S. 546 would establish the Railroad Emergency Services subcommittee under the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) National Advisory Council (NAC). The act would direct the subcommittee to evaluate several aspects of the ability of emergency personnel to respond to hazardous materials incidents involving trains. S. 546 would require the subcommittee to provide recommendations to the NAC on methods to improve response to such incidents within one year of enactment of S. 546. Under the legislation, the subcommittee would terminate within nine months of submitting the recommendations to the NAC. Subsequently, the act also would require FEMA to provide to the Congress a report detailing the implementation of those recommendations in each of the following two years.
Based on an analysis of information provided by FEMA, CBO estimates that implementing S. 546 would cost less than $500,000 over the 2017-2021 period to establish and staff the committee and to prepare the recommendations. Any such spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds.
Enacting S. 546 would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
CBO estimates that enacting S. 546 would not increase net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2027.
S. 546 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.
On March 18, 2015, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for S. 546, the RESPOSE Act of 2015, as ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on March 4, 2015. That version of S. 546 also would establish the Railroad Emergency Services subcommittee and would permit it to operate for up to five years following enactment. Differences in CBO’s estimates of spending subject to appropriation under the two versions of S. 546 reflect the difference in the length of time the subcommittee would be authorized to operate.