Call to Action
In response to recent accidents involving crude oil shipments by rail in the U.S. and Canada, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has issued a "Call to Action," calling on rail company executives, associations, shippers, and others to discuss how stakeholders can prevent or mitigate the consequences of rail accidents that involve flammable liquids. See recent Call to Action letter from Secretary Foxx.
Nearly a million shipments of hazardous materials move throughout the U.S. each day. While most of these shipments reach their final destinations without incident, accidents can and do occur. DOT remains committed to the safe transport of flammable liquids by all modes of transportation, including the nation’s 140,000 mile freight railroad network.
The Department’s safety approach includes efforts to ensure shippers and carriers are taking all of the required precautions to transport flammable liquids safely. In 2012, PHMSA and the Federal Railroad Administration began focusing heavily on the safe transport of crude produced in the Bakken Shale region of the U.S. On August 29, 2013, PHMSA and FRA launched Operation Classification to verify that crude oil is being properly classified in accordance with federal regulations. This includes activities such as unannounced spot inspections, data collection and sampling at strategic terminal and transloading locations that service crude oil.