WASHINGTON, D.C. – (RealEstateRama) — The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee today announced that Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) will serve as chairman of the Committee’s Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials.
Lipinski’s subcommittee’s jurisdiction includes all federal laws and programs regulating railroad transportation, including railroad safety, rail infrastructure programs, economic regulation, and railroad labor laws, as well as all federal laws and programs regulating the safety of gas and liquid pipelines and the safety of transporting material and hazardous freight.
Lipinski was chosen to lead the subcommittee in the 116th Congress based on his experience and expertise in rail, pipeline, and hazmat safety; freight, commuter (Metra), and passenger (Amtrak) rail issues, performance, and regulation; the fair treatment of labor; and the impact rails and pipelines have on local communities.
“I grew up 100 yards from the railroad tracks, so I learned first-hand early in life about the issues we all face living with so many rail lines running through our neighborhoods, including blocked crossings, noise, and pollution. I also understand the benefits railroads bring such as good jobs and more environmentally friendly movement of freight,” Lipinski said. “Although we don’t see the pipelines, the Third District has a huge number of them running underground and I’ve worked hard over the past 12 years on this subcommittee to learn all the issues involved with rail, pipelines, and hazardous material. As chair, I will continue the work I have done to advance policies that prioritize rail and pipeline safety, a better environment, more jobs, and better public transit.
“I especially look forward to conducting oversight on matters my constituents and others are concerned about, including commuter rail on-time performance, noise pollution, railroad property upkeep in our communities, and reducing blocked crossings, among other issues.”
Rep. Lipinski is the most senior member from Illinois on the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee and his Third Congressional District is at the center of the nation’s rail network. Six of the seven Class I railroads operate over the nearly 4,000 miles of rail track in Chicago and more than a quarter of freight rail traffic and nearly half of intermodal traffic begins at, ends at, or transits in northeastern Illinois. In addition, many of the nation’s major pipelines carrying petroleum products and natural gas converge in Chicago and down through southwest suburban Cook and Will counties.
As subcommittee chairman, Lipinski said he will continue to seek transportation funding opportunities that benefit the public like the initial $100 million in federal seed funding and subsequent hundreds of millions he secured to initiate the CREATE rail modernization program, a public-private partnership that is easing congestion on the road and rails in northeastern Illinois.
“With my leadership and experience in rail and pipeline matters, I am ready to get to work as chairman,” Lipinski said. “I grateful for the opportunity and look forward to getting started on the work we have ahead of us.”