Rail police officers.
Limit on certain accident or incident liability.
Limitations on rail passenger transportation liability.
1997—Pub. L. 105–134
, title I, § 161(b),Dec. 2, 1997, 111 Stat. 2578
, added item 28103.
1994—Pub. L. 103–440
, title I, § 103(a)(1), (b)(2),Nov. 2, 1994, 108 Stat. 4616
, 4619, renumbered chapter
of this title as chapter 281 and items 26101 and 26102 as 28101 and 28102, respectively.
United States-Canada Alaska Rail Commission
Pub. L. 106–570
301. SHORT TITLE.
, title III, Dec. 27, 2000, 114 Stat. 3043
, provided that:
“This title may be cited as the ‘Rails to Resources Act of 2000’.
“Congress finds that—
“(1) rail transportation is an essential component of the North American intermodal transportation system;
“(2) the development of economically strong and socially stable communities in the western United States and Canada was encouraged significantly by government policies promoting the development of integrated transcontinental, interstate and interprovincial rail systems in the States, territories and provinces of the two countries;
“(3) United States and Canadian federal support for the completion of new elements of the transcontinental, interstate and interprovincial rail systems was halted before rail connections were established to the State of Alaska and the Yukon Territory;
“(4) rail transportation in otherwise isolated areas facilitates controlled access and may reduce overall impact to environmentally sensitive areas;
“(5) the extension of the continental rail system through northern British Columbia and the Yukon Territory to the current terminus of the Alaska Railroad would significantly benefit the United States and Canadian visitor industries by facilitating the comfortable movement of passengers over long distances while minimizing effects on the surrounding areas; and
“(6) ongoing research and development efforts in the rail industry continue to increase the efficiency of rail transportation, ensure safety, and decrease the impact of rail service on the environment.
303. AGREEMENT FOR A UNITED STATES-CANADA BILATERAL COMMISSION.
“The President is authorized and urged to enter into an agreement with the Government of Canada to establish an independent joint commission to study the feasibility and advisability of linking the rail system in Alaska to the nearest appropriate point on the North American continental rail system.
304. COMPOSITION OF COMMISSION.
“(1) Total membership.—The Agreement should provide for the Commission to be composed of 24 members, of which 12 members are appointed by the President and 12 members are appointed by the Government of Canada.
“(2) General qualifications.—The Agreement should provide for the membership of the Commission, to the maximum extent practicable, to be representative of—
“(A) the interests of the local communities (including the governments of the communities), aboriginal peoples, and businesses that would be affected by the connection of the rail system in Alaska to the North American continental rail system; and
“(B) a broad range of expertise in areas of knowledge that are relevant to the significant issues to be considered by the Commission, including economics, engineering, management of resources, social sciences, fish and game management, environmental sciences, and transportation.
“(b) United States Membership.—If the United States and Canada enter into an agreement providing for the establishment of the Commission, the President shall appoint the United States members of the Commission as follows:
“(1) Two members from among persons who are qualified to represent the interests of communities and local governments of Alaska.
“(2) One member representing the State of Alaska, to be nominated by the Governor of Alaska.
“(3) One member from among persons who are qualified to represent the interests of Native Alaskans residing in the area of Alaska that would be affected by the extension of rail service.
“(4) Three members from among persons involved in commercial activities in Alaska who are qualified to represent commercial interests in Alaska, of which one shall be a representative of the Alaska Railroad Corporation.
“(5) One member representing United States Class I rail carriers and one member representing United States rail labor.
“(6) Three members with relevant expertise, at least one of whom shall be an engineer with expertise in subarctic transportation and at least one of whom shall have expertise on the environmental impact of such transportation.
“(c) Canadian Membership.—The Agreement should provide for the Canadian membership of the Commission to be representative of broad categories of interests of Canada as the Government of Canada determines appropriate, consistent with subsection (a)(2).
305. GOVERNANCE AND STAFFING OF COMMISSION.
“(a) Chairman.—The Agreement should provide for the Chairman of the Commission to be elected from among the members of the Commission by a majority vote of the members.
“(b) Compensation and Expenses of United States Members.—
“(1) Compensation.—Each member of the Commission appointed by the President who is not an officer or employee of the Federal Government shall be compensated at a rate equal to the daily equivalent of the annual rate of basic pay prescribed for level IV of the Executive Schedule under section
, United States Code, for each day (including travel time) during which such member is engaged in the performance of the duties of the Commission. Each such member who is an officer or employee of the United States shall serve without compensation in addition to that received for services as an officer or employee of the United States.
“(2) Travel expenses.—The members of the Commission appointed by the President shall be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, at rates authorized for employees of agencies under subchapter
, United States Code, while away from their homes or regular places of business in the performance of services for the Commission.
“(1) In general.—The Agreement should provide for the appointment of a staff and an executive director to be the head of the staff.
“(2) Compensation.—Funds made available for the Commission by the United States may be used to pay the compensation of the executive director and other personnel at rates fixed by the Commission that are not in excess of the rate payable for level V of the Executive Schedule under section
, United States Code.
“(d) Office.—The Agreement should provide for the office of the Commission to be located in a mutually agreed location within the impacted areas of Alaska, the Yukon Territory, and northern British Columbia.
“(e) Meetings.—The Agreement should provide for the Commission to meet at least biannually to review progress and to provide guidance to staff and others, and to hold, in locations within the affected areas of Alaska, the Yukon Territory and northern British Columbia, such additional informational or public meetings as the Commission deems necessary to the conduct of its business.
“(f) Procurement of Services.—The Agreement should authorize and encourage the Commission to procure by contract, to the maximum extent practicable, the services (including any temporary and intermittent services) that the Commission determines necessary for carrying out the duties of the Commission. In the case of any contract for the services of an individual, funds made available for the Commission by the United States may not be used to pay for the services of the individual at a rate that exceeds the daily equivalent of the annual rate of basic pay prescribed for level V of the Executive Schedule under section
, United States Code.
“(1) In general.—The Agreement should provide for the Commission to study and assess, on the basis of all available relevant information, the feasibility and advisability of linking the rail system in Alaska to the North American continental rail system through the continuation of the rail system in Alaska from its northeastern terminus to a connection with the continental rail system in Canada.
“(2) Specific issues.—The Agreement should provide for the study and assessment to include the consideration of the following issues:
“(A) Railroad engineering.
“(B) Land ownership.
“(D) Proximity to mineral, timber, tourist, and other resources.
“(E) Market outlook.
“(F) Environmental considerations.
“(G) Social effects, including changes in the use or availability of natural resources.
“(H) Potential financing mechanisms.
“(3) Route.—The Agreement should provide for the Commission, upon finding that it is feasible and advisable to link the rail system in Alaska as described in paragraph (1), to determine one or more recommended routes for the rail segment that establishes the linkage, taking into consideration cost, distance, access to potential freight markets, environmental matters, existing corridors that are already used for ground transportation, the route surveyed by the Army Corps of Engineers during World War II and such other factors as the Commission determines relevant.
“(4) Combined corridor evaluation.—The Agreement should also provide for the Commission to consider whether it would be feasible and advisable to combine the power transmission infrastructure and petroleum product pipelines of other utilities into one corridor with a rail extension of the rail system of Alaska.
“(b) Report.—The Agreement should require the Commission to submit to Congress and the Secretary of Transportation and to the Minister of Transport of the Government of Canada, not later than 3 years after the Commission commencement date, a report on the results of the study, including the Commission’s findings regarding the feasibility and advisability of linking the rail system in Alaska as described in subsection (a)(1) and the Commission’s recommendations regarding the preferred route and any alternative routes for the rail segment establishing the linkage.
307. COMMENCEMENT AND TERMINATION OF COMMISSION.
“(a) Commencement.—The Agreement should provide for the Commission to begin to function on the date on which all members are appointed to the Commission as provided for in the Agreement.
“(b) Termination.—The Commission should be terminated 90 days after the date on which the Commission submits its report under section
“(a) Rails to Resources Fund.—The Agreement should provide for the following:
“(1) Establishment.—The establishment of an interest-bearing account to be known as the ‘Rails to Resources Fund’.
“(2) Contributions.—The contribution by the United States and the Government of Canada to the Fund of amounts that are sufficient for the Commission to carry out its duties.
“(3) Availability.—The availability of amounts in the Fund to pay the costs of Commission activities.
“(4) Dissolution.—Dissolution of the Fund upon the termination of the Commission and distribution of the amounts remaining in the Fund between the United States and the Government of Canada.
“(b) Authorization of Appropriations.—There is authorized to be appropriated to any fund established for use by the Commission as described in subsection (a)(1) $6,000,000, to remain available until expended.
“In this title:
“(1) Agreement.—The term ‘Agreement’ means an agreement described in section
“(2) Commission.—The term ‘Commission’ means a commission established pursuant to any Agreement.”