Florida Senate - 2020 SB 676 By Senator Mayfield 17-00207E-20 2020676__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to high-speed passenger rail safety; 3 creating s. 341.601, F.S.; providing a short title; 4 creating s. 341.602, F.S.; defining terms; 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.; requiring the Department of 8 Transportation to regulate railroads when that 9 authority is not federally preempted; requiring the 10 department to obtain certain information from parties; 11 requiring the department to keep certain records; 12 requiring the department to adopt rules; creating s. 13 341.606, F.S.; requiring the Division of Emergency 14 Management to offer accident response training to 15 certain local communities and local agencies; creating 16 s. 341.607, F.S.; requiring certain railroad companies 17 to furnish copies of federal accident reports to the 18 department; requiring the department to annually 19 publish certain information on its website; requiring 20 railroad companies that transport liquefied natural 21 gas on or within certain tracks or corridors to submit 22 an annual report to the department containing 23 specified information; prohibiting the use of reported 24 information for the purpose of economically regulating 25 railroad companies; requiring the department, in 26 coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration 27 and other necessary entities, to adopt certain rules; 28 creating s. 341.608, F.S.; requiring certain railroad 29 companies to comply with federal law and certain 30 regulations and install certain safety equipment; 31 requiring railroad companies to meet specified 32 requirements before operating a high-speed passenger 33 rail system; requiring sealed corridors at certain at 34 grade crossings; providing safety measure requirements 35 for sealed corridors; creating s. 341.609, F.S.; 36 requiring railroad companies to be responsible for 37 ensuring that impacted roadbed meets specified 38 transition requirements under certain circumstances; 39 providing construction; creating s. 341.6101, F.S.; 40 requiring the department’s railroad inspectors, in 41 accordance with a specified program, to meet certain 42 certification requirements and to coordinate their 43 activities with those of federal inspectors in the 44 state in compliance with certain federal regulations; 45 requiring the department’s inspectors to report the 46 results of their inspections to the department, 47 subject to certain requirements, unless the results 48 are confidential under law; requiring the department 49 to make the reports available on its website; creating 50 s. 341.611, F.S.; requiring the department to adopt by 51 rule standards to be used in conducting field surveys 52 of certain rail corridors; providing minimum 53 requirements for the field surveys; requiring the 54 department to hold certain public meetings; requiring 55 certain railroad companies to construct and maintain 56 fences under certain circumstances; providing fencing 57 requirements; specifying that a railroad company 58 operating a high-speed passenger rail system is liable 59 for all damages arising from its failure to construct 60 or maintain the fence, under certain circumstances; 61 creating s. 341.612, F.S.; establishing jurisdiction 62 for the state to enforce specified provisions; 63 requiring penalties for violations of specified 64 provisions to be imposed upon the railroad company 65 that commits such violations; creating s. 341.613, 66 F.S.; providing severability; providing an effective 67 date. 68 69 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 70 71 Section 1. Section 341.601, Florida Statutes, is created to 72 read: 73 341.601 Short title.—Sections 341.601-341.613 may be cited 74 as the “Florida High-Speed Passenger Rail Safety Act.” 75 Section 2. Section 341.602, Florida Statutes, is created to 76 read: 77 341.602 Definitions.—As used in ss. 341.601-341.613, the 78 term: 79 (1) “Department” means the Department of Transportation. 80 (2) “Freight railroad carrier” means any person, railroad 81 corporation, or other legal entity engaged in the business of 82 providing freight rail transportation. 83 (3) “Governmental entity” means the state, any of its 84 agencies, or any of its political subdivisions. 85 (4) “Hazardous materials” includes all materials, wastes, 86 or substances designated or defined as hazardous by 49 C.F.R. 87 parts 100-199 and their implementing regulations, by 42 U.S.C. 88 s. 9601, or in any state law, rule, or program that regulates 89 handling or transporting of such materials, wastes, or 90 substances. 91 (5) “High-speed passenger rail system” means any intrastate 92 passenger rail system that operates or proposes to operate its 93 passenger trains at a maximum speed in excess of 80 miles per 94 hour and that was not carrying passengers before January 1, 95 2017. 96 (6) “Public railroad-highway grade crossing” means a 97 location at which a railroad track is crossed at grade by a 98 public road. 99 (7) “Rail corridor” means a linear, continuous strip of 100 real property that is used for rail service. The term includes 101 the corridor and structures essential to railroad operations, 102 including the land, buildings, improvements, rights-of-way, 103 easements, rail lines, roadbeds, guideway structures, switches, 104 yards, parking facilities, power relays, switching houses, rail 105 stations, any ancillary developments, and any other facilities 106 or equipment used for the purposes of construction, operation, 107 or maintenance of a railroad that provides rail service. 108 (8) “Railroad company” means any individual, partnership, 109 association, corporation, or company and its respective lessees, 110 trustees, or court-appointed receivers which develops or 111 provides ground transportation that runs on rails, and includes, 112 but is not limited to, any of the following: 113 (a) A high-speed passenger rail system. 114 (b) A freight railroad carrier. 115 (c) A company that owns a rail corridor. 116 (9) “Sealed corridor” means a rail corridor that uses 117 safety measures to block all lanes of travel where a roadway 118 crosses a railroad track and that uses pedestrian treatments at 119 grade crossings and controls between crossings to prevent 120 trespassing. 121 Section 3. Section 341.603, Florida Statutes, is created to 122 read: 123 341.603 Legislative intent.—It is the intent of the 124 Legislature to: 125 (1) Encourage the creation of safe and economical 126 transportation options, including high-speed passenger rail 127 systems, for this state’s residents and visitors. 128 (2) Promote and enhance the safe operation of high-speed 129 passenger rail systems within the state to protect the health, 130 safety, and welfare of the public. 131 Section 4. Section 341.604, Florida Statutes, is created to 132 read: 133 341.604 Applicability.—This act applies to any railroad 134 company that operates a high-speed passenger rail system and any 135 railroad company that allows a high-speed passenger rail system 136 to operate on or within its rail corridor. 137 Section 5. Section 341.605, Florida Statutes, is created to 138 read: 139 341.605 Powers and duties of the department; rules.— 140 (1) The department shall regulate railroad companies in 141 this state to the extent that such authority is not preempted by 142 federal law or regulation. 143 (2) The department shall obtain from any party all 144 necessary information to enable it to perform its duties and 145 carry out the requirements of this act. 146 (3) The department shall keep a record of its findings, 147 decisions, and determinations made, and investigations 148 conducted, under this act. 149 (4) The department shall adopt rules to administer this 150 act. 151 Section 6. Section 341.606, Florida Statutes, is created to 152 read: 153 341.606 Training for local communities and local agencies. 154 If a high-speed passenger rail system operates on a rail 155 corridor or on a set of tracks which is also used to transport 156 hazardous materials, the Division of Emergency Management must 157 offer the local communities and local agencies located along the 158 rail corridor training specifically designed to help them 159 respond to an accident involving rail passengers or hazardous 160 materials. 161 Section 7. Section 341.607, Florida Statutes, is created to 162 read: 163 341.607 Reporting requirements; rulemaking.— 164 (1) A railroad company that operates a high-speed passenger 165 rail system shall furnish to the department a copy of the 166 accident reports filed with the Federal Railroad Administration 167 for each train accident that occurs within the rail corridor. 168 (2) The department shall annually publish on its website a 169 compendium of the reports that include any fatalities, injuries, 170 or accidents during the reporting timeframe which occurred 171 within a rail corridor where a high-speed passenger rail system 172 operates. 173 (3) A railroad company that transports liquefied natural 174 gas on the same tracks, or within the same rail corridor, used 175 by a high-speed passenger rail system within the state shall 176 submit an annual report to the department containing: 177 (a) All insurance carried by the railroad company which 178 covers any losses resulting from a reasonable worst-case 179 unplanned release of liquefied natural gas. 180 (b) Coverage amounts, limitations, and other conditions of 181 such insurance. 182 (c) The size of the average and largest liquefied natural 183 gas train, as measured in metric tons, operated in the state by 184 the railroad company in the previous calendar year. 185 (d) Information sufficient to demonstrate the railroad 186 company’s ability to remediate a reasonable worst-case unplanned 187 release of liquefied natural gas, including, but not limited to, 188 insurance coverage, reserve accounts, letters of credit, or 189 other financial instruments or resources on which the company 190 can rely for such remediation. 191 (4) All reporting requirements are for informational 192 purposes only. The information reported may not be used to 193 economically regulate the railroad company. 194 (5) The department, in coordination with the Federal 195 Railroad Administration and other public and private entities, 196 as necessary, shall adopt by rule criteria to determine a 197 reasonable worst-case unplanned release of liquefied natural 198 gas. 199 Section 8. Section 341.608, Florida Statutes, is created to 200 read: 201 341.608 Minimum safety standards for high-speed passenger 202 rail systems.— 203 (1) In addition to complying with federal law and with 204 Federal Railroad Administration regulations, a railroad company 205 operating a high-speed passenger rail system shall install 206 safety equipment that has been approved by the Federal Railroad 207 Administration and include, at a minimum, positive train control 208 systems as provided in 49 C.F.R. part 236. 209 (2) Before operating a high-speed passenger rail system, a 210 railroad company shall also: 211 (a) Install or realign crossing gates, including those at 212 severely skewed, acute-angled locations as identified by either 213 the department or the Federal Railroad Administration, so that 214 the gates are parallel to the tracks and in accordance with the 215 most recent edition of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control 216 Devices published by the Federal Highway Administration and 217 adopted by the department pursuant to s. 316.0745. 218 (b) Equip all automatic public railroad-highway grade 219 crossing warning systems with remote health monitoring 220 technology capable of constantly monitoring the highway-railroad 221 crossing to: 222 1. Detect false activations; 223 2. Detect other crossing signal malfunctions; and 224 3. Notify the train dispatcher and railroad maintenance 225 personnel whenever such a malfunction is detected. 226 (c) Construct and maintain fencing in accordance with s. 227 341.611. 228 (3)(a) Sealed corridors must be required at any at-grade 229 crossing where a high-speed passenger rail system operates on 230 tracks that are also used to transport hazardous materials, 231 regardless of the speed at which the high-speed passenger rail 232 system is operating on such at-grade crossing. 233 (b) Safety measures that must be used at a sealed corridor 234 include, but are not limited to, the following: 235 1. A four-quadrant gate system with separate pedestrian 236 crossing gates on the two-way streets; 237 2. Gate arms extending across all lanes of travel on paired 238 one-way streets; and 239 3. Median arrangements. 240 Section 9. Section 341.609, Florida Statutes, is created to 241 read: 242 341.609 Maintenance and repair of roadbeds, tracks, 243 culverts, and certain streets and sidewalks.— 244 (1) If the railroad company that constructs or operates a 245 high-speed passenger rail system is required to install safety 246 improvements that modify the width of a roadbed, the company is 247 responsible for ensuring that the impacted roadbed meets the 248 department’s transition requirements as set forth in the most 249 recent edition of the department’s Design Standards and the 250 Manual of Uniform Minimum Standards for Design, Construction and 251 Maintenance for Streets and Highways. 252 (2) This section does not impair any existing contractual 253 agreements between a railroad company operating a high-speed 254 passenger rail system and a governmental entity within the 255 state. 256 Section 10. Section 341.6101, Florida Statutes, is created 257 to read: 258 341.6101 Safety inspections and inspectors.— 259 (1) In accordance with the State Rail Safety Participation 260 Program, which is designed to promote safety in all areas of 261 railroad operations to reduce deaths, injuries, and damage to 262 railroad property, the department’s railroad inspectors must be 263 certified by the Federal Railroad Administration and shall 264 coordinate their activities with those of federal inspectors in 265 the state in compliance with 49 C.F.R. part 212 and any other 266 federal regulations governing state safety participation. 267 (2) Unless the results are otherwise confidential under 268 state or federal law, the department’s railroad inspectors shall 269 report in writing the results of their inspections in the manner 270 and on forms prescribed by the department. The department must 271 make these reports available on its website for the public to 272 access. 273 Section 11. Section 341.611, Florida Statutes, is created 274 to read: 275 341.611 Fencing and separation requirements to protect the 276 public.— 277 (1) The department shall adopt by rule standards to be used 278 by the department in conducting field surveys of the rail 279 corridor being used by a high-speed passenger rail system. The 280 field surveys must indicate areas where fencing is necessary to 281 protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public. 282 (2) At a minimum, the field surveys must identify 283 pedestrian traffic generators, such as nearby schools and parks, 284 and signs of current pedestrian traffic that crosses the 285 railroad tracks. The department shall hold at least one public 286 meeting in each community in which new or substantially modified 287 fencing is proposed before designs and plans for such fencing 288 are finalized. 289 (3) Once it has been determined that a fence is necessary, 290 a railroad company operating a high-speed passenger rail system 291 shall construct and maintain the fence on both sides of its 292 railroad tracks in a manner sufficient to prevent intrusion. The 293 fencing must be: 294 (a) Placed 1 foot inside the edge of the railroad company’s 295 right-of-way. 296 (b) At least 4 1/2 feet in height. Ornamental fencing must 297 be used within urban areas. Chain-link fencing may be used in 298 locations outside of urban areas. 299 (c) Maintained by the railroad company operating a high 300 speed passenger rail system, unless a governmental entity has 301 contractually consented to undertake the responsibility for 302 maintaining the fence within its jurisdiction. 303 (4) If a railroad company operating a high-speed passenger 304 rail system does not construct or maintain a fence as required 305 under subsection (3), the railroad company is liable for all 306 damages arising from its failure to construct or maintain such 307 fence unless another entity is responsible for maintenance as 308 provided by paragraph (3)(c). 309 Section 12. Section 341.612, Florida Statutes, is created 310 to read: 311 341.612 Enforcement.—Jurisdiction to enforce ss. 341.601 312 341.613 is as provided in s. 316.640, and any penalty for a 313 violation of ss. 341.601-341.613 must be imposed upon the 314 railroad company that commits such violation. 315 Section 13. Section 341.613, Florida Statutes, is created 316 to read: 317 341.613 Severability.—If any provision of this act or its 318 application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the 319 invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of 320 this act which can be given effect without the invalid provision 321 or application, and to this end the provisions of this act are 322 severable. 323 Section 14. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.