COSTHA Warns Congress of Impending Rail Shutdown
The Council on the Safe Transport of Hazardous Articles (COSTHA) has warned Congress that large segments of the US freight rail network could be shut down if the deadline to install new safety measures is not extended beyond December 31 of this year.
The letter to Congress is co-signed by a long list of farming groups, chemical manufacturers, petroleum companies, freight forwarders, rail carrier associations, and others in the regulated community. The letter makes it clear that rail carriers need more time to bring trains into compliance with the new Positive Train Control (PTC) system requirement before the December 31 deadline. Many railroads have informed customers that if the deadline is not extended, they will not be able to carry freight traffic in 2016.
The full letter to Congress is available on COSTHA’s website, here.
New Hazmat Rail Rules
The PTC system requirement is part of the US DOT’s new rules for shipping hazmat by rail, promulgated in response to a rash of crude oil hazmat incidents in the US and Canada in recent years.
View a map of North American crude oil train derailments since 2013 here.
While these rules are designed to address hazardous materials shipped by rail, a rail system shutdown would obviously affect all freight shippers.
What Is Positive Train Control?
PTC is a technology capable of automatically controlling train speeds and movements in the event that the operator or driver is unable or fails to do so.
By December 31, under the current rule, US DOT requires that PTC be implemented on Class I railroad main lines (i.e., those with over 5 million gross tons annually) over which any poison or toxic-by-inhalation materials are transported or on main lines that carry regularly scheduled passenger intercity or commuter operations.
Tags: DOT, hazmat shipping, new rules
Find a Post
The instructor took a rather drab set of topics and brought them to life with realistic real-life examples.
Energetic/enthusiastic! Made training enjoyable, understandable and fun!
Hazardous Waste Professional
The instructor was very dedicated to providing a quality experience. She did her best to make sure students were really comprehending the information.
Inventory Control Specialist
Lion was very responsive to my initial questions and the website was user friendly.
Supply Chain Director
Having the tutorial buttons for additional information was extremely beneficial.
I love that the instructor emphasized the thought process behind the regs.
Corporate Product Stewardship Specialist
Excellent course. Very interactive. Explanations are great whether you get the questions wrong or right.
Environmental, Health & Safety Regional Manager
The course was very informative and presented in a way that was easily understood and remembered. I would recommend this course.
Hazmat Shipping Professional
I chose Lion's online webinar because it is simple, effective, and easily accessible.
Environmental Health & Safety Technician
Well designed and thorough program. Excellent summary of requirements with references. Inclusion of regulations in hard copy form, as well as full electronic with state pertinent regulations included is a great bonus!
Download Our Latest Whitepaper
This report details major changes for hazardous waste generators from US EPA’s Generator Improvements Rule, as well as the latest updates from states that are still working to adopt new, stricter Federal requirements.