H.R.2569 - To reauthorize surface transportation research, development, and technology transfer activities, and for other purposes.
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Mr. WU (for himself, Mr. GORDON of Tennessee, Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas, Mr. LIPINSKI, and Mr. CARNAHAN) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Science and TechnologyCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SECTION 1. FINDINGS.
(1) A comprehensive and coordinated research agenda is required to guide all Department of Transportation research, development, and technology transfer programs on the focus areas of livability, sustainability, and performance for the surface transportation system. The Department currently lacks a research, development, and technology transfer strategic plan with quantifiable goals, expected outcomes, implementation strategies, and performance measures.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) The surface transportation sector contributes 28 percent of the total United States carbon emissions. To mitigate the impact of the surface transportation sector on the climate, the Department’s Office of Climate Change and Environment should increase research efforts on effective strategies to reduce emissions from surface transportation infrastructure.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(3) Coordinated research and technology transfer on pavement and paving practices is essential to developing roads that are more durable, consume less energy in construction and maintenance, and are less disruptive to the environment.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(4) Technology transfer is an integral part of research and engineering. Additional efforts are required to ensure that successful research results are deployed to the field.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(5) The University Transportation Center (UTC) program conducts important research and trains future transportation professionals. However, the system could be better integrated into the Department of Transportation research and development activities.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 2. STRATEGIC PLAN.
(a) In General- The Administrator shall develop annually a comprehensive strategic plan to guide surface transportation research, development, and technology transfer activities within and funded by the Department for the 3-year period beginning with the upcoming fiscal year. Such strategic plan shall include--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) the focus areas of national importance that such activities will address, including community livability, sustainability, and performance measures for transportation systems;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(b) Submission- Beginning with the first submission after the date of enactment of this Act of the President’s annual budget request to Congress, and annually thereafter, the Administrator shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees the strategic plan developed under subsection (a) and shall make such plan available to the public on the Administration’s Web site.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 3. UTC PROGRAM MANAGEMENT.
(2) REVIEW CRITERIA- Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall develop and make available to UTCs and the public the criteria that will be used in the review process under paragraph (1). Such criteria shall, at a minimum, be consistent with the performance measures identified in the strategic plan under section 2.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(3) TIMING- The Administrator shall develop and execute the review process under paragraph (1) in such a manner that all UTCs are reviewed during a 3-year period with the number of UTCs being reviewed dispersed evenly throughout such period.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(b) Internship Grant Program- To carry out the objective of expanding the transportation-related scientific and technical workforce, the Administrator may establish a grant program to fund internships for students participating in the UTC program at State departments of transportation, metropolitan planning organizations, and other appropriate organizations as identified by the Administrator.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) ANNUAL- The Administrator shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees and make available to the public on the Administration’s Web site an annual report on the UTC program, detailing--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) MATCHING FUND RECOMMENDATION- Within 6 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall submit a report to the appropriate congressional committees with recommendations concerning the appropriate requirement under
(A) IN GENERAL- Within 6 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator, in consultation with the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, shall submit a report to Congress on how best to strengthen facilitation of transportation-related technology transfer, including through the potential establishment of transportation technology extension centers at UTCs.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(i) assess the role of UTCs to enable workforce education in their regional transportation communities and to promote the deployment and transfer of new transportation technology, tools, techniques, and methods; andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 4. VISITING COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH.
(a) In General- The Secretary shall establish a visiting committee on surface transportation research (in this Act referred to as the ‘Committee’), which shall review and make recommendations regarding the quality of the surface transportation research, development, and technology transfer activities being carried out by the Department, including the development and execution of the strategic plan under section 2 and the coordination of such activities by the Administrator.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) consider recommendations submitted by the National Academies, professional societies, business associations, labor associations, and other appropriate organizations;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(4) ensure that members are eminent in relevant fields, such as transportation research, transportation engineering, product development, labor, education, transportation consulting, environment, or State or local government; andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(A) surface transportation researchers, decisionmakers at the State and local levels of government, transportation practitioners, and others in the transportation research, development, and technology user community; andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(3) VACANCIES- Any member appointed to fill a vacancy occurring before the expiration of the term for which the member’s predecessor was appointed shall be appointed only for the remainder of such term.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(4) ROTATION- Any person who has completed 2 consecutive full terms of service on the Committee shall thereafter be ineligible for appointment during the 1-year period following the expiration of the second such term.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) IN GENERAL- The Committee shall meet at least twice each year at the call of the Chairperson and, in addition, whenever one-third of the members of the Committee so request in writing.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(3) VIRTUAL MEETINGS; TELECONFERENCES- The Committee may conduct meetings using electronic methods if each member may fully participate in the deliberations of the Committee in realtime.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(f) Rates of Pay; Travel Expenses- Each member shall serve without pay, except that each member shall receive travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, in accordance with applicable provisions under subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5, United States Code.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE- The Committee shall have an executive committee and may delegate to it or to the Secretary such of the powers and functions granted to the Committee by this Act as it determines appropriate.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) ADDITIONAL COMMITTEES- The Committee is authorized to appoint from among its members such other committees as it determines necessary and to assign to committees so appointed such survey and advisory functions as the Committee deems appropriate to assist it in exercising its powers and functions under this Act.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(A) IN GENERAL- Not later than 30 days after the submittal to Congress of the President’s annual budget request in each year, the Committee shall transmit an annual report to the Secretary for submission to the appropriate congressional committees.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(B) CONTENTS- Such report shall deal essentially, though not necessarily exclusively, with policy issues or matters which affect the surface transportation research, development, and technology transfer activities at the Department. Each such report shall comment on the strategic plan developed under section 2. Each such report shall also identify future areas of priority surface transportation research for the Department.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) ADDITIONAL- The Committee shall transmit to the Secretary and the appropriate congressional committees such additional reports on specific policy matters as it determines appropriate.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 5. OFFICE OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENVIRONMENT.
(1) in paragraph (1) in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), by striking ‘Department’ and inserting ‘Research and Innovative Technology Administration in the Department’;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(iv) in coordination with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy, assessing consumer acceptance of and infrastructure needs for alternative fuels and improved vehicle technology and other strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and conserve energy arising from surface transportation infrastructure, operation, and use.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(iv) Assessments of the impact of land use change on surface emissions and other factors, such as congestion, mobility, and accessibility, and barriers to land use change.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(vii) Emissions and energy reduction strategies for freight transportation, including mode shifts, freight infrastructure projects, and the effects of land use on freight movement.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(3) ADAPTATION- The Office shall fund or coordinate research on the impacts of climate change on surface transportation infrastructure to understand and assess how climate change and variability may affect transportation operation and infrastructure.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(A) IN GENERAL- The Office shall assess current and historical surface transportation infrastructure and fuel demand management strategies that have been implemented at the local, State, and national levels for their social, economic, and environmental costs and benefits.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(5) MODELING- The Office, in consultation with the Environmental Protection Agency and other Federal agencies, shall support the development of more accurate tools and models for quantifying mobile emissions and evaluating surface transportation emissions reductions strategies. The tools and models shall incorporate such factors as--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(6) PUBLIC ACCESSIBILITY- The results of the research and development carried out under this subsection shall be made publicly available to national, State, and local transportation planners and decisionmakers.’.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 6. REGIONAL GREEN TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH CENTERS.
‘SEC. 5505A. REGIONAL GREEN TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH CENTERS.
‘(a) Green Transportation Infrastructure Research and Technology Transfer- The Administrator shall make grants to institutions of higher education or consortia thereof to establish and operate university transportation centers to carry out research, development, and technology transfer activities in the field of green transportation infrastructure.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(4) manage technology transfer programs to disseminate information on best management practices in the area of green transportation infrastructure to State and local governments and the private sector.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(1) APPLICATIONS- In order to be eligible to receive a grant under this section, a nonprofit institution of higher learning or consortia thereof shall submit to the Administrator an application that is in such form and contains such information as the Administrator may require.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(2) REGIONAL CENTERS- To the greatest extent practicable, the Administrator shall ensure that there is at least one grant recipient from each of the 10 United States Government regions that comprise the Standard Federal Regional Boundary System.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(3) SELECTION CRITERIA- Except as otherwise provided by this section, the Administrator shall select each recipient of a grant under this section through a merit-reviewed competitive process on the basis of the following:CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(C) Existing or proposed partnerships with State and local governments and private industry involved in transportation-related construction, environmental impact mitigation, or other areas related to green transportation infrastructure research.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(D) Capability to provide leadership in developing national best management practices, regional best management practices, or both in the field of green transportation infrastructure.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(1) Research and development of innovative technologies, construction techniques, or best management processes that mitigate the environmental impact of transportation infrastructure, including--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(2) Establishment and operation of a regional technology transfer program to disseminate information on new technologies and best management practices to State and local governments, institutions of higher education, and private industry in the region.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(3) Study of the impact of State, local, and Federal regulations on the implementation of green transportation infrastructure technologies and practices. These studies shall include collaboration with appropriate Federal agencies to evaluate the effect of and possible changes to Federal and State regulations that impede implementation of green transportation infrastructure.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(4) Public education efforts to raise awareness of green transportation infrastructure technologies, including activities to raise awareness and foster collaboration among regional governments, private industry, and other public and private stakeholders.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(e) Annual Meeting- The Administrator shall convene an annual meeting of the Centers established pursuant to this section in order to foster collaboration and communication among Center participants and disseminate best management practices.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(1) preserves and restores natural processes, landforms (such as flood plains), natural vegetated streamside buffers, wetlands, or other topographical features that can slow, filter, and naturally store stormwater runoff and floodwaters for future water supply and recharge of natural aquifers;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 7. NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL REVIEW.
The Administrator shall contract with the National Research Council to conduct a review of the surface transportation research, development, and technology transfer activities at the Turner Fairbank Highway Research facility. Such review shall assess the technical merit of research activities at such facility and the degree to which such activities achieve stated objectives and desired impact and make recommendations on how to improve the quality and efficiency of such activities.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 8. PAVEMENT RESEARCH, TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER, AND EDUCATION PROGRAM.
(a) Establishment- The Administrator shall, in consultation with appropriate Department modal agencies, establish a pavement research, deployment, and education program (in this section referred to as the ‘Program’).CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(c) Function- The Program, in coordination with Department modal agencies, shall provide funding to UTCs and other institutions of higher education to conduct research, development, and technology transfer activities about paving materials and practices.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) research and development of innovative technologies and techniques to reduce the cost and environmental impact of paving materials and practices, including research on--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(3) establishing grants to institutions of higher education to develop training and education programs for workforce professionals in the areas of paving materials and practices.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(e) Report- Not later than 6 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall submit a report to the appropriate congressional committees on the results of the long-term pavement performance program and how the Department intends to organize, maintain, and utilize the database.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 9. DEFINITIONS.
(3) APPROPRIATE CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES- The term ‘appropriate congressional committees’ means the Committee on Science and Technology and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 10. AUTHORIZATION.
(a) Surface Transportation Research, Development, and Technology Program- To carry out surface transportation research, development, and technology activities, such sums as are necessary shall be available.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink