Florida Senate - 2017 SB 386 By Senator Mayfield 17-00350B-17 2017386__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to high-speed passenger rail; creating 3 s. 341.601, F.S.; providing a short title; creating s. 4 341.602, F.S.; providing definitions; creating s. 5 341.603, F.S.; providing legislative intent; creating 6 s. 341.604, F.S.; providing applicability; creating s. 7 341.605, F.S.; providing powers and duties of the 8 Florida Department of Transportation; authorizing the 9 department to regulate railroads where not federally 10 preempted; authorizing the department to collect 11 information from relevant parties; requiring the 12 department to keep certain records; requiring the 13 department to offer certain response training for 14 accidents involving passengers or hazardous materials 15 under certain circumstances; requiring the department 16 to adopt rules; creating s. 341.606, F.S.; providing 17 reporting requirements for certain railroad companies; 18 requiring the department to publish certain 19 information on its website; requiring the department, 20 in coordination with the Federal Railroad 21 Administration and other entities as necessary, to 22 develop certain rules; specifying that reporting 23 requirements are for informational purposes only and 24 not to be used to economically regulate the railroad 25 company; creating s. 341.607, F.S.; providing minimum 26 safety standards for high-speed passenger rail; 27 requiring certain railroad companies to comply with 28 certain federal laws and regulations; providing safety 29 technology requirements for certain railroad 30 companies; specifying that such railroad companies may 31 be subject to civil or criminal penalties for an 32 incident caused by the use of an unapproved safety 33 technology; providing certain requirements for 34 railroad companies before operating a high-speed 35 passenger rail system; creating s. 341.608, F.S.; 36 requiring construction, maintenance, and repair of 37 certain infrastructure by certain railroad companies; 38 specifying requirements for certain roadbed 39 modifications; requiring certain contractual 40 agreements to adhere to the department’s requisition 41 and procurement procedures; providing for 42 construction; creating s. 341.609, F.S.; requiring the 43 department’s railroad inspectors, in accordance with a 44 specified program, to meet certain certification 45 requirements and to coordinate their activities with 46 those of federal inspectors in the state in compliance 47 with certain federal regulations; requiring the 48 inspectors to report the results of their inspections, 49 subject to certain requirements; requiring the reports 50 to be made available on the department’s website; 51 creating s. 341.611, F.S.; requiring the department to 52 adopt rules that identify standards for conducting 53 field surveys of certain rail corridors; providing 54 requirements for the field survey; requiring the 55 department to hold certain public meetings; requiring 56 certain railroad companies to construct and maintain 57 fences under certain circumstances; providing fencing 58 requirements; requiring a railroad company to be 59 liable for all damages arising from its failure to 60 construct or maintain the fence under certain 61 circumstances; creating s. 341.612, F.S.; requiring a 62 railroad company operating a high-speed passenger rail 63 system to be solely responsible for all rail corridor 64 improvements or upgrades relating to its operation and 65 safety; prohibiting a local government or the state 66 from being responsible for certain costs unless it 67 expressly consents in writing; creating s. 341.613, 68 F.S.; providing administrative fines for certain 69 violations, subject to certain requirements; providing 70 certain factors to consider in determining the amount 71 of the fine to be imposed; requiring all fines 72 collected to be deposited into the State 73 Transportation Trust Fund; creating s. 341.614, F.S.; 74 authorizing certain suits to be brought in any court 75 of this state having jurisdiction; providing for 76 attorney fees and costs; creating s. 341.615, F.S.; 77 authorizing local governments to enact ordinances 78 regulating the speed limits of railroad traffic under 79 certain circumstances; providing an effective date. 80 81 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 82 83 Section 1. Section 341.601, Florida Statutes, is created to 84 read: 85 341.601 Short title.—Sections 341.601-341.615 shall be 86 known as the “Florida High-Speed Passenger Rail Safety Act.” 87 Section 2. Section 341.602, Florida Statutes, is created to 88 read: 89 341.602 Definitions.—As used in ss. 341.601-341.615, the 90 term: 91 (1) “Department” means the Florida Department of 92 Transportation. 93 (2) “Freight railroad carrier” means any person, railroad 94 corporation, or other legal entity in the business of providing 95 freight rail transportation. 96 (3) “Governmental entity” means the state, any of its 97 agencies, or any of its political subdivisions. 98 (4) “High-speed passenger rail system” means any new 99 intrastate passenger rail system that operates or proposes to 100 operate its passenger trains at a maximum speed in excess of 80 101 miles per hour on or after July 1, 2017. 102 (5) “Pedestrian grade crossing” means a separate sidewalk 103 or pathway where pedestrians, but not vehicles, cross railroad 104 tracks. 105 (6) “Public railroad-highway grade crossing” means a 106 location at which a railroad track is crossed at grade by a 107 public road. 108 (7) “Rail corridor” means a linear, continuous strip of 109 real property that is used for rail service. The term includes 110 the corridor and structures essential to railroad operations, 111 including the land, buildings, improvements, rights-of-way, 112 easements, rail lines, rail beds, guideway structures, switches, 113 yards, parking facilities, power relays, switching houses, rail 114 stations, any ancillary development, and any other facilities or 115 equipment used for the purposes of construction, operation, or 116 maintenance of a railroad that provides rail service. 117 (8) “Railroad company” means any individual, partnership, 118 association, corporation, or company and its respective lessees, 119 trustees, or receivers, appointed by a court, that develops or 120 provides ground transportation that runs on rails, including, 121 but not limited to: 122 (a) A high-speed passenger rail system; 123 (b) A freight railroad carrier; or 124 (c) A company that owns a rail corridor. 125 Section 3. Section 341.603, Florida Statutes, is created to 126 read: 127 341.603 Public purpose and intent.—It is the intent of the 128 Legislature to: 129 (1) Encourage the creation of safe and cost-effective 130 transportation options for this state’s residents and visitors, 131 including high-speed passenger rail systems. 132 (2) Promote and enhance the safety of high-speed passenger 133 rail systems operating within the state to protect the health, 134 safety, and welfare of the public. 135 Section 4. Section 341.604, Florida Statutes, is created to 136 read: 137 341.604 Applicability.—This act applies to any railroad 138 company operating a high-speed passenger rail system, or any 139 railroad company that allows a high-speed passenger rail system 140 to operate on or within its rail corridor. 141 Section 5. Section 341.605, Florida Statutes, is created to 142 read: 143 341.605 Powers and duties of the department; rules.— 144 (1) The department shall have the authority to regulate 145 railroad companies in this state insofar as such authority is 146 not preempted by federal laws or regulations. 147 (2) The department may obtain from any party all necessary 148 information to enable it to perform its duties and carry out the 149 requirements set forth in this act. 150 (3) The department shall keep a record of all its findings, 151 decisions, determinations, and investigations carried out under 152 this act. 153 (4) If a high-speed passenger rail system operates within 154 the same rail corridor or on the same set of tracks as another 155 railroad company that transports hazardous materials, the 156 department shall offer the local communities and local emergency 157 services located along the rail corridor training specifically 158 designed to help them respond to an accident involving rail 159 passengers or hazardous materials. 160 (5) The department shall adopt rules, pursuant to the 161 requirements of chapter 120, relating to this act. 162 Section 6. Section 341.606, Florida Statutes, is created to 163 read: 164 341.606 Reporting requirements.— 165 (1) A railroad company operating a high-speed passenger 166 rail system shall furnish to the department a copy of the 167 accident reports filed with the Federal Railroad Administration 168 for each train accident that occurs within the rail corridor. 169 (2) The department shall annually publish on its official 170 website a report that discloses all of the fatalities, injuries, 171 and accidents during the reporting timeframe which have occurred 172 within a rail corridor where a high-speed passenger rail system 173 operates. 174 (3) A railroad company that transports liquefied natural 175 gas on the same tracks or within the same rail corridor as a 176 high-speed passenger rail system within the state must submit an 177 annual report to the department containing: 178 (a) All insurance carried by the railroad company that 179 covers any losses resulting from a reasonable worst-case 180 unplanned release of liquefied natural gas. 181 (b) Coverage amounts, limitations, and other conditions of 182 the insurance identified in paragraph (a). 183 (c) The average and largest liquefied natural gas train, as 184 measured in metric tons, operated in the state by the railroad 185 company in the previous calendar year. 186 (d) Information sufficient to demonstrate the railroad 187 company’s ability to pay the costs of remediating a reasonable 188 worst-case unplanned release of liquefied natural gas, 189 including, but not limited to, insurance, reserve accounts, 190 letters of credit, or other financial instruments or resources 191 on which the company can rely to pay all such costs. The 192 department, in coordination with the Federal Railroad 193 Administration and other public and private entities as 194 necessary, shall develop rules to determine applicable criteria 195 for a reasonable worst-case unplanned release of liquefied 196 natural gas. 197 (4) All reporting requirements are for informational 198 purposes only and may not be used to economically regulate the 199 railroad company. 200 Section 7. Section 341.607, Florida Statutes, is created to 201 read: 202 341.607 Minimum safety standards for high-speed passenger 203 rail.— 204 (1) A railroad company operating a high-speed passenger 205 rail system shall comply with all of the federal laws and 206 regulations administered by the Federal Railroad Administration. 207 (2) A railroad company operating a high-speed passenger 208 rail system must install safety technology that has been 209 approved by the Federal Railroad Administration or the 210 department as applicable. Safety technology at a minimum shall 211 include positive train control and remote health monitoring. The 212 railroad company may be subject to civil or criminal penalties 213 for an incident caused by the use of an unapproved safety 214 technology. 215 (3) Before operating a high-speed passenger rail system, a 216 railroad company shall also: 217 (a) Install or realign crossing gates, including those at 218 severely skewed acute-angled locations as identified by either 219 the department or the Federal Railroad Administration, so the 220 gates are parallel to the tracks and in accordance with the most 221 recent edition of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices 222 published by the Federal Highway Administration and adopted by 223 the state pursuant to s. 316.0745. 224 (b) Equip all automatic public railroad-highway grade 225 crossing warning systems with remote health monitoring 226 technology capable of: 227 1. Detecting false activations; 228 2. Detecting other crossing signal malfunctions; and 229 3. Notifying the train dispatcher and crossing signal 230 maintenance personnel whenever such a malfunction is detected. 231 (c) Construct and maintain fencing in accordance with s. 232 341.611. 233 Section 8. Section 341.608, Florida Statutes, is created to 234 read: 235 341.608 Maintenance and repair of roadbeds, tracks, 236 culverts, and certain streets and sidewalks.— 237 (1) A railroad company that constructs or operates a high 238 speed passenger rail system on tracks that intersect with a 239 public street or highway at grade shall, at its sole cost and 240 expense, construct and thereafter maintain, renew, and repair 241 all railroad roadbed, track, and railroad culverts within the 242 confines of the public street or highway, and the streets or 243 pedestrian grade crossings lying between the rails and for a 244 distance outside the rails of 1 foot beyond the end of the 245 railroad ties. 246 (2) If the railroad company that constructs or operates a 247 high-speed passenger rail system is required to install safety 248 improvements that modify the width of a roadbed, it shall be 249 responsible for ensuring that the impacted roadbed meets the 250 department’s transition requirements as set forth in the most 251 recent edition of the department’s Design Standards and the 252 Manual of Uniform Minimum Standards for Design, Construction and 253 Maintenance for Streets and Highways. 254 (3) If a railroad company that constructs or operates a 255 high-speed passenger rail system enters into a contractual 256 agreement with a governmental entity that requires the 257 governmental entity to reimburse a private entity for the 258 installation or maintenance of the track improvements or 259 crossing safety improvements necessary to operate a high-speed 260 passenger rail system, the work to be performed must adhere to 261 the department’s applicable requisition and procurement 262 procedures. 263 (4) This section does not impair any existing contractual 264 agreements between the railroad company operating the high-speed 265 passenger rail system and a governmental entity within the 266 state. 267 Section 9. Section 341.609, Florida Statutes, is created to 268 read: 269 341.609 Safety inspections and inspectors.— 270 (1) In accordance with the State Rail Safety Participation 271 Program, which is designed to promote safety in all areas of 272 railroad operations to reduce deaths, injuries, and damage to 273 railroad property, the department’s railroad inspectors shall be 274 certified by the Federal Railroad Administration and shall 275 coordinate their activities with those of federal inspectors in 276 the state in compliance with 49 C.F.R. part 212 and any other 277 federal regulations governing state safety participation. 278 (2) The department’s railroad inspectors shall report in 279 writing the results of their inspections in the manner and on 280 forms prescribed by the department. These reports shall be made 281 available on the department’s website for the public to access. 282 Section 10. Section 341.611, Florida Statutes, is created 283 to read: 284 341.611 Fencing and separation requirements to protect the 285 public.— 286 (1) The department shall adopt rules that identify 287 standards for conducting field surveys of the rail corridor 288 being used by a high-speed passenger rail system. The field 289 surveys must indicate areas where fencing is necessary for the 290 health, safety, and welfare of the public. 291 (2) At a minimum, the field survey should identify 292 pedestrian traffic generators, such as nearby schools and parks, 293 and signs of current pedestrian traffic that crosses the 294 railroad tracks. The department must hold at least one public 295 meeting in each community where new or substantially modified 296 fencing is proposed before designs and plans for such fencing 297 are finalized. 298 (3) Once it has been determined that a fence is necessary 299 to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the surrounding 300 community, the railroad company operating a high-speed passenger 301 rail system shall construct and maintain the fence on both sides 302 of its railroad tracks sufficient to prevent intrusion. 303 (4) The fencing must be placed 1 foot inside the edge of 304 the railroad company’s right-of-way, except in locations where 305 the railroad intersects with a highway or road. 306 (5) The fencing must be maintained by the railroad company 307 operating a high-speed passenger rail system, unless maintenance 308 is specifically addressed in a separate contract with a property 309 owner or local government. 310 (6) The fence must be at least 4 1/2 feet in height. 311 Ornamental fencing must be used within urban areas. Chain-link 312 fencing may be used in locations outside of urban areas. 313 (7) If a railroad company neglects to construct or maintain 314 a required fence, the railroad company is liable for all damages 315 arising from its failure to construct or maintain such fence 316 unless another entity is responsible for maintenance under 317 subsection (5). 318 Section 11. Section 341.612, Florida Statutes, is created 319 to read: 320 341.612 Operation of a high-speed passenger rail system 321 over the tracks of another railroad company.—A railroad company 322 operating a high-speed passenger rail system shall be solely 323 responsible for all rail corridor improvements or upgrades 324 relating to the system’s operation and safety. A local 325 government or the state shall not be responsible for any costs 326 associated with the construction and maintenance of the 327 improvements necessary to operate a high-speed passenger rail 328 system unless it expressly consents in writing. 329 Section 12. Section 341.613, Florida Statutes, is created 330 to read: 331 341.613 Administrative fines.— 332 (1) In addition to any administrative action authorized by 333 chapter 120 or by other law, the department may impose a fine, 334 which may not exceed $10,000 for each violation, for a violation 335 of this act or for a violation of any rule adopted pursuant to 336 this act. Notice of intent to impose such fine shall be given by 337 the department to the alleged violator. Each day that a 338 violation continues constitutes a separate violation. 339 (2) In determining the amount of the fine, if any, to be 340 imposed for a violation, the following factors shall be 341 considered: 342 (a) The gravity of the violation, including the probability 343 that death or serious physical or emotional harm to any person 344 will result or has resulted, the severity of the actual or 345 potential harm, and the extent to which this act or department 346 rules were violated; 347 (b) Actions taken by the owner or operator to correct 348 violations; and 349 (c) Any previous violations. 350 (3) All fines collected under this section shall be 351 deposited into the State Transportation Trust Fund. 352 Section 13. Section 341.614, Florida Statutes, is created 353 to read: 354 341.614 Action to enforce penalties; attorney fees.—A suit 355 to collect any of the damages, penalties, forfeitures, 356 demurrage, or storage charges provided for in this act may be 357 brought in any court of this state having jurisdiction of the 358 subject matter and parties. If a suit is adjudicated in favor of 359 a plaintiff, the plaintiff shall be permitted to recover 360 reasonable attorney fees and costs. 361 Section 14. Section 341.615, Florida Statutes, is created 362 to read: 363 341.615 Ordinances; speed limits.—This act does not prevent 364 a local government from enacting ordinances regulating the speed 365 limits of railroad traffic due to local safety hazards not 366 statewide in nature and not capable of being adequately 367 encompassed within the national uniform standards. 368 Section 15. This act shall take effect July 1, 2017.