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Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials

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)

Subcommittee's Activity in Previous Congress

Ranking Member

Michael Capuano
Michael Capuano
Massachusetts ~ 07

Democratic Members

Donald Payne
Donald Payne
New Jersey ~ 10
Jerrold Nadler
Jerrold Nadler
New York ~ 10
Elijah Cummings
Elijah Cummings
Maryland ~ 07
Steve Cohen
Steve Cohen
Tennessee ~ 09
Albio Sires
Albio Sires
New Jersey ~ 08
John Garamendi
John Garamendi
California ~ 03
Andre Carson
Andre Carson
Indiana ~ 07
Richard Nolan
Richard Nolan
Minnesota ~ 08
Elizabeth Esty
Elizabeth Esty
Connecticut ~ 05
Cheri Bustos
Cheri Bustos
Illinois ~ 17
Frederica Wilson
Frederica Wilson
Florida ~ 24
Mark DeSaulnier
Mark DeSaulnier
California ~ 11
Daniel Lipinski
Daniel Lipinski
Illinois ~ 03

Ex Officio

Peter DeFazio
Peter DeFazio
Oregon ~ 04

Chairman

Jeff Denham
Jeff Denham
California ~ 10

Republican Members

Scott Perry
Scott Perry
Pennsylvania ~ 04
John Katko
John Katko
New York ~ 24
Mark Meadows
Mark Meadows
North Carolina ~ 11
Scott Perry
Scott Perry
Pennsylvania ~ 04
Mark Sanford
Mark Sanford
South Carolina ~ 01
Todd Rokita
Todd Rokita
Indiana ~ 04
John Katko
John Katko
New York ~ 24
Brian Babin
Brian Babin
Texas ~ 36
Randy Weber
Randy Weber
Texas ~ 14
Bruce Westerman
Bruce Westerman
Arkansas ~ 04
Lloyd Smucker
Lloyd Smucker
Pennsylvania ~ 16
John Duncan
John Duncan
Tennessee ~ 02
Paul Mitchell
Paul Mitchell
Michigan ~ 10
Sam Graves
Sam Graves
Missouri ~ 06
John Faso
John Faso
New York ~ 19
Lou Barletta
Lou Barletta
Pennsylvania ~ 11
Jason Lewis
Jason Lewis
Minnesota ~ 02
Blake Farenthold
Blake Farenthold
Texas ~ 27
Daniel Webster
Daniel Webster
Florida ~ 10