July 29, 2015: Transport Canada Approves New Rules For Securing Trains

Transport Canada has approved new rules regarding securement measures in an effort to prevent runaway trains. The new rules, which are in response to recommendations that were made by the Transportation Safety Board, will include a handbrake application chart for different operating situations and states that once hand brakes have been applied it must be confirmed by another employee that has an appropriate level of knowledge. These securement changes, which will be in full effect on October 14, 2015, are in direct response to the 2013 Lac-Mégantic disaster that killed 47 people.
Transport Canada released a statement regarding the new rules for train securement that included the following points;  “Today we have reached another important milestone in response to recommendations from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada stemming from its investigation into the Lac-Mégantic derailment……Transport Canada has approved revisions to Rule 112 of the Canadian Railway Operating Rules, establishing multiple layers of defense to secure trains and further reduce the risk of runaways…..The updated Rule 112 formalizes the provisions set out in the emergency directive and makes them permanent as well as more detailed….”

Transport Canada approves rules to secure trains in response to Lac-Mégantic

Revised Rule 112 in the Canadian Rail Operating Rules


July 29, 2015: (FR) FRA Issued Final Rule Regarding Unattended Trains

The Federal Railroad Administration announced a final rule that is designed to prevent unattended trains that are carrying crude, ethanol, poisonous by inhalation, toxic by inhalation and other highly flammable materials from rolling away. This rule will apply to any train that is left unattended on a main line, siding or rail yard  and is also carrying poisonous by inhalation or toxic by inhalation materials or carrying 20 or more cars of any other high-hazard flammable materials.
Under the new rule the railroad employees responsible for securing trains will be required to communicate with another qualified and trained individual in order to verify trains and equipment are properly secured.
In addition to the required communication, the rule also requires an appropriate number of hand brakes be set, air brakes are properly used, locomotives must have properly installed and utilized exterior locks and the removal of the train reverser.
The final rule will be effective 60 days from the date that it is published in the Federal Register.

FRA Announces Final Rule to Prevent Unattended Trains From Rolling Away

July 30, 2015: FRA To Hold Public Meeting and Reopens Comment Period Regarding Risk Reduction Program

In February the FRA published a notice of proposed rulemaking that would require some railroads to develop a Risk Reduction Program (RRP). FRA will be holding a public hearing to allow interested persons the opportunity to voice their comments on the proposal. The hearing will be held on August 27, 2015 in Washington D.C. The comment period for the proposed rule is being reopened. Comments will now be accepted until September 10, 2015.

Risk Reduction Program; Public Hearing and Reopening of Comment Period

July 22, 2015: STARS Receives 2015 Best of Bensalem Award

Each year the Bensalem Award Program chooses a local business that they feel has achieved exceptional marketing success in the local community. The businesses that are selected portray the positive image of small businesses through their service to customers and their community. In addition, these companies have shown the ability to use their best practices and programs to generate competitive advantages and long term value. This year Specialty Transportation and Regulatory Services has received the award in the Consultant category.
We are very honored by this recognition and truly feel that we are just a small part of what makes Bensalem such a wonderful community and great place to live and work.

July 22, 2015: FRA Reminds Railroads to Notify States When They Are Traveling Through With Crude Oil Trains

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) issued a letter to railroads today reminding them that they are required to notify both the State Emergency Response Commissions (SERCs) and the Tribal Emergency Response Commissions (TERCs) when traveling through individual states or tribal regions with Bakken crude oil trains.

The Federal Government issued an Emergency Order in May of 2014 that mandated railroads notify SERCs and/or TERCs when transporting 1,000,000 gallons(approximately 35 tank cars)  or more  of Bakken crude oil through individual states or tribal regions. In addition, railroads will also need to provide a volume estimate, the anticipated frequency of train traffic and the route the trains would be taking.
This Emergency Order further instructed the host railroads to provide contact information for at least one person. The FRA has since made this Emergency Order a permanent requirement.

The Acting FRA Administrator, Sara Feindburg, issued the following statement. “We strongly support transparency and public notification to the fullest extent possible. Railroads transporting crude oil must continue to provide the information required by the Emergency Order to SERCs and to update notifications in a timely manner. FRA will continue with random spot checks and regular compliance audits to ensure the states, local communities, and first responders have the information necessary to respond to a possible accident. FRA will take enforcement actions as necessary to ensure compliance.”

Federal Railroad Administration to Railroads: Notification of Crude Oil Trains to States Must Continue

July 20, 2015: OSHA Provides Guidance to Compliance Officers Who Enforce The Revised HCS

Today the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released instructions for compliance safety and health officers in regards to the proper enforcement of the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) during the transition period and after the new standards are fully implemented on June 1, 2016.
The HCS was initially revised in March of 2012. The revisions focused on hazard classification of chemicals, standardizing label elements for containers that hold hazardous chemicals, and the format and required content for safety data sheets.
The revisions also stated that employers are required to train workers on the new labeling and SDS requirements by December 1, 2013. Chemical manufacturers, importers and distributors were given until June 1, 2015 to be fully compliant with the new SDS requirements. Manufacturers and importers were given until June 1, 2015 to be fully compliant with the new labeling requirements. Distributors will have until December 1, 2015 to fully comply with the new labeling standards provided they are not re-labeling any materials or creating safety data sheet.

OSHA provides guidance to OSHA compliance officers for enforcing the revised Hazard Communication standard



June 30, 2015: Canada Makes Changes to Air Cargo Screening

Transport Canada has made changes to the air cargo screening process in an effort to make it more efficient. The new process will provide shippers with greater flexibility and allow them to move goods efficiently while still meeting the highest security standards. Shippers who would like to take advantage of the changes will need to apply to Transport Canada and complete a rigorous application process.

Approved shippers, which include manufacturers, retailers, agents, freight forwarders, couriers and air carriers, will also be subject to ongoing oversight and enforcement.
Once approved, shippers will be able to screen cargo at any time in the secure supply chain, from the location the cargo is packed to when it is loaded on the aircraft.

Canada Makes Changes to Air Cargo Screening


June 15, 2015: FMCSA Shuts Down Two Trucking Companies as Imminent Hazards to Public Safety

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has ordered Rhino Displays of Payson, Illinois and Prudential Carriers Inc. of Hampton Georgia to shut down immediately as a result of federal investigations that have uncovered multiple widespread violations of critical safety for both companies.
Rhino, a fireworks display company, notified FMSA in writing that they had closed the commercial fireworks transportation portion of its business in July of 2010. However, on May 30, 2015 FMCSA safety inspectors found out that Rhino delivered fireworks to a baseball stadium located in Hannibal, Missouri. During the course of their investigation of the cargo, the driver and the truck the safety inspectors discovered multiple safety violations. Those violations included opened and improperly secured packages of fireworks, absence of federally required fire extinguisher in the vehicle, presence of alcohol in the vehicle, driver did not posses a commercial driver’s license, lack of hazardous materials endorsement or valid medical certificate, no record of duty status, no Hazardous Materials Safety Permit, no hazmat placarding on the vehicle and the absence of the required shipping documents.
The federal out of service order was issued on June 4, 2015 and stated “These widespread violations substantially increased the likelihood of serious injury or death to Rhino Display’s drivers and the public.”

FMCSA safety inspectors began an investigation of Prudential in late May of 2015 as a direct result of the multiple accidents the carrier has been involved in, to include the May 12, 2015 incident where Prudential instructed one of their drivers to continue operating the vehicle that was transporting a damaged and leaking load of canola oil on Interstate 75 in Georgia. As a result of the oil leaking on the interstate four separate vehicles were involved in accidents because the road was slick with oil. The violations uncovered by the safety inspectors include failing to ensure its leased and company owned vehicles were systematically inspected, repaired and maintained, failing to ensure its drivers complied with federal hours of service regulations designed to prevent fatigued driving, failing to comply with driver qualification requirements and allowing unqualified drivers to operate a commercial motor vehicle, failing to comply with FMCSA mandated random alcohol and controlled substances testing of its drivers.
The federal out of service order was issued on June 5, 2015 and states “…uncovered widespread regulatory violations demonstrating Prudential’s repeated and egregious non-compliance with federal safety regulations and a management philosophy indifferent to motor carrier safety.”

FMCSA Shuts Down Two Trucking Companies as Imminent Hazards to Public Safety

June 12, 2015: (FR) NRC Publishes Final Rule to Update Regulations for Radioactive Materials

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has published the final rule updating its regulations on packaging and transporting radioactive materials in the United States. The final rule, which was developed in cooperation with DOT, will re-establish restrictions on those materials that would qualify for the fissile material exemption, clarifies requirements, updates administration procedures.
These changes will bring the United States domestic rules in line with the International Atomic Energy Agency’s 2009 standards for international transport.

Revisions to Transportation Safety Requirements and Harmonization with International Atomic Energy Agency Transportation Requirements

July 7, 2015: FRA Submits Request for Emergency Processing of Collection Information

Federal Railroad Administration has submitted an Information Collection request for emergency processing under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. FRA has asked that OMB authorize the collection of information seven days after publication of this notice for a period of 180 days.

Agency Request for Emergency Processing of Collection of Information by the Office of Management and Budget

PHMSA Develops Training Material for Incident Preparedness and Response

PHMSA, in cooperation with Transcaer and other industry associations and federal agencies, has developed training material in an effort to assist shippers and carriers put together incident preparedness and response training for all rail incidents that involve hazard class 3 flammable liquids. The goal is to not only learn from past experiences but to also utilize the expertise of public safety agencies, rail carriers, and industry subject matter experts in an effort to assist first responders in safely managing incidents involving hazard class 3 flammable liquids.
All of the training material and other resources are available for free download. The materials include PowerPoint presentations, student workbooks and instructor lesson plans.

Transportation Rail Incident Preparedness & Response