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Title of Law:Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU)
Law #:Public Law 109- 59
Passed by Congress:109th Congress (1st Session)

The following are excerpts, highlighted in red, from the final legislation and/or conference report which contain references to The National Academies and studies. (Pound signs [##] between passages denote the deletion of unrelated text.)

HR3 Young, D. (R.-Alaska) 7/29/05
Enrolled (finally passed both houses)

To authorize funds for Federal-aid highways, highway safety programs, and transit programs, and for other purposes.
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SEC. 1113. SURFACE TRANSPORTATION PROGRAM.

(a) Program Eligibility.—Section 133(b) of title 23, United States Code, is amended—

(1) in paragraph (6) by inserting “, including advanced truck stop electrification systems” before the period at the end; and

(2) by inserting after paragraph (11) the following:

“(12) Projects relating to intersections that—

“(A) have disproportionately high accident rates;

“(B) have high levels of congestion, as evidenced by—

“(i) interrupted traffic flow at the intersection; and

“(ii) a level of service rating that is not better than ‘F’ during peak travel hours, calculated in accordance with the Highway Capacity Manual issued by the Transportation Research Board; and

“(C) are located on a Federal-aid highway.”.

(b) Repeal of Safety Programs Set-aside.—

(1) REPEAL.—Section 133(d)(1) of such title is repealed.

(2) TECHNICAL AMENDMENTS.—Section 133(d) of such title is amended—

(A) in the first sentence of paragraph (3)(A)—

(i) by striking “subparagraphs (C) and (D)” and inserting “subparagraph (C)”; and

(ii) by striking “80 percent” and inserting “90 percent”;

(B) in paragraph (3)(B) by striking “tobe” and inserting “to be”; and

(C) in paragraph (3)—

(i) by striking subparagraph (C);

(ii) by redesignating subparagraphs (D) and (E) as subparagraphs (C) and (D), respectively; and

(iii) in subparagraph (C) (as redesignated by clause (ii)) by adding a period at the end.

(3) EFFECTIVE DATE.—Paragraph (1) and paragraph (2)(A)(ii) of this subsection shall take effect October 1, 2005.

(c) Transportation Enhancement Activities.—Effective October 1, 2005, section 133(d)(2) of such title is amended by striking “10 percent” and all that follows through “section 104(b)(3) for a fiscal year” and inserting the following: “In a fiscal year, the greater of 10 percent of the funds apportioned to a State under section 104(b)(3) for such fiscal year, or the amount set aside under this paragraph with respect to the State for fiscal year 2005,”.

(d) Obligation Authority.—Section 133(f)(1) of such title is amended—

(1) by striking “1998 through 2000” and inserting “2004 through 2006”; and

(2) by striking “2001 through 2003” and inserting “2007 through 2009”.

(e) Technical Correction.—Effective June 9, 1998, section 1108(e) of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (112 Stat. 140) is amended by striking “Section 133” and inserting “Section 133(f)”.

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SEC. 1408. IMPROVEMENT OR REPLACEMENT OF HIGHWAY FEATURES ON NATIONAL HIGHWAY SYSTEM.

(a) Update of Implementation Guidance.—The Secretary, in cooperation with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, shall update as appropriate the August 28, 1998, Federal Highway Administration Policy on Implementation of the report of the Transportation Research Board of the National Research Council entitled “NCHRP Report 350-Recommended Procedures for the Safety Performance Evaluation of Highway Features”.

(b) Guidance.—The Secretary, in cooperation with the Association, shall publish updated guidance regarding the conditions under which States, when choosing to improve or replace highway features on the National Highway System, should improve or replace such features with highway features that have been tested, evaluated, and found to be acceptable under the guidelines of the report referred to in subsection (a).

(c) Matters To Be Considered.—Guidance published in accordance with subsection (a)—

(1) shall address those highway features that are covered by the guidelines in the report referred to in subsection (b); and

(2) shall consider types of highway features, cost-effectiveness, and practicality of replacement with highway features that have been found to be acceptable under the report guidelines to determine conditions when such features should be used.

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SEC. 1909. FUTURE OF SURFACE TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM.

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(b) National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission.—

(1) ESTABLISHMENT.—There is established a commission to be known as the “National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission” (in this subsection referred to as the “Commission”).

(2) MEMBERSHIP.—

(A) COMPOSITION.—The Commission shall be composed of 12 members, of whom—

(i) 1 member shall be the Secretary, who shall serve as Chairperson;

(ii) 3 members shall be appointed by the President;

(iii) 2 members shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives;

(iv) 2 members shall be appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives;

(v) 2 members shall be appointed by the majority leader of the Senate; and

(vi) 2 members shall be appointed by the minority leader of the Senate.

(B) QUALIFICATIONS.—Members appointed under subparagraph (A)—

(i) shall include—

(I) individuals representing State and local governments, metropolitan planning organizations, transportation-related industries, and public interest organizations involved with scientific, regulatory, economic, and environmental activities relating to transportation;

(II) individuals with a background in public finance, including experience in developing State and local revenue resources;

(III) individuals involved in surface transportation program administration;

(IV) individuals that have conducted academic research into related issues; and

(V) individuals that provide unique perspectives on current and future requirements for revenue sources to support the Highway Trust Fund and policies impacting those revenues; and

(ii) shall be balanced geographically to the extent consistent with maintaining the highest level of expertise on the Commission.

(C) DATE OF APPOINTMENTS.—The appointment of a member of the Commission shall be made not later than 120 days after the date of establishment of the Commission.

(D) TERMS.—A member shall be appointed for the life of the Commission.

(E) VACANCIES.—A vacancy on the Commission—

(i) shall not affect the powers of the Commission; and

(ii) shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment was made.

(F) INITIAL MEETING.—Not later than 30 days after the date on which all members of the Commission have been appointed, the Commission shall hold the initial meeting of the Commission.

(G) MEETINGS.—The Commission shall meet at the call of the Chairperson.

(H) QUORUM.—A majority of the members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum, but a lesser number of members may hold hearings.

(I) VICE CHAIRPERSON.—The Commission shall select a Vice Chairperson from among the appointed members of the Commission.

(3) DUTIES.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—The Commission shall—

(i) conduct a comprehensive study of—

(I) the current condition and future needs of the surface transportation system;

(II) short-term sources of Highway Trust Fund revenues;

(III) long-term alternatives to replace or supplement the fuel tax as the principal revenue source to support the Highway Trust Fund, including new or alternate sources of revenue;

(IV) revenue sources to fund the needs of the surface transportation system over at least the 30-year period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act, including new or alternate sources of revenue;

(V) revenues flowing into the Highway Trust Fund under laws in existence on the date of enactment of this Act, including individual components of the overall flow of the revenues; and

(VI) whether the amount of revenues described in subclause (V) is likely to increase, decrease, or remain constant absent any change in law, taking into consideration the impact of possible changes in public vehicular choice, fuel use, and travel alternatives that could be expected to reduce or increase revenues into the Highway Trust Fund;

(B) develop a conceptual plan, with alternative approaches, to ensure that the surface transportation system will continue to serve the needs of the United States, including specific recommendations regarding design and operational standards, Federal policies, and legislative changes;

(C) consult with the Secretary of the Treasury in conducting the study to ensure that the views of the Secretary concerning essential attributes of Highway Trust Fund revenue alternatives are considered;

(D) consult with representatives of State departments of transportation and metropolitan planning organizations and other key interested stakeholders in conducting the study to ensure that—

(i) the views of the stakeholders on alternative revenue sources to support State transportation improvement programs are considered; and

(ii) any recommended Federal financing strategy takes into account State financial requirements; and

(E) based on the study, make specific recommendations regarding—

(i) actions that should be taken to develop alternative revenue sources to support the Highway Trust Fund; and

(ii) the time frame for taking those actions.

(4) RELATED WORK.—To the maximum extent practicable, the study shall build on related work that has been completed by—

(A) the Secretary;

(B) the Secretary of Energy;

(C) the Transportation Research Board, including the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of the recent study conducted by the Transportation Research Board on alternatives to the fuel tax to support highway program financing; and

(D) other entities and persons.

(5) SURFACE TRANSPORTATION NEEDS.—With respect to surface transportation needs, the investigation and study shall specifically address—

(A) the current condition and performance of the Interstate System (including the physical condition of bridges and pavements and operational characteristics and performance), relying primarily on existing data sources;

(B) the future of the Interstate System, based on a range of legislative and policy approaches for 15-, 30-, and 50-year time periods;

(C) the expected demographics and business uses that impact the surface transportation system;

(D) the expected use of the surface transportation system, including the effects of changing vehicle types, modes of transportation, fleet size and weights, and traffic volumes;

(E) desirable design policies and standards for future improvements of the surface transportation system, including additional access points;

(F) the identification of urban, rural, national, and interregional needs for the surface transportation system;

(G) the potential for expansion, upgrades, or other changes to the surface transportation system, including—

(i) deployment of advanced materials and intelligent technologies;

(ii) critical multistate, urban, and rural corridors needing capacity, safety, and operational enhancements;

(iii) improvements to intermodal linkages;

(iv) security and military deployment enhancements;

(v) strategies to enhance asset preservation; and

(vi) implementation strategies;

(H) the improvement of emergency preparedness and evacuation using the surface transportation system, including—

(i) examination of the potential use of all modes of the surface transportation system in the safe and efficient evacuation of citizens during times of emergency;

(ii) identification of the location of critical bottlenecks; and

(iii) development of strategies to improve system redundancy, especially in areas with a high potential for terrorist attacks;

(I) alternatives for addressing environmental concerns associated with the future development of the surface transportation system;

(J) the assessment of the current and future capabilities for conducting system-wide real-time performance data collection and analysis, traffic monitoring, and transportation systems operations and management; and

(K) policy and legislative alternatives for addressing future needs for the surface transportation system.

(6) FINANCING.—With respect to financing, the study shall address specifically—

(A) the advantages and disadvantages of alternative revenue sources to meet anticipated Federal surface transportation financial requirements;

(B) recommendations concerning the most promising revenue sources to support long-term Federal surface transportation financing requirements;

(C) development of a broad transition strategy to move from the current tax base to new funding mechanisms, including the time frame for various components of the transition strategy;

(D) recommendations for additional research that may be needed to implement recommended alternatives; and

(E) the extent to which revenues should reflect the relative use of the highway system.

(7) FINANCING RECOMMENDATIONS.—

(A) FACTORS FOR CONSIDERATION.—In developing financing recommendations under this subsection, the Commission shall consider—

(i) the ability to generate sufficient revenues from all modes to meet anticipated long-term surface transportation financing needs;

(ii) the roles of the various levels of government and the private sector in meeting future surface transportation financing needs;

(iii) administrative costs (including enforcement costs) to implement each option;

(iv) the expected increase in nontaxed fuels and the impact of taxing those fuels;

(v) the likely technological advances that could ease implementation of each option;

(vi) the equity and economic efficiency of each option;

(vii) the flexibility of different options to allow various pricing alternatives to be implemented; and

(viii) potential compatibility issues with State and local tax mechanisms under each alternative.

(B) NEED AND REVENUE ANALYSIS.—In developing financing recommendations under this subsection, the Commission shall distinguish between—

(i) the needs of, and revenues for, the surface transportation system that are eligible to receive funds from the Highway Trust Fund; and

(ii) the needs for projects and programs that are not eligible to receive funds from the Highway Trust Fund.

(8) TECHNICAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE.—The Secretary shall establish a technical advisory committee, in a manner consistent with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.), to collect and evaluate technical input from—

(A) appropriate Federal, State, and local officials with responsibility for transportation;

(B) appropriate State and local elected officials;

(C) transportation and trade associations;

(D) emergency management officials;

(E) freight providers;

(F) the general public; and

(G) other entities and persons determined to be appropriate by the Secretary to ensure a diverse range of views.

(9) REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS.—Not later than July 1, 2007, the Commission shall submit to Congress—

(A) a final report that contains a detailed statement of the findings and conclusions of the Commission; and

(B) the recommendations of the Commission for such legislation and administrative actions as the Commission considers to be appropriate.

(10) POWERS OF THE COMMISSION.—

(A) HEARINGS.—The Commission may hold such hearings, meet and act at such times and places, take such testimony, and receive such evidence as the Commission considers advisable to carry out this section.

(B) INFORMATION FROM FEDERAL AGENCIES.—

(i) IN GENERAL.—The Commission may secure directly from a Federal agency such information as the Commission considers necessary to carry out this section.

(ii) PROVISION OF INFORMATION.—On request of the Chairperson of the Commission, the head of a Federal agency shall provide the requested information to the Commission.

(C) POSTAL SERVICES.—The Commission may use the United States mails in the same manner and under the same conditions as other agencies of the Federal Government.

(D) DONATIONS.—The Commission may accept, use, and dispose of donations of services or property.

(11) COMMISSION PERSONNEL MATTERS.—

(A) MEMBERS.—A member of the Commission shall serve without pay but shall be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, at rates authorized for an employee of an agency under subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5, United States Code, while away from the home or regular place of business of the member in the performance of the duties of the Commission.

(B) CONTRACTORS.—The Commission may enter into agreements with appropriate organizations, agencies, and entities to conduct the study required under this section, under the strategic guidance of the Commission.

(C) ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT.—On the request of the Commission, the Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration shall provide to the Commission, on a reimbursable basis, the administrative support and services necessary for the Commission to carry out the duties of the Commission under this section.

(D) DETAIL OF PERSONNEL.—

(i) IN GENERAL.—On the request of the Commission, the Secretary may detail, on a reimbursable basis, any of the personnel of the Department to the Commission to assist the Commission in carrying out the duties of the Commission under this section.

(ii) CIVIL SERVICE STATUS.—The detail of the employee shall be without interruption or loss of civil service status or privilege.

(12) COOPERATION.—The staff of the Secretary shall cooperate with the Commission in the study required under this section, including providing such nonconfidential data and information as are necessary to conduct the study.

(13) RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER LAW.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—Except as provided in subparagraphs (B) and (C), funds made available to carry out this section shall be available for obligation in the same manner as if the funds were apportioned under chapter 1 of title 23, United States Code.

(B) FEDERAL SHARE.—The Federal share of the cost of the study and the Commission under this section shall be 100 percent.

(C) AVAILABILITY.—Funds made available to carry out this section shall remain available until expended.

(14) DEFINITION OF SURFACE TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM.—In this subsection, the term “surface transportation system” includes—

(A) the National Highway System, as defined in section 103(b) of title 23, United States Code;

(B) congressional high priority corridors;

(C) intermodal connectors;

(D) intermodal freight facilities;

(E) public transportation infrastructure and facilities; and

(F) freight and intercity passenger bus and rail infrastructure and facilities.

(15) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.—There is authorized to be appropriated from the Highway Trust Fund (other than the Mass Transit Account) to carry out this section $1,400,000 for each of fiscal years 2006 and 2007.

(16) APPLICABILITY OF TITLE 23.—Funds made available to carry out this section shall be available for obligation in the same manner as if such funds were apportioned under chapter 1 of title 23, United States Code; except that such funds shall remain available until expended, and the Federal share of the cost of a project under this section shall be as provided in this section.

(17) TERMINATION.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—The Commission shall terminate on the date that is 180 days after the date on which the Commission submits the report of the Commission under paragraph (9).

(B) RECORDS.—Not later than the date of termination of the Commission under subparagraph (A), all records and papers of the Commission shall be delivered to the Archivist of the United States for deposit in the National Archives.

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SEC. 2003. HIGHWAY SAFETY RESEARCH AND OUTREACH PROGRAMS.

(a) Revised Authority and Requirements.—Section 403(a) of title 23, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

“(a) Authority of the Secretary.—The Secretary is authorized to use funds appropriated to carry out this section to—

“(1) conduct research on all phases of highway safety and traffic conditions, including accident causation, highway or driver characteristics, communications, and emergency care;

“(2) conduct ongoing research into driver behavior and its effect on traffic safety;

“(3) conduct research on, launch initiatives to counter, and conduct demonstration projects on fatigued driving by drivers of motor vehicles and distracted driving in such vehicles, including the effect that the use of electronic devices and other factors deemed relevant by the Secretary have on driving;

“(4) conduct training or education programs in cooperation with other Federal departments and agencies, States, private sector persons, highway safety personnel, and law enforcement personnel;

“(5) conduct research on, and evaluate the effectiveness of, traffic safety countermeasures, including seat belts and impaired driving initiatives;

“(6) conduct research on, evaluate, and develop best practices related to driver education programs (including driver education curricula, instructor training and certification, program administration and delivery mechanisms) and make recommendations for harmonizing driver education and multistage graduated licensing systems;

“(7) conduct research, training, and education programs related to older drivers;

“(8) conduct demonstration projects; and

“(9) conduct research, training, and programs relating to motorcycle safety, including impaired driving.”

(b) International Cooperation.—Section 403 of such title is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(g) International Cooperation.—The Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration may participate and cooperate in international activities to enhance highway safety.”.

(c) On-Scene Motor Vehicle Collision Causation.—

(1) STUDY.—The Secretary shall conduct under section 403 of title 23, United States Code, a nationally representative study to collect on-scene motor vehicle collision data and to determine crash causation. The Secretary shall enter into a contract with the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a review of the research, design, methodology, and implementation of the study.

(2) CONSULTATION.—The study under this subsection may be conducted in consultation with other Federal departments and agencies with relevant expertise.

(3) FINAL REPORT.—Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit a report on the results of the study conducted under this subsection to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives.

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SEC. 3046. ALLOCATIONS FOR NATIONAL RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMS.

(a) In General.—Amounts appropriated pursuant to section 5338(d) of title 49, United States Code, for national research and technology programs under sections 5312, 5314, and 5322 of such title shall be allocated by the Secretary as follows:

(1) PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION NATIONAL SECURITY STUDY.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 6 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall enter into an agreement with the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a study and evaluation of the value major public transportation systems in the United States serving the 38 urbanized areas that have a population of more than 1,000,000 individuals provide to the Nation’s security and the ability of such systems to accommodate the evacuation, egress or ingress of people to or from critical locations in times of emergency.

(B) ALTERNATIVE ROUTES.—For each system described in subparagraph (A) the study shall identify—

(i) potential alternative routes for evacuation using other transportation modes such as highway, air, marine, and pedestrian activities; and

(ii) transit routes that, if disrupted, do not have sufficient transit alternatives available.

(C) REPORT.—Not later than 24 months after the date of entry into the agreement, the Academy shall submit to the Secretary and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs of the Senate a final report on the results of the study and evaluation, together with such recommendations as the Academy considers appropriate.

(D) FUNDING.—For each of fiscal year 2006 and 2007 $250,000 shall be available to carry out this paragraph.

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“CHAPTER 5—RESEARCH, TECHNOLOGY, AND EDUCATION”.

(b) Statement of Principles Governing Research and Technology Investments.—Section 502 of such title is amended—

(1) by redesignating subsections (a) through (g) as subsections (b) through (h), respectively; and

(2) by inserting before subsection (b) (as so redesignated) the following:

“(a) Basic Principles Governing Research and Technology Investments.—

“(1) COVERAGE.—Surface transportation research and technology development shall include all activities leading to technology development and transfer, as well as the introduction of new and innovative ideas, practices, and approaches, through such mechanisms as field applications, education and training, and technical support.

“(2) FEDERAL RESPONSIBILITY.—Funding and conducting surface transportation research and technology transfer activities shall be considered a basic responsibility of the Federal Government when the work—

“(A) is of national significance;

“(B) supports research in which there is a clear public benefit and private sector investment is less than optimal;

“(C) supports a Federal stewardship role in assuring that State and local governments use national resources efficiently; or

“(D) presents the best means to support Federal policy goals compared to other policy alternatives.

“(3) ROLE.—Consistent with these Federal responsibilities, the Secretary shall—

“(A) conduct research;

“(B) support and facilitate research and technology transfer activities by State highway agencies;

“(C) share results of completed research; and

“(D) support and facilitate technology and innovation deployment.

“(4) PROGRAM CONTENT.—A surface transportation research program shall include—

“(A) fundamental, long-term highway research;

“(B) research aimed at significant highway research gaps and emerging issues with national implications; and

“(C) research related to policy and planning.

“(5) STAKEHOLDER INPUT.—Federal surface transportation research and development activities shall address the needs of stakeholders. Stakeholders include States, metropolitan planning organizations, local governments, the private sector, researchers, research sponsors, and other affected parties, including public interest groups.

“(6) COMPETITION AND PEER REVIEW.—Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the Secretary shall award, to the maximum extent practicable, all grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements for research and development under this chapter based on open competition and peer review of proposals.

“(7) PERFORMANCE REVIEW AND EVALUATION.—To the maximum extent practicable, all surface transportation research and development projects shall include a component of performance measurement and evaluation. Performance measures shall be established during the proposal stage of a research and development project and shall, to the maximum extent possible, be outcome-based. All evaluations shall be made readily available to the public.

“(8) TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION.—The programs and activities carried out under this section shall be consistent with the surface transportation research and technology development strategic plan developed under section 508.”.

(c) Procurement for Research, Development, and Technology Transfer Activities.—Section 502(b)(3) of such title (as redesignated by subsection (b) of this section) is amended to read as follows:

“(3) COOPERATION, GRANTS, AND CONTRACTS.—The Secretary may carry out research, development, and technology transfer activities related to transportation—

“(A) independently;

“(B) in cooperation with other Federal departments, agencies, and instrumentalities and Federal laboratories; or

“(C) by making grants to, or entering into contracts and cooperative agreements with one or more of the following: the National Academy of Sciences, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, any Federal laboratory, Federal agency, State agency, authority, association, institution, for-profit or nonprofit corporation, organization, foreign country, or any other person.”.

(d) Transportation Pooled Fund Program.—Section 502(b) of such title (as redesignated by subsection (b) of this section) is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(6) POOLED FUNDING.—

“(A) COOPERATION.—To promote effective utilization of available resources, the Secretary may cooperate with a State and an appropriate agency in funding research, development, and technology transfer activities of mutual interest on a pooled funds basis.

“(B) SECRETARY AS AGENT.—The Secretary may enter into contracts, cooperative agreements, and grants as the agent for all participating parties in carrying out such research, development, or technology transfer activities.”.

(e) Operations Elements in Research Activities.—Section 502 of such title is further amended—

(1) in subsection (b)(1)(B) (as redesignated by subsection (b) of this section) by inserting “transportation system management and operations,” after “operation,”;

(2) in subsection (d)(5)(C) (as redesignated by subsection (b) of this section) by inserting “system management and” after “transportation”; and

(3) by inserting at the end of subsection (d) (as redesignated by subsection (b) of this section) the following:

“(12) Investigation and development of various operational methodologies to reduce the occurrence and impact of recurrent congestion and nonrecurrent congestion and increase transportation system reliability.

“(13) Investigation of processes, procedures, and technologies to secure container and hazardous material transport, including the evaluation of regulations and the impact of good security practices on commerce and productivity.

“(14) Research, development, and technology transfer related to asset management.”.

(f) Facilitating Transportation Research and Technology Deployment Partnerships.—Section 502(c)(2) of such title (as redesignated by subsection (b) of this section) is amended to read as follows:

“(2) COOPERATION, GRANTS, CONTRACTS, AND AGREEMENTS.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary may directly initiate contracts, cooperative research and development agreements (as defined in section 12 of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 (15 U.S.C. 3710a)) to fund, and accept funds from, the Transportation Research Board of the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, State departments of transportation, cities, counties, and their agents to conduct joint transportation research and technology efforts.”.

(g) Exploratory Advanced Research Program.—Section 502(e) of such title (as redesignated by subsection (b) of this section) is amended to read as follows:

“(e) Exploratory Advanced Research.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary shall establish an exploratory advanced research program, consistent with the surface transportation research and technology development strategic plan developed under section 508 that addresses longer-term, higher-risk research with potentially dramatic breakthroughs for improving the durability, efficiency, environmental impact, productivity, and safety (including bicycle and pedestrian safety) aspects of highway and intermodal transportation systems. In carrying out the program, the Secretary shall strive to develop partnerships with public and private sector entities.

“(2) RESEARCH AREAS.—In carrying out the program, the Secretary may make grants and enter into cooperative agreements and contracts in such areas of surface transportation research and technology as the Secretary determines appropriate, including the following:

“(A) Characterization of materials used in highway infrastructure, including analytical techniques, microstructure modeling, and the deterioration processes.

“(B) Assessment of the effects of transportation decisions on human health.

“(C) Development of surrogate measures of safety.

“(D) Environmental research.

“(E) Data acquisition techniques for system condition and performance monitoring.

“(F) System performance data and information processing needed to assess the day-to-day operational performance of the system in support of hour-to-hour operational decisionmaking.”.

(h) Funding.—Of the amounts made available by section 5101(a) of this Act, $14,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2005 through 2009 shall be available to carry out section 502(e) of such title.

(i) Long-Term Pavement Performance Program.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Section 502(f) of such title (as redesignated by subsection (b) of this section) is amended to read as follows:

“(f) Long-Term Pavement Performance Program.—

“(1) AUTHORITY.—The Secretary shall continue to carry out, through September 30, 2009, tests, monitoring, and data analysis under the long-term pavement performance program.

“(2) GRANTS, COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS, AND CONTRACTS.—Under the program, the Secretary shall make grants and enter into cooperative agreements and contracts to—

“(A) monitor, material-test, and evaluate highway test sections in existence as of the date of the grant, agreement, or contract;

“(B) analyze the data obtained under subparagraph (A); and

“(C) prepare products to fulfill program objectives and meet future pavement technology needs.”.

(2) FUNDING.—Of the amounts made available by section 5101(a)(1) of this Act, $10,120,000 for each of fiscal years 2005 through 2009 shall be available to carry out section 502(f) of such title.

(j) Seismic Research.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Section 502(g) of such title (as redesignated by subsection (b) of this section) is amended to read as follows:

“(g) Seismic Research.—The Secretary shall—

“(1) in consultation and cooperation with Federal agencies participating in the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program established by section 5 of the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977 (42 U.S.C. 7704), coordinate the conduct of seismic research;

“(2) take such actions as are necessary to ensure that the coordination of the research is consistent with—

“(A) planning and coordination activities of the National Institute of Standards and Technology under section 5(b)(1) of that Act (42 U.S.C. 7704(b)(1)); and

“(B) the plan developed by the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology under section 8(b) of that Act (42 U.S.C. 7705b(b)); and

“(3) in cooperation with the Center for Civil Engineering Research at the University of Nevada, Reno, and the National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research at the University of Buffalo, carry out a seismic research program—

“(A) to study the vulnerability of the Federal-aid system and other surface transportation systems to seismic activity;

“(B) to develop and implement cost-effective methods to reduce the vulnerability; and

“(C) to conduct seismic research and upgrade earthquake simulation facilities as necessary to carry out the program.”.

(2) FUNDING.—Of the amounts made available by section 5101(a)(1) of this Act, $2,500,000 for each of fiscal years 2005 through 2009 shall be available to carry out section 502(g) of such title.

(k) Infrastructure Investment Needs Report.—Section 502 of such title is further amended by adding at the end the following:

“(h) Infrastructure Investment Needs Report.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than July 31, 2006, and July 31 of every second year thereafter, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Environment and Public Works of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives a report that describes—

“(A) estimates of the future highway, transit, and bridge needs of the United States; and

“(B) the backlog of current highway, transit, and bridge needs.

“(2) COMPARISON WITH PRIOR REPORTS.—Each report under paragraph (1) shall provide the means, including all necessary information, to relate and compare the conditions and service measures used in the previous biennial reports.”.

(l) Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center.—Section 502 of such title is further amended by adding at the end the following:

“(i) Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary shall operate in the Federal Highway Administration a Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center.

“(2) USES OF THE CENTER.—The Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center shall support—

“(A) the conduct of highway research and development related to new highway technology;

“(B) the development of understandings, tools, and techniques that provide solutions to complex technical problems through the development of economical and environmentally sensitive designs, efficient and quality-controlled construction practices, and durable materials; and

“(C) the development of innovative highway products and practices.”.

(m) Biobased Transportation Research.—Of the amounts made available by section 5101(a)(1) of this Act, $12,500,000 for each of fiscal years 2006 through 2009, equally divided and available, shall be available to carry out biobased research of national importance at the National Biodiesel Board and at research centers identified in section 9011 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 8109).

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SEC. 5207. SURFACE TRANSPORTATION ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM.

(a) In General.—Section 507 of title 23, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

“ 507. Surface transportation-environmental cooperative research program

“(a) In General.—The Secretary shall establish and carry out a surface transportation-environmental cooperative research program.

“(b) Contents.—The program carried out under this section may include research—

“(1) to develop more accurate models for evaluating transportation control measures and transportation system designs that are appropriate for use by State and local governments (including metropolitan planning organizations) in designing implementation plans to meet Federal, State, and local environmental requirements;

“(2) to improve understanding of the factors that contribute to the demand for transportation;

“(3) to develop indicators of economic, social, and environmental performance of transportation systems to facilitate analysis of potential alternatives;

“(4) to meet additional priorities as determined by the Secretary in the strategic planning process under section 508; and

“(5) to refine, through the conduct of workshops, symposia, and panels, and in consultation with stakeholders (including the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, and other appropriate Federal and State agencies and associations) the scope and research emphases of the program.

“(c) Program Administration.—The Secretary shall—

“(1) administer the program established under this section; and

“(2) ensure, to the maximum extent practicable, that—

“(A) the best projects and researchers are selected to conduct research in the priority areas described in subsection (b)—

“(i) on the basis of merit of each submitted proposal; and

“(ii) through the use of open solicitations and selection by a panel of appropriate experts;

“(B) a qualified, permanent core staff with the ability and expertise to manage a large multiyear budget is used;

“(C) the stakeholders are involved in the governance of the program, at the executive, overall program, and technical levels, through the use of expert panels and committees; and

“(D) there is no duplication of research effort between the program established under this section and the new strategic highway research program established under section 510.

“(d) National Academy of Sciences.—The Secretary may make grants to, and enter into cooperative agreements with, the National Academy of Sciences to carry out such activities relating to the research, technology, and technology transfer activities described in subsections (b) and (c) as the Secretary determines to be appropriate.”.

(b) Funding.—Of the amounts made available by section 5101(a)(1) of this Act, $16,875,000 for each of fiscal years 2006 through 2009 shall be available to carry out section 507 of such title.

(c) Conforming Amendment.—The analysis for chapter 5 of such title is amended by striking the item relating to section 507 and inserting the following:

“507. Surface transportation environment and planning cooperative research program.”.

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SEC. 5208. TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIC PLANNING.

(a) In General.—Section 508 of title 23, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

“ 508. Transportation research and development strategic planning

“(a) In General.—

“(1) DEVELOPMENT.—Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of the SAFETEA-LU, the Secretary shall develop a 5-year transportation research and development strategic plan to guide Federal transportation research and development activities. This plan shall be consistent with section 306 of title 5, sections 1115 and 1116 of title 31, and any other research and development plan within the Department of Transportation.

“(2) CONTENTS.—The strategic plan developed under paragraph (1) shall—

“(A) describe the primary purposes of the transportation research and development program, which shall include, at a minimum—

“(i) reducing congestion and improving mobility;

“(ii) promoting safety;

“(iii) promoting security;

“(iv) protecting and enhancing the environment;

“(v) preserving the existing transportation system; and

“(vi) improving the durability and extending the life of transportation infrastructure;

“(B) for each purpose, list the primary research and development topics that the Department intends to pursue to accomplish that purpose, which may include the fundamental research in the physical and natural sciences, applied research, technology development, and social science research intended for each topic; and

“(C) for each research and development topic, describe—

“(i) the anticipated annual funding levels for the period covered by the strategic plan; and

“(ii) the additional information the Department expects to gain at the end of the period covered by the strategic plan as a result of the research and development in that topic area.

“(3) CONSIDERATIONS.—In developing the strategic plan, the Secretary shall ensure that the plan—

“(A) reflects input from a wide range of stakeholders;

“(B) includes and integrates the research and development programs of all the Department’s operating administrations, including aviation, transit, rail, and maritime; and

“(C) takes into account how research and development by other Federal, State, private sector, and nonprofit institutions contributes to the achievement of the purposes identified under paragraph (2)(A), and avoids unnecessary duplication with these efforts.

“(4) PERFORMANCE PLANS AND REPORTS.—In reports submitted under sections 1115 and 1116 of title 31, the Secretary shall include—

“(A) a summary of the Federal transportation research and development activities for the previous fiscal year in each topic area;

“(B) the amount of funding spent in each topic area;

“(C) a description of the extent to which the research and development is meeting the expectations set forth in paragraph (2)(C)(ii); and

“(D) any amendments to the strategic plan.

“(b) Annual Report.—The Secretary shall submit to appropriate committees of Congress an annual report, in conjunction with the President’s annual budget request as set forth in section 1105 of title 31, describing the amount spent in the last completed fiscal year on transportation research and development and the amount proposed in the current budget for transportation research and development.

“(c) National Research Council Review.—The Secretary shall enter into an agreement for the review by the National Research Council of the details of each—

“(1) strategic plan under this section;

“(2) performance plan required under section 1115 of title 31; and

“(3) program performance report required under section 1116 of title 31, with respect to transportation research and development.”.

(b) Conforming Amendment.—The analysis for chapter 5 of such title is amended by striking the item relating to section 508 and inserting the following:

“508. Transportation research and development strategic planning.”.

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SEC. 5209. NATIONAL COOPERATIVE FREIGHT TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH PROGRAM.

(a) In General.—Chapter 5 of title 23, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

“ 509. National cooperative freight transportation research program

“(a) Establishment.—The Secretary shall establish and support a national cooperative freight transportation research program.

“(b) Agreement.—The Secretary shall enter into an agreement with the National Academy of Sciences to support and carry out administrative and management activities relating to the governance of the national cooperative freight transportation research program.

“(c) Advisory Committee.—The National Academy of Sciences shall select an advisory committee consisting of a representative cross-section of freight stakeholders, including the Department of Transportation, other Federal agencies, State transportation departments, local governments, nonprofit entities, academia, and the private sector.

“(d) Governance.—The national cooperative freight transportation research program established under this section shall include the following administrative and management elements:

“(1) NATIONAL RESEARCH AGENDA.—The advisory committee, in consultation with interested parties, shall recommend a national research agenda for the program. The agenda shall include a multiyear strategic plan.

“(2) INVOLVEMENT.—Interested parties may—

“(A) submit research proposals to the advisory committee;

“(B) participate in merit reviews of research proposals and peer reviews of research products; and

“(C) receive research results.

“(3) OPEN COMPETITION AND PEER REVIEW OF RESEARCH PROPOSALS.—The National Academy of Sciences may award research contracts and grants under the program through open competition and merit review conducted on a regular basis.

“(4) EVALUATION OF RESEARCH.—

“(A) PEER REVIEW.—Research contracts and grants under the program may allow peer review of the research results.

“(B) PROGRAMMATIC EVALUATIONS.—The National Academy of Sciences may conduct periodic programmatic evaluations on a regular basis of research contracts and grants.

“(5) DISSEMINATION OF RESEARCH FINDINGS.—The National Academy of Sciences shall disseminate research findings to researchers, practitioners, and decisionmakers, through conferences and seminars, field demonstrations, workshops, training programs, presentations, testimony to government officials, the World Wide Web, publications for the general public, and other appropriate means.

“(e) Contents.—The national research agenda required under subsection (d)(1) shall include research in the following areas:

“(1) Techniques for estimating and quantifying public benefits derived from freight transportation projects.

“(2) Alternative approaches to calculating the contribution of truck and rail traffic to congestion on specific highway segments.

“(3) The feasibility of consolidating origins and destinations for freight movement.

“(4) Methods for incorporating estimates of international trade into landside transportation planning.

“(5) The use of technology applications to increase capacity of highway lanes dedicated to truck-only traffic.

“(6) Development of physical and policy alternatives for separating car and truck traffic.

“(7) Ways to synchronize infrastructure improvements with freight transportation demand.

“(8) The effect of changing patterns of freight movement on transportation planning decisions relating to rest areas.

“(9) Other research areas to identify and address emerging and future research needs related to freight transportation by all modes.

“(f) Funding.—

“(1) FEDERAL SHARE.—The Federal share of the cost of an activity carried out under this section shall be up to 100 percent.

“(2) USE OF NON-FEDERAL FUNDS.—In addition to using funds authorized for this section, the National Academy of Sciences may seek and accept additional funding sources from public and private entities capable of accepting funding from the Department of Transportation, States, local governments, nonprofit foundations, and the private sector.

“(3) PERIOD OF AVAILABILITY.—Amounts made available to carry out this section shall remain available until expended.”.

(b) Funding.—Of the amounts made available by section 5101(a)(1) of this Act, $3,750,000 for each of fiscal years 2006 through 2009 shall be available to carry out section 509 of such title.

(c) Conforming Amendment.—The analysis for such chapter is further amended by adding at the end the following:

“509. National cooperative freight transportation research program.”.

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SEC. 5210. FUTURE STRATEGIC HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM.

(a) In General.—Chapter 5 of title 23, United States Code, is further amended by adding at the end the following:

“ 510. Future strategic highway research program

“(a) Establishment.—The Secretary, in consultation with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, shall establish and carry out, acting through the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, the future strategic highway research program.

“(b) Cooperative Agreements.—The Secretary may make grants to, and enter into cooperative agreements with, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and the National Academy of Sciences to carry out such activities under this section as the Secretary determines are appropriate.

“(c) Program Priorities.—

“(1) PROGRAM ELEMENTS.—The program established under this section shall be based on the National Research Council Special Report 260, entitled ‘Strategic Highway Research: Saving Lives, Reducing Congestion, Improving Quality of Life’ and the results of the detailed planning work subsequently carried out in 2002 and 2003 to identify the research areas through National Cooperative Research Program Project 20-58. The research program shall include an analysis of the following:

“(A) Renewal of aging highway infrastructure with minimal impact to users of the facilities.

“(B) Driving behavior and likely crash causal factors to support improved countermeasures.

“(C) Reducing highway congestion due to nonrecurring congestion.

“(D) Planning and designing new road capacity to meet mobility, economic, environmental, and community needs.

“(2) DISSEMINATION OF RESULTS.—The research results of the program, expressed in terms of technologies, methodologies, and other appropriate categorizations, shall be disseminated to practicing engineers for their use, as soon as practicable.

“(d) Program Administration.—In carrying out the program under this section, the National Research Council shall ensure, to the maximum extent practicable, that—

“(1) projects and researchers are selected to conduct research for the program on the basis of merit and open solicitation of proposals and review by panels of appropriate experts;

“(2) State department of transportation officials and other stakeholders, as appropriate, are involved in the governance of the program at the overall program level and technical level through the use of expert panels and committees;

“(3) the Council acquires a qualified, permanent core staff with the ability and expertise to manage the program and multiyear budget; and

“(4) there is no duplication of research effort between the program and any other research effort of the Department.

“(e) Report on Implementation of Results.—

“(1) REPORT.—The Transportation Research Board of the National Research Council shall complete a report on the strategies and administrative structure to be used for implementation of the results of the future strategic highway research program.

“(2) COMPONENTS.—The report under paragraph (1) shall include with respect to the program—

“(A) an identification of the most promising results of research under the program (including the persons most likely to use the results);

“(B) a discussion of potential incentives for, impediments to, and methods of, implementing those results;

“(C) an estimate of costs of implementation of those results; and

“(D) recommendations on methods by which implementation of those results should be conducted, coordinated, and supported in future years, including a discussion of the administrative structure and organization best suited to carry out those recommendations.

“(3) CONSULTATION.—In developing the report, the Transportation Research Board shall consult with a wide variety of stakeholders, including—

“(A) the Federal Highway Administration;

“(B) the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; and

“(C) the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

“(4) SUBMISSION.—Not later than February 1, 2009, the report shall be submitted to the Committee on Environment and Public Works of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives.

“(f) Funding.—

“(1) FEDERAL SHARE.—The Federal share of the cost of an activity carried out using amounts made available under a grant or cooperative agreement under this section shall be 100 percent, and such funds shall remain available until expended.

“(2) ADVANCE PAYMENTS.—The Secretary may make advance payments as necessary to carry out the program under this section.

“(g) Limitation of Remedies.—

“(1) SAME REMEDY AS IF UNITED STATES.—The remedy against the United States provided by sections 1346(b) and 2672 of title 28 for injury, loss of property, personal injury, or death shall apply to any claim against the National Academy of Sciences for money damages for injury, loss of property, personal injury, or death caused by any negligent or wrongful act or omission by employees and individuals described in paragraph (3) arising from activities conducted under or in connection with this section. Any such claim shall be subject to the limitations and exceptions which would be applicable to such claim if such claim were against the United States. With respect to any such claim, the Secretary shall be treated as the head of the appropriate Federal agency for purposes of sections 2672 and 2675 of title 28.

“(2) EXCLUSIVENESS OF REMEDY.—The remedy referred to in paragraph (1) shall be exclusive of any other civil action or proceeding for the purpose of determining liability arising from any such act or omission without regard to when the act or omission occurred.

“(3) TREATMENT.—Employees of the National Academy of Sciences and other individuals appointed by the president of the National Academy of Sciences and acting on its behalf in connection with activities carried out under this section shall be treated as if they are employees of the Federal Government under section 2671 of title 28 for purposes of a civil action or proceeding with respect to a claim described in paragraph (1). The civil action or proceeding shall proceed in the same manner as any proceeding under chapter 171 of title 28 or action against the United States filed pursuant to section 1346(b) of title 28 and shall be subject to the limitations and exceptions applicable to such a proceeding or action.

“(4) SOURCES OF PAYMENTS.—Payment of any award, compromise, or settlement of a civil action or proceeding with respect to a claim described in paragraph (1) shall be paid first out of insurance maintained by the National Academy of Sciences, second from funds made available to carry out this section, and then from sums made available under section 1304 of title 31. For purposes of such section, such an award, compromise, or settlement shall be deemed to be a judgment, award, or settlement payable under section 2414 or 2672 of title 28. The Secretary may establish a reserve of funds to carry out this section for making payments under this paragraph.”.

(b) Programmatic Evaluations.—Not later than 3 years after the first research and development project grants, cooperative agreements, or contracts are awarded under section 510 of title 23, United States Code, the Comptroller General shall review the program under such section and recommend improvements to the program. The review shall assess the degree to which projects funded under such section have addressed the research and development topics identified in the Transportation Research Board Special Report 260, including identifying those topics that have not yet been addressed.

(c) Funding.—Of the amounts made available by section 5101(a)(1) of this Act, $51,250,000 for each of fiscal years 2006 through 2009, shall be available to carry out section 510 of such title.

(d) Conforming Amendment.—The analysis for chapter 5 of such title is further amended by adding at the end the following:

“510. Future strategic highway research program.”.

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SEC. 5308. ROAD WEATHER RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM.

(a) Establishment.—The Secretary shall establish a road weather research and development program to—

(1) maximize use of available road weather information and technologies;

(2) expand road weather research and development efforts to enhance roadway safety, capacity, and efficiency while minimizing environmental impacts; and

(3) promote technology transfer of effective road weather scientific and technological advances.

(b) Stakeholder Input.—In carrying out this section, the Secretary shall consult with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Science Foundation, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, nonprofit organizations, and the private sector.

(c) Contents.—The program established under this section shall solely carry out research and development called for in the National Research Council’s report entitled “A Research Agenda for Improving Road Weather Services”. Such research and development includes—

(1) integrating existing observational networks and data management systems for road weather applications;

(2) improving weather modeling capabilities and forecast tools, such as the road surface and atmospheric interface;

(3) enhancing mechanisms for communicating road weather information to users, such as transportation officials and the public; and

(4) integrating road weather technologies into an information infrastructure.

(d) Activities.—In carrying out this section, the Secretary shall—

(1) enable efficient technology transfer;

(2) improve education and training of road weather information users, such as State and local transportation officials and private sector transportation contractors; and

(3) coordinate with transportation weather research programs in other modes, such as aviation.

(e) Funding.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—In awarding funds under this section, the Secretary shall give preference to applications with significant matching funds from non-Federal sources.

(2) FUNDS FOR ROAD WEATHER RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT.—Of the amounts made available by section 5101(a)(5) of this Act, $5,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2006 through 2009 shall be available to carry out this section.

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SEC. 5601. BUREAU OF TRANSPORTATION STATISTICS.

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“(d) Information Needs Assessment.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 60 days after the date of enactment of the SAFETEA-LU, the Secretary shall enter into an agreement with the National Research Council to develop and publish a National transportation information needs assessment (referred to in this subsection as the ‘assessment’). The assessment shall be submitted to the Secretary and the appropriate committees of Congress not later than 24 months after such agreement is entered into.

“(2) CONTENT.—The assessment shall—

“(A) identify, in order of priority, the transportation data that is not being collected by the Bureau, operating administrations of the Department, or other Federal, State, or local entities, but is needed to improve transportation decisionmaking at the Federal, State, and local levels and to fulfill the requirements of subsection (c)(5);

“(B) recommend whether the data identified in subparagraph (A) should be collected by the Bureau, other parts of the Department, or by other Federal, State, or local entities, and whether any data is of a higher priority than data currently being collected;

“(C) identify any data the Bureau or other Federal, State, or local entity is collecting that is not needed;

“(D) describe new data collection methods (including changes in surveys) and other changes the Bureau or other Federal, State, or local entity should implement to improve the standardization, accuracy, and utility of transportation data and statistics; and

“(E) estimate the cost of implementing any recommendations.

“(3) CONSULTATION.—In developing the assessment, the National Research Council shall consult with the Department’s Advisory Council on Transportation Statistics and a representative cross-section of transportation community stakeholders as well as other Federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“(4) REPORT TO CONGRESS.—Not later than 180 days after the date on which the National Research Council submits the assessment under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall submit a report to Congress that describes—

“(A) how the Department plans to fill the data gaps identified under paragraph (2)(A);

“(B) how the Department plans to stop collecting data identified under paragraph (2)(C);

“(C) how the Department plans to implement improved data collection methods and other changes identified under paragraph (2)(D);

“(D) the expected costs of implementing subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C) of this paragraph;

“(E) any findings of the assessment under paragraph (1) with which the Secretary disagrees, and why; and

“(F) any proposed statutory changes needed to implement the findings of the assessment under paragraph (1).

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SEC. 6009. PARKS, RECREATION AREAS, WILDLIFE AND WATERFOWL REFUGES, AND HISTORIC SITES.

(a) Programs and Projects With De Minimis Impacts.—

(1) TITLE 23.—Section 138 of title 23, United States Code, is amended—

(A) in the first sentence, by striking “it is hereby” and inserting the following: “(a) Declaration of Policy.—It is”; and

(B) by adding at the end the following:

“(b) 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 (a)(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 (a)(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 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (16 U.S.C. 470f), 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) the finding of the Secretary has received concurrence from the officials with jurisdiction over the park, recreation area, or wildlife or waterfowl refuge.”.

(2) TITLE 49.—Section 303 of title 49, United States Code, is amended—

(A) by striking “(c) The Secretary” and inserting the following:

“(c) Approval of Programs and Projects.—Subject to subsection (d), the Secretary”; and

(B) by adding at the end the following:

“(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 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (16 U.S.C. 470f), 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) the finding of the Secretary has received concurrence from the officials with jurisdiction over the park, recreation area, or wildlife or waterfowl refuge.”.

(b) Clarification of Existing Standards.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall (in consultation with affected agencies and interested parties) promulgate regulations that clarify the factors to be considered and the standards to be applied in determining the prudence and feasibility of alternatives under section 138 of title 23 and section 303 of title 49, United States Code.

(2) REQUIREMENTS.—The regulations—

(A) shall clarify the application of the legal standards to a variety of different types of transportation programs and projects depending on the circumstances of each case; and

(B) may include, as appropriate, examples to facilitate clear and consistent interpretation by agency decisionmakers.

(c) Implementation Study.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary shall—

(A) conduct a study on the implementation of this section and the amendments made by this section; and

(B) commission an independent review of the study plan and methodology, and any associated conclusions, by the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences.

(2) COMPONENTS.—In conducting the study, the Secretary shall evaluate—

(A) the processes developed under this section and the amendments made by this section and the efficiencies that may result;

(B) the post-construction effectiveness of impact mitigation and avoidance commitments adopted as part of projects conducted under this section and the amendments made by this section; and

(C) the quantity of projects with impacts that are considered de minimis under this section and the amendments made by this section, including information on the location, size, and cost of the projects.

(3) REPORT REQUIREMENT.—The Secretary shall prepare—

(A) not earlier than the date that is 3 years after the date of enactment of this Act, a report on the results of the study conducted under this subsection; and

(B) not later than March 1, 2010, an update on the report required under subparagraph (A).

(4) REPORT RECIPIENTS.—The Secretary shall—

(A) submit the report, review of the report, and update required under paragraph (3) to—

(i) the appropriate committees of Congress;

(ii) the Secretary of the Interior; and

(iii) the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; and

(B) make the report and update available to the public.

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SEC. 7131. HAZARDOUS MATERIALS RESEARCH PROJECTS.

(a) In General.—The Administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration shall enter into a contract with the National Academy of Sciences to carry out the 9 research projects called for in the 2005 Special Report 283 of the Transportation Research Board entitled “Cooperative Research for Hazardous Materials Transportation: Defining the Need, Converging on Solutions”. In carrying out the research projects, the National Academy of Sciences shall consult with the Administrator.

(b) Report.—Not later than 6 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall transmit to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a report on the need to establish a cooperative research program on hazardous materials transportation.

(c) Funding.—Of the amounts made available by section 5101(a)(1) of this Act, $1,250,000 for each of fiscal years 2006 through 2009 shall be available to carry out this section.

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SEC. 9007. STUDY OF RAIL TRANSPORTATION AND REGULATION.

(a) Requirement.—Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Transportation shall enter into an arrangement with the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a comprehensive study of the Nation’s railroad transportation system since the enactment of the Staggers Rail Act of 1980. The study shall address and make recommendations on—

(1) the performance of the Nation’s major railroads regarding service levels, service quality, and rates;

(2) the projected demand for freight transportation over the next two decades and the constraints limiting the railroads’ ability to meet that demand;

(3) the effectiveness of public policy in balancing the need for railroads to earn adequate returns with those of shippers for reasonable rates and adequate service; and

(4) the future role of the Surface Transportation Board in regulating railroad rates, service levels, and the railroads’ common carrier obligations, particularly as railroads may become revenue adequate.

(b) Report to Congress.—Not later than 1 year after the Secretary and the Transportation Research Board enter into the arrangement for the study, the Secretary shall transmit the results of the study conducted under subsection (a) to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate.

(c) Authorization of Appropriations.—There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Transportation $1,000,000 for fiscal year 2006 and $800,000 for fiscal year 2007 to carry out this section. Such sums are to remain available until expended.

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HRpt 109-203 - To accompany H.R.3 - To authorize funds for Federal-aid highways, highway safety programs, and transit programs, and for other purposes.

Conference Committee
(7/28/05)
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TITLE I—FEDERAL-AID HIGHWAYS

Subtitle A—Authorization of Programs

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SEC. 1113. SURFACE TRANSPORTATION PROGRAM.

(a) Program Eligibility.—Section 133(b) of title 23, United States Code, is amended—

(1) in paragraph (6) by inserting “, including advanced truck stop electrification systems” before the period at the end; and

(2) by inserting after paragraph (11) the following:

“(12) Projects relating to intersections that—

“(A) have disproportionately high accident rates;

“(B) have high levels of congestion, as evidenced by—

“(i) interrupted traffic flow at the intersection; and

“(ii) a level of service rating that is not better than ‘F’ during peak travel hours, calculated in accordance with the Highway Capacity Manual issued by the Transportation Research Board; and

“(C) are located on a Federal-aid highway.”.

(b) Repeal of Safety Programs Set-Aside.—

(1) REPEAL.—Section 133(d)(1) of such title is repealed.

(2) TECHNICAL AMENDMENTS.—Section 133(d) of such title is amended—

(A) in the first sentence of paragraph (3)(A)—

(i) by striking “subparagraphs (C) and (D)” and inserting “subparagraph (C)”; and

(ii) by striking “80 percent” and inserting “90 percent”;

(B) in paragraph (3)(B) by striking “tobe” and inserting “to be”; and

(C) in paragraph (3)—

(i) by striking subparagraph (C);

(ii) by redesignating subparagraphs (D) and (E) as subparagraphs (C) and (D), respectively; and

(iii) in subparagraph (C) (as redesignated by clause (ii)) by adding a period at the end.

(3) EFFECTIVE DATE.—Paragraph (1) and paragraph (2)(A)(ii) of this subsection shall take effect October 1, 2005.

(c) Transportation Enhancement Activities.—Effective October 1, 2005, section 133(d)(2) of such title is amended by striking “10 percent” and all that follows through “section 104(b)(3) for a fiscal year” and inserting the following: “In a fiscal year, the greater of 10 percent of the funds apportioned to a State under section 104(b)(3) for such fiscal year, or the amount set aside under this paragraph with respect to the State for fiscal year 2005,”.

(d) Obligation Authority.—Section 133(f)(1) of such title is amended—

(1) by striking “1998 through 2000” and inserting “2004 through 2006”; and

(2) by striking “2001 through 2003” and inserting “2007 through 2009”.

(e) Technical Correction.—Effective June 9, 1998, section 1108(e) of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (112 Stat. 140) is amended by striking “Section 133” and inserting “Section 133(f)”.

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Subtitle D—Highway Safety

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SEC. 1408. IMPROVEMENT OR REPLACEMENT OF HIGHWAY FEATURES ON NATIONAL HIGHWAY SYSTEM.

(a) Update of Implementation Guidance.—The Secretary, in cooperation with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, shall update as appropriate the August 28, 1998, Federal Highway Administration Policy on Implementation of the report of the Transportation Research Board of the National Research Council entitled “NCHRP Report 350-Recommended Procedures for the Safety Performance Evaluation of Highway Features”.

(b) Guidance.—The Secretary, in cooperation with the Association, shall publish updated guidance regarding the conditions under which States, when choosing to improve or replace highway features on the National Highway System, should improve or replace such features with highway features that have been tested, evaluated, and found to be acceptable under the guidelines of the report referred to in subsection (a).

(c) Matters To Be Considered.—Guidance published in accordance with subsection (a)—

(1) shall address those highway features that are covered by the guidelines in the report referred to in subsection (b); and

(2) shall consider types of highway features, cost-effectiveness, and practicality of replacement with highway features that have been found to be acceptable under the report guidelines to determine conditions when such features should be used.

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Subtitle I—Miscellaneous

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(b) National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission.—

(1) ESTABLISHMENT.—There is established a commission to be known as the “National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission” (in this subsection referred to as the “Commission”).

(2) MEMBERSHIP.—

(A) COMPOSITION.—The Commission shall be composed of 12 members, of whom—

(i) 1 member shall be the Secretary, who shall serve as Chairperson;

(ii) 3 members shall be appointed by the President;

(iii) 2 members shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives;

(iv) 2 members shall be appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives;

(v) 2 members shall be appointed by the majority leader of the Senate; and

(vi) 2 members shall be appointed by the minority leader of the Senate.

(B) QUALIFICATIONS.—Members appointed under subparagraph (A)—

(i) shall include—

(I) individuals representing State and local governments, metropolitan planning organizations, transportation-related industries, and public interest organizations involved with scientific, regulatory, economic, and environmental activities relating to transportation;

(II) individuals with a background in public finance, including experience in developing State and local revenue resources;

(III) individuals involved in surface transportation program administration;

(IV) individuals that have conducted academic research into related issues; and

(V) individuals that provide unique perspectives on current and future requirements for revenue sources to support the Highway Trust Fund and policies impacting those revenues; and

(ii) shall be balanced geographically to the extent consistent with maintaining the highest level of expertise on the Commission.

(C) DATE OF APPOINTMENTS.—The appointment of a member of the Commission shall be made not later than 120 days after the date of establishment of the Commission.

(D) TERMS.—A member shall be appointed for the life of the Commission.

(E) VACANCIES.—A vacancy on the Commission—

(i) shall not affect the powers of the Commission; and

(ii) shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment was made.

(F) INITIAL MEETING.—Not later than 30 days after the date on which all members of the Commission have been appointed, the Commission shall hold the initial meeting of the Commission.

(G) MEETINGS.—The Commission shall meet at the call of the Chairperson.

(H) QUORUM.—A majority of the members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum, but a lesser number of members may hold hearings.

(I) VICE CHAIRPERSON.—The Commission shall select a Vice Chairperson from among the appointed members of the Commission.

(3) DUTIES.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—The Commission shall—

(i) conduct a comprehensive study of—

(I) the current condition and future needs of the surface transportation system;

(II) short-term sources of Highway Trust Fund revenues;

(III) long-term alternatives to replace or supplement the fuel tax as the principal revenue source to support the Highway Trust Fund, including new or alternate sources of revenue;

(IV) revenue sources to fund the needs of the surface transportation system over at least the 30-year period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act, including new or alternate sources of revenue;

(V) revenues flowing into the Highway Trust Fund under laws in existence on the date of enactment of this Act, including individual components of the overall flow of the revenues; and

(VI) whether the amount of revenues described in subclause (V) is likely to increase, decrease, or remain constant absent any change in law, taking into consideration the impact of possible changes in public vehicular choice, fuel use, and travel alternatives that could be expected to reduce or increase revenues into the Highway Trust Fund;

(B) develop a conceptual plan, with alternative approaches, to ensure that the surface transportation system will continue to serve the needs of the United States, including specific recommendations regarding design and operational standards, Federal policies, and legislative changes;

(C) consult with the Secretary of the Treasury in conducting the study to ensure that the views of the Secretary concerning essential attributes of Highway Trust Fund revenue alternatives are considered;

(D) consult with representatives of State departments of transportation and metropolitan planning organizations and other key interested stakeholders in conducting the study to ensure that—

(i) the views of the stakeholders on alternative revenue sources to support State transportation improvement programs are considered; and

(ii) any recommended Federal financing strategy takes into account State financial requirements; and

(E) based on the study, make specific recommendations regarding—

(i) actions that should be taken to develop alternative revenue sources to sup port the Highway Trust Fund; and

(ii) the time frame for taking those actions.

(4) RELATED WORK.—To the maximum extent practicable, the study shall build on related work that has been completed by—

(A) the Secretary;

(B) the Secretary of Energy;

(C) the Transportation Research Board, including the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of the recent study conducted by the Transportation Research Board on alternatives to the fuel tax to support highway program financing; and

(D) other entities and persons.

(5) SURFACE TRANSPORTATION NEEDS.—With respect to surface transportation needs, the investigation and study shall specifically address—

(A) the current condition and performance of the Interstate System (including the physical condition of bridges and pavements and operational characteristics and performance), relying primarily on existing data sources;

(B) the future of the Interstate System, based on a range of legislative and policy approaches for 15-, 30-, and 50-year time periods;

(C) the expected demographics and business uses that impact the surface transportation system;

(D) the expected use of the surface transportation system, including the effects of changing vehicle types, modes of transportation, fleet size and weights, and traffic volumes;

(E) desirable design policies and standards for future improvements of the surface transportation system, including additional access points;

(F) the identification of urban, rural, national, and interregional needs for the surface transportation system;

(G) the potential for expansion, upgrades, or other changes to the surface transportation system, including—

(i) deployment of advanced materials and intelligent technologies;

(ii) critical multistate, urban, and rural corridors needing capacity, safety, and operational enhancements;

(iii) improvements to intermodal linkages;

(iv) security and military deployment enhancements;

(v) strategies to enhance asset preservation; and

(vi) implementation strategies;

(H) the improvement of emergency preparedness and evacuation using the surface transportation system, including—

(i) examination of the potential use of all modes of the surface transportation system in the safe and efficient evacuation of citizens during times of emergency;

(ii) identification of the location of critical bottlenecks; and

(iii) development of strategies to improve system redundancy, especially in areas with a high potential for terrorist attacks;

(I) alternatives for addressing environmental concerns associated with the future development of the surface transportation system;

(J) the assessment of the current and future capabilities for conducting system-wide real-time performance data collection and analysis, traffic monitoring, and transportation systems operations and management; and

(K) policy and legislative alternatives for addressing future needs for the surface transportation system.

(6) FINANCING.—With respect to financing, the study shall address specifically—

(A) the advantages and disadvantages of alternative revenue sources to meet anticipated Federal surface transportation financial requirements;

(B) recommendations concerning the most promising revenue sources to support long-term Federal surface transportation financing requirements;

(C) development of a broad transition strategy to move from the current tax base to new funding mechanisms, including the time frame for various components of the transition strategy;

(D) recommendations for additional research that may be needed to implement recommended alternatives; and

(E) the extent to which revenues should reflect the relative use of the highway system.

(7) FINANCING RECOMMENDATIONS.—

(A) FACTORS FOR CONSIDERATION.—In developing financing recommendations under this subsection, the Commission shall consider—

(i) the ability to generate sufficient revenues from all modes to meet anticipated long-term surface transportation financing needs;

(ii) the roles of the various levels of government and the private sector in meeting future surface transportation financing needs;

(iii) administrative costs (including enforcement costs) to implement each option;

(iv) the expected increase in nontaxed fuels and the impact of taxing those fuels;

(v) the likely technological advances that could ease implementation of each option;

(vi) the equity and economic efficiency of each option;

(vii) the flexibility of different options to allow various pricing alternatives to be implemented; and

(viii) potential compatibility issues with State and local tax mechanisms under each alternative.

(B) NEED AND REVENUE ANALYSIS.—In developing financing recommendations under this subsection, the Commission shall distinguish between—

(i) the needs of, and revenues for, the surface transportation system that are eligible to receive funds from the Highway Trust Fund; and

(ii) the needs for projects and programs that are not eligible to receive funds from the Highway Trust Fund.

(8) TECHNICAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE.—The Secretary shall establish a technical advisory committee, in a manner consistent with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.), to collect and evaluate technical input from—

(A) appropriate Federal, State, and local officials with responsibility for transportation;

(B) appropriate State and local elected officials;

(C) transportation and trade associations;

(D) emergency management officials;

(E) freight providers;

(F) the general public; and

(G) other entities and persons determined to be appropriate by the Secretary to ensure a diverse range of views.

(9) REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS.—Not later than July 1, 2007, the Commission shall submit to Congress—

(A) a final report that contains a detailed statement of the findings and conclusions of the Commission; and

(B) the recommendations of the Commission for such legislation and administrative actions as the Commission considers to be appropriate.

(10) POWERS OF THE COMMISSION.—

(A) HEARINGS.—The Commission may hold such hearings, meet and act at such times and places, take such testimony, and receive such evidence as the Commission considers advisable to carry out this section.

(B) INFORMATION FROM FEDERAL AGENCIES.—

(i) IN GENERAL.—The Commission may secure directly from a Federal agency such information as the Commission considers necessary to carry out this section.

(ii) PROVISION OF INFORMATION.—On request of the Chairperson of the Commission, the head of a Federal agency shall provide the requested information to the Commission.

(C) POSTAL SERVICES.—The Commission may use the United States mails in the same manner and under the same conditions as other agencies of the Federal Government.

(D) DONATIONS.—The Commission may accept, use, and dispose of donations of services or property.

(11) COMMISSION PERSONNEL MATTERS.—

(A) MEMBERS.—A member of the Commission shall serve without pay but shall be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, at rates authorized for an employee of an agency under subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5, United States Code, while away from the home or regular place of business of the member in the performance of the duties of the Commission.

(B) CONTRACTORS.—The Commission may enter into agreements with appropriate organizations, agencies, and entities to conduct the study required under this section, under the strategic guidance of the Commission.

(C) ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT.—On the request of the Commission, the Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration shall provide to the Commission, on a reimbursable basis, the administrative support and services necessary for the Commission to carry out the duties of the Commission under this section.

(D) DETAIL OF PERSONNEL.—

(i) IN GENERAL.—On the request of the Commission, the Secretary may detail, on a reimbursable basis, any of the personnel of the Department to the Commission to assist the Commission in carrying out the duties of the Commission under this section.

(ii) CIVIL SERVICE STATUS.—The detail of the employee shall be without interruption or loss of civil service status or privilege.

(12) COOPERATION.—The staff of the Secretary shall cooperate with the Commission in the study required under this section, including providing such nonconfidential data and information as are necessary to conduct the study.

(13) RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER LAW.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—Except as provided in subparagraphs (B) and (C), funds made available to carry out this section shall be available for obligation in the same manner as if the funds were apportioned under chapter 1 of title 23, United States Code.

(B) FEDERAL SHARE.—The Federal share of the cost of the study and the Commission under this section shall be 100 percent.

(C) AVAILABILITY.—Funds made available to carry out this section shall remain available until expended.

(14) DEFINITION OF SURFACE TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM.—In this subsection, the term “surface transportation system” includes—

(A) the National Highway System, as defined in section 103(b) of title 23, United States Code;

(B) congressional high priority corridors;

(C) intermodal connectors;

(D) intermodal freight facilities;

(E) public transportation infrastructure and facilities; and

(F) freight and intercity passenger bus and rail infrastructure and facilities.

(15) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.—There is authorized to be appropriated from the Highway Trust Fund (other than the Mass Transit Account) to carry out this section $1,400,000 for each of fiscal years 2006 and 2007.

(16) APPLICABILITY OF TITLE 23.—Funds made available to carry out this section shall be available for obligation in the same manner as if such funds were apportioned under chapter 1 of title 23, United States Code; except that such funds shall remain available until expended, and the Federal share of the cost of a project under this section shall be as provided in this section.

(17) TERMINATION.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—The Commission shall terminate on the date that is 180 days after the date on which the Commission submits the report of the Commission under paragraph (9).

(B) RECORDS.—Not later than the date of termination of the Commission under subparagraph (A), all records and papers of the Commission shall be delivered to the Archivist of the United States for deposit in the National Archives.

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SEC. 2003. HIGHWAY SAFETY RESEARCH AND OUTREACH PROGRAMS.

(a) Revised Authority and Requirements.—Section 403(a) of title 23, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

“(a) Authority of the Secretary.—The Secretary is authorized to use funds appropriated to carry out this section to—

“(1) conduct research on all phases of highway safety and traffic conditions, including accident causation, highway or driver characteristics, communications, and emergency care;

“(2) conduct ongoing research into driver behavior and its effect on traffic safety;

“(3) conduct research on, launch initiatives to counter, and conduct demonstration projects on fatigued driving by drivers of motor vehicles and distracted driving in such vehicles, including the effect that the use of electronic devices and other factors deemed relevant by the Secretary have on driving;

“(4) conduct training or education programs in cooperation with other Federal departments and agencies, States, private sector persons, highway safety personnel, and law enforcement personnel;

“(5) conduct research on, and evaluate the effectiveness of, traffic safety countermeasures, including seat belts and impaired driving initiatives;

“(6) conduct research on, evaluate, and develop best practices related to driver education programs (including driver education curricula, instructor training and certification, program administration and delivery mechanisms) and make recommendations for harmonizing driver education and multistage graduated licensing systems;

“(7) conduct research, training, and education programs related to older drivers;

“(8) conduct demonstration projects; and

“(9) conduct research, training, and programs relating to motorcycle safety, including impaired driving.”

(b) International Cooperation.—Section 403 of such title is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(g) International Cooperation.—The Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration may participate and cooperate in international activities to enhance highway safety.”.

(c) On-Scene Motor Vehicle Collision Causation.—

(1) STUDY.—The Secretary shall conduct under section 403 of title 23, United States Code, a nationally representative study to collect on-scene motor vehicle collision data and to determine crash causation. The Secretary shall enter into a contract with the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a review of the research, design, methodology, and implementation of the study.

(2) CONSULTATION.—The study under this subsection may be conducted in consultation with other Federal departments and agencies with relevant expertise.

(3) FINAL REPORT.—Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit a report on the results of the study conducted under this subsection to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives.

(d) Research on Distracted, Inattentive, and Fatigued Drivers.—In conducting research under section 403(a)(3) of title 23, United States Code, the Secretary shall carry out not less than 2 demonstration projects to evaluate new and innovative means of combating traffic system problems caused by distracted, inattentive, or fatigued drivers. The demonstration projects shall be in addition to any other research carried out under such section.

(e) Pedestrian Safety.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary shall—

(A) produce a comprehensive report on pedestrian safety that builds on the current level of knowledge of pedestrian safety countermeasures by identifying the most effective advanced technology and intelligent transportation systems, such as automated pedestrian detection and warning systems (infrastructure-based and vehicle-based), road design, and vehicle structural design that could potentially mitigate the crash forces on pedestrians in the event of a crash; and

(B) include in the report recommendations on how new technological developments could be incorporated into educational and enforcement efforts and how they could be integrated into national design guidelines developed by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

(2) DUE DATE.—The Secretary shall complete the report under this subsection not less than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act and submit a copy of the report to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives.

(f) Refusal of Intoxication Testing.—

(1) STUDY.—The Secretary shall carry out under section 403 of title 23, United States Code, a study of the frequency with which persons arrested for the offense of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and persons arrested for the offense of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated refuse to take a test to determine blood alcohol concentration levels and the effect such refusals have on the ability of States to prosecute such persons for those offenses.

(2) CONSULTATION.—In carrying out the study under this subsection, the Secretary shall consult with the Governors of the States, the States’ Attorneys General, and the United States Sentencing Commission.

(3) REPORT.—

(A) REQUIREMENT FOR REPORT.—Not later than 2 years after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit a report on the results of the study to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives.

(B) CONTENT.—The report shall include any recommendation for legislation, including any recommended model State legislation, and any other recommendations that the Secretary considers appropriate for implementing a program designed to decrease the occurrence of refusals by arrested persons to submit to a test to determine blood alcohol concentration levels.

(g) Impaired Motorcycle Driving.—

(1) STUDYING.—In conducting research under section 403(a)(9) of title 23, United States Code, the Secretary shall conduct a study on educational, public information and other activities targeted at reducing motorcycle accidents and resulting fatalities and injuries, where the operator of the motorcycle is impaired.

(2) REPORT.—Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a report on the results of the study, including the data collected and statistics compiled and recommendations to reduce the number of motorcycle accidents described in paragraph (1) and the resulting fatalities and injuries.

(h) Reducing Impaired Driving Recidivism.—

(1) STUDY.—The Secretary shall conduct a study on reducing the incidence of alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes and fatalities through research of advanced vehicle-based alcohol detection systems, including an assessment of the practicability and cost effectiveness of such systems.

(2) REPORT.—Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall transmit to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a report on the results of the study.

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SEC. 3046. ALLOCATIONS FOR NATIONAL RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMS.

(a) In General.—Amounts appropriated pursuant to section 5338(d) of title 49, United States Code, for national research and technology programs under sections 5312, 5314, and 5322 of such title shall be allocated by the Secretary as follows:

(1) PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION NATIONAL SECURITY STUDY.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 6 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall enter into an agreement with the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a study and evaluation of the value major public transportation systems in the United States serving the 38 urbanized areas that have a population of more than 1,000,000 individuals provide to the Nation’s security and the ability of such systems to accommodate the evacuation, egress or ingress of people to or from critical locations in times of emergency.

(B) ALTERNATIVE ROUTES.—For each system described in subparagraph (A) the study shall identify—

(i) potential alternative routes for evacuation using other transportation modes such as highway, air, marine, and pedestrian activities; and

(ii) transit routes that, if disrupted, do not have sufficient transit alternatives available.

(C) REPORT.—Not later than 24 months after the date of entry into the agreement, the Academy shall submit to the Secretary and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs of the Senate a final report on the results of the study and evaluation, together with such recommendations as the Academy considers appropriate.

(D) FUNDING.—For each of fiscal years 2006 and 2007 $250,000 shall be available to carry out this paragraph.

(2) CENTER FOR TRANSIT-ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT.—For each of fiscal years 2006 through 2009, not less than $1,000,000 shall be made available by the Secretary for establishment and operation of the Center for Transit-Oriented Development—

(A) to develop standards and definitions for transit-oriented development adjacent to public transportation facilities;

(B) to develop system planning guidance, performance criteria, and modeling techniques for metropolitan planning agencies and public transportation agencies to maximize ridership through land use planning and adjacent development; and

(C) to provide research support and technical assistance to public transportation agencies, metropolitan planning agencies, and other persons regarding transit-oriented development.

(3) TRANSPORTATION EQUITY RESEARCH PROGRAM.—For each of fiscal years 2006 through 2009, not less than $1,000,000 shall be made available by the Secretary for research and demonstration activities that focus on the impacts that transportation planning, investment, and operations have on low-income and minority populations that are transit dependent. Such activities shall include the development of strategies to advance economic and community development in low-income and minority communities and the development of training programs that promote the employment of low-income and minority community residents on Federal-aid transportation projects constructed in their communities.

(4) COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENT STUDY.—For fiscal year 2006, $1,000,000 shall be made available by the Secretary for research and demonstration activities that focus on the capacity and resources of Oregon public transportation systems to address the needs, barriers, and desires for travel of people with cognitive impairments.

(5) TRANSIT CAREER LADDER TRAINING PROGRAM.—For each fiscal years 2006 through 2009, not less than $1,000,000 shall be available for a nationwide career ladder job training partnership program for public transportation employees to respond to technological changes in the public transportation industry, especially in the area of maintenance. Such program shall be carried out by the Secretary through a contract with a national nonprofit organization with a demonstrated capacity to develop and provide such programs.

(6) PILOT PROGRAM FOR REMOTE INFRARED AUDIBLE SIGNS.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—For each of fiscal years 2006 through 2009, not less than $500,000 shall be made available by the Secretary to carry out a pilot program to determine the benefits of remote infrared audible signage technology for provision of wayfinding and information to people who are visually, cognitively, or learning disabled.

(B) REPORT.—

(i) IN GENERAL.—Not later than September 30, 2009, the Secretary shall transmit to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate a report on the pilot program carried out under this section.

(ii) CONTENTS.—The report—

(I) shall include—

(aa) an evaluation of the effect of the pilot program on multimodal accessibility in public transportation;

(bb) an evaluation of the effect of the program on operators of public transportation and their passengers;

(cc) an evaluation of the effect of making public transportation accessible to people with visual, cognitive, and learning disabilities on ridership of public transportation and use of paratransit; and

(dd) an evaluation of the effect of the program on the education, community integration, work life, and general quality of life of the targeted populations.

(7) HYDROGEN FUEL CELL SHUTTLE DEPLOYMENT DEMONSTRATION PROJECT.—To demonstrate the utility of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in daily shuttle service, $800,000 in each of fiscal years 2006 and 2007 shall be provided for hydrogen fuel cell employee shuttle vans, related equipment, operations, public education and outreach in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

(8) WISCONSIN SUPPLEMENTAL TRANSPORTATION RURAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (STRAP).—

(A) IN GENERAL.—For capital projects, operations, purchase or lease of vehicles, and integration, planning and coordination of public transportation services in the State of Wisconsin that will supplement and expand existing rural and special public transportation services in that State, $2,000,000 in each of fiscal years 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 shall be provided to the State of Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

(B) PURPOSE.—Funds received under this program may be used to supplement public transportation programs for rural populations for activities authorized under sections 5310, 5311, and 5316 of title 49, United States Code. Funds made available under this program are subject to the requirements of section 5311 of title 49, United States Code, except that funds may be made available for up to 80 percent of net operating costs. In awarding grants made available under this program, the State shall consider—

(i) rural population in the area to be served by the applicant;

(ii) extent to which the applicant demonstrates coordination of existing transportation services or proposed public transportation services;

(iii) need for additional services in the area being serviced by the applicant and the extent to which the proposed services will address those needs and provide accessibility for non-ambulatory recipients;

(iv) extent to which the applicant demonstrates an innovative approach that is responsive to the identified service needs of the rural population; and

(v) extent to which the applicant demonstrates that the communities being served have been consulted in the planning process.

(9) HUMAN SERVICES TRANSPORTATION COORDINATION.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—For the management of a program to improve and enhance the coordination of Federal resources for human services transportation with those of the Department of Transportation, $1,600,000 in each of fiscal years 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 shall be provided to a national non-profit organization that is competitively selected by the Secretary. Such organization shall have demonstrated expertise in issues of transportation coordination and in providing technical assistance to local transportation organizations.

(B) ELIGIBLE ACTIVITIES.—Under this program, the organization selected by the Secretary shall—

(i) establish an advisory panel consisting of federal, state and local officials and organizations;

(ii) prepare an inventory of human service transportation agencies operating in the United States;

(iii) prepare an inventory of Federal transportation spending;

(iv) develop a program of technical assistance and training for human services transportation organizations that shall include on-site technical assistance, a resource clearinghouse, and preparation of technical manuals;

(v) prepare an annual report for the Secretary on activities under this program and make recommendations for improving coordination.

(10) PORTLAND, OREGON STREETCAR PROTOTYPE PURCHASE AND DEPLOYMENT.—Not less than $1,000,000 shall be made available in each of fiscal years 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 by the Secretary to TriMet for the purchase and deployment of a domestically manufactured streetcar.

(11) PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION PARTICIPATION PILOT PROGRAM.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—Of the funds allocated under this section for each of fiscal years 2006 through 2009, $1,000,000 for each fiscal year shall be made available by the Secretary to establish a pilot program to support planning and public participation activities related to public transportation projects.

(B) ELIGIBLE ACTIVITIES.—Activities eligible to be carried out under the pilot program may include the following:

(i) Improving data collection analysis and transportation access for all users of the public transportation systems.

(ii) Supporting public participation through the project development phases.

(iii) Using innovative techniques to improve the coordination of transportation alternatives.

(iv) Enhancing the coordination of public transportation benefits and services.

(v) Contracting with stakeholders to focus on the delivery of transportation plans and programs.

(vi) Measuring and reporting on the annual performance of the transportation systems.

(12) TRANSPORTATION HYBRID ELECTRIC VEHICLE AND FUEL CELL RESEARCH.—$500,000 in each of fiscal years 2006 through 2009 for a transportation hybrid electric vehicle and fuel cell research program at the University of Alabama.

(13) TRAUMA CARE SYSTEM RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT.—$500,000 in each of fiscal years 2006 through 2009 for trauma care system research and development at the University of Alabama in Birmingham.

(14) TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE AND LOGISTICS RESEARCH.—$500,000 in each of fiscal years 2006 through 2009 for transportation infrastructure and logistics research at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

(15) NATIONAL BUS RAPID TRANSIT INSTITUTE.—$1,750,000 in each of fiscal years 2006 though 2009 for the National Bus Rapid Transit Institute at the University of South Florida.

(16) APPLICATION OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY TO TRANSPORTATION LOGISTICS AND SECURITY.—$400,000 in each of fiscal years 2006 through 2009 for research on the application of information technology to transportation logistics and security at the Northern Kentucky University.

(17) INTELLIGENT TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM PILOT PROJECT.—$465,000 in each of fiscal years 2006 through 2009 for an intelligent transportation system pilot project with the National Consortium on Remote Sensing in Transportation Flows at the Ohio State University.

(18) REGIONAL PUBLIC SAFETY TRAINING CENTER.—$500,000 in each of fiscal years 2006 through 2009 for a regional public safety training center at the Lehigh-Carbon Community College.

(19) TRANSIT SECURITY TRAINING FACILITY.—$750,000 in each of fiscal years 2006 though 2009 for a transit security training facility at the Chester County Community College.

(20) SMALL URBAN AND RURAL TRANSIT CENTER.—$800,000 in fiscal year 2006, $800,000 in fiscal year 2007, $1,200,000 in fiscal year 2008, and $1,200,000 in fiscal year 2009 for the Small Urban and Rural Transit Center at North Dakota State University.

(21) ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY BUS RAPID TRANSIT PROJECT.— $500,000 in fiscal year 2006, $540,000 in fiscal year 2007, $550,000 in fiscal year 2008, and $625,000 in fiscal year 2009 for the Southeastern Connecticut Advanced Technology Bus Rapid Transit Project.

(22) GREATER NEW HAVEN TRANSIT DISTRICT FUEL CELL-POWERED BUS RESEARCH.—$500,000 in fiscal year 2006, $540,000 in fiscal year 2007, $550,000 in fiscal year 2008, and $625,000 in fiscal year 2009 for the Greater New Haven Transit District Fuel Cell-Powered Bus Research.

(23) CENTER FOR ADVANCED TRANSPORTATION INITIATIVES.—$500,000 in fiscal year 2006, $540,000 in fiscal year 2007, $540,000 in fiscal year 2008, and $625,000 in fiscal year 2009 for the Rutgers Center for Advanced Transportation Initiatives (CAIT).

(24) INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY’S TRANSPORTATION, ECONOMIC, AND LAND USE SYSTEM.—$500,000 in fiscal year 2006, $540,000 in fiscal year 2007, $540,000 in fiscal year 2008, and $625,000 in fiscal year 2009 for the New Jersey Institute of Technology’s Transportation, Economic, and Land Use System program (TELUS).

(25) REGIONAL TRANSIT TRAINING CONSORTIUM PILOT PROGRAM.—$270,000 in fiscal year 2006, $380,000 in fiscal year 2007, $380,000 in fiscal year 2008, and $450,000 in fiscal year 2009 for the Southern California Regional Transit Training Consortium Pilot Program.

(b) Remainder.—After making allocations under subsection (a), the remainder of funds made available by section 5338(d) of title 49, United States Code, for national research and technology programs under sections 5312, 5314, and 5322 for a fiscal year shall be allocated at the discretion of the Secretary to other transit research, development, demonstration and deployment projects authorized by sections 5312, 5314, and 5322 of such title.

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“CHAPTER 5—RESEARCH, TECHNOLOGY, AND EDUCATION”.

(b) Statement of Principles Governing Research and Technology Investments.—Section 502 of such title is amended—

(1) by redesignating subsections (a) through (g) as subsections (b) through (h), respectively; and

(2) by inserting before subsection (b) (as so redesignated) the following:

“(a) Basic Principles Governing Research and Technology Investments.—

“(1) COVERAGE.—Surface transportation research and technology development shall include all activities leading to technology development and transfer, as well as the introduction of new and innovative ideas, practices, and approaches, through such mechanisms as field applications, education and training, and technical support.

“(2) FEDERAL RESPONSIBILITY.—Funding and conducting surface transportation research and technology transfer activities shall be considered a basic responsibility of the Federal Government when the work—

“(A) is of national significance;

“(B) supports research in which there is a clear public benefit and private sector investment is less than optimal;

“(C) supports a Federal stewardship role in assuring that State and local governments use national resources efficiently; or

“(D) presents the best means to support Federal policy goals compared to other policy alternatives.

“(3) ROLE.—Consistent with these Federal responsibilities, the Secretary shall—

“(A) conduct research;

“(B) support and facilitate research and technology transfer activities by State highway agencies;

“(C) share results of completed research; and

“(D) support and facilitate technology and innovation deployment.

“(4) PROGRAM CONTENT.—A surface transportation research program shall include—

“(A) fundamental, long-term highway research;

“(B) research aimed at significant highway research gaps and emerging issues with national implications; and

“(C) research related to policy and planning.

“(5) STAKEHOLDER INPUT.—Federal surface transportation research and development activities shall address the needs of stakeholders. Stakeholders include States, metropolitan planning organizations, local governments, the private sector, researchers, research sponsors, and other affected parties, including public interest groups.

“(6) COMPETITION AND PEER REVIEW.—Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the Secretary shall award, to the maximum extent practicable, all grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements for research and development under this chapter based on open competition and peer review of proposals.

“(7) PERFORMANCE REVIEW AND EVALUATION.—To the maximum extent practicable, all surface transportation research and development projects shall include a component of performance measurement and evaluation. Performance measures shall be established during the proposal stage of a research and development project and shall, to the maximum extent possible, be outcome-based. All evaluations shall be made readily available to the public.

“(8) TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION.—The programs and activities carried out under this section shall be consistent with the surface transportation research and technology development strategic plan developed under section 508.”.

(c) Procurement for Research, Development, and Technology Transfer Activities.—Section 502(b)(3) of such title (as redesignated by subsection (b) of this section) is amended to read as follows:

“(3) COOPERATION, GRANTS, AND CONTRACTS.—The Secretary may carry out research, development, and technology transfer activities related to transportation—

“(A) independently;

“(B) in cooperation with other Federal departments, agencies, and instrumentalities and Federal laboratories; or

“(C) by making grants to, or entering into contracts and cooperative agreements with one or more of the following: the National Academy of Sciences, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, any Federal laboratory, Federal agency, State agency, authority, association, institution, for-profit or nonprofit corporation, organization, foreign country, or any other person.”.

(d) Transportation Pooled Fund Program.—Section 502(b) of such title (as redesignated by subsection (b) of this section) is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(6) POOLED FUNDING.—

“(A) COOPERATION.—To promote effective utilization of available resources, the Secretary may cooperate with a State and an appropriate agency in funding research, development, and technology transfer activities of mutual interest on a pooled funds basis.

“(B) SECRETARY AS AGENT.—The Secretary may enter into contracts, cooperative agreements, and grants as the agent for all participating parties in carrying out such research, development, or technology transfer activities.”.

(e) Operations Elements in Research Activities.—Section 502 of such title is further amended—

(1) in subsection (b)(1)(B) (as redesignated by subsection (b) of this section) by inserting “transportation system management and operations,” after “operation,”;

(2) in subsection (d)(5)(C) (as redesignated by subsection (b) of this section) by inserting “system management and” after “transportation”; and

(3) by inserting at the end of subsection (d) (as redesignated by subsection (b) of this section) the following:

“(12) Investigation and development of various operational methodologies to reduce the occurrence and impact of recurrent congestion and nonrecurrent congestion and increase transportation system reliability.

“(13) Investigation of processes, procedures, and technologies to secure container and hazardous material transport, including the evaluation of regulations and the impact of good security practices on commerce and productivity.

“(14) Research, development, and technology transfer related to asset management.”.

(f) Facilitating Transportation Research and Technology Deployment Partnerships.—Section 502(c)(2) of such title (as redesignated by subsection (b) of this section) is amended to read as follows:

“(2) COOPERATION, GRANTS, CONTRACTS, AND AGREEMENTS.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary may directly initiate contracts, cooperative research and development agreements (as defined in section 12 of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 (15 U.S.C. 3710a)) to fund, and accept funds from, the Transportation Research Board of the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, State departments of transportation, cities, counties, and their agents to conduct joint transportation research and technology efforts.”.

(g) Exploratory Advanced Research Program.—Section 502(e) of such title (as redesignated by subsection (b) of this section) is amended to read as follows:

“(e) Exploratory Advanced Research.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary shall establish an exploratory advanced research program, consistent with the surface transportation research and technology development strategic plan developed under section 508 that addresses longer-term, higher-risk research with potentially dramatic breakthroughs for improving the durability, efficiency, environmental impact, productivity, and safety (including bicycle and pedestrian safety) aspects of highway and intermodal transportation systems. In carrying out the program, the Secretary shall strive to develop partnerships with public and private sector entities.

“(2) RESEARCH AREAS.—In carrying out the program, the Secretary may make grants and enter into cooperative agreements and contracts in such areas of surface transportation research and technology as the Secretary determines appropriate, including the following:

“(A) Characterization of materials used in highway infrastructure, including analytical techniques, microstructure modeling, and the deterioration processes.

“(B) Assessment of the effects of transportation decisions on human health.

“(C) Development of surrogate measures of safety.

“(D) Environmental research.

“(E) Data acquisition techniques for system condition and performance monitoring.

“(F) System performance data and information processing needed to assess the day-to-day operational performance of the system in support of hour-to-hour operational decisionmaking.”.

(h) Funding.—Of the amounts made available by section 5101(a) of this Act, $14,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2005 through 2009 shall be available to carry out section 502(e) of such title.

(i) Long-Term Pavement Performance Program.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Section 502(f) of such title (as redesignated by subsection (b) of this section) is amended to read as follows:

“(f) Long-Term Pavement Performance Program.—

“(1) AUTHORITY.—The Secretary shall continue to carry out, through September 30, 2009, tests, monitoring, and data analysis under the long-term pavement performance program.

“(2) GRANTS, COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS, AND CONTRACTS.—Under the program, the Secretary shall make grants and enter into cooperative agreements and contracts to—

“(A) monitor, material-test, and evaluate highway test sections in existence as of the date of the grant, agreement, or contract;

“(B) analyze the data obtained under subparagraph (A); and

“(C) prepare products to fulfill program objectives and meet future pavement technology needs.”.

(2) FUNDING.—Of the amounts made available by section 5101(a)(1) of this Act, $10,120,000 for each of fiscal years 2005 through 2009 shall be available to carry out section 502(f) of such title.

(j) Seismic Research.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Section 502(g) of such title (as redesignated by subsection (b) of this section) is amended to read as follows:

“(g) Seismic Research.—The Secretary shall—

“(1) in consultation and cooperation with Federal agencies participating in the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program established by section 5 of the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977 (42 U.S.C. 7704), coordinate the conduct of seismic research;

“(2) take such actions as are necessary to ensure that the coordination of the research is consistent with—

“(A) planning and coordination activities of the National Institute of Standards and Technology under section 5(b)(1) of that Act (42 U.S.C. 7704(b)(1)); and

“(B) the plan developed by the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology under section 8(b) of that Act (42 U.S.C. 7705b(b)); and

“(3) in cooperation with the Center for Civil Engineering Research at the University of Nevada, Reno, and the National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research at the University of Buffalo, carry out a seismic research program—

“(A) to study the vulnerability of the Federal-aid system and other surface transportation systems to seismic activity;

“(B) to develop and implement cost-effective methods to reduce the vulnerability; and

“(C) to conduct seismic research and upgrade earthquake simulation facilities as necessary to carry out the program.”.

(2) FUNDING.—Of the amounts made available by section 5101(a)(1) of this Act, $2,500,000 for each of fiscal years 2005 through 2009 shall be available to carry out section 502(g) of such title.

(k) Infrastructure Investment Needs Report.—Section 502 of such title is further amended by adding at the end the following:

“(h) Infrastructure Investment Needs Report.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than July 31, 2006, and July 31 of every second year thereafter, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Environment and Public Works of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives a report that describes—

“(A) estimates of the future highway, transit, and bridge needs of the United States; and

“(B) the backlog of current highway, transit, and bridge needs.

“(2) COMPARISON WITH PRIOR REPORTS.—Each report under paragraph (1) shall provide the means, including all necessary information, to relate and compare the conditions and service measures used in the previous biennial reports.”.

(l) Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center.—Section 502 of such title is further amended by adding at the end the following:

“(i) Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary shall operate in the Federal Highway Administration a Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center.

“(2) USES OF THE CENTER.—The Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center shall support—

“(A) the conduct of highway research and development related to new highway technology;

“(B) the development of understandings, tools, and techniques that provide solutions to complex technical problems through the development of economical and environmentally sensitive designs, efficient and quality-controlled construction practices, and durable materials; and

“(C) the development of innovative highway products and practices.”.

(m) Biobased Transportation Research.—Of the amounts made available by section 5101(a)(1) of this Act, $12,500,000 for each of fiscal years 2006 through 2009, equally divided and available, shall be available to carry out biobased research of national importance at the National Biodiesel Board and at research centers identified in section 9011 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 8109).

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SEC. 5207. SURFACE TRANSPORTATION ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM.

(a) In General.—Section 507 of title 23, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

“ 507. Surface transportation-environmental cooperative research program

“(a) In General.—The Secretary shall establish and carry out a surface transportation-environmental cooperative research program.

“(b) Contents.—The program carried out under this section may include research—

“(1) to develop more accurate models for evaluating transportation control measures and transportation system designs that are appropriate for use by State and local governments (including metropolitan planning organizations) in designing implementation plans to meet Federal, State, and local environmental requirements;

“(2) to improve understanding of the factors that contribute to the demand for transportation;

“(3) to develop indicators of economic, social, and environmental performance of transportation systems to facilitate analysis of potential alternatives;

“(4) to meet additional priorities as determined by the Secretary in the strategic planning process under section 508; and

“(5) to refine, through the conduct of workshops, symposia, and panels, and in consultation with stakeholders (including the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, and other appropriate Federal and State agencies and associations) the scope and research emphases of the program.

“(c) Program Administration.—The Secretary shall—

“(1) administer the program established under this section; and

“(2) ensure, to the maximum extent practicable, that—

“(A) the best projects and researchers are selected to conduct research in the priority areas described in subsection (b)—

“(i) on the basis of merit of each submitted proposal; and

“(ii) through the use of open solicitations and selection by a panel of appropriate experts;

“(B) a qualified, permanent core staff with the ability and expertise to manage a large multiyear budget is used;

“(C) the stakeholders are involved in the governance of the program, at the executive, overall program, and technical levels, through the use of expert panels and committees; and

“(D) there is no duplication of research effort between the program established under this section and the new strategic highway research program established under section 510.

“(d) National Academy of Sciences.—The Secretary may make grants to, and enter into cooperative agreements with, the National Academy of Sciences to carry out such activities relating to the research, technology, and technology transfer activities described in subsections (b) and (c) as the Secretary determines to be appropriate.”.

(b) Funding.—Of the amounts made available by section 5101(a)(1) of this Act, $16,875,000 for each of fiscal years 2006 through 2009 shall be available to carry out section 507 of such title.

(c) Conforming Amendment.—The analysis for chapter 5 of such title is amended by striking the item relating to section 507 and inserting the following:

“507. Surface transportation environment and planning cooperative research program.”.

SEC. 5208. TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIC PLANNING.

(a) In General.—Section 508 of title 23, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

“ 508. Transportation research and development strategic planning

“(a) In General.—

“(1) DEVELOPMENT.—Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of the SAFETEA-LU, the Secretary shall develop a 5-year transportation research and development strategic plan to guide Federal transportation research and development activities. This plan shall be consistent with section 306 of title 5, sections 1115 and 1116 of title 31, and any other research and development plan within the Department of Transportation.

“(2) CONTENTS.—The strategic plan developed under paragraph (1) shall—

“(A) describe the primary purposes of the transportation research and development program, which shall include, at a minimum—

“(i) reducing congestion and improving mobility;

“(ii) promoting safety;

“(iii) promoting security;

“(iv) protecting and enhancing the environment;

“(v) preserving the existing transportation system; and

“(vi) improving the durability and extending the life of transportation infrastructure;

“(B) for each purpose, list the primary research and development topics that the Department intends to pursue to accomplish that purpose, which may include the fundamental research in the physical and natural sciences, applied research, technology development, and social science research intended for each topic; and

“(C) for each research and development topic, describe—

“(i) the anticipated annual funding levels for the period covered by the strategic plan; and

“(ii) the additional information the Department expects to gain at the end of the period covered by the strategic plan as a result of the research and development in that topic area.

“(3) CONSIDERATIONS.—In developing the strategic plan, the Secretary shall ensure that the plan—

“(A) reflects input from a wide range of stakeholders;

“(B) includes and integrates the research and development programs of all the Department’s operating administrations, including aviation, transit, rail, and maritime; and

“(C) takes into account how research and development by other Federal, State, private sector, and nonprofit institutions contributes to the achievement of the purposes identified under paragraph (2)(A), and avoids unnecessary duplication with these efforts.

“(4) PERFORMANCE PLANS AND REPORTS.—In reports submitted under sections 1115 and 1116 of title 31, the Secretary shall include—

“(A) a summary of the Federal transportation research and development activities for the previous fiscal year in each topic area;

“(B) the amount of funding spent in each topic area;

“(C) a description of the extent to which the research and development is meeting the expectations set forth in paragraph (2)(C)(ii); and

“(D) any amendments to the strategic plan.

“(b) Annual Report.—The Secretary shall submit to appropriate committees of Congress an annual report, in conjunction with the President’s annual budget request as set forth in section 1105 of title 31, describing the amount spent in the last completed fiscal year on transportation research and development and the amount proposed in the current budget for transportation research and development.

“(c) National Research Council Review.—The Secretary shall enter into an agreement for the review by the National Research Council of the details of each—

“(1) strategic plan under this section;

“(2) performance plan required under section 1115 of title 31; and

“(3) program performance report required under section 1116 of title 31, with respect to transportation research and development.”.

(b) Conforming Amendment.—The analysis for chapter 5 of such title is amended by striking the item relating to section 508 and inserting the following:

“508. Transportation research and development strategic planning.”.

SEC. 5209. NATIONAL COOPERATIVE FREIGHT TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH PROGRAM.

(a) In General.—Chapter 5 of title 23, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

“ 509. National cooperative freight transportation research program

“(a) Establishment.—The Secretary shall establish and support a national cooperative freight transportation research program.

“(b) Agreement.—The Secretary shall enter into an agreement with the National Academy of Sciences to support and carry out administrative and management activities relating to the governance of the national cooperative freight transportation research program.

“(c) Advisory Committee.—The National Academy of Sciences shall select an advisory committee consisting of a representative cross-section of freight stakeholders, including the Department of Transportation, other Federal agencies, State transportation departments, local governments, nonprofit entities, academia, and the private sector.

“(d) Governance.—The national cooperative freight transportation research program established under this section shall include the following administrative and management elements:

“(1) NATIONAL RESEARCH AGENDA.—The advisory committee, in consultation with interested parties, shall recommend a national research agenda for the program. The agenda shall include a multiyear strategic plan.

“(2) INVOLVEMENT.—Interested parties may—

“(A) submit research proposals to the advisory committee;

“(B) participate in merit reviews of research proposals and peer reviews of research products; and

“(C) receive research results.

“(3) OPEN COMPETITION AND PEER REVIEW OF RESEARCH PROPOSALS.—The National Academy of Sciences may award research contracts and grants under the program through open competition and merit review conducted on a regular basis.

“(4) EVALUATION OF RESEARCH.—

“(A) PEER REVIEW.—Research contracts and grants under the program may allow peer review of the research results.

“(B) PROGRAMMATIC EVALUATIONS.—The National Academy of Sciences may conduct periodic programmatic evaluations on a regular basis of research contracts and grants.

“(5) DISSEMINATION OF RESEARCH FINDINGS.—The National Academy of Sciences shall disseminate research findings to researchers, practitioners, and decisionmakers, through conferences and seminars, field demonstrations, workshops, training programs, presentations, testimony to government officials, the World Wide Web, publications for the general public, and other appropriate means.

“(e) Contents.—The national research agenda required under subsection (d)(1) shall include research in the following areas:

“(1) Techniques for estimating and quantifying public benefits derived from freight transportation projects.

“(2) Alternative approaches to calculating the contribution of truck and rail traffic to congestion on specific highway segments.

“(3) The feasibility of consolidating origins and destinations for freight movement.

“(4) Methods for incorporating estimates of international trade into landside transportation planning.

“(5) The use of technology applications to increase capacity of highway lanes dedicated to truck-only traffic.

“(6) Development of physical and policy alternatives for separating car and truck traffic.

“(7) Ways to synchronize infrastructure improvements with freight transportation demand.

“(8) The effect of changing patterns of freight movement on transportation planning decisions relating to rest areas.

“(9) Other research areas to identify and address emerging and future research needs related to freight transportation by all modes.

“(f) Funding.—

“(1) FEDERAL SHARE.—The Federal share of the cost of an activity carried out under this section shall be up to 100 percent.

“(2) USE OF NON-FEDERAL FUNDS.—In addition to using funds authorized for this section, the National Academy of Sciences may seek and accept additional funding sources from public and private entities capable of accepting funding from the Department of Transportation, States, local governments, nonprofit foundations, and the private sector.

“(3) PERIOD OF AVAILABILITY.—Amounts made available to carry out this section shall remain available until expended.”.

(b) Funding.—Of the amounts made available by section 5101(a)(1) of this Act, $3,750,000 for each of fiscal years 2006 through 2009 shall be available to carry out section 509 of such title.

(c) Conforming Amendment.—The analysis for such chapter is further amended by adding at the end the following:

“509. National cooperative freight transportation research program.”.

SEC. 5210. FUTURE STRATEGIC HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM.

(a) In General.—Chapter 5 of title 23, United States Code, is further amended by adding at the end the following:

“ 510. Future strategic highway research program

“(a) Establishment.—The Secretary, in consultation with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, shall establish and carry out, acting through the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, the future strategic highway research program.

“(b) Cooperative Agreements.—The Secretary may make grants to, and enter into cooperative agreements with, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and the National Academy of Sciences to carry out such activities under this section as the Secretary determines are appropriate.

“(c) Program Priorities.—

“(1) PROGRAM ELEMENTS.—The program established under this section shall be based on the National Research Council Special Report 260, entitled ‘Strategic Highway Research: Saving Lives, Reducing Congestion, Improving Quality of Life’ and the results of the detailed planning work subsequently carried out in 2002 and 2003 to identify the research areas through National Cooperative Research Program Project 20-58. The research program shall include an analysis of the following:

“(A) Renewal of aging highway infrastructure with minimal impact to users of the facilities.

“(B) Driving behavior and likely crash causal factors to support improved countermeasures.

“(C) Reducing highway congestion due to nonrecurring congestion.

“(D) Planning and designing new road capacity to meet mobility, economic, environmental, and community needs.

“(2) DISSEMINATION OF RESULTS.—The research results of the program, expressed in terms of technologies, methodologies, and other appropriate categorizations, shall be disseminated to practicing engineers for their use, as soon as practicable.

“(d) Program Administration.—In carrying out the program under this section, the National Research Council shall ensure, to the maximum extent practicable, that—

“(1) projects and researchers are selected to conduct research for the program on the basis of merit and open solicitation of proposals and review by panels of appropriate experts;

“(2) State department of transportation officials and other stakeholders, as appropriate, are involved in the governance of the program at the overall program level and technical level through the use of expert panels and committees;

“(3) the Council acquires a qualified, permanent core staff with the ability and expertise to manage the program and multiyear budget; and

“(4) there is no duplication of research effort between the program and any other research effort of the Department.

“(e) Report on Implementation of Results.—

“(1) REPORT.—The Transportation Research Board of the National Research Council shall complete a report on the strategies and administrative structure to be used for implementation of the results of the future strategic highway research program.

“(2) COMPONENTS.—The report under paragraph (1) shall include with respect to the program—

“(A) an identification of the most promising results of research under the program (including the persons most likely to use the results);

“(B) a discussion of potential incentives for, impediments to, and methods of, implementing those results;

“(C) an estimate of costs of implementation of those results; and

“(D) recommendations on methods by which implementation of those results should be conducted, coordinated, and supported in future years, including a discussion of the administrative structure and organization best suited to carry out those recommendations.

“(3) CONSULTATION.—In developing the report, the Transportation Research Board shall consult with a wide variety of stakeholders, including—

“(A) the Federal Highway Administration;

“(B) the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; and

“(C) the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

“(4) SUBMISSION.—Not later than February 1, 2009, the report shall be submitted to the Committee on Environment and Public Works of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives.

“(f) Funding.—

“(1) FEDERAL SHARE.—The Federal share of the cost of an activity carried out using amounts made available under a grant or cooperative agreement under this section shall be 100 percent, and such funds shall remain available until expended.

“(2) ADVANCE PAYMENTS.—The Secretary may make advance payments as necessary to carry out the program under this section.

“(g) Limitation of Remedies.—

“(1) SAME REMEDY AS IF UNITED STATES.—The remedy against the United States provided by sections 1346(b) and 2672 of title 28 for injury, loss of property, personal injury, or death shall apply to any claim against the National Academy of Sciences for money damages for injury, loss of property, personal injury, or death caused by any negligent or wrongful act or omission by employees and individuals described in paragraph (3) arising from activities conducted under or in connection with this section. Any such claim shall be subject to the limitations and exceptions which would be applicable to such claim if such claim were against the United States. With respect to any such claim, the Secretary shall be treated as the head of the appropriate Federal agency for purposes of sections 2672 and 2675 of title 28.

“(2) EXCLUSIVENESS OF REMEDY.—The remedy referred to in paragraph (1) shall be exclusive of any other civil action or proceeding for the purpose of determining liability arising from any such act or omission without regard to when the act or omission occurred.

“(3) TREATMENT.—Employees of the National Academy of Sciences and other individuals appointed by the president of the National Academy of Sciences and acting on its behalf in connection with activities carried out under this section shall be treated as if they are employees of the Federal Government under section 2671 of title 28 for purposes of a civil action or proceeding with respect to a claim described in paragraph (1). The civil action or proceeding shall proceed in the same manner as any proceeding under chapter 171 of title 28 or action against the United States filed pursuant to section 1346(b) of title 28 and shall be subject to the limitations and exceptions applicable to such a proceeding or action.

“(4) SOURCES OF PAYMENTS.—Payment of any award, compromise, or settlement of a civil action or proceeding with respect to a claim described in paragraph (1) shall be paid first out of insurance maintained by the National Academy of Sciences, second from funds made available to carry out this section, and then from sums made available under section 1304 of title 31. For purposes of such section, such an award, compromise, or settlement shall be deemed to be a judgment, award, or settlement payable under section 2414 or 2672 of title 28. The Secretary may establish a reserve of funds to carry out this section for making payments under this paragraph.”.

(b) Programmatic Evaluations.—Not later than 3 years after the first research and development project grants, cooperative agreements, or contracts are awarded under section 510 of title 23, United States Code, the Comptroller General shall review the program under such section and recommend improvements to the program. The review shall assess the degree to which projects funded under such section have addressed the research and development topics identified in the Transportation Research Board Special Report 260, including identifying those topics that have not yet been addressed.

(c) Funding.—Of the amounts made available by section 5101(a)(1) of this Act, $51,250,000 for each of fiscal years 2006 through 2009, shall be available to carry out section 510 of such title.

(d) Conforming Amendment.—The analysis for chapter 5 of such title is further amended by adding at the end the following:

“510. Future strategic highway research program.”.

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Subtitle C—Intelligent Transportation System Research

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SEC. 5308. ROAD WEATHER RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM.

(a) Establishment.—The Secretary shall establish a road weather research and development program to—

(1) maximize use of available road weather information and technologies;

(2) expand road weather research and development efforts to enhance roadway safety, capacity, and efficiency while minimizing environmental impacts; and

(3) promote technology transfer of effective road weather scientific and technological advances.

(b) Stakeholder Input.—In carrying out this section, the Secretary shall consult with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Science Foundation, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, nonprofit organizations, and the private sector.

(c) Contents.—The program established under this section shall solely carry out research and development called for in the National Research Council’s report entitled “A Research Agenda for Improving Road Weather Services”. Such research and development includes—

(1) integrating existing observational networks and data management systems for road weather applications;

(2) improving weather modeling capabilities and forecast tools, such as the road surface and atmospheric interface;

(3) enhancing mechanisms for communicating road weather information to users, such as transportation officials and the public; and

(4) integrating road weather technologies into an information infrastructure.

(d) Activities.—In carrying out this section, the Secretary shall—

(1) enable efficient technology transfer;

(2) improve education and training of road weather information users, such as State and local transportation officials and private sector transportation contractors; and

(3) coordinate with transportation weather research programs in other modes, such as aviation.

(e) Funding.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—In awarding funds under this section, the Secretary shall give preference to applications with significant matching funds from non-Federal sources.

(2) FUNDS FOR ROAD WEATHER RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT.—Of the amounts made available by section 5101(a)(5) of this Act, $5,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2006 through 2009 shall be available to carry out this section.

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Subtitle F—Bureau of Transportation Statistics

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“(d) Information Needs Assessment.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 60 days after the date of enactment of the SAFETEA-LU, the Secretary shall enter into an agreement with the National Research Council to develop and publish a National transportation information needs assessment (referred to in this subsection as the ‘assessment’). The assessment shall be submitted to the Secretary and the appropriate committees of Congress not later than 24 months after such agreement is entered into.

“(2) CONTENT.—The assessment shall—

“(A) identify, in order of priority, the transportation data that is not being collected by the Bureau, operating administrations of the Department, or other Federal, State, or local entities, but is needed to improve transportation decisionmaking at the Federal, State, and local levels and to fulfill the requirements of subsection (c)(5);

“(B) recommend whether the data identified in subparagraph (A) should be collected by the Bureau, other parts of the Department, or by other Federal, State, or local entities, and whether any data is of a higher priority than data currently being collected;

“(C) identify any data the Bureau or other Federal, State, or local entity is collecting that is not needed;

“(D) describe new data collection methods (including changes in surveys) and other changes the Bureau or other Federal, State, or local entity should implement to improve the standardization, accuracy, and utility of transportation data and statistics; and

“(E) estimate the cost of implementing any recommendations.

“(3) CONSULTATION.—In developing the assessment, the National Research Council shall consult with the Department’s Advisory Council on Transportation Statistics and a representative cross-section of transportation community stakeholders as well as other Federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“(4) REPORT TO CONGRESS.—Not later than 180 days after the date on which the National Research Council submits the assessment under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall submit a report to Congress that describes—

“(A) how the Department plans to fill the data gaps identified under paragraph (2)(A);

“(B) how the Department plans to stop collecting data identified under paragraph (2)(C);

“(C) how the Department plans to implement improved data collection methods and other changes identified under paragraph (2)(D);

“(D) the expected costs of implementing subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C) of this paragraph;

“(E) any findings of the assessment under paragraph (1) with which the Secretary disagrees, and why; and

“(F) any proposed statutory changes needed to implement the findings of the assessment under paragraph (1).

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SEC. 6009. PARKS, RECREATION AREAS, WILDLIFE AND WATERFOWL REFUGES, AND HISTORIC SITES.

(a) Programs and Projects With De Minimis Impacts.—

(1) TITLE 23.—Section 138 of title 23, United States Code, is amended—

(A) in the first sentence, by striking “it is hereby” and inserting the following: “(a) Declaration of Policy.—It is”; and

(B) by adding at the end the following:

“(b) 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 (a)(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 (a)(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 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (16 U.S.C. 470f), 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) the finding of the Secretary has received concurrence from the officials with jurisdiction over the park, recreation area, or wildlife or waterfowl refuge.”.

(2) TITLE 49.—Section 303 of title 49, United States Code, is amended—

(A) by striking “(c) The Secretary” and inserting the following:

“(c) Approval of Programs and Projects.—Subject to subsection (d), the Secretary”; and

(B) by adding at the end the following:

“(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 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (16 U.S.C. 470f), 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) the finding of the Secretary has received concurrence from the officials with jurisdiction over the park, recreation area, or wildlife or waterfowl refuge.”.

(b) Clarification of Existing Standards.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall (in consultation with affected agencies and interested parties) promulgate regulations that clarify the factors to be considered and the standards to be applied in determining the prudence and feasibility of alternatives under section 138 of title 23 and section 303 of title 49, United States Code.

(2) REQUIREMENTS.—The regulations—

(A) shall clarify the application of the legal standards to a variety of different types of transportation programs and projects depending on the circumstances of each case; and

(B) may include, as appropriate, examples to facilitate clear and consistent interpretation by agency decisionmakers.

(c) Implementation Study.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary shall—

(A) conduct a study on the implementation of this section and the amendments made by this section; and

(B) commission an independent review of the study plan and methodology, and any associated conclusions, by the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences.

(2) COMPONENTS.—In conducting the study, the Secretary shall evaluate—

(A) the processes developed under this section and the amendments made by this section and the efficiencies that may result;

(B) the post-construction effectiveness of impact mitigation and avoidance commitments adopted as part of projects conducted under this section and the amendments made by this section; and

(C) the quantity of projects with impacts that are considered de minimis under this section and the amendments made by this section, including information on the location, size, and cost of the projects.

(3) REPORT REQUIREMENT.—The Secretary shall prepare—

(A) not earlier than the date that is 3 years after the date of enactment of this Act, a report on the results of the study conducted under this subsection; and

(B) not later than March 1, 2010, an update on the report required under subparagraph (A).

(4) REPORT RECIPIENTS.—The Secretary shall—

(A) submit the report, review of the report, and update required under paragraph (3) to—

(i) the appropriate committees of Congress;

(ii) the Secretary of the Interior; and

(iii) the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; and

(B) make the report and update available to the public.

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SEC. 7131. HAZARDOUS MATERIALS RESEARCH PROJECTS.

(a) In General.—The Administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration shall enter into a contract with the National Academy of Sciences to carry out the 9 research projects called for in the 2005 Special Report 283 of the Transportation Research Board entitled “Cooperative Research for Hazardous Materials Transportation: Defining the Need, Converging on Solutions”. In carrying out the research projects, the National Academy of Sciences shall consult with the Administrator.

(b) Report.—Not later than 6 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall transmit to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a report on the need to establish a cooperative research program on hazardous materials transportation.

(c) Funding.—Of the amounts made available by section 5101(a)(1) of this Act, $1,250,000 for each of fiscal years 2006 through 2009 shall be available to carry out this section.

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SEC. 9007. STUDY OF RAIL TRANSPORTATION AND REGULATION.

(a) Requirement.—Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Transportation shall enter into an arrangement with the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a comprehensive study of the Nation’s railroad transportation system since the enactment of the Staggers Rail Act of 1980. The study shall address and make recommendations on—

(1) the performance of the Nation’s major railroads regarding service levels, service quality, and rates;

(2) the projected demand for freight transportation over the next two decades and the constraints limiting the railroads’ ability to meet that demand;

(3) the effectiveness of public policy in balancing the need for railroads to earn adequate returns with those of shippers for reasonable rates and adequate service; and

(4) the future role of the Surface Transportation Board in regulating railroad rates, service levels, and the railroads’ common carrier obligations, particularly as railroads may become revenue adequate.

(b) Report to Congress.—Not later than 1 year after the Secretary and the Transportation Research Board enter into the arrangement for the study, the Secretary shall transmit the results of the study conducted under subsection (a) to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate.

(c) Authorization of Appropriations.—There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Transportation $1,000,000 for fiscal year 2006 and $800,000 for fiscal year 2007 to carry out this section. Such sums are to remain available until expended.

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SEC. 1808. ADDITION TO CMAQ-ELIGIBLE PROJECTS

House Bill

Sec. 1210.

This section clarifies that transportation system management and operations are an eligible activity under this program.

Sec. 1833.

This section specifies that advanced truck stop electrification system is an eligible activity under CMAQ.

Senate Bill

Sec. 1612.

Subsection (a) of section 1612 makes the following projects and programs eligible activities under the CMAQ program: the purchase of alternative fuel (as defined in the Energy Policy Act of 1992) and biodiesel fuel; the purchase of integrated, interoperable emergency communications equipment; diesel retrofit technologies for on-road vehicles and non-road vehicles and engines used in construction projects located in ozone or particulate matter nonattainment or maintenance areas and funded in whole or in part under Title 23; and outreach activities to provide information and technical assistance to the owners and operators of diesel equipment and vehicles.

Subsection (b) of this section ensures that States that receive the minimum apportionment can use CMAQ money to fund projects for the purpose of congestion mitgation or improving air quality, instead of only being able to use CMAQ dollars for projects that can be funded under the surface transportation program.

Subsection (c) of this section provides for reducing air emissions from the construction equipment used in projects funded under Title 23 by requiring emission reduction strategies. The subsection includes requirements and limitations to be applied in these strategies, but does not affect a State’s current authority under the Clean Air Act. EPA is directed to publish guidance to support the development of the strategies. Finally, the subsection establishes a funding priority for diesel retrofits and other cost-effective emission reduction activities identified in the strategies developed under the section.

Subsection (d) authorizes the State of Maine to use CMAQ funds for the operation of passenger rail service between Boston, Massachusetts, and Portland, Maine.

Subsection (e) authorizes the State of Montana to use CMAQ funds for the operation of public transit activities that serve a nonattainment or maintenance area.

Currently, CMAQ funds can be used for a wide array of purposes designed to improve air quality, including improvements to transit systems, capital improvements to ITS projects, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, traffic flow improvements, alternative fuel infrastructure, inspection and maintenance programs, and shared ride services. The Clean Air Act (CAA) and EPA encourage the use of alternative fuels to assist areas in reducing criteria pollutants. CMAQ provisions in TEA-21/ISTEA include a specific subsection authorizing the use of CMAQ funds on alternative fuel infrastructure. Section 1612 further facilitates the use of alternative fuels by also allowing purchase of alternative fuels with CMAQ funds. The purchase of integrated, interoperable emergency communications equipment with CMAQ funds is also authorized under this subsection.

Subsection (b) of this section remedies an oversight that exists in the current law by providing States that receive the minimum amount of CMAQ funding the ability to use the money for air quality and congestion mitigation projects, if they so choose. States that receive the minimum apportionment either do not have nonattainment and maintenance areas, or have a nonattainment or maintenance area with a small enough population that they would only receive the guaranteed minimum of 1 percent based on the population apportionment formula. This section of the bill allows these States to fund CMAQ-type projects with their CMAQ funds. It allows these areas to fund projects that would otherwise be eligible under section 149(b), regardless of the fact that section 149(b) specifically states that the eligible projects may only be funded in nonattainment or maintenance areas. This change is in keeping with the overall purpose of the CMAQ program.

Just as the bill adjusts the CMAQ apportionment formula to reflect the importance of reducing fine particulate matter (PM2.5), section 1612(c) adjusts the list of eligible activities to include cost-effective means of reducing PM2.5. Specifically, this subsection addresses emissions from construction equipment (both on-road and non-road) used in Federally-funded highway projects. Reducing emissions from long-term construction activities in the middle of a non-attainment area will provide great improvements to the immediate non-attainment area. For example, in 2000, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection estimated that in five years the diesel retrofit program instituted at the Central Artery Tunnel Project in Boston would reduce construction emissions, including PM2.5, by an amount equivalent to eliminating 96 million truck miles or removing 1,300 diesel-powered public buses for a year.

These activities are also very cost-effective, particularly as compared to the cost-effectiveness of other CMAQ-eligible projects. For example, early estimates by the Environmental Protection Agency are that retrofitting a diesel engine bulldozer costs $15,000-20,000 per ton of fine particulate matter reduced. In contrast, the Transportation Research Board reported in its 2002 assessment of the CMAQ program that traditional CMAQ activities cost significantly more per ton of pollution reduced (bicycle and pedestrian facilities at $84,100 per ton; telework programs at $251,800 per ton; and park-and-ride lots at $43,000).

The Senate is also aware that some confusion remains in DOT and EPA field and regional offices regarding whether projects to control the extended idling of vehicles, such as advanced truck stop electrification projects, are eligible for CMAQ funding. Such confusion has led to delays in project approvals. Advanced truck stop electrification projects dramatically reduce emissions, and therefore improve air quality, by allowing long-haul drivers to turn off their engines during extended stops (e.g., during USDOT-mandated rest periods); mitigate congestion by providing drivers timely information regarding road congestion and alternative routes; enhance energy independence by reducing diesel fuel consumption; enhance highway safety by providing drivers a quieter, more restful sleep environment; and reduce noise impacts to nearby neighborhoods. Furthermore, advanced truck stop electrification projects can qualify for CMAQ funding, whether they are implemented through public-private partnerships; involve private ownership of land, project facilities or other physical assets, emission reduction credits and offsets; or are located on public or private land or rights-of-way. Such programs are clearly authorized under section 108(f)(1)(A)(xi) of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7408(f)(1)(A)(xi) and associated Federal guidance (65 Fed. Reg. 9040 (Feb. 23, 2000)). Therefore, the committee directs the Secretary of Transportation and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to issue guidance to all appropriate Federal, State and local agencies that interpret and implement CMAQ and/or Clean Air Act programs informing such agencies as to the foregoing.

Section 1613 requires the Secretary to encourage States and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) to consult with State and local air quality agencies in nonattainment and maintenance areas on the estimated emissions reductions from proposed congestion mitigation and air quality improvement programs and projects.

The purpose of the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement program is to help States meet their air quality goals of attaining or maintaining the air quality standards. This section has been added to acknowledge that State and local air quality agencies have valuable input with regard to which projects can best serve this purpose in their particular areas, and their participation in selecting projects, while not mandated, is to be encouraged. States, MPOs, and transit agencies, in consultation with State and local air quality agencies, are encouraged to work cooperatively in developing criteria for project selection and in making decisions over which projects and programs to fund under the CMAQ program.

Section 1614 requires DOT to evaluate and assess a representative sample of CMAQ projects in consultation with EPA, maintain and disseminate a database of CMAQ projects, and consider the recommendations and findings of the NAS CMAQ report in consultation with EPA.

Evaluation and information sharing are important aspects of the CMAQ program, and should be used to direct CMAQ funding toward the most cost-effective projects and programs. CMAQ funding can be used to innovative projects that contribute to improved air quality. If a particular type of project is successful in achieving emissions reductions, the goals of the program are furthered if that information is shared widely with other nonattainment and maintenance areas. DOT, in consultation with EPA, must consider the NAS report recommendations and finding to improve the operation and evaluation of the program. The committee’s interest is to ensure that the information from previous effort and expense is used wisely.

Conference Substitute

The Conference adopts Senate provisions with additions and modifications. First, the Conference includes authorization to use CMAQ funds in areas that are required to prepare and file with the Administrator maintenance plans under the Clean Air Act. This provision is intended to benefit those areas that were designated nonattainment under the 1-hour ozone standard, which was revoked in June 2005, but are designated attainment for the new 8-hour ozone standard. These areas still must file maintenance plans for a period of time and while that is a requirement, the areas will be eligible to receive CMAQ funds.

The adopted language amends the eligibility requirements to limit eligibility of transportation control measures and projects under section 108(f)(1)(A) of the Clean Air Act to those that are likely to contribute to a high level of effectiveness in reducing air pollution, where sufficient information is available in the database established by this section to make a determination of their relative effectiveness. The language also clarifies that only transportation systems management and operations that mitigate congestion and improve air quality are eligible activities.

The requirement for States to develop emission reduction strategies, with the accompanying considerations, limitations and EPA guidance to support the strategies, is not adopted. EPA is still directed to publish guidance regarding diesel retrofit technologies and supporting technical information.

The Senate language establishing a CMAQ funding priority is amended to include cost-effective congestion mitigation activities, in addition to diesel retrofits and other cost-effective emission reduction activities. The substitute clarifies that the priority need only apply to funds a State receives based on its population in nonattainment or maintenance areas. A State receiving the minimum apportionment under the program need not consider the priority when determining how to distribute that portion of CMAQ funds apportioned to the State to raise the State’s funding to the minimum apportionment level. The priority is further clarified to ensure that governmental agencies retain existing authorities and roles in making final project selections. These clarifications to the original Senate priority language are intended to retain needed flexibility in utilizing CMAQ funds while providing States with direction to focus on cost-effectiveness as an important consideration in distributing program funds.

The Conference retains Senate language encouraging interagency consultation on the estimated emission reductions from proposed CMAQ projects and requiring the Secretary, in consultation with the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, to evaluate and assess a representative sample of CMAQ projects for their effectiveness.

The Conference adopts several CMAQ eligibility provisions for certain States authorizing: use in Montana of CMAQ funds for the operation of public transit activities that serve a nonattainment or maintenance area; use in Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio of CMAQ funds for the purchase of alternative fuel (as defined in section 301 of the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (42 U.S.C. 13211)) or biodiesel; use in Michigan of CMAQ funds for the operation and maintenance of intelligent transportation system strategies that serve a nonattainment or maintenance area; use in Maine of CMAQ funds to support operation of passenger rail service between Boston, Massachusetts, and Portland, Maine; and use in Oregon of CMAQ funds to support operation of passenger rail service between Portland, Oregon and Eugene, Oregon.

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SEC. 1909. FUTURE OF SURFACE TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM

House Bill

Sec. 1123.

This section establishes two commissions, one to study future revenue sources to support the Highway Trust Fund and another to study the future of the Interstate Highway System. Both commissions are established using the same criteria for the selection of the members. This section also amends section 101 of title 23 to include a declaration of policy regarding the study of the Interstate Highway System.

The Commission on Future Revenue Sources to Support the Highway Trust Fund will study alternative short-term sources of revenue for the Highway Trust Fund, as well as evaluating alternative long-term sources of revenue to support the Highway Trust Fund. When studying the long-term sources, the Commission is directed to consider the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of a recent study completed by the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences on alternatives to the user fee to support highway financing.

The Commission is directed to develop ways to generate revenues to accomplish the requirements of section 1125; oversee a comprehensive investigation of alternatives to replace the user fee as the principal source of revenue for the Highway Trust Fund; consult with the Secretaries of Transportation and Treasury to ensure that their views concerning essential revenue alternatives are understood; consider State transportation agencies views on alternative revenue sources for the Highway Trust Fund; and make specific recommendations regarding their findings and necessary actions to Congress.

When considering alternative sources of revenue, the Commission shall address the advantages or disadvantages of alternative revenue sources and identify the most promising revenue sources to support long-term financing requirements. The Commission shall also establish a time frame for which the necessary actions must be taken and a broad transition strategy to move from the current user fee base to new funding mechanisms, including the time frame for the transition strategy.

Not later than September 30, 2005, the Commission shall transmit to Congress a report on revenues to support actions necessary to meet the requirements of section 1125. The Commission has until September 30, 2006 to transmit to Congress a report on the alternative long-term sources of revenue for the Highway Trust Fund.

The Commission on the Future of the Interstate Highway System will study the current condition and future of the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways (the “Interstate System”). The study will include a conceptual plan with alternative approaches for the future of the Interstate System and will assure that the Interstate System will continue to serve its National needs.

The Commission is directed to consider the views of State transportation agencies and make specific recommendations regarding design standards, Federal policies, and legislative changes that must be made to assure that national interests in meeting future needs are addressed.

When conducting the study, the Commission is specifically directed to address all issues that could impact the Interstate system including, demographics; usage; natural disasters; design standards; system-wide needs; potential expansion, upgrades, or other changes; community values; environmental issues; and system performance.

The Commission has until September 30, 2006 to transmit to Congress a report on the results of the study.

Senate Bill

Sec. 1202.

Actions under this section shall address the future transportation needs in the interest of preserving and enhancing the surface transportation system to meet the needs of the United States for the 21st Century.

Section 101 of title 23 is amended by changing the declaration of policy to include additional language to support the transportation needs of the 21st century. The Secretary shall conduct a complete investigation and study of the current conditions and the future needs of the surface transportation system. This section describes the specific issues to be addressed and what shall be reported to the Committee on Environment and Public Works of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives.

Conference Substitute

The Conference adopts language from both the House and Senate provisions. This section establishes a 12 member commission comprised of individuals with knowledge and experience in the area of surface transportation policy and revenue who will make recommendations to Congress about the future transportation policy considerations that will need to be considered in future legislation. The Commission will conduct a comprehensive, thorough study of current and future needs of the surface transportation system, short and long term revenue sources and alternatives, other forms of revenue that might be needed, and the impact changing dynamics will have upon the Highway Trust Fund and other revenue sources. A plan to address these needs will be presented in coordination with the Secretary and other government entities across the United States.

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SEC. 5207. SURFACE TRANSPORTATION ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM

House Bill

Sec. 5203.

This section establishes a new research program to study the interaction between transportation and the environment. The program will be managed and administered by the National Academy of Sciences. An Advisory Committee, appointed by the Secretary, and with a balanced membership representing transportation and environmental perspectives, will recommend the national research agenda for this program.

Senate Bill

Sec. 2101. Subsection 507.

The Surface Transportation-Environment Cooperative Research Program under title 23 is modified to include a provision for the Secretary to administer the program and sharpen the focus of the research through stakeholder input via workshops, symposia, and expert panel.

Conference Substitute

The Conference adopts the Senate provision. The Conference notes the need to understand the complex relationship between surface transportation and the environment.

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SEC. 5209. NATIONAL COOPERATIVE FREIGHT TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH PROGRAM

House Bill

Sec. 5208.

The National Academy of Sciences will manage and administer a freight transportation research program. The program’s purpose is to discover improved ways to provide surface transportation mobility for freight movement. An Advisory Committee will be appointed by the Academy and will include a representative cross-section of freight stakeholders. The Advisory Committee is directed to recommend a national research agenda for this program.

Senate Bill

No comparable provision in Senate bill.

Conference Substitute

The Conference adopts the House provision.

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SEC. 5210. FUTURE STRATEGIC HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM

House Bill

Sec. 5209.

This section establishes the Future Strategic Highway Research Program (F-SHRP), which is to be carried out by the National Academy of Sciences. F-SHRP is modeled on the Strategic Highway Research Program that was established by Congress in 1987. TEA 21 directed a study be conducted to determine the research agenda for a new strategic highway research program. F-SHRP will carry out the recommendations made by the study and will focus on four specific research areas—renewal of aging highway infrastructure, human factors related to highway safety, reducing highway congestion, and planning and designing new highway capacity. Projects and researchers will be selected to conduct research for the program on the basis of merit and open solicitation of proposals.

Sec. 5214.

This section makes claims against the National Academy of Sciences, for activities conducted under 510 U.S.C. 23, subject to the same limitations and exceptions applicable to claims against the United States.

Senate Bill

Sec. 2101. Subsection 509.

This subsection establishes a new strategic highway program based on the Future Strategic Highway Research Program (F-SHRP) recommended in TRB Special Report 260: Strategic Highway Research: Saving Lives, Reducing Congestion, Improving Quality of Lives. Under this program, the National Research Council shall establish and carry out the strategic highway program. The program shall consider, at a minimum, the results of studies relating to the implementation of the Strategic Highway Safety Plan prepared by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). In administering the program, the National Research Council shall acquire a qualified, permanent core staff, and ensure that identified stakeholders are involved in the program.

Before October 1, 2007, the Secretary is required to enter into a contract with the TRB for completing a report on implementing results of the new strategic highway program. The Secretary shall submit the report to the Committee on Environment and Public Works of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives.

Conference Substitute

The Conference adopts the House provision.

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SUBTITLE F—BUREAU OF TRANSPORTATION STATISTICS

SEC. 5601. BUREAU OF TRANSPORTATION STATISTICS

House Bill

Sec. 5501.

This section provides for the appointment of the Director of the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) and defines the Director’s responsibilities. The National Transportation Library is retained as part of BTS’s activities. Several provisions are included on the collection of freight data, including a requirement for mandatory response by corporations to BTS requests for data. Safeguards are provided to prevent disclosure of freight data that can be identified with any corporation or individual. An Advisory Council on Transportation Statistics is established.

Sec. 5502.

This section describes uses and limits of reports produced by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

Senate Bill

Sec. 2102.

This section provides for activities of the Bureau of Transportation Statistics relating to transportation data collection and statistical analysis. The section requires that not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall provide a grant to, or enter into a cooperative agreement or contract with the Transportation Research Board to conduct a study of data collection and statistical analysis efforts. The Board shall submit to the Secretary, the Committee on Environment and Public Works of the Senate, and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives a final report on the results of the study. The Bureau shall, to the maximum extent practicable, implement recommendations included in the study. The Comptroller General of the United States shall also conduct a review of the study. Each year, beginning in 2004, the Bureau shall prepare and submit to the Secretary an annual report on progress made in response to the study recommendations.

Conference Substitute

The Conference adopts the House provision.

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SECTION 6009. PARKS, RECREATION AREAS, WILDLIFE AND WATERFOWL REFUGES, AND HISTORIC SITES

House Bill

Sec. 6003.

This section amends section 303 of title 49 and section 138 of title 23 to provide that requirements under such section(s) are deemed to be satisfied if an agreement under section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act concludes that a transportation program or project will not have an adverse effect on an historic site, unless the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation determines that using the section 106 consultation procedure to satisfy the requirements of such sections is inconsistent with the objectives of such Act. This section applies only to historic sites. In any case in which an historic site subject to section 106 includes, or is a part of a park, recreation area, or wildlife and waterfowl refuge protected under the sections cited above, this provision shall not apply to such parks, recreation areas or refuges.

Senate Bill

Sec. 1514.

Section 1514, subsection (a) amends section 138 of title 23 and section 303 of title 49, United States Code, to allow transportation programs and projects to move forward as long as the impacts are no more than de minimis impacts on protected parks, recreation areas, wildlife or waterfowl refuges and historic sites.

Subsection (b) directs the Secretary to promulgate within one year of enactment regulations to clarify the factors to be considered and the standards to be applied in determining the prudence and feasibility of alternatives under section 138 of title 23 and section 303 of title 49, United States Code.

Subsection (c) requires the Secretary and the Transportation Board of the National Academy of Sciences jointly to conduct a study on the implementation of the amended sections.

The Department of Transportation Act of 1966 prohibited the approval of any transportation program or project that requires the use of public parks, recreation areas, wildlife or waterfowl refuges or public or private historic sites unless there are no prudent and feasible alternatives and the program or project includes all possible planning to minimize harm to these protected resources (this provision is commonly referred to as ‘section 4(f)’).

Subsection 1514(a) provides that section 4(f) requirements are satisfied if the program or project will have only a de minimis impact on the area. For historic sites, a finding of de minimis impact may only occur if: (1) through the consultative process under section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (16 U.S.C. 470(f)), the Secretary determines that the program or project will have no adverse impact on the historic site or that there will be no historic properties affected; (2) the applicable State or tribal historic preservation officer provides written concurrence with the Secretary’s determination; and (3) the finding is developed in consultation with consulting parties under the section 106 process.

For parks, recreation areas, and wildlife and waterfowl refuges, a finding of de minimis impact may only occur if: (1) through review required under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), the Secretary determines that the 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 section 4(f); and (2) the official(s) with jurisdiction over the protected resource concurs with the Secretary’s finding. The purpose of the language is to clarify that the portions of the resource important to protect, such as playground equipment at a public park, should be distinguished from areas such as parking facilities. While a minor but adverse effect on the use of playground equipment should not be considered a de minimis impact under section 4(f), encroachment on the parking lot may be deemed de minimis, as long as the public’s ability to access and use the site is not reduced.

This subsection also provides that for all section 4(f)-protected resources, the Secretary shall consider any avoidance, minimization, mitigation or enhancement measures required to be implemented as a condition for approval of the program or project when determining if the project will have a de minimis impact. This language builds in an incentive for project sponsors to incorporate environmentally protective measures into a project from the beginning. The traditional section 4(f) requirements will apply to all projects with impacts that exceed the de minimis threshold even when mitigation measures are taken into account.

In its decision in Citizens to Preserve Overton Park v. Volpe, 401 U.S. 402 (1971), the Supreme Court ruled that determinations on no feasible and prudent alternatives must find that there are unique problems or unusual factors involved in the use of alternatives or that the cost, environmental impacts, or community disruption resulting from such alternatives reach extraordinary magnitudes.

In order to address inconsistent guidance and regional interpretations of the Overton Park decision, subsection 1514(b) directs the Secretary to issue regulations to clarify the factors to be considered and the standards to be applied in determining whether alternatives are ‘prudent and feasible’ under section 138 of title 23 and section 303 of title 49, United States Code. The fundamental legal standard contained in the Overton Park decision for evaluating the prudence and feasibility of avoidance alternatives will remain as the legal authority for these regulations, however, the Secretary will be able to provide more detailed guidance on applying these standards on a case-by-case basis.

Subsection 1514(c) requires a study of the implementation of section 4(f) as amended. The study shall include evaluation of items such as any efficiencies resulting from the amendments of this section; the post-construction effectiveness of impact mitigation and avoidance commitments adopted; and the quantity of projects with de minimis impacts and information on the location, size and costs of the projects.

Conference Substitute

The Conference adopts the Senate provision with two modifications. First the language is modified so that a de minimus determination with respect to a park, recreation area or wildlife or waterfowl refuge satisfies the current law requirement that there is no prudent and feasible alternative, but the requirement to do all possible planning to minimize harm to the area is retained. Compliance with that requirement, however, shall not include an analysis of alternatives. The second modification requires an opportunity for public notice and comment prior to a de minimis determination for parks, recreation areas and wildlife and waterfowl refuges.

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SECTION 6011. TRANSPORTATION CONFORMITY

House Bill

Sec. 1824.

Section 1824 of H.R. 3 contains changes to the conformity provisions in section 176(c) of the Clean Air Act. The changes, which are discussed more fully below, address the following subjects: (1) frequency of conformity determinations; (2) changes to time horizons; (3) substitution of transportation control measures; and (4) conformity lapses.

Frequency: Subsections (a) and (b) of Section 1824 change the frequency of conformity determinations for both the Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) and the long range Regional Transportation Plan (RTP). Under these subsections, a conformity determination would now be required for both the TIP and the RTP only once every four years (Sec. 1824(b)). In the event that a new motor vehicle emissions budget is found to be adequate (as submitted during a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision process), or is finally approved as part of a revised or new SIP, a conformity determination would be required within two years of such a finding or approval (Section 1824(a)). In addition, subsection (b) allows an area to update its conformity determination more frequently, if it so desires.

Conformity Horizon: Subsection (c) of section 1824 addresses the conformity time horizon for RTPs. The time horizon is the period for which conformity must be demonstrated. Under current law this time horizon period is 20 years (or longer if the general RTP planning horizon is longer). Under this proposed subsection, an area may elect to reduce its time horizon for its RTP from 20 years to 10 years, but may do so only with the agreement of the MPO and the relevant Air Pollution Control Agency (APCA), as defined in section 302(b) of the Clean Air Act. In the event, however, that the attainment date in the SIP is more than 10 years away, or the date of completion of a regionally significant project is more than 10 years away, then the horizon date must be the later of those two dates. In cases where the SIP is revised to include adequate or approved motor vehicle emissions budget, and the SIP has an attainment date earlier than 10 years, the horizon may be revised to reflect that earlier date, but again, only with the agreement of the MPO and APCA.

In any event, under subsection (b) a regional emissions analysis is required for any years of the transportation plan that extend beyond the conformity time horizon. Thus if the RTP general horizon is 20 years (as is common) and the conformity horizon is reduced to 10 years, a regional emissions analysis is nevertheless required for the 10-to-20 year period. Generating this information will be helpful in ensuring that conformity is maintained.

TCMs: Subsection (d) of section 1824 allows substitution of “Transportation Control Measures” (TCMs) in a SIP, without going through a full SIP approval process or a new conformity determination, so long as the substituted TCM achieves an equivalent or greater emissions reduction than the TCM it replaces. EPA would determine whether a TCM meets that test. In addition, appropriate methodology would need to be used to determine emissions impact, reasonable public notice would be required, and adequate funding would be required. Finally, there is no requirement that a state change its SIP for TCM substitution, as indicated in the legislative language of the bill with the use of “may” rather than “shall.”

Conformity Lapse Grace Period: Subsection (e) of section 1824 adds a new one-year grace period of 12 months before a conformity lapse shall be considered to exist and the consequences of a conformity lapse shall apply. A lapse is defined as in current regulations. Under this provision, when a nonattainment or maintenance area fails to make a conformity determination by an applicable deadline, it will have 12 months to make such determination. During the 12-month grace period, only transportation projects in the most recent conforming plan and TIP could be funded or approved until the required determinations are made pursuant to Section 176(c) of the Clean Air Act.

Senate Bill

Sec. 1615.

This section changes how often updates must be made to metropolitan transportation plans and metropolitan transportation improvement programs (TIPs) in nonattainment and maintenance areas, and statewide TIPs. Currently, these documents expire every 3 years, 2 years, and 3 years, respectively. With this bill, all three of these planning documents must be updated every 4 years unless a metropolitan planning organization elects to update its transportation improvement plan more frequently. This section also changes the minimum frequency with which transportation conformity must be demonstrated to every 4 years. Other changes to transportation conformity include a change in the horizon of the conformity determination, and a change in the projects to which conformity applies. In addition, this section adds a requirement for EPA’s conformity regulations.

Frequency. Section 1615 amends 23 U.S.C. 134 to require that metropolitan transportation plans and metropolitan transportation improvement programs (TIPs) be updated every 4 years in nonattainment and maintenance areas, unless a metropolitan planning organization elects to update its transportation improvement plan more frequently. Currently, plans must be updated every 3 years, but TIPs must be updated every 2 years. Attainment areas will continue to update transportation plans every five years. Section 135 is also amended to require that statewide TIPs be updated at least every 4 years, to be consistent with metropolitan plans and TIPs. The section also amends section 176 of title 42, the conformity section of the Clean Air Act, to require that conformity for transportation plans and TIPs be determined every 4 years, unless an MPO elects to update their plan or TIP more frequently, or conformity is triggered by an EPA action on a SIP submission. In the case where conformity is triggered by an EPA SIP action, this section provides metropolitan areas with 2 years to determine conformity (currently, areas have 18 months).

The committee recognizes that there may be value to transportation planners in placing the frequency of metropolitan transportation plan and TIP updates and the frequency of conformity determinations on the same timetable, and also recognizes the benefit of giving metropolitan areas more time to devote to planning. The current transportation law requires TIPs to be updated at least every 2 years, and current planning regulations require plans to be updated every 3 years. Because conformity must be determined before new TIPs or new plans are adopted, many metropolitan areas were starting another TIP update as soon as transportation planning and conformity requirements were met for the previous one. Some witnesses testifying before the committee has indicated that transportation planning will improve if metropolitan areas have more time to devote to it, rather than continuously creating TIP updates and determining their conformity. Because conformity must still be determined before an updated plan or TIP is adopted, air quality should not be affected by this change; air quality impacts will still be checked before any major changes to the transportation network are made.

Horizon. The section also changes the horizon of the conformity determination, that is, how far into the future each conformity determination must examine. Currently, a conformity determination is made analyzing a 20 year period of time, which is the length of time covered by a transportation plan. This section changes the horizon of a conformity determination to be the longest of 10 years, the latest year a State air quality plan (State implementation plan, or SIP) establishes a budget, or the year after a regionally significant project is completed if the project requires approval before the next conformity determination.

Conformity must marry two separate planning activities: transportation planning, and air quality planning. While transportation plans cover a period of 20 years, SIPs, which are used as the measure of conformity, generally cover a period of 10 years or fewer. The committee is changing the horizon of the conformity determination so that it more closely matches the length of time covered by a SIP. In addition, the language also ensures that the emissions impacts of large projects on travel are considered before Federal approvals are made. The change made to the horizon does not preclude State or local agencies from examining longer time periods for informational or local air quality purposes, if they choose to do so.

Projects. The section defines transportation project to include only a project that is regionally significant, or a project that makes a significant revision to an existing project. The definition of regionally significant project closely tracks the existing EPA definition in regulation. Likewise, the definition of significant revision tracks the existing EPA criteria for significant change in design concept or scope. With the addition of this definition for transportation project, conformity determinations are required for regionally significant projects or projects that make a significant revision to an existing project, rather than for every Federal project. However, this change does not affect the requirement that the emissions impacts from all projects in the transportation plan and TIP must be considered when determining conformity of a plan or TIP. VMT from projects that are not regionally significant must still be considered in a plan or TIP conformity determination.

Requirement for Regulation. This section adds a new requirement that EPA’s regulations must address the effects of the most recent population, economic, employment, travel, transit ridership, congestion, and induced travel demand information in the development and application of the latest travel models. That is, this section requires that EPA adjust regulations to ensure that travel models can account for the effects of these elements. Currently, travel models can account for the effects of most of the elements on this list, because the Clean Air Act has required that conformity be based on the most recent estimates of emissions since 1990, and EPA’s conformity regulations specify how latest information regarding population, employment, travel, congestion, and transit service must be incorporated into a conformity determination.

The new elements on this list are induced travel demand and transit ridership information. The committee recognizes that induced demand is a concept that is relatively recent and has been the subject of some debate. Before changing regulations in response to this section, EPA should examine the recent literature regarding induced demand, including papers on the topic submitted to the Transportation Research Board within the last 6 years. Recent literature should inform EPA’s proposal on where, when, and how induced demand should be included in travel models. If recent literature does not include recommendations for how to incorporate induced demand into travel modeling, then EPA should request input on this topic from the public and the expert community prior to proposing its regulations.

Sec. 1617.

Section 1617 reduces barriers to regions implementing transportation control measures (TCMs) to improve their regional air quality. The section allows an area to substitute an existing TCM or add a TCM if they can show that the new TCM will achieve equivalent or greater emissions reductions. Substitution or addition of a TCM will not require express permission in the State air quality plan (SIP), a formal revision of the SIP, nor a new conformity determination.

Transportation control measures, or TCMs, are transportation-related measures that have the potential to reduce emissions of criteria pollutants. Many TCMs reduce emissions by reducing VMT, for example, high-occupancy vehicle lanes, transit projects, park and ride lots, ride-share programs, and pedestrian and bicycle facilities. States can include TCMs in their SIPs. However, unless the SIP includes a TCM substitution mechanism, i.e., a set of provisions for substituting TCMs, the SIP must be revised to change a TCM that is delayed or no longer viable. The purpose of this section is to allow all States to substitute TCMs without a full SIP revision, regardless of whether the State has its own substitution mechanism.

TCMs can be substituted if the substitute measure achieves the same or greater emission reductions as the measure being replaced, based on an analysis that uses the latest planning assumptions and the current models. The substitute TCMs must be implemented on the same schedule as the original measure, if that is possible. However, the committee recognizes that it may not be possible for the substitute measure to be on the original schedule; for example, a possible reason that a State would want to substitute a TCM is that it has proved difficult to implement in a timely way. In those cases, the substitute measure must be implemented as soon as practicable, but not later than the date on which the SIP is supposed to achieve its purpose. For example, if the TCM is included in the SIP as part of the attainment demonstration, and the attainment date is 2005, the substitute TCM must be implemented as soon as practicable to reduce emissions by 2005.

Subparagraph (B) of this provision states that after carrying out subparagraph (A), a State shall adopt the substitute or additional control measure in the applicable SIP. In this instance, the committee has used the word ‘adopt’ to mean that the State must record the measure as being part of the SIP. The sole intent of this subparagraph is to ensure that the State keeps an up-to-date list of the TCMs that must be implemented, so that a member of the public can review the list at any point and have the complete, correct list of TCMs that are in the SIP. This subparagraph is not intended to create any additional process requirements than those in subparagraph (A).

Sec. 1616.

Section 1616 provides methods for new nonattainment areas to use in determining transportation conformity to help achieve the national ambient air quality standards. Many areas will soon be designated nonattainment with the revised national ambient air quality standards for ozone (the 8-hour standard) and fine particulate matter (PM-2.5). In the case of areas that have not been in nonattainment before and have not been required to demonstrate transportation conformity or develop an emissions budget to use in that demonstration, or in the event that the agency revokes a prior standard before new nonattainment areas have approved emissions budgets for a revised standards, the committee has provided that those areas would be able to use an emissions budget in a SIP for the prior standard for the same pollutant, if one is available. Areas could also use the other tests that are currently available in cases where an area does not have a SIP.

This section is added because EPA designated areas for the new 8-hour ozone standard in April 2004, and made designations for the fine particulate matter standard (PM-2.5) in December 2004. Newly designated nonattainment areas that have not been previously designated nonattainment for the same pollutant will have a 1-year grace period before conformity applies, but they have 3 years to submit SIPs to EPA. SIPs include motor vehicle emissions budgets, which are the total amount of each pollutant or precursor that is allowable for the transportation sector. These budgets serve as the measure of comparison when determining conformity. Therefore, after areas are designated for an air quality standard, there will be a period of time when other means of determining conformity must be used.

This section will allow areas that have been designated for the new 8-hour ozone standard to use the motor vehicle emissions budget from their 1-hour ozone SIP, if it exists, even once EPA revokes the 1-hour standard. Rather than referring specifically to the 8-hour and 1-hour ozone standards, this section is written broadly to refer to any standards. The committee recognizes that EPA, from time to time, may revise air quality standards. Areas should be able to use the budgets from the SIP that addresses the most recent prior standard of the same pollutant, if one exists and EPA has found its budgets adequate or has approved the SIP.

The committee did not mandate the use of the budgets from a SIP for the most recent prior standard, but instead gave areas the choice to do so, or use the existing tests. There may be instances where the budget from a SIP addressing the prior standard would not provide a good test of conformity. For example, such a budget could be established for a year that is many years in the past, be based on a geographic boundary that is different than the boundary for the current standard, or be based on information that is significantly out-of-date. For these reasons, the committee believes it is important to provide a choice to areas. Areas will use the consultation process to determine whether budgets addressing a prior standard for the same pollutant or another test or tests, will be used for conformity.

Sec. 1619.

Section 1619 updates the language in section 176 of title 42 that directs EPA to write regulations. It removes references to the date of enactment of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. It also removes the requirement for States to duplicate the entire text of Federal conformity regulations in their State implementation plans each time there is a revision in those regulations. Instead, States will be required to further amend their State implementation plans only when revising conformity consultation procedures.

Current law requires that States submit criteria and procedures for assessing conformity of transportation plans, TIPs, and projects. This requirement results in States having to adopt the entire Federal conformity rule into their State implementation plans (SIPs). States that have done so must update their SIP whenever EPA updates any portion of the conformity regulations, which EPA has done several times since promulgating the initial rule in 1993, most recently in 2000, 2002 and 2004. However, only the consultation procedures that exist in the regulations need to be tailored to individual States. This change ensures that States must submit consultation procedures, but no longer have to repeat the entire Federal conformity regulations. This change will reduce the paperwork burden on States with no adverse air quality impact.

Conference Substitute

Frequency: The Conference agrees to a modified version of the Senate provision. The Senate provision is modified to clarify that the two-year clock for re-determining conformity after the approval of new emissions budgets only starts if those emissions budgets had not previously been found adequate.

Horizon: The Conference adopts the Senate provision with modifications. First, the change in horizon will be at the election of the metropolitan planning organization, after consultation with the appropriate air pollution control agency and with a period for public comment. The decision to address a portion of the transportation plan rather than the entire 20-year plan when demonstrating conformity only needs to be made once, not each time a conformity determination is made. After such election, each conformity determination will address the longest of the three periods at that point in time. For example, the first conformity determination following such election may address 10 years of the transportation plan, but the second may need to address 15 years because the new plan includes a regionally significant project in later years of the plan. The Conference also requires a conformity determination to include an informational regional emissions analysis for the last year of the transportation plan and any year shown to exceed emissions budgets by a prior informational regional emissions analysis if such year extends beyond the conformity date.

Projects: The Conference does not adopt the Senate provision.

Conformity Lapse: The Conference adopts the House language.

TCM Substitution: The Conference agrees to a modified version of the Senate provision. The Conference clarifies the meaning of “adoption.” Specifically, adoption occurs when the MPO, state air agency and EPA concur that all four of the general requirements in subparagraph (A) of the provision have been fulfilled. At that point the substitute TCM becomes part of the SIP and federally enforceable. The state air agency is directed to send the substitute measure to EPA within 90 days of adoption so that EPA may proceed with incorporating the substitute measure into the codified SIP. This action does not require any additional state process. The conference also clarifies that evidence of adequate funding for the implementation of the substitute TCM must be provided.

Requirements for Regulations: The Conference does not adopt the Senate provision, but agrees to replace it with a requirement in the Research title requiring the Federal Highways Administration to address induced travel demand and transit ridership in the development of the TRANSIMS transportation model and to assist state and local governments in using TRANSIMS to estimate the impact of these factors when areas make conformity determinations, where applicable.

Transition to New Air Quality Standards: The Conference does not adopt the Senate provision.

Conforming Amendments: The Conference agrees to a modified version of the Senate provision. The Conference clarifies that states are required to incorporate three provisions from the federal conformity rule into their SIPs. The three provisions are related to consultation and enforcement and enforceability of commitments for emission reduction or mitigation measures. These are the only three provisions in the federal conformity rule that states are allowed to tailor when they incorporate conformity requirements into their SIPs.

Regulations: The Conference includes a provision requiring EPA to revise the conformity rule within two years of the enactment of the bill.

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SEC. 7131. HAZARDOUS MATERIALS RESEARCH PROJECTS

House Bill

Sec. 5216.

This section authorizes PHMSA to enter into a contract with the National Academy of Science to carry out the 9 research projects called for in the 2005 Special Report 283 of the Transportation Research Board entitled “Cooperative Research for Hazardous Materials Transportation: Defining the Need, Converging on Solutions”.

Senate Bill

Sec. 7370.

This section creates a HAZMAT research cooperative through the National Academy of Sciences’ Transportation Research Board.

Conference Substitute

The Conference adopts the House provision.

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SEC. 9007. STUDY OF RAIL TRANSPORTATION AND REGULATION

House Bill

No comparable provision in House bill.

Senate Bill

No comparable provision in Senate bill.

Conference Substitute

The Conference requires the Secretary of Transportation, within 180 days of enactment of this Act, to enter into a contract with the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a comprehensive study of the Nation’s railroad transportation system since the enactment of the Staggers Rail Act of 1980. The study shall address and make recommendations on (1) the performance of the Nation’s major railroads regarding service levels, service quality, and rates; (2) the projected demand for freight transportation over the next two decades and the constraints limiting the railroad’s ability to meet that demand; (3) the effectiveness of public policy in balancing the need for railroads to earn adequate returns with those of shippers for reasonable rates and adequate service; and (4) the future role of the Surface Transportation Board in regulating railroad rates, service levels, and the railroads’ common carrier obligations, particularly as railroads may become revenue adequate.

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