If you only paid attention to the news for the past two months, you’d be forgiven if you thought train derailments were routine.
In fact, in late March two more trains derailed with hazmat crews responding to both incidents in California and North Dakota. According to multiple news outlets, the Canadian Pacific train that derailed in North Dakota leaked some hazardous materials.
Also Read: Radio Comm Issues Hampered Ohio Hazmat Train Wreck Response
Canadian Pacific spokesperson Andy Cummings told the Washington Post that an assessment of the incident determined that four cars filled with liquid asphalt and two cars filled with ethylene glycol spilled part of their loads, while a car carrying propylene sustained a small puncture and released some vapor. He said the spills have been mitigated.
ABC News reported that a Union Pacific train carrying iron ore derailed in San Bernardino County, Calif. There, one of the two locomotives that derailed leaked hazardous material.
Also Read: Two Derailments in 10 Days Show Need for Hazmat Rail Training
In his recent article “Hazmat on the Rail” for Domestic Preparedness, Glen Rudner outlined the resources available to fire departments and hazmat teams before and after a derailment. Rudner is a retired manager of environmental compliance for Norfolk Southern who spent much of his career as a firefighter specializing in hazmat.
Also Read: Spotlight: Norfolk Southern Railway Hazardous Materials Unit
Here’s a section from his article. You can read the full piece here.
The response to a hazmat incident begins with preparation and planning. Local emergency management, response organizations, and railroads are all important stakeholders. Preparedness and planning should not be an afterthought but an integral building block to a successful response. Railroads are training thousands of responders each year as part of a tremendous outreach initiative to recognize, identify, and notify the railroad during an incident. Each railroad also operates a website that includes information on how emergency response professionals can obtain additional resources and training:
- BNSF Hazmat
- Canadian National First Responders Training and Resources
- Canadian Pacific Hazmat Training
- CSX Emergency Responder Training and Education
- Norfolk Southern Operations Awareness & Response
- Union Pacific Working With First Responders
Other essential planning partners are the Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs) and State Emergency Response Commissions (SERCs). Railroads should be active members of LEPCs and can offer exercises, drills, and connections to their local communities. In addition, railroads can assist with preplanning for incidents by offering commodity flow studies at no cost to the community.There are also resources and training outside the rail industry. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) makes planning tools available through the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium (NDPC), the Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium (RDPC, which offers training to locations with populations of less than 50,000), or their partners. Led by industry professionals, Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response (TRANSCAER®) provides an outreach program in North America to prepare communities and train emergency responders for hazardous material transportation incidents. The International Association of Fire Chiefs offers free training, tools, and resources to hazmat teams, first responders, federal, state, and local agencies, and the private sector through its Hazardous Materials Fusion Center project.
Original post – Copyright © 2023 HazmatNation.com. Externally linked references may hold their own independent copyright not assumed by HazmatNation