Feds Propose New Safety Oil Spill Response Plans and Information Sharing for High-Hazard Flammable Trains

By Roger Straw, July 20, 2016

Following are links to 4 sources with information about the PHMSA’s new proposed rules.  First from the PHMSA itself, then ThinkProgress, Bakken Magazine, and the California Association of Counties.

PHMSA Proposes New Safety Oil Spill Response Plans and Information Sharing for High-Hazard Flammable Trains

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
By Artealia Gilliard, 7/13/16

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), in coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), today announced proposed regulations for Oil Spill Response Plans and Information Sharing for High-Hazard Flammable Trains (HHFTs) to improve oil spill response readiness and mitigate effects of rail incidents involving petroleum oil. The proposed rule would update and clarify the comprehensive oil spill response plan requirements for certain trains, and would require railroads to share information with state and tribal emergency response commissions to improve community preparedness for potential accidents. The rule would also incorporate a test method for initial boiling point for flammable liquids into the hazardous materials regulations. (continued…)


New Federal Rules Proposed for High-Hazard Flammable Trains

Calif. State Ass’n of Counties
By Karen Keene, Cara Martinson, 7/21/16

Two federal agencies are working on new regulations related to so-called “oil trains” that have become more common recently. The goal is to improve oil spill response readiness and mitigate effects of rail incidents involving petroleum oil.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), in coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced proposed regulations for Oil Spill Response Plans and Information Sharing for High-Hazard Flammable Trains (HHFTs).

The proposed rule would update and clarify the comprehensive oil spill response plan requirements for certain trains, and would require railroads to share information with state and tribal emergency response commissions to improve community preparedness for potential accidents.

According to the PHMSA announcement… (continued…)

New Oil Train Rules Would Force Railroad Companies To Plan For The Worst

ClimateProgress
By Natasha Geiling, 7/14/16 3:23 PM

A little over a month after a Union Pacific train carrying Bakken crude oil derailed outside of the tiny Oregon known of Mosier, the Department of Transportation has announced new rules aimed at ensuring that communities near oil train routes have adequate information and help in the event of an oil derailment.

The new rules would, among other things, require railroad companies that ship oil by rail to come up with response plans in case of a worst-case scenario oil spill — something that most railroad companies are not currently required to do.  (continued…)


PHMSA proposes new rules for high-hazard, flammable trains

The Bakken Magazine
By Patrick C. Miller, 7/20/16

In response to train derailments involving flammable oil, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) last week announced proposed regulations for oil spill response plans and the sharing of information with state and tribal governments.

PHMSA said the new regulations—aimed at high-hazard flammable trains (HHFT)—are intended to improve oil spill response readiness and mitigate effects of rail incidents involving petroleum oil. The effort is being coordinated with the Federal Railroad Administration.

“The substantial surge in our country’s production of crude oil is creating a serious need for improved response and communication between railroads and the communities through which they travel,” said Therese Dominguez, PHMSA administrator. “This rule would help to ensure that railroads provide vital information to first responders to help them prepare for and respond to a derailment involving crude.”  (continued…)

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