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Preparing for LNG by Rail Tank Car: A Review of a U.S. DOT Safety Research, Testing, and Analysis Initiative (2021)

Chapter: 4 Tasks Relevant to Hazardous Materials Transport by Rail

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Suggested Citation:"4 Tasks Relevant to Hazardous Materials Transport by Rail." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Preparing for LNG by Rail Tank Car: A Review of a U.S. DOT Safety Research, Testing, and Analysis Initiative. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26221.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Tasks Relevant to Hazardous Materials Transport by Rail." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Preparing for LNG by Rail Tank Car: A Review of a U.S. DOT Safety Research, Testing, and Analysis Initiative. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26221.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Tasks Relevant to Hazardous Materials Transport by Rail." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Preparing for LNG by Rail Tank Car: A Review of a U.S. DOT Safety Research, Testing, and Analysis Initiative. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26221.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Tasks Relevant to Hazardous Materials Transport by Rail." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Preparing for LNG by Rail Tank Car: A Review of a U.S. DOT Safety Research, Testing, and Analysis Initiative. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26221.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Tasks Relevant to Hazardous Materials Transport by Rail." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Preparing for LNG by Rail Tank Car: A Review of a U.S. DOT Safety Research, Testing, and Analysis Initiative. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26221.
×
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Suggested Citation:"4 Tasks Relevant to Hazardous Materials Transport by Rail." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Preparing for LNG by Rail Tank Car: A Review of a U.S. DOT Safety Research, Testing, and Analysis Initiative. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26221.
×
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Suggested Citation:"4 Tasks Relevant to Hazardous Materials Transport by Rail." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Preparing for LNG by Rail Tank Car: A Review of a U.S. DOT Safety Research, Testing, and Analysis Initiative. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26221.
×
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Suggested Citation:"4 Tasks Relevant to Hazardous Materials Transport by Rail." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Preparing for LNG by Rail Tank Car: A Review of a U.S. DOT Safety Research, Testing, and Analysis Initiative. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26221.
×
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Suggested Citation:"4 Tasks Relevant to Hazardous Materials Transport by Rail." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Preparing for LNG by Rail Tank Car: A Review of a U.S. DOT Safety Research, Testing, and Analysis Initiative. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26221.
×
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Suggested Citation:"4 Tasks Relevant to Hazardous Materials Transport by Rail." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Preparing for LNG by Rail Tank Car: A Review of a U.S. DOT Safety Research, Testing, and Analysis Initiative. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26221.
×
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Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

4 Tasks Relevant to Hazardous Materials Transport by Rail This chapter examines the completeness and quality of 6 of the 15 tasks in the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration–Federal Railroad Administration (PHMSA–FRA) Task Force initiative that are relevant for shipments of any hazardous materials cargo by rail, including liquefied natural gas (LNG)-laden tank cars. The six tasks are Loading and Unloading Safety Assessment, Safety and Security Route Risk Assessment, Train Operational Controls, Modal Conversion Between Truck and Rail, LNG Educational and Outreach Plan, and Emergency Responder Opinions and Needs. LOADING AND UNLOADING SAFETY ASSESSMENT The Task Force conducted the Loading and Unloading Safety Assessment task to evaluate the safe loading, unloading, and transloading operations of LNG cargo by performing a literature review, analyzing incident data from PHMSA’s database, interviewing subject-matter experts, and reviewing the training and equipment involved in loading and unloading operations. Safety measures taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted this task, especially in- person site visits to LNG liquefaction and transportation sites in Florida at Hialeah and Jacksonville for interviews with facility personnel about and demonstrations of training and operating practices. The literature consulted for loading and unloading operations and procedures includes documentation from regulatory agencies and incident data. The Task Force reviewed LNG- related materials on authorized tank car designs for cryogenic cargo, the state of the practice for loading and unloading at marine ports and on cargo tank motor vehicles, and safety and security in transportation and at fixed facilities. 72 The incident data included six incidents reported between 1984 and March 2020 that occurred while loading or unloading LNG cargo transported by truck and involved two hospitalizations and no fatalities. In one instance, there was a significant fire, though the tank did not fail. 73 The Task Force interviewed subject-matter experts at the PHMSA Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Emergency Management (OEM), and an equipment manufacturer. The interviews with OPS covered oversight of LNG facilities and training. In particular, OPS staff stressed the importance of training, which they noted as being similar for any cryogenic liquid, and the use of certified facilities for repairs to reduce the potential for human error causing an incident. OEM staff outlined how they collaborate with FRA, especially in cases when there is overlap in or transition between the 72 Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and Federal Railroad Administration, “Loading and Unloading Safety Assessment Task Resource,” August 13, 2020, http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/dvb/LNGrail/LoadingUnloading_Assess.pdf. 73 Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and Federal Railroad Administration, “FRA–PHMSA LNG by Rail Task Force Interim Report,” p. 9. PREPUBLICATION COPY—Uncorrected Proofs 35

agencies’ jurisdictions. The most salient example regarding jurisdictional issues is when rail tank cars are used for storage at a yard (OEM) and transportation (FRA). OEM staff emphasized the importance of establishing a response plan in advance to manage the risk of a potential incident. Interviewing a product manager at an equipment manufacturer confirmed observations made by OPS training staff who likewise noted that the equipment used for LNG loading and unloading has a proven safety record, and that training for personnel should be a top concern to ensure the integrity of valves, fittings, and hoses to avoid leaks of the odorless, cryogenic material. Through its analysis of the collected literature, incident data, and interviews with subject- matter experts, the Task Force concluded that marine and highway transportation of LNG has occurred safely for several decades and identified training and maintenance of equipment as being crucial to safe loading and unloading operations. They further concluded that the LNG industry has learned from previous incidents and maintains a strong safety culture. The Task Force intends to build on these takeaways when it resumes this task with a site visit to a facility that handles flammable cryogenic cargo in late 2021. The results from this task can inform the risk profile of LNG transportation, but the task itself is not a dependency of other tasks in the overarching LNG safety initiative. Observations About Completeness and Quality As a potential source of releases, loading, unloading, and transloading activities warrant evaluation. Indeed, the assessment of non-accident releases is central to meeting the objective of reducing the risk of transporting LNG by rail. The committee concurs with the Task Force’s stress on clear policies and procedures to mitigate the risk of non-accident releases, with training and equipment maintenance being key to that effort. For LNG transportation by marine and highway modes, the equipment, training, and procedures have demonstrated a good safety record. It is important that railroads apply similar rigor in training and emergency preparedness for LNG transportation to reduce the risk beyond the minimum requirements in the Hazardous Materials Regulations for transport by rail. The task could be improved by issuing a single, well-organized document that provides a summary of the literature reviewed, conclusions drawn from the literature, completed expert- interview questionnaires, and key recommendations from the experts. Notably, an explanation for the Task Force’s positive assessment of the LNG industry’s safety culture would also be instructive. A synthesis of this information and details regarding required hardware, operational procedures, training, and emergency response plans for loading and unloading operations— including transloading 74—would enable the Task Force to more thoroughly cover all potential safety issues arising from LNG transportation by rail. SAFETY AND SECURITY ROUTE RISK ASSESSMENT The Task Force intends to conduct its own safety and security route risk assessment of the three route options under consideration for the special permit for movement of a unit train of LNG between Wyalusing, Pennsylvania, and Gibbstown, New Jersey, once the applicant submits a shipping plan. The results of the Task Force’s assessment will be compared to the assessment 74 Title 49, CFR § 174.67. PREPUBLICATION COPY—Uncorrected Proofs 36

submitted by the railroad for compliance with the Hazardous Materials Regulations. These federal regulations require a safety and security assessment of the route used for transporting hazardous materials using 27 factors, such as the amount of hazardous material to be hauled, proximity to iconic targets, high-consequence targets, known threats, population density along the route, train speed, and training and skill level of crews. 75 The assessment considers the 27 factors by means of a risk analysis that may be conducted quantitatively, qualitatively, or some combination thereof. There is no single required methodology for the risk analysis in recognition of variation among railroads and their operating environments so long as the methodology is documented for the route to be analyzed. However, PHMSA and the railroad industry have collaborated in a privately developed and widely used geospatial information system-based software package called the Rail Corridor Risk Management System (RCRMS) that satisfies the requirements of the regulations. The basic inputs for RCRMS, or any route risk assessment, are origin–destination pair, commodity type, container type, annual volume, operating speeds, and track characteristics. RCRMS output is an overall risk score used to rank route options. Once the shipping plan is available, PHMSA and FRA will compare their RCRMS results for the three route options with those scores generated on behalf of the shipper to determine whether additional measures are needed for safety assurance. Beyond a description of the planned RCRMS analysis, the Task Force presented the committee with an FRA memorandum that briefly summarizes the results of a favorable audit of Norfolk Southern Corporation (NS), a potential carrier for LNG under a 2019 special permit, covering topics such as its security plan, emergency response and oil spill plans, hazardous materials training, and routing assessment using RCRMS. 76 Other materials were unavailable because of security concerns about sensitive information. Although not specifically a dependency or successor of another task in the Task Force’s work, a route risk assessment would generally account for conditions at the origin, an intermediate point, and destination for loading, unloading, and transloading operations. Likewise, the information in the route risk assessment could inform modeling for worst-case scenarios. Observations About Completeness and Quality The pending status of the task and scant resources for review limited the committee’s ability to fully consider this part of the Task Force’s program. That is, details such as risk assessment parameters, assumptions, and route-specific details are unavailable for review. Therefore, the committee cannot form a view on the quality of the assessment task or clearly know, for instance, what constitutes the definition of a more or less attractive route for LNG transportation. However, without knowing more about the assessment, the committee considers the task to be incomplete without consideration of manifest trains, rather than a focus solely on unit train movements, because the LNG shipment configuration may represent different consequences during an accident. For example, it is plausible that an LNG release during a worst-case scenario 75 Title 49, CFR § 172.820; Title 49, Appendix D to Part 172. 76 Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and Federal Railroad Administration, “Safety and Security Route Risk Assessment Task Resource,” August 13, 2020, http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/dvb/LNGrail/SafeSec_Route_Asssess.pdf. PREPUBLICATION COPY—Uncorrected Proofs 37

event involving a manifest train could be worse than a unit train scenario because of the potential interactions and effects between multiple hazardous materials. Similarly, the committee lacks information about how security factors were addressed. That is, the task would be incomplete without considering how to prevent or mitigate deliberate efforts to cause an incident, such as by sabotage or terrorism, which is something that would be explored in the second phase of the study. TRAIN OPERATIONAL CONTROLS The Task Force conducted site visits with rail carriers to document their compliance with the industry-developed, voluntary standard for transporting hazardous materials, AAR Circular OT- 55-Q: Recommended Railroad Operating Practices for Transportation of Hazardous Materials (Circular OT-55). 77 Circular OT-55 applies to trains carrying hazardous materials that meet the definition of a “key train,” which, for the purposes of LNG-laden tank cars, entails a train with 20 or more car loads of hazardous material. Thus, a unit train or a manifest train with 20 or more tank cars of LNG would be a key train. The principal restriction for a key train is a limit on the maximum speed to 50 mph. The evaluation for compliance with Circular OT-55, especially maximum operating speed, contributes to reducing the risk of transporting LNG by rail, as well as other hazardous materials. While a significant portion of the national rail network allows freight trains to operate at 60 mph or higher, the maximum operating speed of a key train reduces the magnitude of energy available compared to a non-key train in the same accident scenario. PHMSA and FRA staff conducted site visits with NS and Conrail Shared Assets Operations (Conrail) for compliance with Circular OT-55. Additional Circular OT-55 reviews are planned, with a site visit to CSX Transportation scheduled for summer 2021. To assist in the review of these railroads’ hazardous materials-handling practices, PHMSA and FRA used a checklist to guide discussions during site visits with questions about the implementation of Circular OT-55, preparedness for worst-case scenarios, and training for both. 78 The agencies’ staff determined that NS and Conrail comply with Circular OT-55 and have integrated it as the basis of their training, self-audits, and daily operations. Supplementing the site visits, the agencies reviewed the results from a simulation-based analysis, using the Train Energy and Dynamics Simulator, 79 of the proposed route for LNG between the origin in Pennsylvania and the destination in New Jersey under a 2019 special permit to compare the 50 mph limit for a key train to the likely speed traveled in accordance with the maximum authorized speed. The Task Force found that, when terrain and track curvature were considered, the route conditions would allow a 100-car LNG unit train to travel at 50 mph 77 Association of American Railroads, “AAR Circular OT-55-Q, Recommended Railroad Operating Practices for Transportation of Hazardous Materials,” April 26, 2019, https://public.railinc.com/sites/default/files/documents/OT- 55.pdf. 78 Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and Federal Railroad Administration, “Train Operational Controls Task Resource,” August 13, 2020, chap. OT-55 Safety Verification of Rail Carriers, http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/dvb/LNGrail/Train_Op_Cntrl.pdf. 79 See Chapter 5, Train Energy and Dynamics Simulator. PREPUBLICATION COPY—Uncorrected Proofs 38

for 13 percent of the route, about 18 percent at 40 mph, and at 35 mph or slower for the remainder. 80 Observations About Completeness and Quality The assessment of rail carriers’ compliance with the key train restriction on maximum operating speed under Circular OT-55 provides useful insight into a means of limiting the potential energy involved in a derailment scenario. Although the results of this task show that two railroads adhere to the voluntary standards for hazardous materials transportation—indeed, have incorporated them into their training and daily operations—completing additional reviews of freight railroad operations, as well as including any other rules that might affect operating practices, will strengthen understanding of the operating practices across the nation’s freight rail network. While it is understandable that the pandemic has delayed the Task Force from conducting additional in-person site visits, the committee believes that completion of a remote, preliminary evaluation would have been feasible with information available to agencies under existing regulatory authority. That is, the task would have been significantly improved if its results included an evaluation of railroads’ compliance with Circular OT-55 based on documentation submitted under federal recordkeeping regulations about filing copies of new amendments to railroad operating rules, timetables, and timetable special instructions. 81 MODAL CONVERSION BETWEEN TRUCK AND RAIL The Task Force has developed modeling to compare the risk profile of the linehaul movement required to transport equivalent volumes of LNG by truck and rail between a single origin– destination pair based on the route that was authorized under the 2019 special permit for LNG by tank car between Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The objective of the task is to understand the relative potential exposure of people using an assessment of the rail route (i.e., RCRMS) and the likely highway routing using geospatial, population, and modal incident data. Because of the focus on this particular origin–destination pair, the Task Force’s analysis was not an attempt to assess whether this route was generalizable to other potential movements. The model examines two types of risk: the risk involved in a particular mode (e.g., fatalities and injuries resulting from train derailments and highway traffic collisions) and in the potential release of any hazardous material, not only LNG. Each mode entails differing risk characteristics. Typically, highway transportation of hazardous materials passes through highly populated areas, though trucks avoid dense population centers. By contrast, railroads tend to travel across rural areas and through cities. 82 Also, because of the capacity of the packaging corresponding to each mode, three cargo tank motor vehicles are needed to carry the same volume of cargo in one rail tank car. The differential in capacities results in the need for many 80 Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and Federal Railroad Administration, “FRA–PHMSA LNG by Rail Task Force Interim Report,” p. 24. 81 Title 49, CFR § 217.7, Operating rules; filing and recordkeeping. 82 Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and Federal Railroad Administration, “FRA–PHMSA LNG by Rail Task Force Interim Report,” p. 20. PREPUBLICATION COPY—Uncorrected Proofs 39

more vehicles on highways, and more opportunities for traffic accidents, relative to the number of trains. For mode-specific risk, the calculation comparing truck and rail freight transportation yields values in units of fatalities and injuries per ton-mile traveled using data from FRA (2019), the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (2018), and the Commodity Flow Survey (preliminary data for 2017). 83 The calculation of risk involving a hazardous materials release also yields values in the same units. However, this component of the model considers the extent of the population exposed to a potential release using a geospatial overlay of the hazard diameters along the route for trucks and as determined for the 2019 special permit in the task on the Worst-Case Scenarios Model. The simulation estimates that rail transportation of LNG presents 30 percent of the risk that highway transportation entails. 84 This model has limitations, as do all models. This task examines risk from all hazardous materials, but estimating exposure to LNG-related hazards requires information on the volume of cargo flowing through a corridor. The commodity flow information from the special permit for linehaul between Pennsylvania and New Jersey is used in this task, but the Task Force stated that not enough information is available to set parameters for new routing and volumes for other hypothetical origin–destination pairs. To remedy the lack of information about the volume of LNG cargo, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics will modify its existing survey of tank car production facilities 85 to include data collection on the number of DOT-113 tank cars built and production capacity, which will assist PHMSA in assessing exposure and potential exposure from LNG-laden tank cars beginning in fall 2022. 86 PHMSA will repeat this analysis when the shipper and rail carrier operating under the Pennsylvania–New Jersey special permit identify a specific route. The model of modal conversion between truck and rail uses inputs from the tasks on Worst-Case Scenarios Model and Safety and Security Risk Route Assessment (i.e., scoring from the RCRMS software). Observations About Completeness and Quality The analysis as reported only considered the risk of fatalities and injuries during the linehaul movement and did not consider the loading and unloading activities along with their associated risks. The committee believes that incorporating factors for risks entailed in loading and unloading operations by mode would facilitate a more accurate comparison between truck and rail. The latter carry smaller containers and thus involve more handling operations than railroads. Also, the analysis left out risks involved with train assembly and classification activities in the case of rail movements. However, because shippers are not yet filling DOT-113 tank cars regularly, nor are end users emptying them, the committee lacks the evidence base to offer advice in this area. The loading facilities in particular are likely to be outside of large petrochemical complexes where loading hazardous material into railcars is typically 83 Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, “Methodology of Modal Conversion Between Truck Transportation of LNG and Rail Transportation of LNG,” February 11, 2021, http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/dvb/LNGrail/Modal_Convrsn_Calc.pdf. 84 Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. 85 Bureau of Transportation Statistics, “Tank Car Facility Survey,” n.d., https://www.tankcar.bts.gov/survey. 86 Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, “Methodology of Modal Conversion Between Truck Transportation of LNG and Rail Transportation of LNG.” PREPUBLICATION COPY—Uncorrected Proofs 40

accomplished today. Furthermore, these facilities are unlikely to be established or controlled by the rail carriers themselves. This phase of transportation may warrant particular attention and coordination among shippers and rail carriers once regular shipments begin. Therefore, PHMSA should add loading and unloading operations and train assembly and classification activities to the assessment of the risk of LNG by rail as compared with highway when repeating this task in fall 2022. EMERGENCY RESPONSE COORDINATION The Task Force developed an overarching plan to prepare for the risk of shipping LNG by coordinating with the emergency response community to ensure that the appropriate level of awareness, training, and resources were available to keep themselves and the public safe. The Task Force divided their work into two emergency response-oriented tasks. The Validation of Emergency Responder Opinion and Needs task focuses on fully characterizing the extent of the perceived risk as well as developing a baseline for current response capabilities and community readiness. In the task on development of an LNG Educational and Outreach Plan, the Task Force identified the outreach and educational materials that are currently available from industry, government agencies, and stakeholder organizations; performed a gap analysis to see where PHMSA could facilitate coordination between organizations to enhance education outcomes; and developed an action plan to bridge any identified gaps with new educational materials. These tasks continue and complement an array of longstanding PHMSA activities in coordination with and grants to the emergency response community, which includes first responders, emergency managers, emergency response teams representing carriers and shippers, and specialized emergency response contractors. It is this well-established set of activities and programs, which applies an all-hazards approach to emergency response, that led the committee to classify the following two tasks as relevant to any hazardous materials transport by rail. Emergency Responder Opinions and Needs The Task Force provided materials about ongoing PHMSA and FRA initiatives to ensure that the emergency response community has the information and tools to safely respond to an LNG-by- rail incident, as well as overarching emergency preparedness. PHMSA and FRA hosted an LNG town hall meeting in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where input was gathered from a broad swath of the emergency preparedness, response, and recovery communities on October 14, 2019. This initial engagement in a series of town hall-type meetings and a follow-up report is similar to past work that PHMSA has done with emergency responders and provides a foundation for the LNG communications effort. 87 In addition to the LNG town hall meeting series, PHMSA, FRA, the National Fire Academy of the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), and the International Association of Fire Chiefs jointly sponsored a Hazardous Materials (HM) Roundtable. The initial roundtable in 2019 brought together personnel from federal agencies, standards development organizations, and response industry stakeholders, and included dozens of attendees from across the emergency 87 Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and Federal Railroad Administration, “Emergency Responder Opinions and Needs Task Resource,” August 13, 2020, p. 24, http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/dvb/LNGrail/ER_Opinion_Needs.pdf. PREPUBLICATION COPY—Uncorrected Proofs 41

response community, government, industry, and trade associations. 88 This meeting resulted in a report, the HM Roundtable Report, with recommendations focused on planning, prevention, response, training, standard of care, funding, and information sharing. The HM Roundtable Report included a notable recommendation for the formation of a federal interagency hazardous materials training group consisting of participants from PHMSA, FRA, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, USFA, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. 89 The group has come to be known as the Federal HazMat Partners (FHMP). The joint sponsors of the roundtable decided that the HM Roundtable Report would become a “living document” to track, update, and modify the path forward at future roundtable meetings on an annual basis. As with many programs, delays in execution occurred because of the pandemic. However, the FHMP have met twice in 2020 to initiate their coordination and activities. In March 2021, a meeting of the FHMP stakeholders and the 2019 roundtable participants was held to initiate planning for the next HM Roundtable in late 2021. In addition to the town hall and roundtable activities under this task, PHMSA has a track record of working closely with the emergency response community to ensure that they have the information and tools necessary to safely respond to transportation-related hazardous materials incidents, with a recent emphasis on rail incidents. While the Task Force member agencies are not the trainers, they provide grants, training materials, and technical assistance to the emergency response community. The Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness grant program is an example of a federal program that has supported the emergency response community with resources to develop and implement training and preparedness capabilities in local, territorial, tribal, and state governments. 90 PHMSA’s grants program has been in operation for dozens of years to respond to emerging issues such as pipeline emergencies and, as updated by the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, high-hazard flammable trains 91 (HHFTs) carrying crude oil and ethanol. 92 While the pandemic has slowed the speed at which the Task Force has been able to validate emergency response needs and opinions, they have continued to do so by using virtual forums such as the HM Roundtable. Observations About Completeness and Quality While there is a body of knowledge and experience pertaining to the transportation of LNG by marine tanker and cargo tank truck, there is little North American precedent in training materials and incident experience on the transport of LNG by rail. Filling in that gap, the town hall and 88 Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration et al., “Hazardous Materials Roundtable Meeting,” April 3, 2019, https://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/hazmat_roundtable_meeting_report_2019.pdf. 89 Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration et al., p. 19. 90 Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, “Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness (HMEP) Grant,” April 22, 2021, https://www.phmsa.dot.gov/grants/hazmat/hazardous-materials-emergency- preparedness-hmep-grant. 91 Title 49, CFR § 171.8 defines an HHFT as a single train transporting 20 or more loaded tank cars of a Class 3 flammable liquid in a continuous block or a single train carrying 35 or more loaded tank cars of a Class 3 flammable liquid throughout the train consist. 92 P.L. 114-94 § 7203. PREPUBLICATION COPY—Uncorrected Proofs 42

roundtable series are indicative of robust efforts to understand and support the needs of the emergency response community. In addition, PHMSA has a mature grants program that has been used to effectively support identified needs through funding to state, local, and industry entities for transportation-related hazardous materials training and exercises, similar to the grants responsive to the increased traffic of HHFTs in the mid-2010s. EDUCATIONAL AND OUTREACH PLAN The Task Force recounted outreach activities and educational resources developed by the railroads, industry associations, government agencies, and other stakeholder organizations for the emergency response community. A selection of these activities and resources include: • The Transportation Community Awareness Emergency Response (TRANSCAER®), with grant support from FRA, is developing an LNG training curriculum with technical assistance from industry associations; • The Class 1 railroads engage directly with local emergency response organizations, as well as in collaboration with the Security and Emergency Response Training Center, along hazardous materials routes to deliver training and raise awareness about the AskRail® mobile application for the identification of specific railcar cargo; and • The Short Line Safety Institute is focused on LNG training for emergency responders along short line railroads’ track within the larger freight rail network. 93 Following the review of the activities and resources above, the Task Force determined that a single place for consolidated access to regulatory documents, data, maps, and educational materials would greatly benefit the emergency responder community. PHMSA intends to ensure ease of access through a dedicated LNG webpage at the PHMSA site for this purpose. Also, the Task Force identified educational and outreach gaps that needed to be addressed. PHMSA is thus developing a Commodity Preparedness and Incident Management Reference Sheet, based on the reference sheet created for HHFTs, to standardize incident management with recognized approaches to planning and preparedness. The reference sheet will focus on transportation safety and precautions, hazard assessment and risk evaluation, risk safety procedures, logistics, and the tools, equipment, and resources necessary to prepare for and respond to LNG rail transportation incidents. The agency is also producing digital illustrations and models of the DOT-113 tank car. A need for models of the UN-T75 portable tanks and the MC-338 cargo tank motor vehicle was also identified during the review process. Although this task was mostly completed, the LNG training curriculum being developed by TRANSCAER® and the Commodity Preparedness and Incident Management Reference Sheet are expected in late 2021. 93 Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and Federal Railroad Administration, “FRA–PHMSA LNG by Rail Task Force Interim Report,” pp. 28–29. PREPUBLICATION COPY—Uncorrected Proofs 43

Observations About Completeness and Quality The Task Force provided a comprehensive overview of the resources currently available, under development, and proposed to meet the needs of emergency responders and planners. In addition to the efforts discussed above, further support to ensure a comprehensive approach would: • Continue to support national level activities to support the emergency planning and response communities, such as the HM Roundtable and HMFP; • Create a map of first responders, railway emergency response teams, and specialized emergency response contractor resources along the LNG routes; and • Develop suggested training programs with consideration of their relationship to existing professional qualifications (e.g., NFPA 470—Hazardous Materials Standards for Responders 94). 94 See https://www.nfpa.org/codes-and-standards/all-codes-and-standards/list-of-codes-and- standards/detail?code=470. PREPUBLICATION COPY—Uncorrected Proofs 44

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Preparing for LNG by Rail Tank Car: A Review of a U.S. DOT Safety Research, Testing, and Analysis Initiative Get This Book
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Liquefied natural gas (LNG) has not been transported to any significant degree by freight railroads in the United States. When the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020 was enacted, it directed the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to enter into an agreement with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) to convene a committee of independent experts to study the safe transportation of LNG by rail tank car.

TRB Special Report 339: Preparing for LNG by Rail Tank Car: A Review of a U.S. DOT Safety Research, Testing, and Analysis Initiative, from TRB and NASEM, finds that PHMSA’s task force presented a comprehensive plan of work that built on longstanding safety programs, as well as surfacing opportunities for future research. The findings in the report will serve as a good base for the second phase of TRB’s phased continued study of the issue. The next phase will be informed by this technical report; will consider experience transporting LNG in other modes, including marine tankers and cargo tank trucks; and will examine the applicability of existing emergency response plans, protocols, and guides for responding to any possible hazardous materials incidents of transporting LNG by rail.

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