The Secretary shall provide in a timely manner to the appropriate employees of a railroad carrier, as designated by the railroad carrier, threat information that is relevant to the carrier when preparing and submitting a vulnerability assessment and security plan, including an assessment of the most likely methods that could be used by terrorists to exploit weaknesses in railroad security.
The Secretary shall require that the individual serving as the security coordinator identified in paragraph (1)(A) is a citizen of the United States. The Secretary may waive this requirement with respect to an individual if the Secretary determines that it is appropriate to do so based on a background check of the individual and a review of the consolidated terrorist watchlist.
The Secretary may require railroad carriers, during the period before the deadline established under subsection (c), to submit a security plan under subsection (e) to implement any necessary interim security measures essential to providing adequate security of the railroad carrier’s system. An interim plan required under this subsection will be superseded by a plan required under subsection (e).
Nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing the withholding of any information from Congress.
Nothing in this section shall be construed as affecting any authority or obligation of a Federal agency to disclose any record or information that the Federal agency obtains from a railroad carrier under any other Federal law.
In response to a petition by a railroad carrier or at the discretion of the Secretary, the Secretary may determine that existing procedures, protocols, and standards meet all or part of the requirements of this section, including regulations issued under subsection (a), regarding vulnerability assessments and security plans.
Upon review and written determination by the Secretary that existing procedures, protocols, or standards of a railroad carrier satisfy the requirements of this section, the railroad carrier may elect to comply with those procedures, protocols, or standards instead of the requirements of this section.
If the Secretary determines that the existing procedures, protocols, or standards of a railroad carrier satisfy only part of the requirements of this section, the Secretary may accept such submission, but shall require submission by the railroad carrier of any additional information relevant to the vulnerability assessment and security plan of the railroad carrier to ensure that the remaining requirements of this section are fulfilled.
If the Secretary determines that particular existing procedures, protocols, or standards of a railroad carrier under this subsection do not satisfy the requirements of this section, the Secretary shall provide to the railroad carrier a written notification that includes an explanation of the determination.
Not later than 3 years after the date on which a vulnerability assessment or security plan required to be submitted to the Secretary under subsection (c) is approved, and at least once every 5 years thereafter (or on such a schedule as the Secretary may establish by regulation), a railroad carrier who submitted a vulnerability assessment and security plan and who is still assigned to the high-risk tier must also submit to the Secretary an evaluation of the adequacy of the vulnerability assessment and security plan that includes a description of any material changes made to the vulnerability assessment or security plan.
The Secretary may permit under this section the development and implementation of coordinated vulnerability assessments and security plans to the extent that a railroad carrier shares facilities with, or is colocated with, other transportation entities or providers that are required to develop vulnerability assessments and security plans under Federal law.