Hazardous Materials: Enhancing Rail Transportation Safety and Security for Hazardous Materials Shipments
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, in coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), is improving safety by revising the current requirements in the Hazardous Materials Regulations applicable to the safe and secure transportation of hazardous materials by rail. We are requiring rail carriers to compile annual data on certain shipments of explosive, toxic by inhalation, and radioactive materials; use the data to analyze safety and security risks along rail routes where those materials are transported; assess alternative routing options; and make routing decisions based on those assessments. We are also clarifying rail carriers' responsibility to address in their security plans issues related to en route storage and delays in transit. In addition, we are adopting a new requirement for rail carriers to inspect placarded hazardous materials rail cars for signs of tampering or the presence of suspicious items, including improvised explosive devices. We adopted these requirements in an interim final rule published April 16, 2008. This final rule fulfills requirements in Section 1551 of the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007. Also, in today's edition of the Federal Register, both FRA and TSA are publishing final rules adopting requirements and procedures that promote rail transportation security.