Report text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF   (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip ?

107th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     107-470

======================================================================



 
    NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2002

                                _______
                                

  May 16, 2002.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

     Mr. Young of Alaska, from the Committee on Transportation and 
                Infrastructure, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 4466]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, to whom 
was referred the bill (H.R. 4466) to amend title 49, United 
States Code, to authorize appropriations for the National 
Transportation Safety Board for fiscal years 2003, 2004, and 
2005, and for other purposes, having considered the same, 
report favorably thereon with an amendment and recommend that 
the bill as amended do pass.
  The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``National Transportation Safety Board 
Reauthorization Act of 2002''.

                     TITLE I--NTSB REAUTHORIZATION

SEC. 101. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

  (a) Fiscal Years 2003-2005.--Section 1118(a) of title 49, United 
States Code, is amended--
          (1) by striking ``and''; and
          (2) by striking ``such sums to'' and inserting the following: 
        ``$73,325,000 for fiscal year 2003, $84,999,000 for fiscal year 
        2004, and $89,687,000 for fiscal year 2005. Such sums shall''.
  (b) Emergency Fund.--Section 1118(b) of such title is amended by 
striking the second sentence and inserting the following: ``In 
addition, there are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be 
necessary to increase the fund to, and maintain the fund at, a level of 
not to exceed $6,000,000.''.
  (c) NTSB Academy.--Section 1118 of such title is amended by adding at 
the end the following:
  ``(c) Academy.--There are authorized to be appropriated to the Board 
for necessary expenses of the National Transportation Safety Board 
Academy, not otherwise provided for, $3,347,000 for fiscal year 2003, 
$4,896,000 for fiscal year 2004, and $4,995,000 for fiscal year 2005. 
Such sums shall remain available until expended.''.

SEC. 102. ACCIDENT AND SAFETY DATA CLASSIFICATION AND PUBLICATION.

  Section 1119 of title 49, United States Code, is amended by adding at 
the end the following:
  ``(c) Appeals.--
          ``(1) Notification of rights.--In any case in which an 
        employee of the Board determines that an occurrence associated 
        with the operation of an aircraft constitutes an accident, the 
        employee shall notify the owner or operator of that aircraft of 
        the right to appeal that determination to the Board.
          ``(2) Procedure.--The Board shall establish and publish the 
        procedures for appeals under this subsection.
          ``(3) Limitation on applicability.--This subsection shall not 
        apply in the case of an accident that results in a loss of 
        life.''.

SEC. 103. SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION'S RESPONSES TO SAFETY 
                    RECOMMENDATIONS.

  Section 1135(d) of title 49, United States Code, is amended to read 
as follows:
  ``(d) Reporting Requirements.--
          ``(1) Annual secretarial regulatory status reports.--On 
        February 1 of each year, the Secretary shall submit a report to 
        Congress and the Board containing the regulatory status of each 
        significant safety recommendation made by the Board to the 
        Secretary (or to an Administration within the Department). The 
        Secretary shall continue to report on the regulatory status of 
        each such recommendation in the report due on February 1 of 
        subsequent years until final regulatory action is taken on that 
        recommendation or the Secretary (or an Administration within 
        the Department) determines and states in such a report that no 
        action should be taken.
          ``(2) Failure to report.--If on March 1 of each year the 
        Board has not received the Secretary's report required by this 
        subsection, the Board shall notify the Committee on 
        Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of 
        Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
        Transportation of the Senate of the Secretary's failure to 
        submit the required report.
          ``(3) Significant safety recommendation defined.--For the 
        purposes of this subsection, the term `significant safety 
        recommendation' means a recommendation included in the Board's 
        `most wanted list'.
          ``(4) Termination.--This subsection shall cease to be in 
        effect after the report required to be filed on February 1, 
        2007, is filed.''.

SEC. 104. ASSISTANCE TO FAMILIES OF PASSENGERS INVOLVED IN AIRCRAFT 
                    ACCIDENTS.

  (a) Relinquishment of Investigative Priority.--Section 1136 of title 
49, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
  ``(j) Relinquishment of Investigative Priority.--
          ``(1) General rule.--This section (other than subsection (g)) 
        shall not apply to an aircraft accident if the Board has 
        relinquished investigative priority under section 1131(a)(2)(B) 
        and the Federal agency to which the Board relinquished 
        investigative priority is willing and able to provide 
        assistance to the victims and families of the passengers 
        involved in the accident.
          ``(2) Board assistance.--If this section does not apply to an 
        aircraft accident because the Board has relinquished 
        investigative priority with respect to the accident, the Board 
        shall assist, to the maximum extent possible, the agency to 
        which the Board has relinquished investigative priority in 
        assisting families with respect to the accident.''.
  (b) Revision of MOU.--Not later than 1 year after the date of 
enactment of this Act, the National Transportation Safety Board and the 
Federal Bureau of Investigation shall revise their 1977 agreement on 
the investigation of accidents to take into account the amendments made 
by this section and title II and shall submit a copy of the revised 
agreement to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the 
House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation of the Senate.

SEC. 105. TECHNICAL AMENDMENTS.

  Section 1131(a)(2) of title 49, United States Code, is amended by 
moving subparagraphs (B) and (C) 4 ems to the left.

SEC. 106. ADVERSE EFFECTS OF CARRY-ON BAGGAGE.

  (a) Study.--The National Transportation Safety Board shall conduct a 
study to identify the adverse effects, including passenger injuries or 
other safety problems, associated with carry-on baggage stored in 
overhead bins aboard passenger aircraft and sufficient ways to deal 
with such problems.
  (b) Report.--Not later than October 1, 2002, the Board shall report 
to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of 
Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation of the Senate on the results of the study.

                  TITLE II--RAILROAD FAMILY ASSISTANCE

SEC. 201. ASSISTANCE BY NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD TO 
                    FAMILIES OF PASSENGERS INVOLVED IN RAIL PASSENGER 
                    ACCIDENTS.

  (a) In General.--Subchapter III of chapter 11 of title 49, United 
States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

``Sec. 1138. Assistance to families of passengers involved in rail 
                    passenger accidents

  ``(a) In General.--As soon as practicable after being notified of a 
rail passenger accident within the United States involving a rail 
passenger carrier and resulting in a major loss of life, the Chairman 
of the National Transportation Safety Board shall--
          ``(1) designate and publicize the name and phone number of a 
        director of family support services who shall be an employee of 
        the Board and shall be responsible for acting as a point of 
        contact within the Federal Government for the families of 
        passengers involved in the accident and a liaison between the 
        rail passenger carrier and the families; and
          ``(2) designate an independent nonprofit organization, with 
        experience in disasters and posttrauma communication with 
        families, which shall have primary responsibility for 
        coordinating the emotional care and support of the families of 
        passengers involved in the accident.
  ``(b) Responsibilities of the Board.--The Board shall have primary 
Federal responsibility for--
          ``(1) facilitating the recovery and identification of fatally 
        injured passengers involved in an accident described in 
        subsection (a); and
          ``(2) communicating with the families of passengers involved 
        in the accident as to the roles of--
                  ``(A) the organization designated for an accident 
                under subsection (a)(2);
                  ``(B) Government agencies; and
                  ``(C) the rail passenger carrier involved,
        with respect to the accident and the post-accident activities.
  ``(c) Responsibilities of Designated Organization.--The organization 
designated for an accident under subsection (a)(2) shall have the 
following responsibilities with respect to the families of passengers 
involved in the accident:
          ``(1) To provide mental health and counseling services, in 
        coordination with the disaster response team of the rail 
        passenger carrier involved.
          ``(2) To take such actions as may be necessary to provide an 
        environment in which the families may grieve in private.
          ``(3) To meet with the families who have traveled to the 
        location of the accident, to contact the families unable to 
        travel to such location, and to contact all affected families 
        periodically thereafter until such time as the organization, in 
        consultation with the director of family support services 
        designated for the accident under subsection (a)(1), determines 
        that further assistance is no longer needed.
          ``(4) To arrange a suitable memorial service, in consultation 
        with the families.
  ``(d) Passenger Lists.--
          ``(1) Requests for passenger lists.--
                  ``(A) Requests by director of family support 
                services.--It shall be the responsibility of the 
                director of family support services designated for an 
                accident under subsection (a)(1) to request, as soon as 
                practicable, from the rail passenger carrier involved 
                in the accident a list, which is based on the best 
                available information at the time of the request, of 
                the names of the passengers that were aboard the rail 
                passenger carrier's train involved in the accident. A 
                rail passenger carrier shall use reasonable efforts, 
                with respect to its unreserved trains, and passengers 
                not holding reservations on its other trains, to 
                ascertain the names of passengers aboard a train 
                involved in an accident.
                  ``(B) Requests by designated organization.--The 
                organization designated for an accident under 
                subsection (a)(2) may request from the rail passenger 
                carrier involved in the accident a list described in 
                subparagraph (A).
          ``(2) Use of information.--The director of family support 
        services and the organization may not release to any person 
        information on a list obtained under paragraph (1) but may 
        provide information on the list about a passenger to the family 
        of the passenger to the extent that the director of family 
        support services or the organization considers appropriate.
  ``(e) Continuing Responsibilities of the Board.--In the course of its 
investigation of an accident described in subsection (a), the Board 
shall, to the maximum extent practicable, ensure that the families of 
passengers involved in the accident--
          ``(1) are briefed, prior to any public briefing, about the 
        accident and any other findings from the investigation; and
          ``(2) are individually informed of and allowed to attend any 
        public hearings and meetings of the Board about the accident.
  ``(f) Use of Rail Passenger Carrier Resources.--To the extent 
practicable, the organization designated for an accident under 
subsection (a)(2) shall coordinate its activities with the rail 
passenger carrier involved in the accident to facilitate the reasonable 
use of the resources of the carrier.
  ``(g) Prohibited Actions.--
          ``(1) Actions to impede the board.--No person (including a 
        State or political subdivision) may impede the ability of the 
        Board (including the director of family support services 
        designated for an accident under subsection (a)(1)), or an 
        organization designated for an accident under subsection 
        (a)(2), to carry out its responsibilities under this section or 
        the ability of the families of passengers involved in the 
        accident to have contact with one another.
          ``(2) Unsolicited communications.--No unsolicited 
        communication concerning a potential action for personal injury 
        or wrongful death may be made by an attorney (including any 
        associate, agent, employee, or other representative of an 
        attorney) or any potential party to the litigation to an 
        individual (other than an employee of the rail passenger 
        carrier) injured in the accident, or to a relative of an 
        individual involved in the accident, before the 45th day 
        following the date of the accident.
          ``(3) Prohibition on actions to prevent mental health and 
        counseling services.--No State or political subdivision may 
        prevent the employees, agents, or volunteers of an organization 
        designated for an accident under subsection (a)(2) from 
        providing mental health and counseling services under 
        subsection (c)(1) in the 30-day period beginning on the date of 
        the accident. The director of family support services 
        designated for the accident under subsection (a)(1) may extend 
        such period for not to exceed an additional 30 days if the 
        director determines that the extension is necessary to meet the 
        needs of the families and if State and local authorities are 
        notified of the determination.
  ``(h) Definitions.--In this section, the following definitions apply:
          ``(1) Rail passenger accident.--The term `rail passenger 
        accident' means any rail passenger disaster occurring in the 
        provision of--
                  ``(A) interstate intercity rail passenger 
                transportation (as such term is defined in section 
                24102); or
                  ``(B) interstate or intrastate high-speed rail (as 
                such term is defined in section 26105) transportation,
        regardless of its cause or suspected cause.
          ``(2) Rail passenger carrier.--The term `rail passenger 
        carrier' means a rail carrier providing--
                  ``(A) interstate intercity rail passenger 
                transportation (as such term is defined in section 
                24102); or
                  ``(B) interstate or intrastate high-speed rail (as 
                such term is defined in section 26105) transportation,
        except that such term shall not include a tourist, historic, 
        scenic, or excursion rail carrier.
          ``(3) Passenger.--The term `passenger' includes--
                  ``(A) an employee of a rail passenger carrier aboard 
                a train;
                  ``(B) any other person aboard the train without 
                regard to whether the person paid for the 
                transportation, occupied a seat, or held a reservation 
                for the rail transportation; and
                  ``(C) any other person injured or killed in the 
                accident.
  ``(i) Limitation on Statutory Construction.--Nothing in this section 
may be construed as limiting the actions that a rail passenger carrier 
may take, or the obligations that a rail passenger carrier may have, in 
providing assistance to the families of passengers involved in a rail 
passenger accident.
  ``(j) Relinquishment of Investigative Priority.--
          ``(1) General rule.--This section (other than subsection (g)) 
        shall not apply to a railroad accident if the Board has 
        relinquished investigative priority under section 1131(a)(2)(B) 
        and the Federal agency to which the Board relinquished 
        investigative priority is willing and able to provide 
        assistance to the victims and families of the passengers 
        involved in the accident.
          ``(2) Board assistance.--If this section does not apply to a 
        railroad accident because the Board has relinquished 
        investigative priority with respect to the accident, the Board 
        shall assist, to the maximum extent possible, the agency to 
        which the Board has relinquished investigative priority in 
        assisting families with respect to the accident.''.
  (b) Conforming Amendment.--The table of sections for such chapter is 
amended by inserting after the item relating to section 1137 the 
following:

``1138. Assistance to families of passengers involved in rail passenger 
accidents.''.

SEC. 202. RAIL PASSENGER CARRIER PLANS TO ADDRESS NEEDS OF FAMILIES OF 
                    PASSENGERS INVOLVED IN RAIL PASSENGER ACCIDENTS.

  (a) In General.--Part C of subtitle V of title 49, United States 
Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new chapter:

                    ``CHAPTER 251--FAMILY ASSISTANCE

``Sec.
``25101.  Plans to address needs of families of passengers involved in 
rail passenger accidents.

``Sec. 25101.  Plans to address needs of families of passengers 
                    involved in rail passenger accidents

  ``(a) Submission of Plans.--Not later than 6 months after the date of 
the enactment of this section, each rail passenger carrier shall submit 
to the Secretary of Transportation and the Chairman of the National 
Transportation Safety Board a plan for addressing the needs of the 
families of passengers involved in any rail passenger accident 
involving a train of the rail passenger carrier and resulting in a 
major loss of life.
  ``(b) Contents of Plans.--A plan to be submitted by a rail passenger 
carrier under subsection (a) shall include, at a minimum, the 
following:
          ``(1) A plan for publicizing a reliable, toll-free telephone 
        number, and for providing staff, to handle calls from the 
        families of the passengers.
          ``(2) A process for notifying the families of the passengers, 
        before providing any public notice of the names of the 
        passengers, either by utilizing the services of the 
        organization designated for the accident under section 
        1138(a)(2) of this title or the services of other suitably 
        trained individuals.
          ``(3) An assurance that the notice described in paragraph (2) 
        will be provided to the family of a passenger as soon as the 
        rail passenger carrier has verified that the passenger was 
        aboard the train (whether or not the names of all of the 
        passengers have been verified) and, to the extent practicable, 
        in person.
          ``(4) An assurance that the rail passenger carrier will 
        provide to the director of family support services designated 
        for the accident under section 1138(a)(1) of this title, and to 
        the organization designated for the accident under section 
        1138(a)(2) of this title, immediately upon request, a list 
        (which is based on the best available information at the time 
        of the request) of the names of the passengers aboard the train 
        (whether or not such names have been verified), and will 
        periodically update the list. The plan shall include a 
        procedure, with respect to unreserved trains and passengers not 
        holding reservations on other trains, for the rail passenger 
        carrier to use reasonable efforts to ascertain the names of 
        passengers aboard a train involved in an accident.
          ``(5) An assurance that the family of each passenger will be 
        consulted about the disposition of all remains and personal 
        effects of the passenger within the control of the rail 
        passenger carrier.
          ``(6) An assurance that if requested by the family of a 
        passenger, any possession of the passenger within the control 
        of the rail passenger carrier (regardless of its condition) 
        will be returned to the family unless the possession is needed 
        for the accident investigation or any criminal investigation.
          ``(7) An assurance that any unclaimed possession of a 
        passenger within the control of the rail passenger carrier will 
        be retained by the rail passenger carrier for at least 18 
        months.
          ``(8) An assurance that the family of each passenger or other 
        person killed in the accident will be consulted about 
        construction by the rail passenger carrier of any monument to 
        the passengers, including any inscription on the monument.
          ``(9) An assurance that the treatment of the families of 
        nonrevenue passengers will be the same as the treatment of the 
        families of revenue passengers.
          ``(10) An assurance that the rail passenger carrier will work 
        with any organization designated under section 1138(a)(2) of 
        this title on an ongoing basis to ensure that families of 
        passengers receive an appropriate level of services and 
        assistance following each accident.
          ``(11) An assurance that the rail passenger carrier will 
        provide reasonable compensation to any organization designated 
        under section 1138(a)(2) of this title for services provided by 
        the organization.
          ``(12) An assurance that the rail passenger carrier will 
        assist the family of a passenger in traveling to the location 
        of the accident and provide for the physical care of the family 
        while the family is staying at such location.
          ``(13) An assurance that the rail passenger carrier will 
        commit sufficient resources to carry out the plan.
          ``(14) An assurance that the rail passenger carrier will 
        provide adequate training to the employees and agents of the 
        carrier to meet the needs of survivors and family members 
        following an accident.
          ``(15) An assurance that, upon request of the family of a 
        passenger, the rail passenger carrier will inform the family of 
        whether the passenger's name appeared on any preliminary 
        passenger manifest for the train involved in the accident.
  ``(c) Limitation on Liability.--A rail passenger carrier shall not be 
liable for damages in any action brought in a Federal or State court 
arising out of the performance of the rail passenger carrier in 
preparing or providing a passenger list, or in providing information 
concerning a train reservation, pursuant to a plan submitted by the 
rail passenger carrier under subsection (b), unless such liability was 
caused by conduct of the rail passenger carrier which was grossly 
negligent or which constituted intentional misconduct.
  ``(d) Definitions.--In this section--
          ``(1) the terms `rail passenger accident' and `rail passenger 
        carrier' have the meanings such terms have in section 1138 of 
        this title; and
          ``(2) the term `passenger' means a person aboard a rail 
        passenger carrier's train that is involved in a rail passenger 
        accident.
  ``(e) Limitation on Statutory Construction.--Nothing in this section 
may be construed as limiting the actions that a rail passenger carrier 
may take, or the obligations that a rail passenger carrier may have, in 
providing assistance to the families of passengers involved in a rail 
passenger accident.''.
  (b) Conforming Amendment.--The table of chapters for subtitle V of 
title 49, United States Code, is amended by adding after the item 
relating to chapter 249 the following new item:

``251. FAMILY ASSISTANCE...................................    25101''.

                       Purpose of the Legislation

    H.R. 4466 reauthorizes the National Transportation Safety 
Board for fiscal years 2003 through 2005. The Board's 
authorization expires on September 30, 2002.

                Background and Need for the Legislation

    The NTSB is charged with determining the probable cause of 
transportation accidents and promoting transportation safety. 
The Board investigates accidents, conducts safety studies, and 
evaluates the effectiveness of other government agencies' 
programs for preventing transportation accidents.
    In addition, the NTSB coordinates all Federal assistance to 
families of victims of catastrophic aviation accidents. When 
resources allow, the NTSB provides family assistance for 
accidents in other transportation modes, as well.
    The Board also serves as the ``court of appeal'' for 
airmen, mechanics or mariners whenever the Federal Aviation 
Administration (FAA) or the U.S. Coast Guard takes an adverse 
certificate action against them. In the Aviation Investment and 
Reform Act for the 21st Century (AIR 21), Congress expanded the 
Board's jurisdiction to include review of FAA emergency 
revocations of pilot licenses. These emergency revocations take 
effect immediately, and prior to AIR 21 the pilot's only 
recourse was to take the FAA to court.
    Most importantly, the NTSB makes safety recommendations, 
based on its investigations, to Federal, state and local 
government agencies and to the transportation industry 
regarding actions that should be taken to prevent accidents.
    Since 1967, the Board has investigated more than 114,000 
aviation accidents, and at least 10,000 other accidents in 
other transportation modes. The Safety Board also investigates 
accidents involving the transportation of hazardous materials, 
and is the sole U.S. accredited representative at foreign 
aviation accident investigations under the Convention on 
International Civil Aviation.
    NTSB has no authority to issue substantive regulations 
covering the transportation industry. Therefore, its 
effectiveness is dependent upon timely accident reports and 
safety recommendations. According to the NTSB, since its 
inception in 1967, the NTSB has issued almost 12,000 safety 
recommendations in all modes of transportation. Over 82 percent 
of these recommendations have been adopted by the regulatory 
and transportation communities.

                            NTSB Operations

    When the NTSB is notified of a major accident, it launches 
a go-team that varies in size depending on the severity of the 
accident and the complexity of the issues involved. Go-teams 
consist of Safety Board investigators who are experts in 
appropriate technical specialties, based on the mode of 
transportation and the nature of the accident. Each Safety 
Board expert manages an investigative group made up of other 
experts from industry and government organizations that are 
parties to the investigation in the collection of the facts 
surrounding the accident. Eventually, each Safety Board expert 
prepares a factual report that is verified for accuracy by each 
of the party representatives in the group. The factual reports 
are placed in the public docket and, after the completion of a 
formal technical review by the team, they constitute the 
factual record of the investigation.
    After investigating an accident, NTSB determines the 
probable cause and issues a formal report. Parties do not 
participate in the analytical or report-writing phases of NTSB 
investigations, although they may submit their proposed 
findings of probable cause and proposed safety recommendations 
directly to the Board.
    The NTSB is statutorily required to make a cause 
determination on all aviation accidents. Although the NTSB 
investigates all fatal aviation accidents, the Board may 
request the FAA to investigate non-fatal aviation accidents. 
States or other agencies often investigate accidents in other 
modes of transportation.

                         NTSB Training Academy

    In November 2000, the NTSB selected the George Washington 
University as the new home of the NTSB Academy, which will be 
located on the University's Northern Virginia campus in 
Ashburn, adjacent to the U.S. Department of Transportation's 
National Crash Analysis Center. This site was selected pursuant 
to a competitive process, and was supported in the Joint 
Explanatory Statement accompanying the conference report on the 
FY 2001 Transportation Appropriations Act.
    The NTSB and the University signed a 20-year lease in July 
2001. The facility is currently under construction and is 
scheduled to open in late summer 2003. The state-of-the-art, 
72,000-square-foot facility will contain five classrooms, a 
large laboratory to house the three-dimensional, 93-foot 
reconstruction of the forward portion of the TWA flight 800 
aircraft's fuselage, additional laboratory spaces, a 
simulations court, meeting rooms, student and teacher work 
areas, and offices.
    The new facility will enable the NTSB to train its own 
investigators and the transportation community in accident 
investigation techniques. Through an NTSB curriculum advisory 
committee, the NTSB is developing future comprehensive training 
for investigators from the NTSB, other government agencies, the 
transport community, and other safety professionals both in the 
U.S. and around the world. In addition to refining and making 
the NTSB's current accident investigation course more 
accessible, the curriculum committee envisions courses in all 
transportation modes in areas such as human factors, survival 
factors, vehicle performance, interviewing techniques, accident 
scene documentation, and investigation management.

                       Authorized Funding Levels

    The Committee supports the authorized funding levels 
requested by the NTSB. The table below shows the NTSB's FY 2002 
appropriation level, the FY 2003 President's request level, and 
the authorization levels that are requested by the NTSB for FYs 
2003-2005.

                                              [Dollars in millions]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                         2003
                                                             2002       Pres.       2003       2004       2005
                                                         enacted \1\     bud.      auth.      auth.      auth.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Salaries and Expenses:
    Funding............................................      $65.8      $71.246    $73.325    $84.999    $89.687
    Full-Time Equivalent Staff.........................        438          427        443        469        469
Training Academy:
    Funding............................................       $2.2        $2.59     $3.347     $4.896     $4.995
    Full-Time Equivalent Staff \2\.....................          5            5          5         10         10
Total, NTSB Salaries and Expenses:
    Funding............................................      $68.0      $73.836    $76.672    $89.895    $94.682
    Full-Time Equivalent Staff.........................        443          432        448        479        479
NTSB Emergency Fund \3\                                  ...........  .........     $4.000  .........  .........
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The 2002 figures are the appropriated level, not authorization level, which was $72 million.
\2\ In the 2002 enacted and 2003 President's budget columns, these Academy FTE are funded from the Salaries and
  Expenses amounts shown above. In the 2003-2005 authorization columns, these FTE are funded from amounts shown
  for the Training Academy.
\3\ The Emergency Fund currently has a balance of $2 million. Amounts shown above are authorized to be
  appropriated in addition to that balance.

    The FY 2003 President's budget requests $73.8 million for 
the NTSB, $5.84 million above the FY 2002 enacted level. Of the 
$5.84 million requested increase, $3.36 million is related to 
the President's proposal to shift employee health benefit and 
pension costs from the Office of Personnel Management to each 
individual agency's budget in FY 2003. The remaining $2.48 
million increase is related to pay raises, benefit cost 
increases, inflation, and costs associated with the start-up of 
the NTSB Training Academy. No new program initiatives are 
funded in the President's request level.
    The NTSB has requested an FY 2003 authorization level of 
$76.7 million, which is $2.8 million higher than the 
President's budget request. This $2.8 million increase above 
the President's request would fund: (1) 16 full-time equivalent 
staff-years ($2.5 million); and (2) a 3.6 percent cost-of-
living adjustment (COLA), instead of the 2.6 percent COLA 
assumed in the President's Budget ($0.3 million).
    The increase requested for FY 2004 includes funding for 
laboratory equipment and improvements to the Board's 
information technology infrastructure to enhance the NTSB's 
investigative tools and technical competence, as well as to 
improve public access to NTSB's accident investigation, safety 
recommendation, and safety promotion information. It also 
includes five additional Academy positions, as well as 26 
positions needed to fill shortages in mostly investigative and 
technical specialty areas. The further increase in funding 
requested for FY 2005 would simply maintain NTSB operations at 
the FY 2004 level.
    The bill also authorizes the appropriation of an additional 
$4 million for the NTSB's Emergency Fund. The Fund's current 
level of $2 million is not always sufficient to cover the costs 
of an expensive accident investigation, especially where 
underwater wreckage recovery is required. In such cases, the 
NTSB's solvency is at risk until a supplemental appropriation 
can be enacted. For example, the NTSB was in danger of running 
out of money in FY 2000 until the supplemental appropriation 
for the Egypt Air and Alaska Air investigations was finally 
enacted in July 2000. A larger Emergency Fund would ensure that 
accident investigations could continue without any delay due to 
a temporary lack of funds.

                     Notification of Appeal Rights

    The Committee has been contacted by aircraft operators who 
have concerns with the criteria that the NTSB uses to classify 
an event as an ``accident.'' Their concern is that the criteria 
that NTSB uses are not fully articulated and that there is no 
procedure to question an NTSB field inspector's decision that a 
particular incident should be classified as an accident. 
Whether or not an incident is classified as an accident can 
have serious implications for an operator's FAA certificate and 
on the insurance premiums that the operator will pay. Section 
102 of the bill addresses this issue by requiring the NTSB to 
notify aircraft owners and operators of their right to appeal a 
determination by an NTSB employee that a non-fatal event 
associated with the operation of an aircraft constitutes an 
accident.

                           Family Assistance

    The Committee supports the NTSB's request for a statutory 
change to the Board's responsibility to provide assistance to 
families of passengers involved in aircraft accidents resulting 
from intentional criminal acts. Current law triggers the NTSB's 
family affairs response irrespective of the suspected cause of 
the accident. This is necessary to provide family assistance 
without any delay due to uncertainty about which agency will 
lead the investigation. Although the NTSB Amendments Act of 
2000 (P.L. 106-424) established a mechanism for the transfer of 
investigative priority from the NTSB to the Federal Bureau of 
Investigation (FBI) in the event of an accident caused by an 
intentional criminal act, no mechanism for the transfer of 
family affairs responsibility was requested or provided.
    Based on the events of September 11, 2001, the NTSB 
believes that such a mechanism is needed. The NTSB believes 
that, if investigative responsibility is transferred to the 
FBI, then the responsibility for family assistance should be 
transferred as well. This is because when the FBI has 
investigative priority, the site of the crash is considered a 
crime scene and access to the scene and release of information 
about the investigation are much more restricted than when the 
NTSB has investigative priority.
    According to the NTSB, since September 11th, the FBI has 
recognized the need to have a stronger program to respond to 
victims for events of this magnitude. In January 2002, the 
Director of the FBI announced a reorganization of the Office of 
Victims Assistance (OVA). The new Program Director of OVA is 
responsible for designing a program to work with the NTSB and 
other agencies to support victims in terrorist and criminal 
events resulting in mass fatalities. The Committee has been 
told that the FBI has recently hired more than 100 victims 
assistance staff who will be organized into quick response 
teams in the event of a criminal act resulting in mass 
fatalities. This should provide the necessary infrastructure 
for the FBI to assume the NTSB's family assistance 
responsibilities in the event of an aircraft accident caused by 
an intentional criminal act.
    This proposed change to the aviation family assistance 
procedures is included in section 104 of H.R. 4466, and is also 
incorporated into the provisions of Title II of the bill. Title 
II incorporates the text of H.R. 554, the Railroad Passenger 
Disaster Family Assistance Act, which would create family 
assistance procedures for rail passenger accidents similar to 
those that already exist for aviation accidents. H.R. 554 was 
approved by the House in February 2001, but the Senate has not 
yet acted on the legislation.

                       Summary of the Legislation


Sec. 1.--Short title

    This Act may be cited as the ``National Transportation 
Safety Board Reauthorization Act of 2002''.

                     Title I--NTSB Reauthorization

Sec. 101.--Authorization of appropriations

    Subsection (a) authorizes the appropriation of $73,325,000 
for fiscal year 2003, $84,999,000 for fiscal year 2004, and 
$89,687,000 for fiscal year 2005 to fund authorized activities 
of the National Transportation Safety Board.
    Subsection (b) authorizes the appropriation of such sums as 
may be necessary to increase the NTSB's Emergency Fund to, and 
maintain the Fund at, a level not to exceed $6,000,000.
    Subsection (c) authorizes the appropriation of $3,347,000 
for fiscal year 2003, $4,896,000 for fiscal year 2004, and 
$4,995,000 for fiscal year 2005 for necessary expenses of the 
NTSB Academy.

Sec. 102.--Accident and safety data classification and publication

    Section 102 requires that, in any case in which an employee 
of the NTSB determines that a non-fatal event associated with 
the operation of an aircraft constitutes an accident, the 
employee must notify the aircraft owner or operator of the 
right to appeal that determination to the NTSB. Section 102 
also requires the NTSB to establish and publish procedures for 
such appeals. The requirements of this section could be met 
simply by amending the NTSB's existing ``Pilot/Operator 
Aircraft Accident Report'' form to include a notification of 
appeal rights and procedures.

Sec. 103.--Secretary of Transportation's responses to safety 
        recommendations

    Section 103 requires the Secretary of Transportation to 
submit a report to Congress and the NTSB on February 1st of 
each year containing the regulatory status of each 
recommendation made by the NTSB to the Secretary that the NTSB 
includes in its ``most wanted list'' of safety improvements. 
The Secretary must continue to report annually on the status of 
each such recommendation until either final action is taken, or 
the Secretary determines and states in such a report that no 
action should be taken. Section 103 also provides that, if on 
March 1st of each year the NTSB has not received the required 
report, then the NTSB shall notify Congress of the Secretary's 
failure to submit the report. The Secretary's report should not 
merely state whether or not the Department of Transportation 
accepts the recommendation, but should describe what regulatory 
action it plans to take, when it intends to take the action, or 
when it will make a decision on the issues raised by the 
recommendation.

Sec. 104.--Assistance to families of passengers involved in aircraft 
        accidents

    Section 104 provides that, if the NTSB has relinquished 
investigative priority for an aviation accident, and the 
Federal agency to which the NTSB has relinquished investigative 
priority is willing and able to provide assistance to the 
victims and families of the passengers involved in the 
accident, then the NTSB is relieved of its family assistance 
duties under section 1136 of title 49, United States Code. 
Section 104 further provides that, in such a case, the NTSB 
shall assist, to the maximum extent possible, the agency to 
which the NTSB has relinquished investigative priority in 
assisting families with respect to the accident. Finally, 
section 104 requires the NTSB and the FBI to revise their 1977 
agreement on the investigation of accidents within one year of 
enactment to take into account the amendments made by this 
section and title II.

Sec. 105.--Technical amendments

    Section 105 makes technical corrections to the margins in 
section 1131(a)(2) of Title 49, United States Code.

Sec. 106.--Adverse effects of carry-on baggage

    Section 106 requires the NTSB to conduct a study to 
identify the adverse effects, including passenger injuries or 
other safety problems, associated with carry-on baggage stored 
in overhead bins aboard passenger aircraft, and ways to address 
such problems.The NTSB shall report to the House Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure and the Senate Committee on Commerce, 
Science, and Transportation not later than October 1, 2002.

                  Title II--Railroad Family Assistance

Sec. 201.--Assistance by National Transportation Safety Board to 
        families of passengers involved in rail passenger accidents

    Section 201(a) of the bill adds a new section 1138 to title 
49 that lays out the responsibilities of the NTSB and an 
independent organization designated by the NTSB. This section 
authorizes the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to 
provide assistance to families of passengers involved in rail 
passenger accidents within the United States. The provision 
applies only to accidents involving interstate, intercity rail 
passenger carriers, or interstate or intrastate high-speed rail 
carriers, but not to those involving tourist, historic, scenic, 
or excursion rail carriers. Intrastate intercity carriers such 
as the Alaska Railroad and commuter rail carriers are also 
excluded.
    Subsection (a) of section 1138 directs the NTSB Chairman to 
take action as soon as practical after being notified of a rail 
passenger accident resulting in a major loss of life. This 
terminology is used to give the agency flexibility in deciding 
when to invoke the procedures of this section. Where the 
procedures of this bill are invoked, the Chairman is required 
to take the following actions:
    (1) Designate an NTSB employee as a director of family 
support services who shall be a point of contact within the 
government for the families and a liaison between the rail 
passenger carrier and the families.
    (2) Designate an independent organization with experience 
in disasters to be responsible for coordinating the emotional 
care and support of the families of passengers involved in the 
accident.
    Subsection (b) of section 1138 states the NTSB shall have 
the primary Federal responsibility for facilitating the 
recovery and identification of passengers killed in the 
accident and communicating with the families of passengers 
involved in the accident as to the roles of the independent 
organization, government agencies, and the rail passenger 
carrier involved in the accident.
    Subsection (c) of section 1138 sets forth the following 
specific responsibilities of the independent organization 
designated in subsection (a):
    (1) Provide mental health and counseling services in 
coordination with the rail passenger carrier.
    (2) Provide an environment where the families can grieve in 
private free from intrusion by lawyers and the press.
    (3) Meet with families who come to the scene, contact the 
other families, and stay in contact until such time as 
assistance is no longer needed.
    (4) Arrange a suitable memorial service in consultation 
with the families.
    Subsection (d) of section 1138 directs the NTSB's director 
of family support services to request the passenger list as 
soon as possible. The rail passenger carrier is to use 
reasonable efforts, with respect to its unreserved trains, and 
passengers not holding reservations on its other trains, to 
ascertain the names of passengers aboard the train involved in 
an accident. The subsection also gives the designated 
organization the option of requesting the list. Recipients of 
that list may not release it publicly, but they may use it to 
provide information to the families.
    Subsection (e) of section 1138 requires that the NTSB brief 
the families prior to any public briefing about the accident. 
Additionally, the Board is required to individually inform the 
families about and allow them to attend any public hearings or 
Board meetings about the accident.
    Subsection (f) of section 1138 requires the designated 
organization, to the extent practicable, to coordinate its 
activities with the rail passenger carrier and enables it to 
use the resources of the carrier to help it carry out its 
duties under this legislation.
    Subsection (g) of section 1138 prohibits any person from 
impeding the NTSB, the director of family support services, or 
the designated organization in carrying out their 
responsibilities or the ability of the families to have contact 
with one another. This subsection also includes a prohibition 
on lawyers making unsolicited communications to families, or 
individuals injured in the accident (other than an employee of 
the rail passenger carrier) before the 45th day following the 
date of the accident. (The exclusion of railroad employees is 
to assure no impairment of their immediate representation 
rights under the Federal Employers Liability Act.) The 
subsection also provides that no state or political subdivision 
may prevent the employees, agents or volunteers of the 
designated organization from providing mental health and 
counseling services in the 30 days after the accident. The 
director of family support services may extend this period an 
additional 30 days.
    Subsection (h) of section 1138 defines a rail passenger 
accident under this bill as a rail disaster occurring in the 
provision of interstate intercity rail passenger transportation 
or interstate or intrastate high-speed rail passenger 
transportation regardless of its cause or suspected cause. A 
rail passenger carrier is defined as a rail carrier providing 
interstate intercity rail passenger transportation or 
interstate or intrastate high-speed rail passenger 
transportation, except that it does not include a tourist, 
historic, scenic, or excursion rail carrier. It also defines 
passenger so that rail carrier employees aboard the train, as 
well as other victims not aboard the train, are afforded the 
same treatment from NTSB and the designated organization that 
passengers aboard the train receive under this legislation.
    Subsection (i) of section 1138 provides that nothing in the 
section may be construed as limiting the actions that a rail 
passenger carrier may take, or the obligations that a rail 
passenger carrier may have, in providing assistance to the 
families of passengers involved in a rail passenger accident.
    Subsection (j) of section 1138 provides that in situation 
where the NTSB has relinquished investigative priority under 
section 1131(a)(2)(B) to another federal agency and that 
federal agency is willing and able to provide assistance to 
victims and families of those involved in a passenger rail 
accident, the above section shall not apply. However, in the 
case of a transfer of family assistance responsibilities to 
another agency, the NTSB shall assist to the maximum extent 
possible the federal agency providing the family assistance. 
This provision parallels the changes made to the aviation 
family assistance statute in section 104 of this bill.
    Section 201(b) contains a conforming amendment.

Sec. 202.--Rail passenger carrier plans to address needs of families of 
        passengers involved in rail passenger accidents

    Section 202(a) adds a new section 25101 to title 49 
requiring rail passenger carriers to have plans to address the 
needs of families after accidents.
    Subsection (a) of section 25101 requires each rail 
passenger carrier to submit a plan to the Secretary and the 
NTSB, within 6 months of enactment, setting forth how that 
carrier plans to address the needs of families of passengers 
involved in an accident.
    Subsection (b) sets forth the minimum elements of the plan, 
as follows:
          (1) A reliable toll-free telephone number and the 
        staff to handle the calls from families;
          (2) A process for notifying families of the fate of 
        passengers before the passenger list is publicly 
        released using suitably trained individuals;
          (3) An assurance that a family is notified in person, 
        if practical, and as soon as the rail passenger carrier 
        confirms that the next of kin of that family was in 
        fact on board the train even if the carrier has not 
        verified all the names on the passenger list;
          (4) An assurance that the rail passenger carrier will 
        provide the passenger list based on the best available 
        information to the family support services director and 
        the designated organization immediately upon request 
        whether or not the names have been verified;
          (5) An assurance that the family of each passenger 
        will be consulted about the disposition of all remains 
        and personal effects of the passenger within the 
        control of the rail passenger carrier;
          (6) An assurance that, if requested by the family, 
        the carrier will return the possessions of the 
        passenger unless those possessions are needed for the 
        accident investigation;
          (7) An assurance that any unclaimed items will be 
        retained for at least 18 months;
          (8) An assurance that each family will be consulted 
        about the construction of any monument and the 
        inscription thereon;
          (9) An assurance that the treatment of the families 
        of non-revenue passengers will be the same as the 
        treatment of the families of revenue passengers;
          (10) An assurance that the carrier will work with the 
        designated organization on an ongoing basis to help the 
        families;
          (11) An assurance that the carrier will provide 
        reasonable compensation to the designated organization;
          (12) An assurance that the carrier will assist the 
        families in traveling to the location of the accident 
        and provide for their physical care, such as hotel and 
        meals;
          (13) An assurance that the carrier will commit 
        sufficient resources to carry out the plan;
          (14) An assurance that the carrier will provide 
        adequate training to the employees and agents of the 
        carrier to meet the needs of survivors and family 
        members following an accident;
          (15) An assurance that, upon request of the family of 
        a passenger, the rail passenger carrier will inform the 
        family of whether the passenger's name appeared on any 
        preliminary passenger manifest for the train involved 
        in the accident; and
    Subsection (c) of section 25101 states that a rail 
passenger carrier shall not be liable for damages arising out 
of the preparation or provision of a passenger list to the 
family services director or the designated organization unless 
such liability was caused by gross negligence or intentional 
misconduct.
    Subsection (d) of section 25101 includes definitions. The 
definitions of rail passenger accident and rail passenger 
carrier are the same as in section 1138. The definition of 
``passenger'' means any person aboard a rail passenger 
carrier's train that is involved in a rail passenger accident.
    Subsection (e) of section 25101 states that nothing in this 
section may be construed as limiting the actions that a rail 
passenger carrier may take, or the obligations that a rail 
passenger carrier may have, in providing assistance to the 
families of passengers involved in a rail passenger accident.
    Section 202(b) contains a conforming amendment.

            Legislative History and Committee Consideration

    A hearing was held on NTSB reauthorization issues on March 
14, 2002. H.R. 4466 was introduced by Chairman Don Young, 
Ranking Member James Oberstar, Aviation Subcommittee Chairman 
John Mica, Aviation Subcommittee Ranking Member William 
Lipinski, Railroads Subcommittee Chairman Jack Quinn, and 
Railroads Subcommittee Ranking Member Bob Clement on April 17, 
2002. It was referred to the Committee on Transportation and 
Infrastructure. A subcommittee mark-up was held on April 18, 
2002, where the bill, as introduced, was approved unanimously 
by voice vote.A full committee mark-up was held on April 24, 
2002, where the bill was amended by voice vote. The amended legislation 
was ordered reported to the House unanimously by voice vote.

                             Rollcall Votes

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the House of Representatives 
requires each committee report to include the total number of 
votes cast for and against on each rollcall vote on a motion to 
report and on any amendment offered to the measure or matter, 
and the names of those members voting for and against. There 
were no rollcall votes during consideration of the bill.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(1) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee's oversight findings and recommendations are 
reflected in this report.

                          Cost of Legislation

    Clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives does not apply where a cost estimate and 
comparison prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974 has been timely submitted prior to the filing of the 
report and is included in the report. Such a cost estimate is 
included in this report.

                    Compliance With House Rule XIII

    1. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(2) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, and 
308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee 
references the report of the Congressional Budget Office 
included below.
    2. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(4) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
performance goals and objective of this legislation are to 
improve transportation safety and assistance to passenger rail 
accident victims and their families.
    3. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(3) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the 
Committee has received the following cost estimate for H.R. 
4466 from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office.

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                      Washington, DC, May 14, 2002.
Hon. Don Young,
Chairman, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Washington, 
        DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 4466, the National 
Transportation Safety Board Reauthorization Act of 2002.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Rachel 
Milberg.
            Sincerely,
                                          Barry B. Anderson
                                    (For Dan L. Crippen, Director).
    Enclosure.

H.R. 4466--National Transportation Safety Board Reauthorization Act of 
        2002

    Summary: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) 
investigates every civil aviation accident and significant 
accidents in other modes of transportation. In addition to its 
investigations, NTSB provides assistance to the families of 
passengers involved in an aviation accident. H.R. 4466 would 
require the NTSB to offer the same services to the families of 
passengers involved in a significant rail accident. Over the 
2003-2005 period, H.R. 4466 would authorize the appropriation 
of about $248 million for NTSB activities and about $13 million 
for the NTSB training academy. H.R. 4466 would also authorize 
the appropriation of amounts necessary to maintain an emergency 
fund of $6 million at all times.
    CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 4466 would cost $261 
million over the 2003-2006 period. H.R. 4466 would not affect 
direct spending or receipts; therefore, pay-as-you-go 
procedures would not apply.
    H.R. 4466 would prohibit states from blocking the National 
Transportation Safety Board or agencies designated to provide 
counseling services from providing support to families of the 
victims of passenger rail accidents. The bill also would limit 
the liability of passenger rail carriers when they provide 
certain information regarding passenger lists and reservations. 
These prohibitions would be mandates under the Unfunded 
Mandates Reform Act (UMRA). While they would limit state 
authority, the prohibitions would impose no duty on states that 
would result in additional spending. Consequently, the cost of 
complying with those intergovernmental mandates would not 
exceed the threshold established in UMRA ($56 million in 2002, 
adjusted annually for inflation).
    The bill also would impose private-sector mandates, but CBO 
estimates that the direct costs of those mandates would not 
exceed the annual threshold established in UMRA ($115 million 
in 2002, adjusted annually for inflation) in any of the next 
five years.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of H.R. 4466 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall within budget function 400 
(transportation).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                By fiscal year, in million of dollars--
                                                     -----------------------------------------------------------
                                                        2002      2003      2004      2005      2006      2007
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NTSB spending under current law:
    Budget authority \1\............................        69         0         0         0         0         0
    Estimated outlays...............................        69         8         0         0         0         0
Proposed changes:
    Estimated authorization level...................         0        80        90        95         0         0
    Estimated outlays...............................         0        69        89        94         9         0
NTSB spending under H.R. 4466:
    Estimated authorization level \1\...............        69        80        90        95         0         0
    Estimated outlays...............................        69        77        89        94         9         0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The 2002 level is the amount appropriated for that year for NTSB activities.

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that H.R. 
4466 will be enacted in fiscal year 2002 and that the 
authorized amounts will be appropriated for each year. 
Estimates of spending are based on information from NTSB and 
historical spending patterns of similar programs.
    The NTSB emergency fund currently has a balance of $2 
million in budget authority. CBO estimates that H.R. 4466 would 
authorize the appropriation of an additional $4 million to 
increase the fund to a total of $6 million in budget authority.
    NTSB has not spent from the emergency fund over the past 
five years, and CBO does not estimate any outlays from the fund 
over the 2002-2007 period. For this reason, CBO estimates that 
implementing H.R. 4466 would increase budget authority by $4 
million more than it would increase outlays over this period. 
Consequently, we estimate that the emergency fund would not 
require any additional appropriations to maintain the fund at 
$6 million over the 2003-2007 period.
    Pay-as-you-go considerations: None.
    Estimated impact on state, local, and tribal governments: 
H.R. 4466 would prohibit states from blocking the National 
Transportation Safety Board or agencies designated to provide 
counseling services from providing support to families of the 
victims of passenger rail accidents. The bill also would limit 
the liability of passenger rail carriers when they provide 
certain information regarding passenger lists and reservations. 
These prohibitions would be mandates under UMRA. While they 
would limit state authority, the prohibitions would impose no 
duty on states that would result in additional spending. 
Consequently, the cost of complying with those 
intergovernmental mandates would not exceed the threshold 
established in UMRA ($56 million in 2002, adjusted annually for 
inflation).
    Estimated impact on the private sector: H.R. 4466 would 
impose three new federal mandates on the private sector. First, 
the bill would prohibit any person from hindering the ability 
of the National Transportation Safety Board and the nonprofit 
organization designated by the NTSB to carry out their 
responsibilities under the bill or from hindering the ability 
of families of passengers to contact one another. Second, 
attorneys or other potential parties would be prohibited for a 
45-day period from making unsolicited contact concerning 
potential legal action with injured passengers or family 
members. Information provided by the legal community indicates 
that state bar associations have a variety of regulations 
governing the action of attorneys after such disasters, but 
most do not prohibit such contact for a period as long as 45 
days. CBO estimates that the private sector's cost of 
compliance with these prohibitions would be small.
    The third mandate would require passenger rail carriers to 
submit a plan detailing assurances and procedures to be invoked 
in case of a railway accident involving a major loss of life. 
Such a plan would have to be submitted to the National Safety 
Transportation Board and to the Secretary of Transportation no 
later than six months after the enactment of the bill. 
According to industry experts, Amtrak is the only current 
passenger rail carrier that would be affected by the provisions 
in the bill. Currently, Amtrak has contingency plans for 
responding to the needs of families of rail accident 
passengers. According to Amtrak, the additional cost of any 
further modifications to incorporate the provisions in the bill 
and the cost of submitting the plan to the NTSB would be small. 
There also could be direct savings to Amtrak, as the bill 
limits the passenger rail carrier's liability arising from its 
preparing or providing a passenger list by the bill.
    CBO estimates that the total direct costs for private-
sector mandates in this bill would fall well below the 
threshold ($115 million in 2002, adjusted annually for 
inflation) established in UMRA.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal costs: Rachel Milberg; impact 
on state, local, and tribal governments: Susan Sieg Tompkins; 
impact on the private sector: Cecil McPherson.
    Estimate approved by: Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Pursuant to clause (3)(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, committee reports on a bill or 
joint resolution of a public character shall include a 
statement citing the specific powers granted to the Congress in 
the Constitution to enact the measure. The Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure finds that Congress has the 
authority to enact this measure pursuant to its powers granted 
under article I, section 8 of the Constitution.

                       Federal Mandates Statement

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of federal 
mandates prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act. (Public Law 104-4.)

                        Preemption Clarification

    Section 423 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1994 
requires the report of any Committee on a bill or joint 
resolution to include a statement on the extent to which the 
bill or joint resolution is intended to preempt state, local or 
tribal law. The Committee states that H.R. 4466 does not 
preempt any state, local, or tribal law, except to the extent 
provided under 49 U.S.C. 1138(g)(1) as added by section 201 of 
the bill.

                      Advisory Committee Statement

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act are created by this 
legislation.

                Applicability to the Legislative Branch

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act. (Public Law 
104-1.)

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italics, existing law in which no change 
is proposed is shown in roman):

                     TITLE 49, UNITED STATES CODE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



                SUBTITLE II--OTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCIES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


            CHAPTER 11--NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD


                          SUBCHAPTER I--GENERAL

Sec.
1101.  Definitions.
     * * * * * * *

                        SUBCHAPTER III--AUTHORITY

1131.  General authority.
     * * * * * * *
1138.  Assistance to families of passengers involved in rail passenger 
          accidents.
     * * * * * * *

             SUBCHAPTER II--ORGANIZATION AND ADMINISTRATIVE

Sec. 1118. Authorization of appropriations

  (a) In General.--There are authorized to be appropriated for 
the purposes of this chapter $57,000,000 for fiscal year 2000, 
$65,000,000 for fiscal year 2001, [and] $72,000,000 for fiscal 
year 2002, [such sums to] $73,325,000 for fiscal year 2003, 
$84,999,000 for fiscal year 2004, and $89,687,000 for fiscal 
year 2005. Such sums shall remain available until expended.
  (b) Emergency Fund.--The Board has an emergency fund of 
$2,000,000 available for necessary expenses of the Board, not 
otherwise provided for, for accident investigations. [Amounts 
equal to the amounts expended annually out of the fund are 
authorized to be appropriated to the emergency fund.] In 
addition, there are authorized to be appropriated such sums as 
may be necessary to increase the fund to, and maintain the fund 
at, a level of not to exceed $6,000,000.
  (c) Academy.--There are authorized to be appropriated to the 
Board for necessary expenses of the National Transportation 
Safety Board Academy, not otherwise provided for, $3,347,000 
for fiscal year 2003, $4,896,000 for fiscal year 2004, and 
$4,995,000 for fiscal year 2005. Such sums shall remain 
available until expended.

Sec. 1119. Accident and safety data classification and 
                    publication

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (c) Appeals.--
          (1) Notification of rights.--In any case in which an 
        employee of the Board determines that an occurrence 
        associated with the operation of an aircraft 
        constitutes an accident, the employee shall notify the 
        owner or operator of that aircraft of the right to 
        appeal that determination to the Board.
          (2) Procedure.--The Board shall establish and publish 
        the procedures for appeals under this subsection.
          (3) Limitation on applicability.--This subsection 
        shall not apply in the case of an accident that results 
        in a loss of life.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                       SUBCHAPTER III--AUTHORITY

Sec. 1131. General authority

  (a) General.--(1) * * *
  (2)(A) * * *
  (B) If the Attorney General, in consultation with the 
Chairman of the Board, determines and notifies the Board that 
circumstances reasonably indicate that the accident may have 
been caused by an intentional criminal act, the Board shall 
relinquish investigative priority to the Federal Bureau of 
Investigation. The relinquishment of investigative priority by 
the Board shall not otherwise affect the authority of the Board 
to continue its investigation under this section.
  (C) If a Federal law enforcement agency suspects and notifies 
the Board that an accident being investigated by the Board 
under subparagraph (A), (B), (C), or (D) of paragraph (1) may 
have been caused by an intentional criminal act, the Board, in 
consultation with the law enforcement agency, shall take 
necessary actions to ensure that evidence of the criminal act 
is preserved.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 1135. Secretary of Transportation's responses to safety 
                    recommendations

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  [(d) Reports to Congress.--The Secretary shall submit to 
Congress on January 1 of each year a report containing each 
recommendation on transportation safety made by the Board to 
the Secretary during the prior year and a copy of the 
Secretary's response to each recommendation.]
  (d) Reporting Requirements.--
          (1) Annual secretarial regulatory status reports.--On 
        February 1 of each year, the Secretary shall submit a 
        report to Congress and the Board containing the 
        regulatory status of each significant safety 
        recommendation made by the Board to the Secretary (or 
        to an Administration within the Department). The 
        Secretary shall continue to report on the regulatory 
        status of each such recommendation in the report due on 
        February 1 of subsequent years until final regulatory 
        action is taken on that recommendation or the Secretary 
        (or an Administration within the Department) determines 
        and states in such a report that no action should be 
        taken.
          (2) Failure to report.--If on March 1 of each year 
        the Board has not received the Secretary's report 
        required by this subsection, the Board shall notify the 
        Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the 
        House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, 
        Science, and Transportation of the Senate of the 
        Secretary's failure to submit the required report.
          (3) Significant safety recommendation defined.--For 
        the purposes of this subsection, the term ``significant 
        safety recommendation'' means a recommendation included 
        in the Board's ``most wanted list''.
          (4) Termination.--This subsection shall cease to be 
        in effect after the report required to be filed on 
        February 1, 2007, is filed.

Sec. 1136. Assistance to families of passengers involved in 
                    aircraft accidents

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (j) Relinquishment of Investigative Priority.--
          (1) General rule.--This section (other than 
        subsection (g)) shall not apply to an aircraft accident 
        if the Board has relinquished investigative priority 
        under section 1131(a)(2)(B) and the Federal agency to 
        which the Board relinquished investigative priority is 
        willing and able to provide assistance to the victims 
        and families of the passengers involved in the 
        accident.
          (2) Board assistance.--If this section does not apply 
        to an aircraft accident because the Board has 
        relinquished investigative priority with respect to the 
        accident, the Board shall assist, to the maximum extent 
        possible, the agency to which the Board has 
        relinquished investigative priority in assisting 
        families with respect to the accident.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 1138. Assistance to families of passengers involved in rail 
                    passenger accidents

  (a) In General.--As soon as practicable after being notified 
of a rail passenger accident within the United States involving 
a rail passenger carrier and resulting in a major loss of life, 
the Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board 
shall--
          (1) designate and publicize the name and phone number 
        of a director of family support services who shall be 
        an employee of the Board and shall be responsible for 
        acting as a point of contact within the Federal 
        Government for the families of passengers involved in 
        the accident and a liaison between the rail passenger 
        carrier and the families; and
          (2) designate an independent nonprofit organization, 
        with experience in disasters and posttrauma 
        communication with families, which shall have primary 
        responsibility for coordinating the emotional care and 
        support of the families of passengers involved in the 
        accident.
  (b) Responsibilities of the Board.--The Board shall have 
primary Federal responsibility for--
          (1) facilitating the recovery and identification of 
        fatally injured passengers involved in an accident 
        described in subsection (a); and
          (2) communicating with the families of passengers 
        involved in the accident as to the roles of--
                  (A) the organization designated for an 
                accident under subsection (a)(2);
                  (B) Government agencies; and
                  (C) the rail passenger carrier involved,
        with respect to the accident and the post-accident 
        activities.
  (c) Responsibilities of Designated Organization.--The 
organization designated for an accident under subsection (a)(2) 
shall have the following responsibilities with respect to the 
families of passengers involved in the accident:
          (1) To provide mental health and counseling services, 
        in coordination with the disaster response team of the 
        rail passenger carrier involved.
          (2) To take such actions as may be necessary to 
        provide an environment in which the families may grieve 
        in private.
          (3) To meet with the families who have traveled to 
        the location of the accident, to contact the families 
        unable to travel to such location, and to contact all 
        affected families periodically thereafter until such 
        time as the organization, in consultation with the 
        director of family support services designated for the 
        accident under subsection (a)(1), determines that 
        further assistance is no longer needed.
          (4) To arrange a suitable memorial service, in 
        consultation with the families.
  (d) Passenger Lists.--
          (1) Requests for passenger lists.--
                  (A) Requests by director of family support 
                services.--It shall be the responsibility of 
                the director of family support services 
                designated for an accident under subsection 
                (a)(1) to request, as soon as practicable, from 
                the rail passenger carrier involved in the 
                accident a list, which is based on the best 
                available information at the time of the 
                request, of the names of the passengers that 
                were aboard the rail passenger carrier's train 
                involved in the accident. A rail passenger 
                carrier shall use reasonable efforts, with 
                respect to its unreserved trains, and 
                passengers not holding reservations on its 
                other trains, to ascertain the names of 
                passengers aboard a train involved in an 
                accident.
                  (B) Requests by designated organization.--The 
                organization designated for an accident under 
                subsection (a)(2) may request from the rail 
                passenger carrier involved in the accident a 
                list described in subparagraph (A).
          (2) Use of information.--The director of family 
        support services and the organization may not release 
        to any person information on a list obtained under 
        paragraph (1) but may provide information on the list 
        about a passenger to the family of the passenger to the 
        extent that the director of family support services or 
        the organization considers appropriate.
  (e) Continuing Responsibilities of the Board.--In the course 
of its investigation of an accident described in subsection 
(a), the Board shall, to the maximum extent practicable, ensure 
that the families of passengers involved in the accident--
          (1) are briefed, prior to any public briefing, about 
        the accident and any other findings from the 
        investigation; and
          (2) are individually informed of and allowed to 
        attend any public hearings and meetings of the Board 
        about the accident.
  (f) Use of Rail Passenger Carrier Resources.--To the extent 
practicable, the organization designated for an accident under 
subsection (a)(2) shall coordinate its activities with the rail 
passenger carrier involved in the accident to facilitate the 
reasonable use of the resources of the carrier.
  (g) Prohibited Actions.--
          (1) Actions to impede the board.--No person 
        (including a State or political subdivision) may impede 
        the ability of the Board (including the director of 
        family support services designated for an accident 
        under subsection (a)(1)), or an organization designated 
        for an accident under subsection (a)(2), to carry out 
        its responsibilities under this section or the ability 
        of the families of passengers involved in the accident 
        to have contact with one another.
          (2) Unsolicited communications.--No unsolicited 
        communication concerning a potential action for 
        personal injury or wrongful death may be made by an 
        attorney (including any associate, agent, employee, or 
        other representative of an attorney) or any potential 
        party to the litigation to an individual (other than an 
        employee of the rail passenger carrier) injured in the 
        accident, or to a relative of an individual involved in 
        the accident, before the 45th day following the date of 
        the accident.
          (3) Prohibition on actions to prevent mental health 
        and counseling services.--No State or political 
        subdivision may prevent the employees, agents, or 
        volunteers of an organization designated for an 
        accident under subsection (a)(2) from providing mental 
        health and counseling services under subsection (c)(1) 
        in the 30-day period beginning on the date of the 
        accident. The director of family support services 
        designated for the accident under subsection (a)(1) may 
        extend such period for not to exceed an additional 30 
        days if the director determines that the extension is 
        necessary to meet the needs of the families and if 
        State and local authorities are notified of the 
        determination.
  (h) Definitions.--In this section, the following definitions 
apply:
          (1) Rail passenger accident.--The term ``rail 
        passenger accident'' means any rail passenger disaster 
        occurring in the provision of--
                  (A) interstate intercity rail passenger 
                transportation (as such term is defined in 
                section 24102); or
                  (B) interstate or intrastate high-speed rail 
                (as such term is defined in section 26105) 
                transportation,
        regardless of its cause or suspected cause.
          (2) Rail passenger carrier.--The term ``rail 
        passenger carrier'' means a rail carrier providing--
                  (A) interstate intercity rail passenger 
                transportation (as such term is defined in 
                section 24102); or
                  (B) interstate or intrastate high-speed rail 
                (as such term is defined in section 26105) 
                transportation,
        except that such term shall not include a tourist, 
        historic, scenic, or excursion rail carrier.
          (3) Passenger.--The term ``passenger'' includes--
                  (A) an employee of a rail passenger carrier 
                aboard a train;
                  (B) any other person aboard the train without 
                regard to whether the person paid for the 
                transportation, occupied a seat, or held a 
                reservation for the rail transportation; and
                  (C) any other person injured or killed in the 
                accident.
  (i) Limitation on Statutory Construction.--Nothing in this 
section may be construed as limiting the actions that a rail 
passenger carrier may take, or the obligations that a rail 
passenger carrier may have, in providing assistance to the 
families of passengers involved in a rail passenger accident.
  (j) Relinquishment of Investigative Priority.--
          (1) General rule.--This section (other than 
        subsection (g)) shall not apply to a railroad accident 
        if the Board has relinquished investigative priority 
        under section 1131(a)(2)(B) and the Federal agency to 
        which the Board relinquished investigative priority is 
        willing and able to provide assistance to the victims 
        and families of the passengers involved in the 
        accident.
          (2) Board assistance.--If this section does not apply 
        to a railroad accident because the Board has 
        relinquished investigative priority with respect to the 
        accident, the Board shall assist, to the maximum extent 
        possible, the agency to which the Board has 
        relinquished investigative priority in assisting 
        families with respect to the accident.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                       SUBTITLE V--RAIL PROGRAMS

                             PART A--SAFETY

Chapter                                                             Sec.
      GENERAL......................................................20101
     * * * * * * *

                    PART C--PASSENGER TRANSPORTATION

     * * * * * * *
      FAMILY ASSISTANCE............................................25101
     * * * * * * *

                    PART C--PASSENGER TRANSPORTATION

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                     CHAPTER 251--FAMILY ASSISTANCE

Sec.
25101.  Plans to address needs of families of passengers involved in 
          rail passenger accidents.

Sec. 25101.  Plans to address needs of families of passengers involved 
                    in rail passenger accidents

  (a) Submission of Plans.--Not later than 6 months after the 
date of the enactment of this section, each rail passenger 
carrier shall submit to the Secretary of Transportation and the 
Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board a plan for 
addressing the needs of the families of passengers involved in 
any rail passenger accident involving a train of the rail 
passenger carrier and resulting in a major loss of life.
  (b) Contents of Plans.--A plan to be submitted by a rail 
passenger carrier under subsection (a) shall include, at a 
minimum, the following:
          (1) A plan for publicizing a reliable, toll-free 
        telephone number, and for providing staff, to handle 
        calls from the families of the passengers.
          (2) A process for notifying the families of the 
        passengers, before providing any public notice of the 
        names of the passengers, either by utilizing the 
        services of the organization designated for the 
        accident under section 1138(a)(2) of this title or the 
        services of other suitably trained individuals.
          (3) An assurance that the notice described in 
        paragraph (2) will be provided to the family of a 
        passenger as soon as the rail passenger carrier has 
        verified that the passenger was aboard the train 
        (whether or not the names of all of the passengers have 
        been verified) and, to the extent practicable, in 
        person.
          (4) An assurance that the rail passenger carrier will 
        provide to the director of family support services 
        designated for the accident under section 1138(a)(1) of 
        this title, and to the organization designated for the 
        accident under section 1138(a)(2) of this title, 
        immediately upon request, a list (which is based on the 
        best available information at the time of the request) 
        of the names of the passengers aboard the train 
        (whether or not such names have been verified), and 
        will periodically update the list. The plan shall 
        include a procedure, with respect to unreserved trains 
        and passengers not holding reservations on other 
        trains, for the rail passenger carrier to use 
        reasonable efforts to ascertain the names of passengers 
        aboard a train involved in an accident.
          (5) An assurance that the family of each passenger 
        will be consulted about the disposition of all remains 
        and personal effects of the passenger within the 
        control of the rail passenger carrier.
          (6) An assurance that if requested by the family of a 
        passenger, any possession of the passenger within the 
        control of the rail passenger carrier (regardless of 
        its condition) will be returned to the family unless 
        the possession is needed for the accident investigation 
        or any criminal investigation.
          (7) An assurance that any unclaimed possession of a 
        passenger within the control of the rail passenger 
        carrier will be retained by the rail passenger carrier 
        for at least 18 months.
          (8) An assurance that the family of each passenger or 
        other person killed in the accident will be consulted 
        about construction by the rail passenger carrier of any 
        monument to the passengers, including any inscription 
        on the monument.
          (9) An assurance that the treatment of the families 
        of nonrevenue passengers will be the same as the 
        treatment of the families of revenue passengers.
          (10) An assurance that the rail passenger carrier 
        will work with any organization designated under 
        section 1138(a)(2) of this title on an ongoing basis to 
        ensure that families of passengers receive an 
        appropriate level of services and assistance following 
        each accident.
          (11) An assurance that the rail passenger carrier 
        will provide reasonable compensation to any 
        organization designated under section 1138(a)(2) of 
        this title for services provided by the organization.
          (12) An assurance that the rail passenger carrier 
        will assist the family of a passenger in traveling to 
        the location of the accident and provide for the 
        physical care of the family while the family is staying 
        at such location.
          (13) An assurance that the rail passenger carrier 
        will commit sufficient resources to carry out the plan.
          (14) An assurance that the rail passenger carrier 
        will provide adequate training to the employees and 
        agents of the carrier to meet the needs of survivors 
        and family members following an accident.
          (15) An assurance that, upon request of the family of 
        a passenger, the rail passenger carrier will inform the 
        family of whether the passenger's name appeared on any 
        preliminary passenger manifest for the train involved 
        in the accident.
  (c) Limitation on Liability.--A rail passenger carrier shall 
not be liable for damages in any action brought in a Federal or 
State court arising out of the performance of the rail 
passenger carrier in preparing or providing a passenger list, 
or in providing information concerning a train reservation, 
pursuant to a plan submitted by the rail passenger carrier 
under subsection (b), unless such liability was caused by 
conduct of the rail passenger carrier which was grossly 
negligent or which constituted intentional misconduct.
  (d) Definitions.--In this section--
          (1) the terms ``rail passenger accident'' and ``rail 
        passenger carrier'' have the meanings such terms have 
        in section 1138 of this title; and
          (2) the term ``passenger'' means a person aboard a 
        rail passenger carrier's train that is involved in a 
        rail passenger accident.
  (e) Limitation on Statutory Construction.--Nothing in this 
section may be construed as limiting the actions that a rail 
passenger carrier may take, or the obligations that a rail 
passenger carrier may have, in providing assistance to the 
families of passengers involved in a rail passenger accident.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *