Not later than 9 months after the date of issuance of the regulations under subsection (a), the vulnerability assessments and security plans required by such regulations for over-the-road bus operators assigned to a high-risk tier shall be completed and submitted to the Secretary for review and approval.
The Secretary shall provide in a timely manner to the appropriate employees of an over-the-road bus operator, as designated by the over-the-road bus operator, threat information that is relevant to the operator 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 over-the-road bus 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 over-the-road bus operators, during the period before the deadline established under subsection (c), to submit a security plan to implement any necessary interim security measures essential to providing adequate security of the over-the-road bus operator’s system. An interim plan required under this subsection shall be superseded by a plan required under subsection (c).
Upon review and written determination by the Secretary that existing procedures, protocols, or standards of an over-the-road bus operator satisfy the requirements of this section, the over-the-road bus operator 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 an over-the-road bus operator satisfy only part of the requirements of this section, the Secretary may accept such submission, but shall require submission by the operator of any additional information relevant to the vulnerability assessment and security plan of the operator to ensure that the remaining requirements of this section are fulfilled.
If the Secretary determines that particular existing procedures, protocols, or standards of an over-the-road bus operator under this subsection do not satisfy the requirements of this section, the Secretary shall provide to the operator a written notification that includes an explanation of the reasons for nonacceptance.
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), an over-the-road bus operator who submitted a vulnerability assessment and security plan and who is still assigned to the high-risk tier shall 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 an over-the-road bus operator 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.
Nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing the withholding of any information from Congress.