Saturday, August 10, 2013

FRA Calls Emergency Meeting of RSAC – 8-29-13

As expected the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has posted a meeting notice in Monday’s Federal Register (available on-line today; 78 FR 48931) for an emergency meeting of the Railroad Safety Advisory Committee (RSAC) concerning the recent FRA emergency order resulting from the recent fatal Canadian derailment of a crude oil train with subsequent catastrophic fires and explosions. The day-long meeting will take place on August 29th in Washington, DC.

According to the Notice:

“At the August 29 meeting, FRA intends to address the safety requirements that were issued in FRA Emergency Order No. 28 (EO 28) [Link added] and the recommendations made in Safety Advisory 2013-06 [Link added]. FRA also plans to discuss the safety implications and potential costs and benefits of the requirements contained in Transport Canada's emergency directives [See Here and Here], and safety-related initiatives, including possible new RSAC tasks to implement such initiatives.”

The FRA includes in their Notice three specific areas that Committee members should be prepared to discuss at this meeting:

• The Transport Canada's directive requiring that two-person crews operate trains carrying hazardous materials on main track;

• The appropriate types and quantities of hazardous materials and the circumstances under which trains transporting such materials should not be left unattended on main track and sidings; and

• The various criteria and evaluation processes railroads have used, or intend to use, to formulate plans that they may choose to adopt to identify locations and circumstances where it is safe and suitable to leave trains unattended and secured on main track or sidings outside of yards or terminals.

Public attendance at the meeting will be on a first-come first-seated basis with limited seating available. There is no mention of having this meeting web cast. There is no mention of any public comment period or method for the public to provide written comments for consideration.

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