WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Rep. Ron Kind’s legislation to increase rail safety and provide needed resources for first responders, the RESPONSE Act, passed unanimously out of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee last week. The bill is now headed to the House floor for a final vote.
“With passage of the RESPONSE Act out of committee we are one step closer to providing our Wisconsin communities and first responders the support and resources they need to handle increased rail traffic. Communities across western and central Wisconsin are experiencing first-hand the negative impacts of increased rail traffic, and to address their concerns Congress needs to quickly pass this important legislation,” said Rep. Kind.
The RESPONSE Act would establish a subcommittee under FEMA’s National Advisory Council that would bring together agencies, technical experts, emergency responders and the private sector to review training, resources, best practices, and unmet needs related to emergency responders to railroad incidents.
The companion bill, introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), passed the full Senate with broad bipartisan support.