Yesterday the OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) announced that it had approved the FRA’s notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for the Railroad Risk Reduction Program.
As I noted in my post about the advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) published in December of 2010 the amount of hazardous materials that a railroad carries (and particularly carries through major urban areas) will have a significant impact on the requirements of this risk reduction program. When I wrote that post I was mainly concerned with the transit of toxic inhalation hazard (TIH) chemicals and the emergency response requirements for those chemicals that should be included in this rule.
Since that time we have had a number of accidents with crude oil unit trains that have resulted in very large fires with multiple explosions. I would suspect that the FRA has included specific requirements for those trains in this NPRM.
We should see this NPRM published in the Federal Register in the coming week.