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orders, determinations, delegations, rules, regulations, standards, requirements, permits, and privileges which (1) have been issued, made, granted, or allowed to become effective under the statute from which that standard is derived and (2) are in effect on the date of enactment of this Act, shall apply and continue to be applicable according to their terms until modified, terminated, superseded, set aside, or repealed by the Secretary in the exercise of authority vested in him by this Act, by any court of competent jurisdiction, or by operation of law.
(c) The Secretary may grant such exemptions from the requirements of any regulation prescribed under this Act as he considers to be in the public interest.
STATE REGULATION AND ENFORCEMENT
SEC. 4. A State may regulate safety in rail commerce, in a manner which does not conflict with any Federal regulation, in the following areas and no others: (1) vertical and horizontal clearance requirements; (2) grade crossing protection (including grade separation) which relates to the location of new crossings, closing of existing crossings, the type of crossing protection required or permitted, and rules governing train blocking of crossings; (3) the speed and audible signals of trains while operating within urban and other densely populated areas; and (4) the installation or removal of industrial and spur tracks. In exercising the authority reserved by clause (4), nothing herein shall be interpreted to diminish any authority which the Interstate Commerce Commission may have to require its approval of such actions. Other State laws and regulations affecting safety in rail commerce will continue in full force and effect for a period of two years following the date of enactment of this Act, unless abrogated prior to that time by court order, State legislative or administrative action, or by regulations issued by the Secretary.
Sec. 5. (a) No person shall
(1) fail to comply with any applicable standard, rule, or regulation established or continued in effect pursuant to this Act; or
(2) fail or refuse access to or copying of records, or fail to make reports or provide information, or fail or refuse to permit entry or inspection, as re
quired under section 9. (b) Compliance with any standard, rule, or regulation established under this Act does not exempt any person from any liabiilty which would otherwise accrue, except to the extent that the action creating the liability was specifically compelled by any such standard, rule, or regulation.
SEC. 6. (a) Any person who violates any provision of section 5 shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than $250 nor more than $1,000 for each violation. If the violation is a continuing one, each day of such violation shall constitute a separate offense. Any person who knowingly and willfully violates any such provision shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than one year, or both. Imposition of any punishment under this section shall be in lieu of whatever civil penalty might otherwise apply.
(b) The civil penalties provided in this section may be compromised by the Secretary. The amount of any penalty, when finally determined, or the amount agreed upon in compromise, may be deducted from any sums owing by the United States to the person charged.
(c) Whoever forcibly assaults, resists, opposes, impedes, intimidates, or interferes with any person engaged in the performance of inspection or investigatory duties under this Act, or on account of the performance of such duties, shall be fined not more than $5,000 or imprisoned not more than three years, or both. Whoever, in the commission of any such acts, uses a deadly or dangerous weapon shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both. Whoever kills any other person engaged in the performance of inspection or investigatory duties under this Act, or on account of the performance of such duties, shall be punished as provided under section 1111 and 1112 of title 18, United States Code.
Sec. 7. (a) The United States district courts shall have jurisdiction, subject to the provisions of rule 65 (a) and (b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, to restrain violations of this Act (including the restraint of operations in rail commerce) or to enforce standards, rules, or regulations established hereunder, upon petition by the appropriate United States attorney or the Attorney General on behalf of the United States. Whenever practicable, the Secretary shall give notice to any person against whom an action for injunctive relief is contemplated and afford him an opportunity to present his views, and, except in the case of a knowing and willful violation, shall afford him reasonable opportunity to achieve compliance. However, the failure to give such notice and afford such opportunity shall not preclude the granting of such relief.
(b) In any proceeding for criminal contempt for violation of an injunction or restraining order issued under this section, which violation also constitutes a violation of this Act, trial shall be by the court or, upon demand of the accused, by a jury. Such trial shall be conducted in accordance with the practice and procedure applicable in the case of proceedings subject to the provisions of rule 42 (b) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.
(c) Actions under this Act may be brought in the district wherein any act or transaction constituting the violation occurred, or in the district wherein the defendant is found or is an inhabitant or transacts business, and process in such cases may be served in any other district of which the defendant is an inhabitant or transacts business or wherever the defendant may be found.
(d) In any action brought under this Act, subpenas for witnesses who are required to attend a United States district court may run into any other district.
DESIGNATION OF AGENT FOR SERVICE SEC. 8. It shall be the duty of every rail carrier to designate in writing an agent upon whom service of all administrative and judicial processes, notices, orders, decisions and requirements may be made for and on behalf of said rail carrier and to file such designation with the Secretary, which designation may from time to time be changed by like writing, similarly filed. Service of all administrative and judicial processes, notices, orders, decisions and requirements may be made upon said rail carrier by service upon such designated agent at his office or usual place of residence with like effect as if made personally upon said rail carrier, and in default of such designation of such agent, service of process, notice, order, decision or requirement in any proceeding before the Secretary or in any judicial proceeding for enforcement of this Act or any rule, regulation, or standard prescribed pursuant to this Act may be made by posting such process, notice, order, decision, or requirement in the Office of the Secretary.
RECORDS AND REPORTS
Sec. 9. (a) Every rail carrier shall establish and maintain such records, make such reports, and provide such information as the Secretary may reasonably require to enable him to determine whether such carrier has acted or is acting in compliance with this Act and rules, regulations, and standards issued thereunder, and to otherwise carry out his responsibilities under this Act. Each such rail carrier shall, upon request of an officer, employee, or agent authorized by the Secretary, permit such officer, employee, or agent to inspect and copy books, papers, records, and documents relevant to determining whether such person has acted or is acting in compliance with this Act and orders, rules, and regulations issued thereunder.
(b) To carry out the Board's and the Secretary's responsibilities under this Act, officers, employees, or agents authorized by the Secretary or Chairman, upon display of proper credentials, are authorized at all times to enter upon, inspect and examine rail facilities and equipment.
(c) All information reported to or otherwise obtained by the Secretary or the Board or their representatives pursuant to subsection (a) containing or relating to a trade secret or other matter referred to in section 1905 of title 18 of the United States Code, shall be considered confidential for the purpose of that section, except that such information may be disclosed to other officers, employees, or agents concerned with carrying out this Act or when relevant in any proceeding under this Act. Nothing in this section shall authorize the withholding of information by the Secretary, Chairman, or any officer or employee under their control, from the duly authorized committees of the Congress.
GENERAL POWERS SEC. 10. (a) The Secretary is authorized to conduct, or contract with individuals, States, or nonprofit institutions for the conduct of, research, development, testing, evaluation, and training as necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act.
(b) The Secretary may, subject to such regulations, supervision, and review as he may prescribe, delegate to any qualified private person, or to any employee or employees under the supervision of such person, any work, business, or function respecting the examination, inspection, and testing necessary to carry out his responsibilities under this Act.
(c) The Secretary is authorized to advise, assist, and cooperate with other Federal departments and agencies and State and other interested public and private agencies and persons, in the planning and development of (1) Federal rail safety standards, rules, and regulations, and (2) methods for inspecting and testing to determine compliance with Federal rail safety standards, rules, and regulations.
(d) The Secretary is empowered to perform such acts, to conduct such investigations, to issue such subpenas, to take such depositions, to issue and amend such orders, and to make and amend such special rules and regulations as he shall deem necessary to carry out the provisions of, and to exercise and perform his powers and duties under this Act.
ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION SEC. 11. (a) The Secretary is authorized to conduct investigations of any accident occurring in rail commerce, and may invite participation by State agencies.
(b) The Board shall have the authority to determine the cause or probable cause and report the facts, conditions, and circumstances relating to accidents investigated under subsection (a) above, but may delegate such authority to any office or official of the Board or to any officer or official of the Department, with the approval of the Secretary, as it may determine appropriate.
(c) No part of any report required of a rail carrier under this Act, or any report made to the Secretary by an employee of the Department, or any report of the Secretary or the Board, relating to any accident or the investigation thereof, shall be admitted as evidence or be used in any suit or action for damages growing out of any matter mentioned in such report or reports. Employees of the Board or Department who have engaged in the investigation of a railroad accident shall not give expert or opinion testimony concerning such accidents in any such suit or action. Factual testimony of Board or Department personnel on matters observed in accident investigation shall be required only where the Chairman or the Secretary initially, or the court before which such suit or action is pending, determines that the evidence is not available by other means. Unless otherwise ordered by the court, such factual testimony shall be taken only by deposition upon oral examination or written interrogatories, pursuant to regulations issued by the Secretary or the Board.
USE OF STATE SERVICES SEC. 12. The Secretary is authorized to enter into agreements with appropriate State agencies for the provision of inspection and surveillance services as necessary to effective enforcement of Federal rail safety regulations. State services may be procured on such terms and conditions as the Secretary may prescribe and may be reimbursed from any appropriations available for expenditure under this Act. The Secretary may delegate to an officer of such State, and authorize successive redelegation of, any authority under this Act necessary to the conduct of an effective enforcement program.
STATUTES REPEALED; SAVING PROVISION SEC. 13. (a) The Safety Appliance Acts including the Power or Train Brakes Safety Appliance Act of 1968 (45 U.S.C. 1-16), the Ash Pan Act (45 U.S.C. 1721), the Locomotive Inspection Act (45 U.S.C. 22-34), the Accident Reports Act (45 U.S.C. 38-43), and the Signal Inspection Act (49 U.S.C. 26) are repealed as of the effective date of the interim regulations required to be promulgated by section 3(b) of this Act.
(b) No suit, action, or other proceeding and no cause of action under the statutes repealed by this Act shall abate by reason of enactment of this Act.
APPROPRIATION AUTHORIZATION Sec. 14. There are hereby authorized to be appropriated $5,000,000 for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1969, and $6,000,000 each for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1970, and the fiscal year ending June 30, 1971.
SEPARABILITY Sec. 15. If any provision of this Act or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of this Act, and the application of such provision to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.
EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT,
BUREAU OF THE BUDGET,
Washington, D.O., May 28, 1968. Hon. HARLEY 0. STAGGERS, Chairman, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: This is in response to your request for comments on H.R. 16980, bill “To authorize the Secretary of Transportation to establish safety standards, rules, and regulations for railroad equipment, trackage, facilities, and operations, and for other purposes." This bill would authorize the Secretary to promulgate safety standards for locomotives, rolling stock, trackage and roadbed, equipment, appliances, and facilities used in railroad operations in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce.
In his testimony before your committee on this bill, the Federal Railroad Administrator noted the difficulty of accurately determining at this time either the total staff or the level of Federal support necessary to carry out the work which H.R. 16980 would authorize. Because of this, the Administrator recommended the deletion of the specific limits on authorizations for appropriations now contained in section 14 of the bill.
The Bureau of the Budget concurs in the views of the Railroad Administrator and favors enactment of H.R. 16980, which would be in accord with the program of the President. Sincerely yours,
WILFRED H. ROMMEL, Assistant Director for Legislative Reference.
The CHAIRMAN. Our first witness this morning is Mr. A. Scheffer Lang, Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration.
Mr. Lang, we are pleased to have you here this morning in what, I think, is your first appearance before this committee.
I cannot refrain, however, from expressing some regret that the Secretary of Transportation, Mr. Boyd, is unable to be here this morning to open our discussion. I certainly wish that he could participate in our deliberations for I do not wish him to be in the disturbed position which he says that he is in, to do "everything within his legal power” to undo the work of this committee.
I have the greatest difficulty in comprehending the approach which your Department seems to take as to the tripartite form of government which our Founding Fathers established for this country.
Under this, it is my impression that it is the Congress which makes policy decisions and that it is the executive branch which carries them out.
Unfortunately, it seems to be our repeated experience as was evident when some labor legislation was pending before this committee some months ago that the Department feels that it is up to the Department to dictate rather than suggest what should be done and that if we have a view which differs in any respect, the Department then rushes into print in questionable rhetoric.
Certainly the Department in the comments which the Secretary made in Denver on Friday, May 10, is engaging in a dangerous deception as far as the American people are concerned when it sets up itself as the sole arbiter of what is in the public interest. The day has not yet arrived that our Constitution is so to be interpreted and I can assure you that every member of this committee as well as every Member of this Congress is well aware of his responsibilities in providing for legislation in the public interest. We shall do so here.
It is my hope that this morning, Mr. Lang, you are sufficiently acquainted with the natural gas safety legislation that as you go along in your remarks you can point out to us why you have come up with a bill on railroad safety which is so far different from that which you supported on natural gas pipeline safety. There are a number of sections to which this applies but there are several you might have in mind.
For instance, why in section 5(b) do you appear to be trying to improve a railroad's position in defending itself against accident claims? This language is unprecedented. You surely advocated the opposite in the natural gas safety bill.
Then when you reach section 11(c) you might tell us why you propose to prohibit Department employees from testifying in railroad accident suits and to prohibit Department reports to be admitted as evidence. This is just 180 degrees opposite to the position you took in the natural gas safety bill. There are others.
I give this as a matter of record before starting; I don't mean to put you under any handicaps.
You may proceed.
I have the greatest respect for Mr. Lang as the Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration but this bill, it seems to me, demands the testimony of the Secretary. There are many pertinent questions of policy here which I am not sure, Mr. Lang, could be determined by you.
The questions of policy set out in this would have to be backed up by the Secretary insofar as I am concerned and I was deeply chagrined with his remarks in Denver the other day as if this committee had not accepted the responsibility for the gas pipeline safety and he may have gotten some of that since then and chose not to appear.
I am saying to the chairman today that this man should be down here to appear before this committee to defend this legislation if he is expecting to get cooperation because we think we did something in safety in the pipeline bill whether he agrees with us or not. But he is taking a second guess if he is going to stand off after he has actively criticized us as he did then as I read in the newspaper and checked out that those were the words that he used because a member of this committee was present and heard it at the time.
Mr. Chairman, it is my belief that the Secretary ought to come down here and justify this bill and everything in it.
There will be a lot of questions on policy, I think, to be asked on both sides by those who are going to be for this bill all out and those who are for the bill in some parts and probably some of them are not going to be for the bill.