Federal agencies Rail

NTSB issues oil-by-rail recommendations


Washington – The National Transportation Safety Board has issued four urgent recommendations in the wake of several fiery derailments involving rail cars carrying crude oil and other flammable liquids.

NTSB sent the recommendations to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration on April 6. They are:

  • Require thermal protection systems – meeting or exceeding standards in Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations 179.18(a) – in all tank cars transporting Class 3 flammable liquids.
  • Require new and existing tank cars transporting such liquids to include appropriately sized pressure relief devices that can be used under fire conditions.
  • Set an aggressive schedule to replace or retrofit existing DOT-111 and CPC-1232 tank cars.
  • Establish a public reporting tool that provides annual updates (at minimum) on the progress of retrofitting and replacing tank cars as recommended by NTSB.

The agency issued its recommendations after three recent tank car crashes: Feb. 16 in Mount Carbon, WV; March 5 in Galena, IL; and March 7 in Gogama, Ontario.

“The industry needs to make this issue a priority and expedite the safety enhancements,” NTSB Chairman Christopher A. Hart said in a press release. “Otherwise, we continue to put our communities at risk.”