RFA comments on rail car safety proposal

By Staff | January 28, 2014

The Renewable Fuels Association recently submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Transportation in response to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration’s advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) on the rail shipping of hazardous materials. In its comments, the RFA encouraged the DOT to look into the underlying causes of derailments, such as rail construction and maintenance, rather than focusing exclusively on the retrofit of current DOT-111 railcars.  

“Rather than focusing exclusively on railcar design, a more prudent approach would be to invest in initiatives that address these root causes and keep the railcars on the tracks,” said Bob Dinneen, president and CEO of the RFA in his comments. “Such initiatives should include improvements in inspection and track maintenance protocols, utilizing available technology to assist in reducing human error (e.g., positive train control), and improved communication systems for rail operations. These types of actions would provide a better cost-benefit ratio and help stop the derailment incidents from occurring at all.”