Grants-in-Aid for Railroad Safety-State Participation


To promote safety in all areas of railroad operations; reduce railroad related accidents and casualties; and to reduce damage to property caused by accidents involving any carrier of hazardous materials by providing State participation in the enforcement and promotion of safety practices.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Deleted 08/20/2009 (Archived.)
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
Project Grants.
Program Accomplishments
In fiscal year 3 30 States are participating with 160 inspectors (49 track inspectors, 37 equipment inspectors, 29 operating practices inspectors, 25 signal and train control inspectors, and 22 hazardous materials inspectors). In fiscal year 2002, State rail safety inspectors filed 18,073 reports and recorded 84,068 rail safety defects.
Federal Railroad Safety Act of 1970, Sections 202, 205-208, as amended, 45 U.S.C. 431, 434-437; Hazardous Materials Transportation Uniform Safety Act of 1990, Section 28; Public Laws 91- 458 and 96-423; 94 Stat. 1812 and 104 Stat. 3244.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
A State may participate in investigative and surveillance activities in connection with regulations promulgated by FRA under this Act which are applicable to track and rolling equipment, signal and train control, operating practices, and hazmat inspections. The State must provide the Administrator with an annual (or multi-year) certification that the State agency (1) has regulatory jurisdiction, (2) has been furnished a copy of each Federal rail safety regulation, and (3) is conducting investigative and surveillance activities prescribed by the FRA Administrator. State safety personnel must be bona fide state employees. State inspectors must meet minimum Federal qualifications, as well as successfully complete the inspector technical evaluation.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Annual (or multi-year) certification, as outlined under the Applicant Eligibility section, includes a report showing (1) the safety jurisdiction of the State agency; (2) an annual work plan developed through coordination with the Regional Safety Director's Office; and (3) other information as the Secretary of Transportation may require. States must provide proof of employee experience qualifications and provide an annual plan of activities.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
It is recommended that interested States contact the Associate Administrator for Safety, Office of Safety Analysis, Federal Railroad Administration, 1120 Vermont Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20590. Telephone: (202) 493-6300. Consultation and assistance is available from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) preparing the application form, furnished by the FRA and required by OMB Circular No. A-102 and FRA regulations (49 CFR 212). This program is eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in the State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.
Application Procedure
Completion of the form entitled "State Participation Program" is required for certification under Section 206 of the Act and 49 CFR 212. The information required in this form is specified in 49 CFR 212.105 and 212.107 for the Initial Certification and Report. The form includes provisions for a description of the State's planned program with respect to the investigative and surveillance activities prescribed for each Federal railroad safety rule, regulation, order, or standard for which a certification is submitted, or into which an agreement is entered. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110.
Award Procedure
When Federal appropriations are available to the State Participation Program, the application for payments and approval by the Federal Railroad Administrator requires certification under Section 206, Subsection (a); the report required under Subsection (b); or agreements with noncertifying States as outlined under Subsection (c); and satisfactory assurances to the Administrator that the State agency will provide the remaining costs, of a safety program, as reflected under Subsection (d).
Federal appropriations for the State Participation Program are made on a Federal fiscal year basis for activities to be conducted in the ensuing fiscal year.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Sixty (60) days.
Not applicable.
Certification required annually when federal appropriations are available to the State Participation Program; agreements with noncertifying states required annually.
How are proposals selected?
The application forms for State participation provide the necessary detail for the selection process of State proposals. It is important that the State meet the eligibility requirements and project a comprehensive safety program plan for involvement. Key criteria are listed in the State Participation Regulations, (49 CFR 212), which are integral to the selection and qualifying process.
How may assistance be used?
Federal funds, when appropriated, subsidize participating States for necessary personnel, training, equipment, and activities related to enforcement of Federal railroad standards, as called for under the Federal Railroad Safety Act of 1970, as amended. State inspectors are authorized to work in all five safety inspection disciplines. The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) fully funds comprehensive inspector classroom training for State inspectors meeting eligibility requirements of 49 CFR part 212, State Safety Participation Regulations.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
The State agency shall submit a copy of each semiannual expenditure/performance report, and an annual coordination work plan to the Federal Railroad Administration. Participating States shall submit daily inspection reports and violation reports (where applicable).
The State agency shall maintain a financial management system which is in compliance with the standards listed in 49 CFR Part 18. In addition, the State agency shall permit authorized representatives of the Federal Railroad Administration or other Federal Government agencies to review investigative and surveillance activities and to inspect payrolls, personnel records, invoices, and other relevant data and records pertaining to payment agreements and implementation activities. In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 24, 1997), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non- Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133. Recipients of more than $300,000 shall submit one copy of the audit report within 30 days after issuance to the Department of Commerce, Bureau of Census, Data Preparation Division, 1201 East l0th Street, Jeffersonville, Indiana 47132, Attn: Single Audit Clearinghouse.
(See Reports and Audits section of the program.) The State agency is authorized to substitute microfilm copies in lieu of original records. The Federal Railroad Administration shall request the State agency to transfer certain records to Federal custody when the FRA determines that the records possess long-term retention value.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
When appropriations are available to the State Participation Program, the Secretary of Transportation shall pay up to 50 percent of cost of the personnel, equipment, and activities of a State agency which are reasonably required during the ensuing fiscal year to carry out a safety program under such certification or agreement. No payment may be made unless the State agency making application gives satisfactory assurances to the Secretary of Transportation that the State agency will provide the remaining cost of a safety program and that the aggregate expenditures of State funds exclusive of Federal grants, will be maintained at a level which does not fall below the average level of such expenditures for the last two fiscal years preceding the date of enactment of this title.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Annually, subject to certification and the availability of Federal funds.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
Regional Administrator, 55 Broadway, Room 1077, Cambridge, MA 02142. Telephone: (617) 494-2302; Regional Administrator, International Plaza II, Suite 550, Philadelphia, PA 19113. Telephone: (610) 521-8200; Regional Administrator, Suite 16T20, Atlanta Federal Center, 61 Forsyth Street, SW., Atlanta, GA 30303. Telephone: (404) 562-3800; Regional Administrator, 200 West Adams Street, Suite 310, Chicago, IL 60606. Telephone: (312) 353-6203; Regional Administrator, 4100 International Plaza, Suite 450, Fort Worth, TX 76109. Telephone: (817) 862-2200; Regional Administrator, 801 I Street, Suite 466, Sacramento, CA 95814. Telephone: (916) 498-6540; Regional Administrator, DOT Building, 911 Locust Street, Suite 464, Kansas City, MO 64106. Telephone: (816) 426-2497; and Regional Administrator, Murdock Executive Plaza, Suite 650, 703 Broadway, Vancover, WA 98660. Telephone: (360) 696-7536.
Headquarters Office
Associate Administrator for Safety, Federal Railroad Administration, Mail Stop 25, 1120 Vermont Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20590. Telephone: (202) 493-6300.
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Grants) FY 02 $0; FY 03 $0; and FY 043 est $0.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
The Federal share in fiscal year 1988 was estimated at $2,000 to $16,000 per State inspector with the average at $9,000 per State inspector. No Federal funds were available in fiscal years 1989 to 2003.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Railroad Safety Act of 1970, as amended; the Federal safety standards published there under; and the State Participation Regulations, 49 CFR 212.
Examples of Funded Projects
When appropriations are available to the State Participation Program, six types of inspection programs are funded - one for track safety standards, one for freight car locomotive safety (motive power and equipment) standards, one for signal and train control standards, one for grade crossing signal system standards, one for operating practices standards and one for a hazardous materials inspection program. States may apply for one program or for all. No Federal funds are available in fiscal year 2003 or are anticipated in fiscal year 2004.