42 U.S. Code § 4916 - Railroad noise emission standards

(a) Regulations; standards; consultation with Secretary of Transportation
(1) Within nine months after October 27, 1972, the Administrator shall publish proposed noise emission regulations for surface carriers engaged in interstate commerce by railroad. Such proposed regulations shall include noise emission standards setting such limits on noise emissions resulting from operation of the equipment and facilities of surface carriers engaged in interstate commerce by railroad which reflect the degree of noise reduction achievable through the application of the best available technology, taking into account the cost of compliance. These regulations shall be in addition to any regulations that may be proposed under section 4905 of this title.
(2) Within ninety days after the publication of such regulations as may be proposed under paragraph (1) of this subsection, and subject to the provisions of section 4915 of this title, the Administrator shall promulgate final regulations. Such regulations may be revised, from time to time, in accordance with this subsection.
(3) Any standard or regulation, or revision thereof, proposed under this subsection shall be promulgated only after consultation with the Secretary of Transportation in order to assure appropriate consideration for safety and technological availability.
(4) Any regulation or revision thereof promulgated under this subsection shall take effect after such period as the Administrator finds necessary, after consultation with the Secretary of Transportation, to permit the development and application of the requisite technology, giving appropriate consideration to the cost of compliance within such period.
(b) Regulations to insure compliance with noise emission standards
The Secretary of Transportation, after consultation with the Administrator, shall promulgate regulations to insure compliance with all standards promulgated by the Administrator under this section. The Secretary of Transportation shall carry out such regulations through the use of his powers and duties of enforcement and inspection authorized by the Safety Appliance Acts [45 U.S.C. 1 et seq.], subtitle IV of title 49, and the Department of Transportation Act. Regulations promulgated under this section shall be subject to the provisions of sections 4909, 4910, 4911, and 4915 of this title.
(c) State and local standards and controls
(1) Subject to paragraph (2) but notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, after the effective date of a regulation under this section applicable to noise emissions resulting from the operation of any equipment or facility of a surface carrier engaged in interstate commerce by railroad, no State or political subdivision thereof may adopt or enforce any standard applicable to noise emissions resulting from the operation of the same equipment or facility of such carrier unless such standard is identical to a standard applicable to noise emissions resulting from such operation prescribed by any regulation under this section.
(2) Nothing in this section shall diminish or enhance the rights of any State or political subdivision thereof to establish and enforce standards or controls on levels of environmental noise, or to control, license, regulate, or restrict the use, operation, or movement of any product if the Administrator, after consultation with the Secretary of Transportation, determines that such standard, control, license, regulation, or restriction is necessitated by special local conditions and is not in conflict with regulations promulgated under this section.
(d) “Carrier” and “railroad” defined
The terms “carrier” and “railroad” as used in this section shall have the same meaning as the term “railroad carrier” has in section 20102 of title 49.


(Pub. L. 92–574, § 17,Oct. 27, 1972, 86 Stat. 1248; Pub. L. 104–287, § 6(i),Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3399.)
References in Text

The Safety Appliance Acts, referred to in subsec. (b), are acts Mar. 2, 1893, ch. 196, 27 Stat. 531; Mar. 2, 1903, ch. 976, 32 Stat. 943; and Apr. 14, 1910, ch. 160, 36 Stat. 298, which were classified to sections 1 to 16 of Title 45, Railroads, and were repealed and reenacted in sections 20102, 20301 to 20304, 21302, and 21304 of Title 49, Transportation, by Pub. L. 103–272, §§ 1(e), 7 (b),July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 863, 881, 892, 893, 1379, the first section of which enacted subtitles II, III, and V to X of Title 49. Section 6 of act Apr. 14, 1910, which was classified to section 15 of Title 45, was repealed and reenacted as section 501 (b) of Title 49 by Pub. L. 97–449, Jan. 12, 1983, 96 Stat. 2413.
The Department of Transportation Act, referred to in subsec. (b), is Pub. L. 89–670, Oct. 15, 1966, 80 Stat. 931, as amended, which was classified principally to sections 1651 to 1660 of former Title 49, Transportation. The Act was repealed and the provisions thereof reenacted in Title 49, Transportation, by Pub. L. 97–449, Jan. 12, 1983, 96 Stat. 2413, and Pub. L. 103–272, July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 745. The Act was also repealed by Pub. L. 104–287, § 7(5),Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3400. For disposition of sections of former Title 49, see Table at the beginning of Title 49.

In subsec. (b), “subtitle IV of title 49” substituted for “the Interstate Commerce Act [49 U.S.C. 1 et seq.]”, on authority of Pub. L. 95–473, § 3(b),Oct. 17, 1978, 92 Stat. 1466, the first section of which enacted subtitle IV of Title 49, Transportation.

1996—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 104–287substituted “the term ‘railroad carrier’ has in section 20102 of title 49” for “such terms have under the first section of the Act of February 17, 1911 (45 U.S.C. 22)”.

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