API releases video for first responders to crude-by-rail accidents

The American Petroleum Institute released a new video designed to help first responders to accidents involving crude oil shipments by rail.

“The video gives first responders a look at specific tank car markings and other visual depictions of what to consider when responding to an incident, should one occur,” API Midstream Group Director Robin Rorick said on Aug. 25. “It is the latest in our industry’s efforts to promote safety and to achieve our goal of zero incidents by preventing and working to mitigate the impact of train derailments.”

It complements an instructor-led course API and the American Association of Railroads released in 2015 that educates firefighters, cleanup crews, and other first responders on the characteristics of crude oil, the rail cars in which it is shipped, considerations and strategies for spill response and firefighting, and the importance of following training and the incident command system.

Federal regulators and lawmakers also have moved to improve training and procedures for first responders who try to combat environmental and other impacts when crude is accidentally spilled during a rail shipment.

The US Pipeline & Hazardous Material Safety Administration recently proposed new oil spill response and information procedures for high-hazard flammable trains in coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration (OGJ Online, July 22, 2016).

The US Senate approved legislation this spring that Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) introduced in 2015 to improve emergency first responders’ capacity to act following accidents involving rail shipments of crude oil and other hazardous materials (OGJ Online, May 11, 2016). It referred S. 546 to the US House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for further action.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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