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CSB requests update on chlorine railcar unloading recommendations

December 11, 2013

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Washington – Chemical Safety Board Chairman Rafael Moure-Eraso has requested an update from the Department of Transportation on DOT’s plans to address a long-standing CSB safety recommendation to regulate chlorine railcar unloading operations.

In June 2007, CSB recommended that DOT require unloading operations to include remotely operated emergency shutdown systems capable of isolating leaks. The recommendation, which also called for periodic maintenance and testing of the shutdown systems, came after CSB investigated two uncontrolled leaks involving chlorine railcar unloading operations in the previous three years.

In his letter to DOT, Moure-Eraso requested a response to the recommendation by Jan. 6, a date after which CSB would designate DOT’s inaction as an “Unacceptable Response.” Moure-Eraso also expressed concerned that the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration did not address CSB’s 2007 recommendation in a recent proposal to improve the safe transportation of hazardous materials by rail. However, the proposal did mention four recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board, CSB’s sister agency.