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Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials

Membership 114th Congress

Subcommittee Ranking Member

Michael Capuano
Massachusetts ~ 07

Democratic Members

Corrine Brown
Florida ~ 05

Daniel Lipinski
Illinois ~ 03

Jerrold Nadler
New York ~ 10

Elijah Cummings
Maryland ~ 07

Rick Larsen
Washington ~ 02

Steve Cohen
Tennessee ~ 09

Albio Sires
New Jersey ~ 08

Richard Nolan
Minnesota ~ 08

Elizabeth Esty
Connecticut ~ 05

Grace Napolitano
California ~ 32

Janice Hahn
California ~ 44

Peter DeFazio
Oregon ~ 04

Chairman

Jeff Denham
California ~ 10

Republican Members

Jeff Denham
California ~ 10

John Duncan
Tennessee ~ 02

John Mica
Florida ~ 07

Sam Graves
Missouri ~ 06

Candice Miller
Michigan ~ 10

Lou Barletta
Pennsylvania ~ 11

Blake Farenthold
Texas ~ 27

Richard Hanna
New York ~ 22

Daniel Webster
Florida ~ 10

Tom Rice
South Carolina ~ 07

Scott Perry
Pennsylvania ~ 04

Todd Rokita
Indiana ~ 04

John Katko
New York ~ 24

Brian Babin
Texas ~ 36

Cresent Hardy
Nevada ~ 04

Mimi Walters
California ~ 45

Lee Zeldin
New York ~ 01

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recent Activity

Jul 14, 2016 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, members of Oregon’s Congressional Delegation introduced the bipartisan Community Protection and Preparedness Act (H.R. 5786), legislation that creates a new trust fund to help communities prepare for accidents involving rail cars transporting flammable liquids, including crude oil and ethanol.

Jul 8, 2016 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR), sent a letter to the Surface Transportation Board (STB), urging them to reject a complaint that would

Apr 13, 2016 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR) urged the Surface Transportation Board (STB) to reconsider two proposals that would significantly delay Amtrak train travel throughout Oregon and the United States.

Mar 10, 2016 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – This week, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials Michael Capuano (D-MA) strongly urged the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to assess the highest possible penalty on Enb

Jan 21, 2016 Press Release

Washington, D.C. –Today, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR) pressed Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Anthony Foxx on the completion of a critical rule that would better protect communities and emergency responders after toxic crude-by-rail accidents.

Sep 30, 2015 Press Release

Legislation extends deadline for PTC and sets a date certain for full implementation

Sep 16, 2015 Press Release

Washington, D.C. -- Today, House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-OR) responded to a U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that most U.S. railroads will fail to meet the December 31, 2015 deadline to implement critical, life-saving Positive Train Control (PTC) technology.

May 1, 2015 Press Release

Washington, D.C.Today, Ranking Member of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR) issued the following statement in response to the long-awaited rail tank car safety rule released today.

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Subcommittee's Activity in Previous Congress