Sunday, June 30, 2013

NTSB Investigative Hearing Announced – 7-10-13

The National Transportation Safety Board published a hearing notice in Friday’s Federal Register (78 FR 39017-39018) concerning an investigative hearing that will be held in Washington, DC on July 10th, 2013. The hearing will be looking into the Conrail derailment outside of Paulsboro, NJ on November 30th, 2012, and the subsequent release of 180,000 lbs of vinyl chloride.

According to the notice, the hearing will discuss:

• Conrail bridge operations;
• Conrail procedures;
• Incident command actions and emergency response decisions in the first day;
• Hazardous materials emergency response operations;
• Roles of the response teams;
• Evacuations and communications;
• Incident response protocols;
• Hazmat training;
• Oversight of Paulsboro emergency preparedness;
• Roles of local, state and Federal agencies in emergency hazmat response; and
• Interaction between state and Federal agencies in establishing a unified command.

The NTSB intends to use this hearing to:

• Gather additional factual information regarding the actions of the first responders in Paulsboro;
• To explore the hierarchy of New Jersey State and local emergency management;
• Training, regulations and standards applicable to emergency response personnel; and
• To examine the oversight of the Paulsboro emergency operations

The hearing will be open to the public and the NTSB will web cast the hearing on its web site.

NOTE: It will be interesting to see if the issue of dispersion modeling that I discussed here after that accident is raised.

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