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.
   81  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   83         Section 1. Section 341.601, Florida Statutes, is created to
   84  read:
   85         341.601Short 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         341.603Public 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         341.604Applicability.—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         341.605Powers 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         341.606Reporting 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         341.607Minimum 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         341.608Maintenance 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         341.609Safety 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         341.611Fencing 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         341.612Operation 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         341.613Administrative 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         341.614Action 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         341.615Ordinances; 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.