On March 23, 2020, TSA published the Security Training for Surface Transportation Final Rule in the Federal Register. In special consideration of on-going challenges to the surface transportation industry in response to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), TSA amended this rule, on May 1, 2020, extending the rule’s effective date and regulatory timelines. The rule requires owner/operators of higher-risk freight railroad carriers, public transportation agencies (including rail mass transit and bus systems), passenger railroad carriers and over-the-road bus companies to provide TSA-approved security training to employees who perform security-sensitive functions. The training curriculum must teach employees how to observe, assess and respond to terrorist-related threats and/or incidents. TSA is also expanding its requirements for security coordinators and the reporting of significant security concerns (currently limited to rail operations), including bus operations within the scope of the regulation. TSA is amending other provisions of its regulations, as necessary, to implement these requirements. The effective date of this regulation is September 21, 2020. The public may access the final rule in the Federal Register by clicking here.
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND - STATUATORY MANDATE
Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 (9/11 Act) for Surface Transportation
As part of the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 (9/11 Act), Congress mandated regulations to enhance surface transportation security through security training of frontline employees. The mandate includes prescriptive requirements for who must be trained, what the training must encompass and how to submit and obtain approval for a training program. The 9/11 Act also mandates regulations requiring higher-risk railroads and over-the-road buses to appoint security coordinators. In addition to implementing these provisions, this final rule also addresses a mandate to define Transportation Security-Sensitive Materials.