January 30, 2017: Presidential Executive Order on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs

In an effort to reduce regulation and expenses, President Donald Trump has made several changes since taking office. One of the most important changes he made was placing a regulatory cap on Fiscal Year 2017 that would require agencies requesting new regulations to identify two existing regulations to be repealed.
In addition, the agencies were informed that the total incremental cost of the new regulations and repealed regulations that are to be finalized in 2017 must be no more than zero unless prior written approval has been issued by the Director of OMB.

Presidential Executive Order on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs

March 17, 2017: Roundtable to Focus on Emerging Railroad Technologies

The Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee will be holding a meeting to discuss the impacts of emerging railroad technologies at 10 am (EDT) on Tuesday, March 21, 2017.

The members of the subcommittee will be joined by representatives from a freight railroad, the railroad technology research center, a rail industry technology supplier, and a labor representative.

Some of the topics that will be addressed include ultrasound, laser, and other forms of technology that could be used to obtain information about the condition of equipment components and track, locomotives that will use data to maximize performance while reducing emissions and fuel consumption and using drones to inspect track and bridges.

The roundtable, Emerging Railroad Technologies, will be open to the public and is being streamed live via webcast.

Roundtable to Focus on Emerging Railroad Technologies

View Webcast 

March 7, 2017: Wendy Buckley will be a Guest Speaker on Road Dog Trucking Radio 

Tune in to Sirius XM channel 146 on Tuesday, March 7, from 2-4pm EST. Wendy Buckley will be joining Mark Willis on Road Dog Trucking Radio to discuss trucking and rail regulations.
Call in during the show and talk to an industry expert to get your questions answered!
(888) 8-ROAD-DOG

Wendy will be joining Road Dog Trucking Radio monthly.
Stay tuned for future dates and times!

February 16, 2017: TSB Calls for Strategies to Reduce Severity of Dangerous Goods Derailments

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is recommending Transport Canada develop strategies to reduce the severity of derailments that involve dangerous goods.

This recommendation follows the investigation into the February 14, 2015 derailment of 100 tank cars carrying petroleum crude oil. The accident caused 1.7 million liters of crude oil to spill, ignite and burn for five days. The derailment was caused when joint bars in the tracks failed. This could have been prevented, however, had previous inspections noticed fatigue cracks in the joint bars at that particular location. The pre-existing cracks in combination with cold temperatures and repetitive impacts from trains caused the joint bars to fail. During the course of the investigation it was determined that the training, on the job mentoring, and supervisory support that is provided to an assistant track supervisor are insufficient.

Kathy Fox, Chair of the TSB, stated “This accident occurred at a speed below the maximum speed permitted by the Transport Canada approved Rules Respecting Key Trains and Key Routes. The TSB is concerned that the current speed limits may not be low enough for some trains—particularly unit trains carrying flammable liquids. We are also calling for Transport Canada to look at all of the factors, including speed, which contributed to the severity of derailments, to develop mitigating strategies and to amend the rules accordingly.”

She went on to say “The Transportation of flammable liquids by rail has been on the TSB Watchlist since 2014. While stronger tank cars are being built, the current ones will be in service for years to come. The risks will also remain until all of the factors leading to derailments and contributing to their severity are mitigated. This is the focus of the recommendation we issued today.”

TSB calls for strategies to reduce severity of dangerous goods derailments following investigation into February 2015 accident near Gogama, Ontario

February 7, 2017: NTSB Issues Probable Cause for Casselton, ND Crude Oil Train Accident

The NTSB has completed its investigation into the December 30, 2013 derailment of 20 DOT 111 tank cars near Casselton, North Dakota and determined the cause of the accident to be a broken axle. The incident involved two trains. The train carrying grain was using an axle that had been used on a previous train car. When the axle broke it caused the train to derail.  Another train on an adjacent track was carrying crude oil. That train was unable to stop in time and collided with the derailed grain cars.

NTSB issued an urgent safety recommendation to the American Association of Railroads that requires testing to be done on the use of any secondhand axles. In addition, NTSB studied the use of advanced brake systems and additional buffer cars. While the advanced brake system would not have prevented the accident in this case, it may have reduced the amount of damage caused. The crude oil train only had one buffer train between the locomotives and the hazardous cargo. The derailment caused 18 of those 20 cars to spill 476,000 gallons of crude oil. There were no fatalities but the accident and subsequent spill caused almost 1,500 people to be evacuated from their homes.

DOT 111 tank cars have been in the spotlight for several years due to the fact that they are not puncture resistant, there is no thermal protection, they lack top and bottom fittings protection, and are made of relatively thin steel.

The industry has already begun phasing these tank cars out in favor of the DOT 117 tank cars but the official deadline for the discontinued use is not until 2029.  The NTSB Chairman, Christopher A. Hart, believes the “progress towards removing or retrofitting DOT 111s has been too slow”.

NTSB Issues Probable Cause for Casselton, ND Crude Oil Train Accident

February 7, 2017: Wendy Buckley Discussing Rail and Trucking Regulations on Road Dog Trucking Radio

Tune in to Sirius XM channel 146 today, February 7th, from 3pm – 4pm EST. Wendy Buckley will be joining Mark Willis on Road Dog Trucking Radio to discuss trucking and rail regulations.
Call in during the show and talk to an industry expert to get your questions answered!
(888) 8-ROAD-DOG

Wendy will be joining Road Dog Trucking Radio monthly. Stay tuned for future dates and times.

November 28, 2016: PTC Implementation Progress Report Released

FRA has released the third quarter progress information on the Positive Train Control implementation. The information shown in the Q3 2016 report was provided by the railroads and also includes data on track segments completed, locomotives equipped, employees trained, radio towers installed, and route miles in PTC operation.
According to the report freight railroads currently have PTC active on 12% of their tracks. That is an increase of 3% from last quarter. Passenger railroads have PTC active on 23% of their tracks, which is an increase of 1% from last quarter. The overall progress on the passenger railroads was primarily made on the west coast.
FRA Administrator Sarah E. Feinberg stated “In order to achieve full PTC implementation, everyone has to do their part. Railroads must make implementation a priority and Congress must make funding for commuter railroads a priority.” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said “Passenger and freight railroads must continue their progress implementing Positive Train Control and work to beat the deadlines Congress set – because PTC saves lives.”

Latest Data on Positive Train Control Implementation Shows Uneven Progress Across Railroads 

July 26, 2016: Wendy Buckley Recognized As Top Female Executive

STARS is proud to announce that our president and founder, Wendy Buckley, was recently named Top Female Executive by Worldwide Who’s Who.  Ms. Buckley was chosen as a result of the high quality of service that her company provides and her outstanding contribution to the environmental industry.

Top Female Executives, Professionals, & Entrepreneurs – Successful Women Making a Difference

July 26, 2016: Canada Speeds Up Deadline on DOT-111 Tank Cars

On July 25, 2016, The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, announced Canada will begin phasing out DOT-111 tank cars as a means to transport crude oil as early as November 1, 2016. This new deadline has accelerated the phase-out date by as much as 16 months. Unjacketed DOT-111 tank cars were set to be phased out by March 1, 2017, while jacketed DOT-111 cars had a phase out date of March 1, 2018.
Replacing these tank cars will be TC-117 tank cars, which contain a thicker steel, head shields, thermal protection, and top fitting protection.
The Honourable Marc Garneau stated “Accelerating the phase-out of legacy DOT-111 tank cars in crude oil services is another crucial step in improving the safety of communities along our railway lines. By removing the least crash-resistant tank cars in service, we continue to modernize how dangerous goods are shipped in Canada and further protect Canadians and their families who live near Canada’s rail network.”

Faster timeline for phasing out DOT-111 tank cars

July 13, 2016: PHMSA Online Training Portal

PHMSA has recently announced  its new online Hazardous Materials Training Modules. This will allow users the opportunity to access updated training manuals, track progress, and access various resources and guidance documents. This service is free of charge and may be used to satisfy the general awareness/familiarization training requirements.
To obtain a user id and create a password visit http://phmsa.dot.gov/hazmat/outreach-training/training-modules

Convenient Rail Car Storage!

Are you looking for rail car storage facilities on the east coast?

Look no further than STARS!

  • Most HazMat Accepted
  • Easy Access to Norfolk Southern and CSX
  • All HazMat Cars Are Inspected At Interchange For 49 CFR Compliance
  • Low Rates

Don’t wait call STARS today!

telephone (267) 507-7002
toll free: (844) 887-8277
email: info@starshazmat.com

Do You Have Questions About Storing, Handling, Transporting, or Disposing of Hazardous Materials?

STARS HazMat Helpline is an annual consulting subscription service that allows you to reach a team of experts whenever you need them
Our Experts Specialize in Hazardous Waste Management & Hazardous Materials Transportation for Rail, Air, Highway, Vessel, and Pipeline
STARS has the expertise to answer all of your HazMat questions including:
  • International or Domestic Transportation by rail, road, air, water, or pipeline – DOT (United States Ground) IATA/ICAO (International Air), IMDG/IMO (International Vessel), TDG (Canada)
  • Storage, Handling, Disposal of Hazardous Materials (OSHA, EPA, and Industry Best Practices)
  • MSDS/SDS support or classification
  • Marking, Placarding, Labeling
  • Package selection and securement
  • Shipping Papers, OTMAs, and other required documentation
  • Transport vehicles (railroad tank cars, tank trucks, etc)
  • Security Plans, HazMat Registration, Emergency Response Information
  • Regulatory Guidelines
  • and Much More!
All communication with STARS is confidential

 

Don’t Wait! Contact STARS Today!

email: info@starshazmat.com
telephone: (267) 507-7002
toll free: (844) 887-8277

Hazardous Materials Training Classes Available!

Our experienced trainers are available to teach your staff:

  • IATA – Air
  • IMDG – Vessel
  • TDG – Canadian
  • DOT – US Domestic
  • EPA – RCRA Hazardous Waste
  • Tank Car Loading/Unloading
  • Safe Package Handling
  • Railroad Operating Rules
  • And More

Every STARS training program is designed specifically for your operation to ensure the program is cost-effective for you and time well spent for your staff.

Using a combination of classroom time and hands-on training your employees can see how the principles we teach actually apply to what they do every day. They will learn how to do their jobs in a manner that is correct, safe, and in compliance with regulations every time.

STARS also offers webinar training classes!

Don’t Wait! Contact STARS Today!

email: info@starshazmat.com
telephone: (267) 507-7002
toll free: (844) 887-8277

Specialty Transportation and Regulatory Services Receives 2016 Best of Bensalem Award

For the second year in a row, Specialty Transportation and Regulatory Services (STARS) has been selected for the 2016 Best of Bensalem Award in the Consultants category by the Bensalem Award Program.

Each year, the Bensalem Award Program identifies companies believed to have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Bensalem area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2016 Bensalem Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Bensalem Award Program and data provided by third parties.

Let STARS Help You Stay Informed To Stay Safe!

 

Does your company ship or transport hazardous materials?

Are you a first responder for incidents involving hazardous materials?

Can you identify hazardous materials?

Do you know what steps to take in order to protect yourself and the community during an incident involving hazardous materials?

ERG Photo

The 2016 Emergency Response Guide (ERG) is an essential tool for anyone involved with hazardous materials. This free guidebook will help you identify hazardous materials and tell you what steps need to be taken to protect yourself and the community.

 STARS is always available to answer your hazmat questions, to explain the regulations, and to assist your company in safely packaging, shipping, and transporting hazardous materials while staying fully compliant with federal regulations.

Let STARS Help You Stay Informed To Stay Safe!

Don’t Wait – Contact Our Team of Experts Today!

email: info@starsconsulting.org
telephone: (267) 507-7002

March 9, 2016: Man Pleads Guilty to Falsely Certifying and Marking Cargo Tanks

On March 9, 2016 Garald Bennett, former manager of LPG Service and Leasing LLC, plead guilty to providing false certification and markings on cargo tanks. Mr. Bennett listed the tanks as having passed the hydrostatic pressure tests and wet fluorescent magnetic particle tests when neither was performed.
The Hazardous Materials Transportation Safety Act requires cargo tanks used to transport explosive materials to be tested and re-certified every five years to ensure the safety of the public and those working on or around the tanks.

Man Pleads Guilty to Falsely Certifying and Marking Cargo Tanks 

March 23, 2016: Canadian Government Simulating Crude Oil Derailments

In an effort to improve preparedness of the emergency workers responding to accidents involving crude oil trains the Canadian government has been using flammable liquid used in firefighter training to create situations that mimic the 2013 Lac-Mégantic derailment and subsequent explosion. In the most recent training exercise firefighters arrived at a derailment that included 11 smoking tanks. The purpose of the training is to teach them how to identify the contents of each tank and decide if it would be safe for them to intervene at that time while also learning the proper way to extinguish the fire.
The  Lac-Mégantic tragedy lead to improved procedures and emergency response techniques and changes to the minimum crew requirements, speed limits, and the design of the tank cars used to transport crude oil. Transport Canada now requires frequent audits and track inspections, improved communication between municipalities, and has made changes to the Railway Safety Act.
The debate over whether it is safer to transport crude oil by rail or pipeline is still ongoing as both sides believe their method is safer.

The Canadian Government is Blowing Up Bomb Trains for Practice 

March 16, 2016: Using Tank Cars To Store Crude Oil

As a result of the oil prices crashing last year less crude oil is being moved by rail which is leading to more crude oil being stored in tank cars as some companies are waiting for the price to recover. Railway Supply Institute shows rail car manufacturers delivered 36,065 new tank cars last year but according to AAR the number of carloads of crude oil fell by 16.8%. While there isn’t an agency that currently keeps data on rolling storage of crude oil the practice does not appear to be widespread at this time. Many owners of rail sidings simply do not want the liability of storing hazardous materials. Many major railroads will only move cars containing hazardous materials but will not store them. Storing crude oil in a rail car can cost up to $5 per barrel every month. One tank car can typically hold 700 barrels. Ernie Barsamian, a principal of The Tank Tiger stated “It’s really more of an opportunistic play if you’re sitting on a bunch of rail cars. If you are looking to lease the cars or have to lease the track, it’s not as attractive”.
According to federal regulations tank cars loaded with crude oil can only be stored on private tracks and the owner of that track must have security plans that will prevent unauthorized access to the contents.
Matthew Lehner, an FRA spokesman, stated “FRA is closely monitoring the transportation of crude oil and other energy products, and if we find that additional steps are necessary to address safety concerns, we will take them”.

Using Tank Cars To Store Crude Oil