The final rule for flammable liquid transportation by rail was released early in May 2015.
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) developed the ruling in accordance with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to prevent the dire consequences of any accident associated with the transport of flammable liquids.
The ruling states:
A new enhanced tank car standard will be coupled with an aggressive, risk-based retrofitting for older rail cars carrying dangerous liquids.
New operational protocols will be implemented for transporting large volumes of flammable liquids, including speed restrictions and routing requirements.
New sampling and testing requirements will go into effect to improve the designation of energy products in transport.
A new braking standard will be implemented to improve the level of safety and hopefully reduce the severity of any accident should it occur.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Antony Foxx and Canadaâ€™s Minister of Transport, Lisa Raitt, joined together to announce that Canada too would be altering their rail transport cars to improve the safety of their function at home and in the U.S.
In addition to Secretary Foxx and Minister of Transport Raitt, other agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Department of Energy (DOE) will be working together with the White House to create comprehensive protection for the shipment of hazardous materials.
The DOE alone is working to identify certain combustible components within crude oil to possibly negate any future combustion or the severity of it should an accident take place.
This final ruling signifies a dramatic change in governmental oversight of the transportation of flammable liquids via train car. There have so far been 30 actions taken by DOT over the past nineteen months, all in an effort to strengthen the safety of transportation across the nation.
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