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Board Meeting: Railroad Accident Report: Derailment and Hazardous Materials Release of Union Pacific Railroad Unit Ethanol Train in Graettinger, Iowa, March 10, 2017 - Closing Statement
Robert L. Sumwalt
NTSB Boardroom and Conference Center

​In closing, I would like to thank the staff for your hard work. I also want to thank my colleagues for their preparation going into the board meeting, and for the good debate and discussion.

My special thanks to Mike Hiller, who served as investigator-in-charge. But nothing gets done around here by one person; everything happens through team effort. On behalf of the Board, a sincere “thank you” not only to the investigative staff but to the support and program staff as well.

The recommendations just issued, if acted upon, will result in better compliance training for FRA track inspectors, and clear guidance regarding available enforcement options. They will result in UP reexamining its track maintenance and inspection program standards.

Today’s recommendations will result in research by PHMSA into whether ethanol should be transported in an undenatured state.

Furthermore, a recommendation first issued in 2015, and reiterated today, will result in a progress milestone schedule for the phasing out of DOT-111 tank cars for ethanol service by 2023… if acted upon.

Otherwise we risk a so-called “sudden” realization, five years from now, that the market is not ready for the phaseout to be enforced.

We stand adjourned.