Hazmat Release: 31 Train Cars Derail in North Dakota
31 cars derailed from a 70-car train carrying hazardous materials at approximately 11:15 p.m. on Sunday, March 26 in the cold, snowy conditions of Wyndmere, North Dakota.
Reports so far suggest that petroleum (liquid asphalt, to be specific) leaked from four cars, ethyl glycol leaked from two cars, and one car containing propylene released vapor through a puncture but has been plugged.
Response to a Hazmat Derailment
Emergency response teams were on site of the derailment and hazardous materials release on Monday morning. Responders are waiting for the cold weather to help the leaked materials solidify into a gel to make cleanup easier. Cleanup is expected to last 7-10 days.
A spokesperson for the rail company stated that their hazardous materials experts are working on a full assessment of the incident with local first responders.
The company has stated that there are no:
Hazmat Incident Reporting
Every hazmat transportation incident reminds us of two things:
There is risk inherent in moving hazardous materials from Point A to Point B, and that managing the risk is the name of the game when it comes to regulatory compliance and decision-making.
These incidents are a reminder that specific reporting rules apply to every release of a hazardous material during transportation, and that some hazmat incidents require immediate reporting.
In the case of the North Dakota release on Sunday night, it would appear an immediate report was required. For one thing, the release led to closure of Roadways 158 and 159 Avenue Southeast between Highway 13 and 14 for more than an hour, one of several criteria that trigger an immediate report to the National Response Center (NRC).
East Palestine, OH Derailment (February 2023)
The incident involving hazardous materials in North Dakota comes less than two months after the derailment and large chemical release in East Palestine, OH in early February.That incident involved 20 rail cars carrying hazardous materials, which left the tracks near the Ohio-Pennsylvania border, started a massive fire, led to a large chemical release, and displaced nearly 2,000 people nearby.
Hazardous materials involved in the East Palestine derailment and release included 14 cars carrying vinyl chloride—a flammable and toxic gas.
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