(a) In General.—
(b) Standards and Criteria.—
Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this section, the Secretary shall ensure that the Department of Transportation has in place standards and criteria for qualification programs referred to in subsection (a).
(2) Contents.—The standards and criteria shall include the following:
The establishment of methods for evaluating the acceptability of the qualifications of individuals described in subsection (a).
A requirement that pipeline operators develop and implement written plans and procedures to qualify individuals described in subsection (a) to a level found acceptable using the methods established under subparagraph (A) and evaluate the abilities of individuals described in subsection (a) according to such methods.
A requirement that the plans and procedures adopted by a pipeline operator under subparagraph (B) be reviewed and verified under subsection (e).
(c) Development of Qualification Programs by Pipeline Operators.—
The Secretary shall require each pipeline operator to develop and adopt, not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this section, a qualification program that complies with the standards and criteria described in subsection (b).
(d) Elements of Qualification Programs.—A qualification program adopted by an operator under subsection (a) shall include, at a minimum, the following elements:
A method for examining or testing the qualifications of individuals described in subsection (a). The method may include written examination, oral examination, observation during on-the-job performance, on-the-job training, simulations, and other forms of assessment. The method may not be limited to observation of on-the-job performance, except with respect to tasks for which the Secretary has determined that such observation is the best method of examining or testing qualifications. The Secretary shall ensure that the results of any such observations are documented in writing.
A requirement that the operator complete the qualification of all individuals described in subsection (a) not later than 18 months after the date of adoption of the qualification program.
A periodic requalification component that provides for examination or testing of individuals in accordance with paragraph (1).
A program to provide training, as appropriate, to ensure that individuals performing covered tasks have the necessary knowledge and skills to perform the tasks in a manner that ensures the safe operation of pipeline facilities.
(e) Review and Verification of Programs.—
(1) In general.—
The Secretary shall review the qualification program of each pipeline operator and verify its compliance with the standards and criteria described in subsection (b) and that it includes the elements described in subsection (d). The Secretary shall record the results of that review for use in the next review of an operator’s program.
(2) Deadline for completion.—
Reviews and verifications under this subsection shall be completed not later than 3 years after the date of the enactment of this section.
(3) Inadequate programs.—
(4) Program modifications.—
(5) Waivers and modifications.—
In accordance with section 60118(c), the Secretary may waive or modify any requirement of this section if the waiver or modification is not inconsistent with pipeline safety.
(6) Inaction by the secretary.—
Notwithstanding any failure of the Secretary to prescribe standards and criteria as described in subsection (b), an operator of a pipeline facility shall develop and adopt a qualification program that complies with the requirement of subsection (b)(2)(B) and includes the elements described in subsection (d) not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this section.
(f) Intrastate Pipeline Facilities.—
(g) Covered Task Defined.—In this section, the term “covered task”—
with respect to a hazardous liquid pipeline facility, has the meaning such term has under section 195.501 of such title, including any subsequent modifications.
Not later than 4 years after the date of enactment of this section, the Secretary shall transmit to Congress a report on the status and results to date of the personnel qualification regulations issued under this chapter.