The National Academies: Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine
NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES NATIONAL ACADEMY OF ENGINEERING INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
Current Operating Status

The National Academies Testimony before Congress

Public Laws Containing Studies for the National Academies

Briefings to Congress

Congressionally Mandated Reports

Policy Statements and Historical Documents

The OCGA staff

Request a Report (Congressional and Government Staff Only)


Mailing Address:
The Office of Congressional and Government Affairs
The Keck Center of the National Academies
Keck WS1008
500 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
Tel: (202) 334-1601
Fax: (202) 334-2419

Back to Main Page


Title of Law:Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21)
Law #:Public Law 112-141
Passed by Congress:112th Congress (2nd Session)

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

HR4348 Mica (R-Fla.) 06/29/12
Enrolled (finally passed both houses)
To authorize funds for Federal-aid highways, highway safety programs, and transit programs, and for other purposes.
--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---

######

TITLE I—MOTOR VEHICLE AND HIGHWAY SAFETY IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 2012

######

SEC. 31103. HIGHWAY SAFETY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT.

Section 403 of title 23, United States Code, is amended—

(1) by striking subsections (a) through (f) and inserting the following:

“(a) Defined Term.—In this section, the term ‘Federal laboratory’ includes—

“(1) a government-owned, government-operated laboratory; and

“(2) a government-owned, contractor-operated laboratory.

“(b) General Authority.—

“(1) RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES.—The Secretary may conduct research and development activities, including demonstration projects and the collection and analysis of highway and motor vehicle safety data and related information needed to carry out this section, with respect to—

“(A) all aspects of highway and traffic safety systems and conditions relating to—

“(i) vehicle, highway, driver, passenger, motorcyclist, bicyclist, and pedestrian characteristics;
“(ii) accident causation and investigations;
“(iii) communications; and
“(iv) emergency medical services, including the transportation of the injured;

“(B) human behavioral factors and their effect on highway and traffic safety, including—

“(i) driver education;
“(ii) impaired driving; and
“(iii) distracted driving;

“(C) an evaluation of the effectiveness of countermeasures to increase highway and traffic safety, including occupant protection and alcohol- and drug-impaired driving technologies and initiatives;

“(D) the development of technologies to detect drug impaired drivers;

“(E) research on, evaluations of, and identification of 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; and

“(F) the effect of State laws on any aspects, activities, or programs described in subparagraphs (A) through (E).

“(2) COOPERATION, GRANTS, AND CONTRACTS.—The Secretary may carry out this section—

“(A) independently;

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

“(C) by entering into contracts, cooperative agreements, and other transactions with the National Academy of Sciences, any Federal laboratory, State or local agency, authority, association, institution, or person (as defined in chapter 1 of title 1); or

“(D) by making grants to the National Academy of Sciences, any Federal laboratory, State or local agency, authority, association, institution, or person (as defined in chapter 1 of title 1).

“(c) Collaborative Research and Development.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—To encourage innovative solutions to highway safety problems, stimulate voluntary improvements in highway safety, and stimulate the marketing of new highway safety related technology by private industry, the Secretary is authorized to carry out, on a cost-shared basis, collaborative research and development with—

“(A) non-Federal entities, including State and local governments, colleges, universities, corporations, partnerships, sole proprietorships, organizations, and trade associations that are incorporated or established under the laws of any State or the United States; and

“(B) Federal laboratories.

“(2) AGREEMENTS.—In carrying out this subsection, the Secretary may enter into cooperative research and development agreements (as defined in section 12 of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 (15 U.S.C. 3710a)) in which the Secretary provides not more than 50 percent of the cost of any research or development project under this subsection.

“(3) USE OF TECHNOLOGY.—The research, development, or use of any technology pursuant to an agreement under this subsection, including the terms under which technology may be licensed and the resulting royalties may be distributed, shall be subject to the provisions of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 (15 U.S.C. 3701 et seq.).

“(d) Title to Equipment.—In furtherance of the purposes set forth in section 402, the Secretary may vest title to equipment purchased for demonstration projects with funds authorized under this section to State or local agencies on such terms and conditions as the Secretary determines to be appropriate.

“(e) Prohibition on Certain Disclosures.—Any report of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or of any officer, employee, or contractor of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, relating to any highway traffic accident or the investigation of such accident conducted pursuant to this chapter or chapter 301 may only be made available to the public in a manner that does not identify individuals.

######

TITLE II—RESEARCH, TECHNOLOGY, AND EDUCATION

######

SEC. 52003. RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT AND DEPLOYMENT.

######

“(C) IMPLEMENTATION OF FUTURE STRATEGIC HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM FINDINGS AND RESULTS.—

“(i) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary, in consultation with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences, shall promote research results and products developed under the future strategic highway research program administered by the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences.

“(ii) BASIS FOR FINDINGS.—The activities carried out under this subparagraph shall be based on the report submitted to Congress by the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences under section 510(e).

“(iii) PERSONNEL.—The Secretary may use funds made available to carry out this subsection for administrative costs under this subparagraph.

######

SEC. 52009. UNIVERSITY TRANSPORTATION CENTERS PROGRAM.

(a) In General.—Section 5505 of title 49, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

Ҥ 5505. University transportation centers program

“(a) University Transportation Centers Program.—

“(1) ESTABLISHMENT AND OPERATION.—The Secretary shall make grants under this section to eligible nonprofit institutions of higher education to establish and operate university transportation centers.

“(2) ROLE OF CENTERS.—The role of each university transportation center referred to in paragraph (1) shall be—

“(A) to advance transportation expertise and technology in the varied disciplines that comprise the field of transportation through education, research, and technology transfer activities;

“(B) to provide for a critical transportation knowledge base outside of the Department of Transportation; and

“(C) to address critical workforce needs and educate the next generation of transportation leaders.

“(b) Competitive Selection Process.—

“(1) APPLICATIONS.—To receive a grant under this section, a nonprofit institution of higher education shall submit to the Secretary an application that is in such form and contains such information as the Secretary may require.

“(2) RESTRICTION.—A nonprofit institution of higher education or the lead institution of a consortium of nonprofit institutions of higher education, as applicable, that receives a grant for a national transportation center or a regional transportation center in a fiscal year shall not be eligible to receive as a lead institution or member of a consortium an additional grant in that fiscal year for a national transportation center or a regional transportation center.

“(3) COORDINATION.—The Secretary shall solicit grant applications for national transportation centers, regional transportation centers, and Tier 1 university transportation centers with identical advertisement schedules and deadlines.

“(4) GENERAL SELECTION CRITERIA.—

“(A) IN GENERAL.—Except as otherwise provided by this section, the Secretary shall award grants under this section in nonexclusive candidate topic areas established by the Secretary that address the research priorities identified in section 503 of title 23.

“(B) CRITERIA.—The Secretary, in consultation as appropriate with the Administrators of the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration, shall select each recipient of a grant under this section through a competitive process based on the assessment of the Secretary relating to—

“(i) the demonstrated ability of the recipient to address each specific topic area described in the research and strategic plans of the recipient;

“(ii) the demonstrated research, technology transfer, and education resources available to the recipient to carry out this section;

“(iii) the ability of the recipient to provide leadership in solving immediate and long-range national and regional transportation problems;

“(iv) the ability of the recipient to carry out research, education, and technology transfer activities that are multimodal and multidisciplinary in scope;

“(v) the demonstrated commitment of the recipient to carry out transportation workforce development programs through—

“(I) degree-granting programs; and

“(II) outreach activities to attract new entrants into the transportation field;

“(vi) the demonstrated ability of the recipient to disseminate results and spur the implementation of transportation research and education programs through national or statewide continuing education programs;

“(vii) the demonstrated commitment of the recipient to the use of peer review principles and other research best practices in the selection, management, and dissemination of research projects;

“(viii) the strategic plan submitted by the recipient describing the proposed research to be carried out by the recipient and the performance metrics to be used in assessing the performance of the recipient in meeting the stated research, technology transfer, education, and outreach goals; and

“(ix) the ability of the recipient to implement the proposed program in a cost-efficient manner, such as through cost sharing and overall reduced overhead, facilities, and administrative costs.

“(5) TRANSPARENCY.—

“(A) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary shall provide to each applicant, upon request, any materials, including copies of reviews (with any information that would identify a reviewer redacted), used in the evaluation process of the proposal of the applicant.

“(B) REPORTS.—The Secretary shall submit to the Committees on Transportation and Infrastructure and Science, Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Environment and Public Works of the Senate a report describing the overall review process under paragraph (3) that includes—

“(i) specific criteria of evaluation used in the review;

“(ii) descriptions of the review process; and

“(iii) explanations of the selected awards.

“(6) OUTSIDE STAKEHOLDERS.—The Secretary shall, to the maximum extent practicable, consult external stakeholders such as the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences to evaluate and competitively review all proposals.

######

SEC. 52012. ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORITY.

Section 112 of title 49, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(f) Program Evaluation and Oversight.—For each of fiscal years 2013 and 2014, the Administrator is authorized to expend not more than 1 1/2 percent of the amounts authorized to be appropriated for necessary expenses for administration and operations of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration for the coordination, evaluation, and oversight of the programs administered by the Administration.

“(g) Collaborative Research and Development.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—To encourage innovative solutions to multimodal transportation problems and stimulate the deployment of new technology, the Administrator may carry out, on a cost-shared basis, collaborative research and development with—

“(A) non-Federal entities, including State and local governments, foreign governments, institutions of higher education, corporations, institutions, partnerships, sole proprietorships, and trade associations that are incorporated or established under the laws of any State;

“(B) Federal laboratories; and

“(C) other Federal agencies.

“(2) COOPERATION, GRANTS, CONTRACTS, AND AGREEMENTS.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Administrator may directly initiate contracts, grants, cooperative research and development agreements (as defined in section 12 of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 (15 U.S.C. 3710a)), and other agreements 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, institutions of higher education, associations, and the agents of those entities to carry out joint transportation research and technology efforts.

######

TITLE III—INTELLIGENT TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS RESEARCH

######

SEC. 53006. VEHICLE-TO-VEHICLE AND VEHICLE-TO-INFRASTRUCTURE COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS DEPLOYMENT.

(a) In General.—Chapter 5 of title 23, United States Code, is amended by adding after section 517 (as added by section 53005) the following:

Ҥ 518. Vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications systems deployment

“(a) In General.—Not later than 3 years after the date of enactment of this section, the Secretary shall submit to the Committees on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and Environment and Public Works of the Senate and the Committees on Transportation and Infrastructure, Energy and Commerce, and Science, Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives that—

“(1) assesses the status of dedicated short-range communications technology and applications developed through research and development;

“(2) analyzes the known and potential gaps in short-range communications technology and applications;

“(3) defines a recommended implementation path for dedicated short-range communications technology and applications that—

“(A) is based on the assessment described in paragraph (1); and

“(B) takes into account the analysis described in paragraph (2);

“(4) includes guidance on the relationship of the proposed deployment of dedicated short-range communications to the National ITS Architecture and ITS Standards; and

“(5) ensures competition by not preferencing the use of any particular frequency for vehicle to infrastructure operations.

“(b) Report Review.—The Secretary shall enter into agreements with the National Research Council and an independent third party with subject matter expertise for the review of the report described in subsection (a).”.

(b) Conforming Amendment.—The analysis for chapter 5 of title 23, United States Code, is amended by adding after section 517 (as added by section 53005) the following:

“518. Vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications systems deployment.”.

######

TITLE II—FLOOD INSURANCE

######

SEC. 100231. STUDIES AND REPORTS.

######

(e) Study and Report on Graduated Risk.—

(1) STUDY.—

(A) STUDY REQUIRED.—The Administrator shall enter into a contract under which the National Academy of Sciences shall conduct a study exploring methods for understanding graduated risk behind levees and the associated land development, insurance, and risk communication dimensions.

(B) CONTENTS OF STUDY.—The study under this paragraph shall—

(i) research, review, and recommend current best practices for estimating direct annualized flood losses behind levees for residential and commercial structures;

(ii) rank each best practice recommended under clause (i) based on the best value, balancing cost, scientific integrity, and the inherent uncertainties associated with all aspects of the loss estimate, including geotechnical engineering, flood frequency estimates, economic value, and direct damages;

(iii) research, review, and identify current best floodplain management and land use practices behind levees that effectively balance social, economic, and environmental considerations as part of an overall flood risk management strategy;

(iv) identify areas in which the best floodplain management and land use practices described in clause (iii) have proven effective and recommend methods and processes by which such practices could be applied more broadly across the United States, given the variety of different flood risks, State and local legal frameworks, and evolving judicial opinions;

(v) research, review, and identify a variety of flood insurance pricing options for flood hazards behind levees that are actuarially sound and based on the flood risk data developed using the 3 best practices recommended under clause (i) that have the best value as determined under clause (ii);

(vi) evaluate and recommend methods to reduce insurance costs through creative arrangements between insureds and insurers while keeping a clear accounting of how much financial risk is being borne by various parties such that the entire risk is accounted for, including establishment of explicit limits on disaster aid or other assistance in the event of a flood; and

(vii) taking into consideration the recommendations under clauses (i) through (iii), recommend approaches to communicate the associated risks to community officials, homeowners, and other residents of communities.

(2) REPORT.—The contract under paragraph (1)(A) shall provide that not later than 12 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the National Academy of Sciences shall submit to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Financial Services and the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives a report on the study under paragraph (1) that includes the information and recommendations required under paragraph (1).

######

SEC. 100236. STUDY OF PARTICIPATION AND AFFORDABILITY FOR CERTAIN POLICYHOLDERS.

(a) FEMA Study.—The Administrator shall conduct a study of—

(1) methods to encourage and maintain participation in the National Flood Insurance Program;

(2) methods to educate consumers about the National Flood Insurance Program and the flood risk associated with their property;

(3) methods for establishing an affordability framework for the National Flood Insurance Program, including methods to aid individuals to afford risk-based premiums under the National Flood Insurance Program through targeted assistance rather than generally subsidized rates, including means-tested vouchers; and

(4) the implications for the National Flood Insurance Program and the Federal budget of using each such method.

(b) National Academy of Sciences Economic Analysis.—To inform the Administrator in the conduct of the study under subsection (a), the Administrator shall enter into a contract under which the National Academy of Sciences, in consultation with the Comptroller General of the United States, shall conduct and submit to the Administrator an economic analysis of the costs and benefits to the Federal Government of a flood insurance program with full risk-based premiums, combined with means-tested Federal assistance to aid individuals who cannot afford coverage, through an insurance voucher program. The analysis shall compare the costs of a program of risk-based rates and means-tested assistance to the current system of subsidized flood insurance rates and federally funded disaster relief for people without coverage.

(c) Report.—Not later than 270 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall submit to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Financial Services of the House of Representatives a report that contains the results of the study and analysis under this section.

(d) Funding.—Notwithstanding section 1310 of the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 4017), there shall be available to the Administrator from the National Flood Insurance Fund, of amounts not otherwise obligated, not more than $750,000 to carry out this section.

######

SEC. 100247. FIO STUDY ON RISKS, HAZARDS, AND INSURANCE.

(a) In General.—Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Director of the Federal Insurance Office shall conduct a study and submit to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Financial Services of the House of Representatives a report providing an assessment of the current state of the market for natural catastrophe insurance in the United States.

(b) Factors.—The study and report required under subsection (a) shall assess—

(1) the current condition of, as well as the outlook for, the availability and affordability of insurance for natural catastrophe perils in all regions of the United States;

(2) the current ability of States, communities, and individuals to mitigate their natural catastrophe risks, including the affordability and feasibility of such mitigation activities;

(3) the current state of catastrophic insurance and reinsurance markets and the current approaches in providing insurance protection to different sectors of the population of the United States;

(4) the current financial condition of State residual markets and catastrophe funds in high-risk regions, including the likelihood of insolvency following a natural catastrophe, the concentration of risks within such funds, the reliance on post-event assessments and State funding, and the adequacy of rates; and

(5) the current role of the Federal Government and State and local governments in providing incentives for feasible risk mitigation efforts and the cost of providing post-natural catastrophe aid in the absence of insurance.

(c) Additional Factors.—The study and report required under subsection (a) shall also contain an assessment of current approaches to insuring natural catastrophe risks in the United States and such other information as the Director of the Federal Insurance Office determines necessary or appropriate.

(d) Consultation.—In carrying out the study and report under subsection (a), the Director of the Federal Insurance Office shall consult with the National Academy of Sciences, State insurance regulators, consumer organizations, representatives of the insurance and reinsurance industry, policyholders, and other organizations and experts, as appropriate.

######

SEC. 100253. ALTERNATIVE LOSS ALLOCATION SYSTEM FOR INDETERMINATE CLAIMS.

Part A of chapter II of the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 4051 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:

“SEC. 1337. ALTERNATIVE LOSS ALLOCATION SYSTEM FOR INDETERMINATE CLAIMS.

######

“(c) Authorized Use of Post-storm Assessment and COASTAL Formula.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—Subject to paragraph (3), the Administrator may use the post-storm assessment and the COASTAL Formula to—

“(A) review flood loss payments for indeterminate losses, including as part of the quality assurance reinspection program of the Federal Emergency Management Agency for claims under the national flood insurance program and any other process approved by the Administrator to review and validate payments under the national flood insurance program for indeterminate losses following a named storm; and

“(B) assist the national flood insurance program to—

“(i) properly cover qualified flood loss for claims for indeterminate losses; and

“(ii) avoid paying for any loss or damage to property caused by any peril (including wind), other than flood or storm surge, that is not covered under a standard policy under the national flood insurance program.

“(2) FEDERAL DISASTER DECLARATION.—Subject to paragraph (3), in order to expedite claims and reduce costs to the national flood insurance program, following any major disaster declared by the President under section 401 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5170) relating to a named storm in a coastal State, the Administrator may use the COASTAL Formula to determine and pay for any flood loss covered under a standard insurance policy under the national flood insurance program, if the loss is an indeterminate loss.

“(3) NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES EVALUATION.—

“(A) EVALUATION REQUIRED.—

“(i) EVALUATION.—Upon the issuance of the rule establishing the COASTAL Formula, and each time the Administrator modifies the COASTAL Formula, the National Academy of Sciences shall—

“(I) evaluate the expected financial impact on the national flood insurance program of the use of the COASTAL Formula as so established or modified; and

“(II) evaluate the validity of the scientific assumptions upon which the formula is based and determine whether the COASTAL formula can achieve a degree of accuracy of not less than 90 percent in allocating flood losses for indeterminate losses.

“(ii) REPORT.—The National Academy of Sciences shall submit a report containing the results of each evaluation under clause (i) to the Administrator, the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate, and the Committee on Financial Services and the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives.

“(B) EFFECTIVE DATE AND APPLICABILITY.—

“(i) EFFECTIVE DATE.—Paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection shall not take effect unless the report under subparagraph (A) relating to the establishment of the COASTAL Formula concludes that the use of the COASTAL Formula for purposes of paragraph (1) and (2) would not have an adverse financial impact on the national flood insurance program and that the COASTAL Formula is based on valid scientific assumptions that would allow a degree of accuracy of not less than 90 percent to be achieved in allocating flood losses for indeterminate losses.

“(ii) EFFECT OF MODIFICATIONS.—Unless the report under subparagraph (A) relating to a modification of the COASTAL Formula concludes that the use of the COASTAL Formula, as so modified, for purposes of paragraphs (1) and (2) would not have an adverse financial impact on the national flood insurance program and that the COASTAL Formula is based on valid scientific assumptions that would allow a degree of accuracy of not less than 90 percent to be achieved in allocating flood losses for indeterminate losses the Administrator may not use the COASTAL Formula, as so modified, for purposes of paragraphs (1) and (2).

“(C) FUNDING.—Notwithstanding section 1310 of the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 4017), there shall be available to the Administrator from the National Flood Insurance Fund, of amounts not otherwise obligated, not more than $750,000 to carry out this paragraph.

######

************************************************************************************
HRpt 112-557 - To accompany H.R. 4348 – To provide an extension of Federal-aid highway, highway safety, motor carrier safety, transit, and other programs funded out of the Highway Trust Fund pending enactment of a multiyear law reauthorizing such programs, and for other purposes,
Conference Committee
(06/28/12)
--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---

######

TITLE I—MOTOR VEHICLE AND HIGHWAY SAFETY IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 2012

SEC. 31001. SHORT TITLE.

This title may be cited as the “Motor Vehicle and Highway Safety Improvement Act of 2012” or “Mariah’s Act”.

SEC. 31002. DEFINITION.

In this title, the term “Secretary” means the Secretary of Transportation.

Subtitle A—Highway Safety

######

SEC. 31103. HIGHWAY SAFETY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT.

Section 403 of title 23, United States Code, is amended—

(1) by striking subsections (a) through (f) and inserting the following:

“(a) Defined Term.—In this section, the term ‘Federal laboratory’ includes—

“(1) a government-owned, government-operated laboratory; and

“(2) a government-owned, contractor-operated laboratory.

“(b) General Authority.—

“(1) RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES.—The Secretary may conduct research and development activities, including demonstration projects and the collection and analysis of highway and motor vehicle safety data and related information needed to carry out this section, with respect to—

“(A) all aspects of highway and traffic safety systems and conditions relating to—

“(i) vehicle, highway, driver, passenger, motorcyclist, bicyclist, and pedestrian characteristics;
“(ii) accident causation and investigations;
“(iii) communications; and
“(iv) emergency medical services, including the transportation of the injured;

“(B) human behavioral factors and their effect on highway and traffic safety, including—

“(i) driver education;
“(ii) impaired driving; and
“(iii) distracted driving;

“(C) an evaluation of the effectiveness of countermeasures to increase highway and traffic safety, including occupant protection and alcohol- and drug-impaired driving technologies and initiatives;

“(D) the development of technologies to detect drug impaired drivers;

“(E) research on, evaluations of, and identification of 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; and

“(F) the effect of State laws on any aspects, activities, or programs described in subparagraphs (A) through (E).

“(2) COOPERATION, GRANTS, AND CONTRACTS.—The Secretary may carry out this section—

“(A) independently;

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

“(C) by entering into contracts, cooperative agreements, and other transactions with the National Academy of Sciences, any Federal laboratory, State or local agency, authority, association, institution, or person (as defined in chapter 1 of title 1); or

“(D) by making grants to the National Academy of Sciences, any Federal laboratory, State or local agency, authority, association, institution, or person (as defined in chapter 1 of title 1).

“(c) Collaborative Research and Development.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—To encourage innovative solutions to highway safety problems, stimulate voluntary improvements in highway safety, and stimulate the marketing of new highway safety related technology by private industry, the Secretary is authorized to carry out, on a cost-shared basis, collaborative research and development with—

“(A) non-Federal entities, including State and local governments, colleges, universities, corporations, partnerships, sole proprietorships, organizations, and trade associations that are incorporated or established under the laws of any State or the United States; and

“(B) Federal laboratories.

“(2) AGREEMENTS.—In carrying out this subsection, the Secretary may enter into cooperative research and development agreements (as defined in section 12 of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 (15 U.S.C. 3710a)) in which the Secretary provides not more than 50 percent of the cost of any research or development project under this subsection.

“(3) USE OF TECHNOLOGY.—The research, development, or use of any technology pursuant to an agreement under this subsection, including the terms under which technology may be licensed and the resulting royalties may be distributed, shall be subject to the provisions of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 (15 U.S.C. 3701 et seq.).

“(d) Title to Equipment.—In furtherance of the purposes set forth in section 402, the Secretary may vest title to equipment purchased for demonstration projects with funds authorized under this section to State or local agencies on such terms and conditions as the Secretary determines to be appropriate.

“(e) Prohibition on Certain Disclosures.—Any report of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or of any officer, employee, or contractor of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, relating to any highway traffic accident or the investigation of such accident conducted pursuant to this chapter or chapter 301 may only be made available to the public in a manner that does not identify individuals.

“(f) Cooperative Research and Evaluation.—

“(1) ESTABLISHMENT AND FUNDING.—Notwithstanding the apportionment formula set forth in section 402(c)(2), $2,500,000 of the total amount available for apportionment to the States for highway safety programs under subsection 402(c) in each fiscal year shall be available for expenditure by the Secretary, acting through the Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, for a cooperative research and evaluation program to research and evaluate priority highway safety countermeasures.

“(2) ADMINISTRATION.—The program established under paragraph (1)—

“(A) shall be administered by the Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; and

“(B) shall be jointly managed by the Governors Highway Safety Association and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.”; and

(2) by adding at the end the following:

“(h) In-vehicle Alcohol Detection Device Research.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—The Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration may carry out a collaborative research effort under chapter 301 of title 49 on in-vehicle technology to prevent alcohol-impaired driving.

“(2) FUNDING.—Funds provided under section 405 may be made to be used by the Secretary to conduct the research described in paragraph (1).

“(3) PRIVACY PROTECTION.—If the Administrator utilizes the authority under paragraph (1), the Administrator shall not develop requirements for any device or means of technology to be installed in an automobile intended for retail sale that records a driver’s blood alcohol concentration.

“(4) REPORTS.—If the Administrator conducts the research authorized under paragraph (1), the Administrator shall submit an annual report to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate, the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives, and Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives that—

“(A) describes the progress made in carrying out the collaborative research effort; and

“(B) includes an accounting for the use of Federal funds obligated or expended in carrying out that effort.

“(5) DEFINITIONS.—In this subsection:

“(A) ALCOHOL-IMPAIRED DRIVING.—The term ‘alcohol-impaired driving’ means the operation of a motor vehicle (as defined in section 30102(a)(6) of title 49) by an individual whose blood alcohol content is at or above the legal limit.

“(B) LEGAL LIMIT.—The term ‘legal limit’ means a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or greater (as set forth in section 163(a)) or such other percentage limitation as may be established by applicable Federal, State, or local law.”.

######

TITLE II—RESEARCH, TECHNOLOGY, AND EDUCATION

######

SEC. 52003. RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT AND DEPLOYMENT.

######

“(C) IMPLEMENTATION OF FUTURE STRATEGIC HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM FINDINGS AND RESULTS.—

“(i) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary, in consultation with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences, shall promote research results and products developed under the future strategic highway research program administered by the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences.

“(ii) BASIS FOR FINDINGS.—The activities carried out under this subparagraph shall be based on the report submitted to Congress by the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences under section 510(e).

“(iii) PERSONNEL.—The Secretary may use funds made available to carry out this subsection for administrative costs under this subparagraph.

######

SEC. 52009. UNIVERSITY TRANSPORTATION CENTERS PROGRAM.

(a) In General.—Section 5505 of title 49, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

Ҥ 5505. University transportation centers program

“(a) University Transportation Centers Program.—

“(1) ESTABLISHMENT AND OPERATION.—The Secretary shall make grants under this section to eligible nonprofit institutions of higher education to establish and operate university transportation centers.

“(2) ROLE OF CENTERS.—The role of each university transportation center referred to in paragraph (1) shall be—

“(A) to advance transportation expertise and technology in the varied disciplines that comprise the field of transportation through education, research, and technology transfer activities;

“(B) to provide for a critical transportation knowledge base outside of the Department of Transportation; and

“(C) to address critical workforce needs and educate the next generation of transportation leaders.

“(b) Competitive Selection Process.—

“(1) APPLICATIONS.—To receive a grant under this section, a nonprofit institution of higher education shall submit to the Secretary an application that is in such form and contains such information as the Secretary may require.

“(2) RESTRICTION.—A nonprofit institution of higher education or the lead institution of a consortium of nonprofit institutions of higher education, as applicable, that receives a grant for a national transportation center or a regional transportation center in a fiscal year shall not be eligible to receive as a lead institution or member of a consortium an additional grant in that fiscal year for a national transportation center or a regional transportation center.

“(3) COORDINATION.—The Secretary shall solicit grant applications for national transportation centers, regional transportation centers, and Tier 1 university transportation centers with identical advertisement schedules and deadlines.

“(4) GENERAL SELECTION CRITERIA.—

“(A) IN GENERAL.—Except as otherwise provided by this section, the Secretary shall award grants under this section in nonexclusive candidate topic areas established by the Secretary that address the research priorities identified in section 503 of title 23.

“(B) CRITERIA.—The Secretary, in consultation as appropriate with the Administrators of the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration, shall select each recipient of a grant under this section through a competitive process based on the assessment of the Secretary relating to—

“(i) the demonstrated ability of the recipient to address each specific topic area described in the research and strategic plans of the recipient;

“(ii) the demonstrated research, technology transfer, and education resources available to the recipient to carry out this section;

“(iii) the ability of the recipient to provide leadership in solving immediate and long-range national and regional transportation problems;

“(iv) the ability of the recipient to carry out research, education, and technology transfer activities that are multimodal and multidisciplinary in scope;

“(v) the demonstrated commitment of the recipient to carry out transportation workforce development programs through—

“(I) degree-granting programs; and

“(II) outreach activities to attract new entrants into the transportation field;

“(vi) the demonstrated ability of the recipient to disseminate results and spur the implementation of transportation research and education programs through national or statewide continuing education programs;

“(vii) the demonstrated commitment of the recipient to the use of peer review principles and other research best practices in the selection, management, and dissemination of research projects;

“(viii) the strategic plan submitted by the recipient describing the proposed research to be carried out by the recipient and the performance metrics to be used in assessing the performance of the recipient in meeting the stated research, technology transfer, education, and outreach goals; and

“(ix) the ability of the recipient to implement the proposed program in a cost-efficient manner, such as through cost sharing and overall reduced overhead, facilities, and administrative costs.

“(5) TRANSPARENCY.—

“(A) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary shall provide to each applicant, upon request, any materials, including copies of reviews (with any information that would identify a reviewer redacted), used in the evaluation process of the proposal of the applicant.

“(B) REPORTS.—The Secretary shall submit to the Committees on Transportation and Infrastructure and Science, Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Environment and Public Works of the Senate a report describing the overall review process under paragraph (3) that includes—

“(i) specific criteria of evaluation used in the review;

“(ii) descriptions of the review process; and

“(iii) explanations of the selected awards.

“(6) OUTSIDE STAKEHOLDERS.—The Secretary shall, to the maximum extent practicable, consult external stakeholders such as the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences to evaluate and competitively review all proposals.

######

SEC. 52012. ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORITY.

Section 112 of title 49, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(f) Program Evaluation and Oversight.—For each of fiscal years 2013 and 2014, the Administrator is authorized to expend not more than 1 1/2 percent of the amounts authorized to be appropriated for necessary expenses for administration and operations of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration for the coordination, evaluation, and oversight of the programs administered by the Administration.

“(g) Collaborative Research and Development.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—To encourage innovative solutions to multimodal transportation problems and stimulate the deployment of new technology, the Administrator may carry out, on a cost-shared basis, collaborative research and development with—

“(A) non-Federal entities, including State and local governments, foreign governments, institutions of higher education, corporations, institutions, partnerships, sole proprietorships, and trade associations that are incorporated or established under the laws of any State;

“(B) Federal laboratories; and

“(C) other Federal agencies.

“(2) COOPERATION, GRANTS, CONTRACTS, AND AGREEMENTS.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Administrator may directly initiate contracts, grants, cooperative research and development agreements (as defined in section 12 of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 (15 U.S.C. 3710a)), and other agreements 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, institutions of higher education, associations, and the agents of those entities to carry out joint transportation research and technology efforts.

######

SEC. 53006. VEHICLE-TO-VEHICLE AND VEHICLE-TO-INFRASTRUCTURE COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS DEPLOYMENT.

(a) In General.—Chapter 5 of title 23, United States Code, is amended by adding after section 517 (as added by section 53005) the following:

Ҥ 518. Vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications systems deployment

“(a) In General.—Not later than 3 years after the date of enactment of this section, the Secretary shall submit to the Committees on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and Environment and Public Works of the Senate and the Committees on Transportation and Infrastructure, Energy and Commerce, and Science, Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives that—

“(1) assesses the status of dedicated short-range communications technology and applications developed through research and development;

“(2) analyzes the known and potential gaps in short-range communications technology and applications;

“(3) defines a recommended implementation path for dedicated short-range communications technology and applications that—

“(A) is based on the assessment described in paragraph (1); and

“(B) takes into account the analysis described in paragraph (2);

“(4) includes guidance on the relationship of the proposed deployment of dedicated short-range communications to the National ITS Architecture and ITS Standards; and

“(5) ensures competition by not preferencing the use of any particular frequency for vehicle to infrastructure operations.

“(b) Report Review.—The Secretary shall enter into agreements with the National Research Council and an independent third party with subject matter expertise for the review of the report described in subsection (a).”.

(b) Conforming Amendment.—The analysis for chapter 5 of title 23, United States Code, is amended by adding after section 517 (as added by section 53005) the following:

“518. Vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications systems deployment.”.

######

TITLE II—FLOOD INSURANCE

Subtitle A—Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization

SEC. 100201. SHORT TITLE.

This subtitle may be cited as the “Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012”.

######

SEC. 100231. STUDIES AND REPORTS.

######

(e) Study and Report on Graduated Risk.—

(1) STUDY.—

(A) STUDY REQUIRED.—The Administrator shall enter into a contract under which the National Academy of Sciences shall conduct a study exploring methods for understanding graduated risk behind levees and the associated land development, insurance, and risk communication dimensions.

(B) CONTENTS OF STUDY.—The study under this paragraph shall—

(i) research, review, and recommend current best practices for estimating direct annualized flood losses behind levees for residential and commercial structures;

(ii) rank each best practice recommended under clause (i) based on the best value, balancing cost, scientific integrity, and the inherent uncertainties associated with all aspects of the loss estimate, including geotechnical engineering, flood frequency estimates, economic value, and direct damages;

(iii) research, review, and identify current best floodplain management and land use practices behind levees that effectively balance social, economic, and environmental considerations as part of an overall flood risk management strategy;

(iv) identify areas in which the best floodplain management and land use practices described in clause (iii) have proven effective and recommend methods and processes by which such practices could be applied more broadly across the United States, given the variety of different flood risks, State and local legal frameworks, and evolving judicial opinions;

(v) research, review, and identify a variety of flood insurance pricing options for flood hazards behind levees that are actuarially sound and based on the flood risk data developed using the 3 best practices recommended under clause (i) that have the best value as determined under clause (ii);

(vi) evaluate and recommend methods to reduce insurance costs through creative arrangements between insureds and insurers while keeping a clear accounting of how much financial risk is being borne by various parties such that the entire risk is accounted for, including establishment of explicit limits on disaster aid or other assistance in the event of a flood; and

(vii) taking into consideration the recommendations under clauses (i) through (iii), recommend approaches to communicate the associated risks to community officials, homeowners, and other residents of communities.

(2) REPORT.—The contract under paragraph (1)(A) shall provide that not later than 12 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the National Academy of Sciences shall submit to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Financial Services and the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives a report on the study under paragraph (1) that includes the information and recommendations required under paragraph (1).

######

SEC. 100236. STUDY OF PARTICIPATION AND AFFORDABILITY FOR CERTAIN POLICYHOLDERS.

(a) FEMA Study.—The Administrator shall conduct a study of—

(1) methods to encourage and maintain participation in the National Flood Insurance Program;

(2) methods to educate consumers about the National Flood Insurance Program and the flood risk associated with their property;

(3) methods for establishing an affordability framework for the National Flood Insurance Program, including methods to aid individuals to afford risk-based premiums under the National Flood Insurance Program through targeted assistance rather than generally subsidized rates, including means-tested vouchers; and

(4) the implications for the National Flood Insurance Program and the Federal budget of using each such method.

(b) National Academy of Sciences Economic Analysis.—To inform the Administrator in the conduct of the study under subsection (a), the Administrator shall enter into a contract under which the National Academy of Sciences, in consultation with the Comptroller General of the United States, shall conduct and submit to the Administrator an economic analysis of the costs and benefits to the Federal Government of a flood insurance program with full risk-based premiums, combined with means-tested Federal assistance to aid individuals who cannot afford coverage, through an insurance voucher program. The analysis shall compare the costs of a program of risk-based rates and means-tested assistance to the current system of subsidized flood insurance rates and federally funded disaster relief for people without coverage.

(c) Report.—Not later than 270 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall submit to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Financial Services of the House of Representatives a report that contains the results of the study and analysis under this section.

(d) Funding.—Notwithstanding section 1310 of the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 4017), there shall be available to the Administrator from the National Flood Insurance Fund, of amounts not otherwise obligated, not more than $750,000 to carry out this section.

######

SEC. 100247. FIO STUDY ON RISKS, HAZARDS, AND INSURANCE.

(a) In General.—Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Director of the Federal Insurance Office shall conduct a study and submit to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Financial Services of the House of Representatives a report providing an assessment of the current state of the market for natural catastrophe insurance in the United States.

(b) Factors.—The study and report required under subsection (a) shall assess—

(1) the current condition of, as well as the outlook for, the availability and affordability of insurance for natural catastrophe perils in all regions of the United States;

(2) the current ability of States, communities, and individuals to mitigate their natural catastrophe risks, including the affordability and feasibility of such mitigation activities;

(3) the current state of catastrophic insurance and reinsurance markets and the current approaches in providing insurance protection to different sectors of the population of the United States;

(4) the current financial condition of State residual markets and catastrophe funds in high-risk regions, including the likelihood of insolvency following a natural catastrophe, the concentration of risks within such funds, the reliance on post-event assessments and State funding, and the adequacy of rates; and

(5) the current role of the Federal Government and State and local governments in providing incentives for feasible risk mitigation efforts and the cost of providing post-natural catastrophe aid in the absence of insurance.

(c) Additional Factors.—The study and report required under subsection (a) shall also contain an assessment of current approaches to insuring natural catastrophe risks in the United States and such other information as the Director of the Federal Insurance Office determines necessary or appropriate.

(d) Consultation.—In carrying out the study and report under subsection (a), the Director of the Federal Insurance Office shall consult with the National Academy of Sciences, State insurance regulators, consumer organizations, representatives of the insurance and reinsurance industry, policyholders, and other organizations and experts, as appropriate.

######

SEC. 100253. ALTERNATIVE LOSS ALLOCATION SYSTEM FOR INDETERMINATE CLAIMS.

Part A of chapter II of the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 4051 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:

“SEC. 1337. ALTERNATIVE LOSS ALLOCATION SYSTEM FOR INDETERMINATE CLAIMS.

######

“(c) Authorized Use of Post-storm Assessment and COASTAL Formula.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—Subject to paragraph (3), the Administrator may use the post-storm assessment and the COASTAL Formula to—

“(A) review flood loss payments for indeterminate losses, including as part of the quality assurance reinspection program of the Federal Emergency Management Agency for claims under the national flood insurance program and any other process approved by the Administrator to review and validate payments under the national flood insurance program for indeterminate losses following a named storm; and

“(B) assist the national flood insurance program to—

“(i) properly cover qualified flood loss for claims for indeterminate losses; and

“(ii) avoid paying for any loss or damage to property caused by any peril (including wind), other than flood or storm surge, that is not covered under a standard policy under the national flood insurance program.

“(2) FEDERAL DISASTER DECLARATION.—Subject to paragraph (3), in order to expedite claims and reduce costs to the national flood insurance program, following any major disaster declared by the President under section 401 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5170) relating to a named storm in a coastal State, the Administrator may use the COASTAL Formula to determine and pay for any flood loss covered under a standard insurance policy under the national flood insurance program, if the loss is an indeterminate loss.

“(3) NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES EVALUATION.—

“(A) EVALUATION REQUIRED.—

“(i) EVALUATION.—Upon the issuance of the rule establishing the COASTAL Formula, and each time the Administrator modifies the COASTAL Formula, the National Academy of Sciences shall—

“(I) evaluate the expected financial impact on the national flood insurance program of the use of the COASTAL Formula as so established or modified; and

“(II) evaluate the validity of the scientific assumptions upon which the formula is based and determine whether the COASTAL formula can achieve a degree of accuracy of not less than 90 percent in allocating flood losses for indeterminate losses.

“(ii) REPORT.—The «National Academy» « of Sciences» shall submit a report containing the results of each evaluation under clause (i) to the Administrator, the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate, and the Committee on Financial Services and the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives.

“(B) EFFECTIVE DATE AND APPLICABILITY.—

“(i) EFFECTIVE DATE.—Paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection shall not take effect unless the report under subparagraph (A) relating to the establishment of the COASTAL Formula concludes that the use of the COASTAL Formula for purposes of paragraph (1) and (2) would not have an adverse financial impact on the national flood insurance program and that the COASTAL Formula is based on valid scientific assumptions that would allow a degree of accuracy of not less than 90 percent to be achieved in allocating flood losses for indeterminate losses.

“(ii) EFFECT OF MODIFICATIONS.—Unless the report under subparagraph (A) relating to a modification of the COASTAL Formula concludes that the use of the COASTAL Formula, as so modified, for purposes of paragraphs (1) and (2) would not have an adverse financial impact on the national flood insurance program and that the COASTAL Formula is based on valid scientific assumptions that would allow a degree of accuracy of not less than 90 percent to be achieved in allocating flood losses for indeterminate losses the Administrator may not use the COASTAL Formula, as so modified, for purposes of paragraphs (1) and (2).

“(C) FUNDING.—Notwithstanding section 1310 of the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 4017), there shall be available to the Administrator from the National Flood Insurance Fund, of amounts not otherwise obligated, not more than $750,000 to carry out this paragraph.

######

RSS News Feed | Subscribe to e-newsletters | Feedback | Back to Top