(a) In general
The Secretary, acting through the Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration, is authorized to train, employ, and utilize surface transportation security inspectors.
The Secretary shall use surface transportation security inspectors to assist surface transportation carriers, operators, owners, entities, and facilities to enhance their security against terrorist attack and other security threats and to assist the Secretary in enforcing applicable surface transportation security regulations and directives.
Surface transportation security inspectors employed pursuant to this section shall be authorized such powers and delegated such responsibilities as the Secretary determines appropriate, subject to subsection (e).
The Secretary shall require that surface transportation security inspectors have relevant transportation experience and other security and inspection qualifications, as determined appropriate.
Surface transportation inspectors shall be prohibited from issuing fines to public transportation agencies, as defined in subchapter III, for violations of the Departments regulations or orders except through the process described in paragraph (2).
(2) Civil penalties
The Secretary shall be prohibited from assessing civil penalties against public transportation agencies, as defined in subchapter III, for violations of the Departments regulations or orders, except in accordance with the following:
(A) In the case of a public transportation agency that is found to be in violation of a regulation or order issued by the Secretary, the Secretary shall seek correction of the violation through a written notice to the public transportation agency and shall give the public transportation agency reasonable opportunity to correct the violation or propose an alternative means of compliance acceptable to the Secretary.
If the public transportation agency does not correct the violation or propose an alternative means of compliance acceptable to the Secretary within a reasonable time period that is specified in the written notice, the Secretary may take any action authorized in section 114
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(3) Limitation on Secretary
The Secretary shall not initiate civil enforcement actions for violations of administrative and procedural requirements pertaining to the application for, and expenditure of, funds awarded under transportation security grant programs under this Act.
(f) Number of inspectors
The Secretary shall employ up to a total of
(1) 100 surface transportation security inspectors in fiscal year 2007;
(2) 150 surface transportation security inspectors in fiscal year 2008;
(3) 175 surface transportation security inspectors in fiscal year 2009; and
(4) 200 surface transportation security inspectors in fiscal years 2010 and 2011.
The Secretary shall ensure that the mission of the surface transportation security inspectors is consistent with any relevant risk assessments required by this Act or completed by the Department, the modal plans required under section 114 (t)
1 of title 49
, the Memorandum of Understanding between the Department and the Department of Transportation on Roles and Responsibilities, dated September 28, 2004, and any and all subsequent annexes to this Memorandum of Understanding, and other relevant documents setting forth the Departments transportation security strategy, as appropriate.
The Secretary shall periodically consult with the surface transportation entities which are or may be inspected by the surface transportation security inspectors, including, as appropriate, railroad carriers, over-the-road bus operators and terminal owners and operators, motor carriers, public transportation agencies, owners or operators of highways, and pipeline operators on
(1) the inspectors duties, responsibilities, authorities, and mission; and
(2) strategies to improve transportation security and to ensure compliance with transportation security requirements.
Not later than September 30, 2008, the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General shall transmit a report to the appropriate congressional committees on the performance and effectiveness of surface transportation security inspectors, whether there is a need for additional inspectors, and other recommendations.
(j) Authorization of appropriations
There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out this section
(1) $11,400,000 for fiscal year 2007;
(2) $17,100,000 for fiscal year 2008;
(3) $19,950,000 for fiscal year 2009;
(4) $22,800,000 for fiscal year 2010; and
(5) $22,800,000 for fiscal year 2011.