Friday, April 17, 2015

FRA : New Orders for Hazardous Materials Safety

Federal Railroad Administration

See links to original April 17 documents below.  (These, and additional orders going back to September 2012 can be viewed here.)  h/t Roger Straw
Policy and Guidance       Download PDF Document [281.7 KB]

Safety Action Plan for Hazardous Materials Safety

Federal Railroad Administration’s Action Plan for the Safe Transportation of Energy Products (STEP)

In response to train accidents in the United States and Canada involving tank cars carrying crude oil, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), including the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), continue to pursue a comprehensive, all-of-the-above approach in minimizing risk and ensuring the safe transport of crude oil by rail.

Over the past year, FRA and PHMSA have undertaken nearly two dozen actions to enhance the safe transport of crude oil. This comprehensive approach includes near and long-term steps such as: launching “Operation Classification” in the Bakken region to verify that crude oil is being properly classified; issuing safety advisories, alerts, emergency orders and regulatory updates; conducting special inspections; aggressively moving forward with a rulemaking to enhance tank car standards; and reaching agreement with railroad companies on a series of immediate voluntary actions including reducing speeds, increasing inspections, using new brake technology and investing in first responder training.

Here is a chronology of actions DOT, PHMSA and FRA have pursued over the past year(s):
April 17, 2015
FRA and PHMSA issued:

FRA Emergency Order No. 30, Notice No. 1: Establishing a Maximum Operating Speed of 40 mph in High-Threat Urban Areas for Certain Trains Transporting Large Quantities of Class 3 Flammable Liquids

PHMSA Notice 15-7: Hazardous Materials: Emergency Response Information Requirements

FRA/PHMSA Safety Advisory on Information Requirements Related to the Transportation of Trains Carrying Specified Volumes of Flammable Liquids:

FRA Safety Advisory 2015-01: Mechanical Inspections and Wheel Impact Detector Standards for Trains Transporting Large Amounts of Class 3 Flammable Liquids

FRA Letter to AAR:

Special Study Block FRA Notice:

see site for previous Notices/Actions.

Also:   AP narrative of new orders- Regulators order new oil train safety steps

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