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Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials

Membership 114th Congress

Subcommittee Ranking Member

Michael Capuano
Massachusetts ~ 07

Democratic Members

Corrine Brown
Florida ~ 05

Daniel Lipinski
Illinois ~ 03

Jerrold Nadler
New York ~ 10

Elijah Cummings
Maryland ~ 07

Rick Larsen
Washington ~ 02

Steve Cohen
Tennessee ~ 09

Albio Sires
New Jersey ~ 08

Richard Nolan
Minnesota ~ 08

Elizabeth Esty
Connecticut ~ 05

Grace Napolitano
California ~ 32

Janice Hahn
California ~ 44

Peter DeFazio
Oregon ~ 04

Chairman

Jeff Denham
California ~ 10

Republican Members

Jeff Denham
California ~ 10

John Duncan
Tennessee ~ 02

John Mica
Florida ~ 07

Sam Graves
Missouri ~ 06

Candice Miller
Michigan ~ 10

Lou Barletta
Pennsylvania ~ 11

Blake Farenthold
Texas ~ 27

Richard Hanna
New York ~ 22

Daniel Webster
Florida ~ 10

Tom Rice
South Carolina ~ 07

Scott Perry
Pennsylvania ~ 04

Todd Rokita
Indiana ~ 04

John Katko
New York ~ 24

Brian Babin
Texas ~ 36

Cresent Hardy
Nevada ~ 04

Mimi Walters
California ~ 45

Lee Zeldin
New York ~ 01

The Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials has jurisdiction over the economic and safety regulation of railroads and the agencies that administer those regulations.  Economic regulation is administered by the three-member Surface Transportation Board (STB).  This independent agency also has the authority to address national emergencies as they affect the nation’s rail transportation system.

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is responsible for administering railroad safety laws, railroad infrastructure and development programs, possesses responsibilities relevant to homeland security, and has federal oversight of Amtrak.

Amtrak is the nation’s major provider of intercity passenger rail service.  Also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, Amtrak was established by law in 1970 and required to assume the responsibility from private sector railroads for provision of passenger rail services.  The Subcommittee continues to oversee efforts to increase efficiency and accountability in Amtrak’s operations.

The Subcommittee also has jurisdiction over the benefit but not revenue aspects of railroad retirement and unemployment systems, as well as rail labor relations.

The transportation of hazardous materials and the issue of pipeline safety also fall under the scope of this subcommittee.

Issues and agencies under the jurisdiction of the Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee include:

  • Economic regulation of railroads
  • Surface Transportation Board (STB)
  • Railroad safety, including safety practices, equipment, and reporting
  • Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)
  • Railroad development programs, such as high-speed rail research and development
  • Rail infrastructure programs
  • Rail security
  • Amtrak
  • Amtrak Inspector General
  • Northeast Corridor Infrastructure and Operations Advisory Commission
  • Railroad retirement (regarding the benefit aspects) and unemployment
  • Railroad Retirement Board, which administers the retirement and unemployment programs unique to railroads
  • Railroad Retirement Board Inspector General
  • National Railroad Retirement Investment Trust
  • Railway Labor Act
  • The National Mediation Board, which administer the Railway Labor Act
  • Federal Employers’ Liability Act, which is the railroad worker-compensation statute
  • Hazardous materials transportation
  • Pipeline transportation safety
  • Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)

Recent Activity

Apr 14, 2015 Hearing

WHAT: The Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials will hold a hearing on: “Oversight of the Ongoing Rail, Pipeline, and Hazmat Rulemakings”
WHERE: 2167 Rayburn House Office Building
WHEN: 10:00AM, Tuesday, April 14, 2014

WITNESSES:

Sarah Feinberg
Acting Administrator
Federal Railroad Administration

Mar 12, 2015 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, Ranking Member of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR) sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) requesting an examination of emergency response capabilities to handle crude oil transportation by rail. 

Feb 3, 2015 Hearing

WHAT: The Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials hearing on: “How the Changing Energy Markets Will Affect U.S. Transportation”
WHERE: 2167 Rayburn House Office Building
WHEN: 10:00AM, Tuesday, February 3, 2014

WITNESSES:

Feb 3, 2015 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, Ranking Member of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR) sent a letter to U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Inspector General Calvin L. Scovel, III requesting a full audit of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA) pipeline and hazardous materials safety programs.

Jan 22, 2015 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, Ranking Member of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR) sent a letter to U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Anthony Foxx, urging him to take immediate action to address rail tank car safety and other significant pipeline and hazardous materials safety hazards.

Jan 9, 2015 Press Release

Washington, D.C.--Today, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR) blasted the House Republican Leadership for passing legislation that bypasses federal agencies to allow construction on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.  DeFazio helped lead Democratic opposition to the controversial legislation, which has bee

Jan 6, 2015 Press Release

Washington, DC- Three leading House Democratic lawmakers called on Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) to use regular order for consideration of controversial legislation to approve construction of TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline.

Dec 13, 2012 Hearing

WHAT:
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Hearing on “Northeast Corridor Future: Options for High-Speed Rail Development and Opportunities for Private Sector Participation”

WHEN:
Thursday, December 13, 2012; 10:00 AM

WHERE:
2167 Rayburn House Office Building

 

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