House Passes Two Rail Data Security Bills
Washington, D.C. – Today, the House overwhelmingly passed two bipartisan railroad data and information security bills: H.R. 4921, the “STB Information and Security Act,” and H.R. 4925, the “FRA Safety Data Improvement Act.”
Both pieces of legislation were unanimously approved by the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure on February 14, 2018 at a Full Committee markup.
H.R. 4921, the “STB Information and Security Act,” is sponsored by U.S. Rep. Paul Mitchell (R-MI). This bipartisan legislation would direct the Surface Transportation Board (STB) to implement an improvement plan for its information security system, as recommended by the Department of Transportation Office of the Inspector General (DOT IG). The bill is intended to provide effective, long-term improvements to the STB’s information security program.
H.R. 4925, the FRA Safety Data Improvement Act,” is sponsored by U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ). This legislation would ensure greater accuracy and quality of safety data collected and reported by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). The bill instructs FRA to develop a plan and timeline to implement the recommendations of the DOT IG to improve the management and collection of railroad safety data.
“America’s railways are a critical component of our national transportation system and their safety is of paramount importance,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA). “The bills passed today in the House were overwhelmingly approved by the Committee in February and for good reason. Each will build upon our already safe railroad system by addressing important data and cybersecurity challenges.”
“The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee bills passed today by the House will address cybersecurity challenges facing our rail systems, help Federal agencies better prepare for changing technology threats, and fill gaps in tracking, identifying, and mitigating rail safety risks. I commend Representatives Gottheimer and Mitchell for these bipartisan rail bills,” said Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Ranking Member U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR).
“We’ve seen numerous incidents recently that we must learn from. Better FRA accident reporting and STB cybersecurity measures will make a difference for the safety of our Nation’s rail system moving forward. Safety is a bipartisan priority, and I’m pleased that the House has chosen to consider these bills,” said Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee Chairman U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA).
“Today’s bills require the Surface Transportation Board to implement a number of cybersecurity recommendations from the Office of the Inspector General and the Federal Railroad Administration to implement recommendations to improve FRA safety data management and reporting. The Surface Transportation Board and Federal Railroad Administration should act quickly to fully implement these recommendations,” Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee Ranking Member U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA).
“I am pleased that today the House passed two bipartisan bills: my bill, the STB Information Security Improvement Act, and a bill from my colleague Congressman Josh Gottheimer, the FRA Safety Data Act. Both of these bills are simple, straightforward measures that solve serious problems.” said U.S. Rep. Paul Mitchell (R-MI). “Companies and individuals from across the Nation interact with and report to the STB and need to be assured their proprietary information is not at risk, and the STB Information Security Improvement Act makes the STB update their currently inadequate data security practices. The FRA Safety Data Act will ensure that when rail accidents and problems occur, there is a standardized way information can be reported to regulators and policy makers so they can act on it. I encourage my colleagues in the Senate to take up this legislation.”
“Our roads and rails in New Jersey and across our country are literally crumbling — and our rail safety is way behind where it should be. From Administration to Administration, our rail safety too often is the subject of political games and partisan politics. We can’t play partisan games with the safety of our children and family. That’s why my bipartisan FRA Safety Data Improvement Act — my first stand-alone bill to pass the House — brings consistency and the power of big data to help implement rail safety in New Jersey and in our country. Our families deserve no less,” said U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ).