U.S. DOT – New Emergency Order on Crude oil Rail Shipments

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has issued an Emergency Order which requires all railroad trains carrying large amount of Bakken Crude oil to issue notification to inform State Emergency Response Commissions (SERCs) about the operations of said trains through their states.

FRA, Federal Railroad Administration and PHMSA, Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration, has advised offerors and carriers to avoid using old DOT Specification 111 or CTC 111 tank cars for Bakken Crude in addition to use tank cars with highest level of integrity designs.

Emergency Oder, Docket Number DOT-OST-2014-0067 requires each railroad operating trains containing more than 1,000,000 gallons of Bakken Crude oil or approximately 35 tank cars to issue notification to SERC.

Background of this order is basis on various railroad accidents of trains carrying crude oil some of which include:

  • April 30, 2014 derailment of CSX Transportation, Inc. (CSX) unit train consisting of 105 tank cars loaded with petroleum crude oil In Lynchburg, Virginia.
  • December 30, 2013 derailment of 13 cars of BNSF Railway (BNSF) of a grain train and subsequently another train of crude oil colliding and derailing spilling crude and resulting fire.
  • November 8, 2013 a 90 car petroleum crude oil train derailing near Aliceville, Alabama and subsequent fire
  • July 6, 2013 major accident involving crude oil train at Lac-Megnatic, Quebec, Canada resulting in 47 lives lost, extensive damage to town.

Failure to comply with Emergency Oder, Docket Number DOT-OST-2014-0067 is subject to civil penalties of up to $ 175,000 for each violation or for each day it is found to be in violation.

Click here to view the Emergency Order.

Click here to view the Safety Advisory.


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