)
In general.—
Consistent with Federal environmental statutes, the Secretary of Transportation shall facilitate annual interagency collaboration sessions at the appropriate jurisdictional level to coordinate business plans and facilitate coordination of workload planning and workforce management.
(2)
Purpose of collaboration sessions.—
The interagency collaboration sessions shall ensure that agency staff is—
(A) fully engaged;
(B) utilizing the flexibility of existing regulations, policies, and guidance; and
(C) identifying additional actions to facilitate high quality, efficient, and targeted environmental reviews and permitting decisions.
(3)
Focus of collaboration sessions.—
The interagency collaboration sessions, and the interagency collaborations generated by the sessions, shall focus on methods to—
(A) work with State and local transportation entities to improve project planning, siting, and application quality; and
(B) consult and coordinate with relevant stakeholders and Federal, tribal, State, and local representatives early in permitting processes.
(4)
Consultation.—
The interagency collaboration sessions shall include a consultation with groups or individuals representing State, tribal, and local governments that are engaged in the infrastructure permitting process.
(e)
Performance Measurement.—
Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this section, the Secretary of Transportation, in coordination with relevant Federal agencies, shall establish a program to measure and report on progress toward aligning Federal reviews and reducing permitting and project delivery time as outlined in this section.
(f)
Reports.—
(1)
Report to congress.—
Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this section and biennially thereafter, the Secretary of Transportation shall submit to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives, and make publicly available on the Department of Transportation website, a report that describes—
(A) progress in aligning Federal environmental reviews under this section; and
(B) the impact this section has had on accelerating the environmental review and permitting process.
(2)
Inspector general report.—
Not later than 3 years after the date of enactment of this section, the Inspector General of the Department of Transportation shall submit to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives a report that describes—
(A) progress in aligning Federal environmental reviews under this section; and
(B) the impact this section has had on accelerating the environmental review and permitting process.
(g)
Savings Provision.—
This section shall not apply to any project subject to section 139 of title 23.
(Added Pub. L. 114–94, div. A, title I, § 1313(a), Dec. 4, 2015, 129 Stat. 1400; amended Pub. L. 115–420, § 3, Jan. 3, 2019, 132 Stat. 5444.)
§ 311.
Congressional notification requirements
(a)
In General.—
Except as provided in subsection (b) or as expressly provided in another provision of law, the Secretary of Transportation shall provide to the appropriate committees of Congress notice of an announcement concerning a covered project at least 3 full business days before the announcement is made by the Department.
(b)
Emergency Program.—
With respect to an allocation of funds under section 125 of title 23, the Secretary shall provide to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Environment and Public Works of the Senate notice of the allocation—
(1) at least 3 full business days before the issuance of the allocation; or
(2) concurrently with the issuance of the allocation, if the allocation is made using the quick release process of the Department (or any successor process).
(c)
Definitions.—
In this section, the following definitions apply:
(1)
Appropriate committees of congress.—
The term “appropriate committees of Congress” means—
(A) the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives; and
(B) the Committee on Environment and Public Works, the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate.
(2)
Covered project.—
The term “covered project” means a project competitively selected by the Department to receive a discretionary grant award, letter of intent, loan commitment, loan guarantee commitment, or line of credit commitment in an amount equal to or greater than $750,000.
(3)
Department.—
The term “Department” means the Department of Transportation, including the modal administrations of the Department.
(Added Pub. L. 114–322, title IV, § 5001(a), Dec. 16, 2016, 130 Stat. 1884.)
§ 312.
Alternative timing system
(a)
In General.—
Subject to the availability of appropriations, the Secretary of Transportation shall provide for the establishment, sustainment, and operation of a land-based, resilient, and reliable alternative timing system—
(1) to reduce critical dependencies and provide a complement to and backup for the timing component of the Global Positioning System (referred to in this section as “GPS”); and
(2) to ensure the availability of uncorrupted and non-degraded timing signals for military and civilian users in the event that GPS timing signals are corrupted, degraded, unreliable, or otherwise unavailable.
(b)
Establishment of Requirements.—
(1)
In general.—
Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of the National Timing Resilience and Security Act of 2018, the Secretary of Transportation shall establish requirements for the procurement of the system required by subsection (a) as a complement to and backup for the timing component of GPS in accordance with the timing requirements study required by section 1618 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 (Public Law 114–328; 130 Stat. 2595).
(2)
Requirements.—
The Secretary of Transportation shall ensure, to the maximum extent practicable, that the system established under subsection (a) will—
(A) be wireless;
(B) be terrestrial;
(C) provide wide-area coverage;
(D) be synchronized with coordinated universal time;
(E) be resilient and extremely difficult to disrupt or degrade;
(F) be able to penetrate underground and inside buildings;
(G) be capable of deployment to remote locations;
(H) be developed, constructed, and operated incorporating applicable private sector expertise;
(I) work in concert with and complement any other similar positioning, navigation, and timing systems, including enhanced long-range navigation systems and Nationwide Differential GPS systems;
(J) be available for use by Federal and non-Federal government agencies for public purposes at no net cost to the Federal Government within 10 years of initiation of operation;
(K) be capable of adaptation and expansion to provide position and navigation capabilities;
(L) incorporate the recommendations from any GPS back-up demonstration program initiated and completed by the Secretary, in coordination with other Federal agencies, before the date specified in subsection (c)(1); and
(M) incorporate such other elements as the Secretary considers appropriate.
(c)
Implementation Plan.—
(1)
Plan required.—
Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of the National Timing Resilience and Security Act of 2018, the Secretary of Transportation shall submit to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives a report setting forth the following:
(A) A plan to develop, construct, and operate the system required by subsection (a).
(B) A description and assessment of the advantages of a system to provide a follow-on complementary and backup positioning and navigation capability to the timing component of GPS.
(2)
Deadline for commencement of operation.—
The system required by subsection (a) shall be in operation by not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of the National Timing Resilience and Security Act of 2018.
(3)
Minimum duration of operational capability.—
The system required by subsection (a) shall be designed to be fully operational for not less than 20 years.
(d)
LORAN Facilities.—
(1)
In general.—
If the Secretary of Transportation determines that any LORAN infrastructure, including the underlying real property and any spectrum associated with LORAN, in the possession of the Coast Guard is required by the Department of Transportation for the purpose of establishing the system required by subsection (a), the Commandant shall transfer such property, spectrum, and equipment to the Secretary.
(2)
CERCLA not affected.—
This subsection shall not be construed to limit the application of or otherwise affect section 120(h) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (42 U.S.C. 9620(h)) with respect to the Federal Government facilities described in paragraph (1).
(e)
Cooperative Agreement.—
(1)
In general.—
The Secretary of Transportation may enter into a cooperative agreement (as that term is described in section 6305 of title 31) with an entity upon such terms and conditions as the Secretary of Transportation determines will fulfill the purpose and requirements of this section and be in the public interest.
(2)
Requirements.—
The cooperative agreement under paragraph (1) shall, at a minimum, require the Secretary of Transportation to—
(A) authorize the entity to sell timing and other services to commercial and non-commercial third parties, subject to any national security requirements determined by the Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense;
(B) require the entity to develop, construct, and operate at private expense the backup timing system in accordance with this section;
(C) allow the entity to make any investments in technologies necessary over the life of such agreement to meet future requirements for advanced timing resilience and technologies;
(D) require the entity to share 25 percent of the gross proceeds received by the entity from the sale of timing services to third parties with the Secretary for at least 10 years after the date upon which the Secretary enters into the cooperative agreement;
(E)
require the entity—
(i)
(ii) to furnish performance and payment bonds in connection with the system in a reasonable amount as determined by the Secretary; and
(F) require the entity to make any investments in technologies necessary over the life of the agreement to meet future requirements for advanced timing resiliency.
(3)
Competition required.—
The Secretary shall use competitive procedures similar to those authorized under section 2667 of title 10 in selecting an entity to enter into a cooperative agreement pursuant to this subsection.
(4)
Authorization to purchase services.—
The Secretary may not purchase timing system services from the entity for use by the Department of Transportation or for provision to other Federal and non-Federal governmental agencies until the system achieves operational status, and then only if the necessary funds for such purchases are provided for in subsequent yearly appropriations acts made available to the Secretary for each and every year in which such purchases are made.
(5)
Determination requirement.—
The Secretary may not enter into a cooperative agreement under this subsection unless the Secretary determines that the cooperative agreement is in the best financial interest of the Federal Government. The Secretary shall notify the Committee on Committee on 1
1 So in original.
Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives of such determination not later than 30 days after the date of the determination.
(6)
Definition.—
In this subsection the term “entity” means a non-Federal entity with the demonstrated technical expertise and requisite administrative and financial resources to meet any terms and conditions established by the Secretary for purposes of this subsection.
(Added Pub. L. 115–282, title V, § 514(b), Dec. 4, 2018, 132 Stat. 4276; amended Pub. L. 116–283, div. G, title LVXXXV [LXXXV], § 8507(d)(2), Jan. 1, 2021, 134 Stat. 4754.)