U.S. Department for Transport announced a final rule for the safe transportation of flammable liquids by rail. The final rule, developed by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), in coordination with Canada, focuses on safety improvements that are designed to prevent accidents, mitigate consequences in the event of an accident, and support emergency response.
“Our close collaboration with Canada on new tank car standards is recognition that the trains moving unprecedented amounts of crude by rail are not U.S. or Canadian tank cars – they are part of a North American fleet and a shared safety challenge,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said.
The rule unveils a new, enhanced tank car standard, requires a new braking standard for certain trains that will offer a superior level of safety, designates new operational protocols for trains transporting large volumes of flammable liquids, and provides new sampling and testing requirements to improve classification of energy products placed into transport.
“Through strong collaboration we have developed a harmonized solution for North America’s tank car fleet. I am hopeful that this kind of cooperation will be a model for future Canada-U.S. partnership on transportation issues,” Canada’s Minister of Transport, Lisa Raitt said.
This final rule represents the latest, and most significant to date, in a series of nearly 30 actions that DOT has initiated over the last nineteen months, including additional emergency orders, safety advisories and other actions.