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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-14-014
Details
Synopsis: This report discusses the 2012 accident in which a Consolidated Rail Corporation (Conrail) train derailed while traveling over a moveable bridge in Paulsboro, New Jersey. Three tank cars containing vinyl chloride came to rest in Mantua Creek, of which one was breached and released about 20,000 gallons of vinyl chloride. On that day, 28 residents sought medical attention for possible exposure, and the train crew and many emergency responders were also exposed. Damage estimates were $451,000 for equipment and about $30 million for emergency response and remediation. This report addresses safety issues: training and qualification of train crews for moveable bridge inspection; Conrail safety management; timeliness of hazardous materials communications to first responders; failure of the incident commanders to follow established hazardous materials response protocols; firefighter training and qualifications; inadequacies of emergency planning, emergency preparedness, and public awareness for hazardous materials transported by train; and rail corridor risk management analysis. Safety recommendations to: Conrail, US Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Association of American Railroads, American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association, International Association of Fire Chiefs, National Volunteer Fire Council, four New Jersey state agencies, with three reiterated.
Recommendation: TO THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION: Require railroads transporting hazardous materials through communities to provide emergency responders and local and state emergency planning committees with current commodity flow data and assist with the development of emergency operations and response plans.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Open - Unacceptable Response
Mode: Railroad
Location: Paulsboro, NJ, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA-13-MR-002
Accident Reports:
Report #: RAR-14-01
Accident Date: 11/30/2012
Issue Date: 8/22/2014
Date Closed:
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: DOT (Open - Unacceptable Response)
Keyword(s): Hazmat

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: DOT
Date: 9/27/2016
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA) notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), Hazardous Materials: Oil Spill Response Plans and Information Sharing for High-Hazard Flammable Trains, published on July 29, 2016. This NPRM addresses issues raised in an August 1, 2014, advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) regarding comprehensive oil spill response planning thresholds for high-hazard flammable trains (HHFT) and plan review by local and federal agencies. This NPRM also addresses local agency emergency planning and information sharing and guidance for offerors on classifying crude oil for hazardous materials transportation. Proposal Topic B—Information Sharing Summary On May 7, 2014, the DOT issued an Emergency Restriction/Prohibition that required railroads transporting 1 million gallons (about 35 tank cars) or more of Bakken crude oil in a single train to provide certain information in writing to the SERC for each state in which it operates. The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), enacted in December 2015, mandated that PHMSA expand the notification requirements to require Class I railroads to provide SERCs and TERCs advanced notification of HHFTs traveling through their jurisdictions, which expands the notification requirement to include as few as 20 tank cars containing any flammable liquid, regardless of the source. The NPRM proposes to add a new section 174.312 to the HMR that would expand the notification requirement in the FAST Act. The notification must be active information sharing, rather than upon request, and provided monthly. The notification must include a reasonable estimate of the number of HHFTs that are expected to travel per week through each county within the state and the routes over which the trains will be transported. The notification must also include a description of the materials shipped and at least one point of contact at the railroad. The NTSB issued Safety Recommendation R-14-014 to the DOT following the investigation of the November 30, 2012, derailment of a Conrail freight train in Paulsboro, New Jersey. The recommendation calls for the DOT to require notifications of all hazardous materials, regardless of the quantity. R-14-014 Require railroads transporting hazardous materials through communities to provide emergency responders and local and state emergency planning committees with current commodity flow data and assist with the development of emergency operations and response plans. Response As stated in the our September 26, 2014, comment on PHMSA’s NPRM, Hazardous Materials: Enhanced Tank Car Standards and Operational Controls for High-Hazard Flammable Trains, we disagreed with restricting the proposed notification requirements to petroleum crude oil sourced exclusively from the Bakken shale formation. We stated that SERC and TERC notification requirements should apply at a minimum to all Class 3 flammable liquids transported in an HHFT. We are pleased that PHMSA proposes to expand the notification requirements to all flammable materials shipped in HHFTs, consistent with the FAST Act mandate. If implemented as proposed, this action would partly satisfy Safety Recommendation R-14-014 in that emergency response agencies would have access to periodic reports of flammable hazardous material commodities transported through their communities. However, as stated in the July 12, 2016, NTSB letter to the DOT on the progress of implementing Safety Recommendation R-14-014, the PHMSA requirement to provide advanced notification about shipments was applied only to HHFTs, which limits the notifications to only large volumes of flammable liquids. The FAST Act notification requirements do not address large numbers of highly hazardous gases (flammable, nonflammable, and toxic), other flammable liquids and substances, oxidizing substances, toxic substances, and corrosive materials. For instance, the FAST Act notification requirements do not include such materials as the Class 2.1 vinyl chloride that was carried by Conrail (not a Class I railroad) and released in the Paulsboro, New Jersey, accident, from which this safety recommendation was derived. We urge PHMSA to require all railroads to provide advanced notification to communities for all hazardous materials transported on a given route. We are concerned that the NPRM fails to require railroads to actively assist communities with emergency planning. Such assistance should include providing (1) emergency planning notification to both local and state emergency planning committees, (2) an emergency coordinator who participates in the local emergency planning process, (3) notice of any operational changes that could affect emergency planning, and (4) any information necessary to develop and implement local emergency plans. We have found that despite voluntary outreach and community awareness programs, such as the Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response (TRANSCAER) program, many communities and emergency responders are unprepared to cope with derailments that involve fires fueled by crude oil. The Mosier, Oregon, HHFT derailment on June 3, 2016, is yet another example where the local emergency response community was ill-prepared to effectively respond to the derailment. The absence of a regulatory requirement for railroads to assist local emergency planning committees still leaves many communities unprepared to deal with releases of hazardous materials. While we believe that the proposal requiring information sharing is a sensible measure, the NPRM does not go far enough toward providing emergency response planning assistance. As the organizations that introduce such hazards into communities, railroads must take a more active role to protect those communities from the consequences of railroad accidents involving hazardous materials.

From: NTSB
To: DOT
Date: 7/12/2016
Response: We issued this recommendation to urge you to require railroads to be more liberal with commodity flow information and to share this information with relevant emergency response organizations along all hazardous materials routes, not only routes or information related to the transport of HHFTs, poison inhalation hazards, explosives, or radioactive materials that are subject to consultation requirements of section 172.820. Emergency response awareness programs, such as those currently required of the pipeline industry under sections 195.440 and American Petroleum Institute recommended practice 1162 (as incorporated by reference), require, at a minimum, annual personal contact, targeted distribution of print material, or group meetings. These programs are intended to inform affected emergency officials how to recognize a pipeline incident and provide a coordinated response with the pipeline operator in a way that protects people and property. Although a similar voluntary community outreach program exists with the Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response program (TRANSCAER®), no railroad regulations currently require a community-level public railroad awareness program, as pipeline regulations do for that industry. Further, recent changes to the Association of American Railroads (AAR) circular OT-55-O to revise the TRANSCAER program include a requirement that AAR members provide bona fide emergency response agencies or planning groups with specific commodity flow information covering all hazardous commodities transported through communities for a 12-month period in rank order. Thus, rail carriers that introduce hazardous materials into communities have burdened those communities with seeking out commodity flow information, in addition to maintaining trained personnel and appropriate resources, to enable them to respond to potential transportation mishaps. Although we agree that final rule HM 251 addresses the overall intent of the safety recommendation, we are concerned that many small communities do not know how to obtain this information, nor do they have the resources to look for it or understand what to do with it if they get it. We believe that limiting rail routing disclosures to state and regional fusion centers will continue to place small communities at an emergency response preparedness disadvantage. We are aware that, on December 4, 2015, the president signed the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act). Section 7302 directs the DOT secretary to issue regulations within one year that require Class I railroads to generate accurate, real-time, electronic train composition information for first responders through agreements with fusion centers and to provide information about certain flammable liquid shipments to state emergency response commissions. However, the requirement to provide fusion centers with advanced notification about shipments only pertains to HHFTs, primarily Class 3 flammable liquid crude oil and ethanol transported in unit trains by Class I railroads. The FAST Act notification requirements do not address a vast number of highly hazardous gases (flammable, nonflammable, and toxic), other flammable liquids and substances, oxidizing substances, toxic substances, and corrosive materials. For instance, the FAST Act notification requirements do not include such materials as the Class 2.1 vinyl chloride that was being carried by Conrail (a non-Class I railroad) and released in the Paulsboro, New Jersey, accident, from which this safety recommendation was derived. We urge you to consider that many small communities often have limited resources with which to conduct comprehensive planning for hazardous materials emergencies; accordingly, advanced notification should be required for all hazardous materials and all railroads. Pending issuance of final rules that address our concerns, Safety Recommendation R-14-14 is classified OPEN—UNACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: DOT
To: NTSB
Date: 5/4/2015
Response: -From Timothy P. Butters, Deputy Administrator: This letter responds to the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) April 3, 2015, letter urging the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to take action on new Safety Recommendations concerning rail transportation of Class 3 flammable liquids. These new Safety Recommendations, R-15-14 through R-15-17, resulted from the NTSB’s examination of damaged tank cars following the February 16, 2015, derailment of a CSX Transportation crude oil unit train in Mount Carbon, West Virginia, as well as a review of data collected from several other crude oil unit train accidents occurring in the same timeframe. These Safety Recommendations address the retrofit of Specification DOT-111 tank cars with thermal protection systems that are used to transport Class 3 flammable liquids (hereafter referred to as “flammable liquid”). We thank the NTSB for its vigilance on this transportation safety issue and its continued investigative efforts to improve rail transportation safety for crude oil, ethanol, and other flammable liquids. We share your commitment to enhancing the safety of rail transportation, and are pleased to inform you that Secretary Anthony R. Foxx has signed and announced a final rule entitled “Hazardous Materials: Enhanced Tank Car Standards and Operational Controls for High-Hazard Flammable Trains” (HM-251). Pending publication of the final rule in the Federal Register, we posted the signed version at our website homepage for public viewing. This rule focuses on prevention, mitigation, and response, to manage and reduce the risk posed by the transportation of flammable liquids by rail tank car. Through tremendous collaborative efforts with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), we established a comprehensive solution designed to reduce the probability and minimize the consequences of an accident. We have adopted risk mitigation requirements that address braking, classification, operating speeds, and routing to reduce the probability of accidents. Finally, we adopted enhanced design and performance standards for rail tank cars in flammable liquid service to minimize the consequence of an accident. The required safety measures and the timeline for phase-out and retrofit of legacy tank cars used in high-hazard flammable train (HHFT)a service will strike a balance between the safety needs of rail transportation of flammable liquids and the economic viability of the rail industry. Upon consideration of shop capacity, the comments received on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), and the potential impacts associated with the retrofit schedule, PHMSA recognizes the need to upgrade the rail car fleet, but finds that a targeted phase-out of the DOT-111 tank cars is the most prudent and protective approach. We concur with this recommendation. This recommendation was issued to DOT as a result of a train derailment on November 30, 2012. While traveling over a moveable bridge in Paulsboro, New Jersey, three tank cars containing vinyl chloride came to rest in Mantua Creek, of which one was breached and released about 20,000 gallons of vinyl chloride (a division 2.1 flammable gas). Nearby residents sought medical attention for possible exposure, and the train crew and many emergency responders were also exposed. Damage estimates were $451,000 for equipment and about $30 million for emergency response and remediation. As discussed above for Safety Recommendation R-14-4, this final rule will require additional (route) planning requirements for rail carriers. As part of the route planning requirement, a rail carrier transporting an HHFT will now have to annually compile HHFT commodity flow data for the previous calendar year based on route, line segment or series of line segments, and must use this data to analyze the safety and security risks of those and alternative routes. Additionally, the rail carrier must provide a point of contact to State and/or regional Fusion Centers that have been established to coordinate with state, local, and tribal officials on security issues and provide a point of contact to state, local and tribal officials in jurisdictions that may be affected by a rail carrier’s routing decision. We had proposed a requirement for notification of State Emergency Response Commissions of crude oil transportation (for specific crude oil shipments). Commenters both supported and opposed this measure. For those opposed, the consensus was that applicability for notification would be too narrow. This coincides with the NTSB’s September 26, 2014 comment to the docket for this rulemaking, urging PHMSA to fully address this recommendation (to apply to all classes of hazardous material) or, for purposes of the rulemaking, apply to all Class 3 flammable materials at a minimum. Not adopting the proposed separate notification requirements and instead relying on the expansion of the existing route analysis and consultation requirements of 49 CFR 172.820 to include HHFTs allows for consistency with the route planning regulatory scheme in the 49 CFR. Specifically, this provides for consistency of notification requirements for rail carriers transporting security sensitive hazardous materials subject to the routing requirements. Additionally, it allows for applicability to all flammable liquids transported as part of a HHFT. Furthermore, on January 27, 2015, AAR’s Safety and Operations Management Committee made changes to OT-55 (AAR Circular No. OT-55-O), to revise the Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response Implementation (TRANSCAER®) program. The circular now states that “railroads will assist in implementing TRANSCAER, a system-wide community outreach program to improve community awareness, emergency planning, and incident response for the transportation of hazardous materials.” Specifically, the key revised text of OT-55-O is “[u]pon written request, AAR members will provide bona fide emergency response agencies or planning groups with specific commodity flow information covering all hazardous commodities transported through the community for a 12-month period in rank order.” (Emphasis added). The request must be made using an authorized form by an official emergency response or planning group. The formality of this process reflects that the railroad industry considers this information to be restricted information of a security sensitive nature. The recipient of the information must agree to release the information only to bona fide emergency response planning and response organizations and not distribute the information publicly in whole or in part without the railroad’s express written permission. It should be noted that commercial requirements change over time, and it is possible that a hazardous material transported tomorrow might not be included in the specific commodity flow information provided upon request, since that information may not have been available at the time the list was generated. We believe the combination of the new route planning requirements for HHFTs, the updated AAR OT-55 circular, and our efforts through our Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness (HMEP) Grant Program to provide grants to entities to conduct commodity flow studies, as related in our December 15, 2014 letter to the NTSB; speak to the intent of providing current commodity flow data and assistance with developing emergency response operations and plans.

From: NTSB
To: DOT
Date: 2/26/2015
Response: We understand that you are currently considering our September 26, 2014, comments to the docket for PHMSA’s August 1, 2014, notice of proposed rulemaking, Hazardous Materials: Enhanced Tank Car Standards and Operational Controls for High-Hazard Flammable Trains. We believe that your considering options as you proceed with rulemaking is a positive step, as are your continuing efforts to reach out through the Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response (TRANSCAER®) program. However, you have indicated that both these efforts address the problem of transporting flammable liquids only, and not all hazardous materials as recommended. We emphasize that, to satisfy Safety Recommendation R-14-14, the rulemaking must apply to all classes of hazardous material. Therefore, pending your confirmation that rulemaking will address all hazardous materials, Safety Recommendation R 14-14 is classified OPEN—UNACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: DOT
To: NTSB
Date: 12/15/2014
Response: -From Timothy P. Butters, Acting Administrator: PHMSA agrees with the NTSB’s conclusion that exchange of accurate information regarding hazardous material (hazmat) traveling through a community, and active participation by railroads in local emergency planning and preparedness, would result in safer and more efficient emergency responses to railroad accidents involving hazmat releases. We are actively engaged in a rulemaking to address safety hazards from rail transport of flammable liquids such as crude oil and ethanol. As part of the August 1, 2014 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, we proposed a requirement for notification of State Emergency Response Commissions of crude oil transportation (for specific crude oil shipments). Commenters both supported and opposed this measure. For those opposed, the consensus was that the applicability for notification would be too narrow. Specifically, commenters wanted the threshold quantity for applicability decreased; and the subject material to be expanded to include all Class 3 flammable liquid. This coincides with the NTSB’s September 26, 2014 comment to the docket for this rulemaking urging PHMSA to fully address this recommendation (to apply to all classes of hazardous material) or, for purposes of the rulemaking, apply to all Class 3 materials at a minimum. Based on the comments to the rulemaking as well as this recommendation, we will take all options into consideration as we proceed with our rulemaking effort. Additionally, we will continue to pursue our non-regulatory outreach efforts to affect exchange of information and railroad participation through the Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response (TRANSCAER?) program, in which PHMSA and the Federal Railroad Administration are active participants. PHMSA will encourage and support ongoing industry efforts such as CIRCULAR NO. OT-55-N issued by the Association of American Railroads.d Furthermore, PHMSA provides grants through its Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness (HMEP) Grant Program, and those grants can be used to conduct commodity flow studies, among other things. A recent case study from North Carolina illustrates successful use of this program to obtain commodity flow data. In 2009, PHMSA awarded a grant to the North Carolina Division of Emergency Management to conduct a statewide study to document hazmat facilities and shipments by motor carrier, rail, pipeline and barge. The study was completed in 2013. One particular positive outcome of the study was that it realigned planning requirements to enhance response plans and public protective actions. We encourage more states to follow suit and will continue to promote the availability of HMEP planning grants for this purpose.

From: NTSB
To: DOT
Date: 9/29/2014
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA) August 1, 2014, notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), Hazardous Materials: Enhanced Tank Car Standards and Operational Controls for High-Hazard Flammable Trains. In this notice, PHMSA, in coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), proposes new operational requirements and improved tank car standards for certain trains transporting large volumes of hazard class 3 flammable liquids. It also proposes revising the general requirements for offerors to ensure proper classification and characterization of mined gases and liquids. PHMSA notes that the proposed requirements are designed to reduce the frequency and consequences of accidents involving certain trains transporting large volumes of flammable liquids. The risks posed by such trains are illustrated in the catastrophic consequences of recent derailments at Casselton, North Dakota; Aliceville, Alabama; and Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, Canada. Proposed 49 CFR 174.310(a)(2) would apply to any railroad that transports in a single train 1 million gallons or more of petroleum crude oil, hazard class 3 (identification number UN 1267), sourced from the Bakken shale formation in the Williston Basin (centered in North Dakota but extending to South Dakota and Montana in the United States and to Saskatchewan and Manitoba in Canada). The proposed rule would require railroads to provide written notification to SERCs of the estimated number of such trains expected to travel per week through each county in each state and of the routes over which the crude oil is to be transported. The notification would also describe the crude oil, give applicable emergency response information, and list at least one railroad point of contact. We recently completed our investigation of a November 2012 Conrail freight train derailment in Paulsboro, New Jersey, in which vinyl chloride was released. We concluded that active participation by railroads in local emergency planning would yield safer and more efficient responses to railroad accidents that result in the release of hazardous materials. In addition to notifying SERCs and local communities about the volume of hazardous materials traffic through their areas, we believe that carriers should provide communities with comprehensive emergency planning assistance. Accordingly, we issued the following safety recommendation to the DOT: Require railroads transporting hazardous materials through communities to provide emergency responders and local and state emergency planning committees with current commodity flow data and assist with development of emergency operations and response plans. (R-14-14) Although the NPRM does not specifically address Safety Recommendation R-14-14, it proposes that railroads notify emergency responders whenever a single hazardous commodity, Bakken crude oil, is transported in quantities of more than 1 million gallons through their area. The intent of Safety Recommendation R 14-14, however, is to urge you to require railroads to provide notification and emergency planning assistance for all classes of hazardous material transported through communities, at thresholds such as the those established in the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act for fixed facilities. We urge you to fully and expeditiously address Safety Recommendation R-14-14 in this rulemaking. We disagree with restricting the proposed notification requirement to petroleum crude oil sourced exclusively from the Bakken shale formation. We believe that proposed 49 CFR 174.310(a)(2) should apply at a minimum to all class 3 flammable liquids transported in an HHFT. The properties that make crude oil flammable and hazardous are not limited to oil sourced from the Bakken formation. As one recent study concludes, “Bakken crude oil does not pose risks significantly different from other crude oils or other flammable liquids.” Bakken crude is also reported to be similar to crude oils from other geologic formations. For example, the light ends (ethane, propane, butane, pentane) of Bakken crude have been found to be comparable to those of oils produced elsewhere in North America, such as in the Eagle Ford formation in Texas. We are particularly concerned that ethanol, the other hazard class 3 commodity commonly transported in unit trains, is not included in the proposed notification requirements. While comparative accident data are limited, we believe it likely that if ethanol rather than crude oil had been transported in the train that derailed in Lac-Mégantic, a similar massive pool fire would have resulted. Notification to emergency planners and responders of the presence of tank car shipments of ethanol in their jurisdictions is critical for the same reasons you propose notification requirements for shipments of crude oil. Communities must be prepared to respond to the firefighting challenges posed by ethanol accidents—by having alcohol-resistant firefighting foam readily available, for example—and to the difficulties associated with recovering ethanol released to the environment. Question 1. Whether codifying the requirements of the Order in the HMR is the best approach for the notification requirements, and whether particular public safety improvements could be achieved by requiring the notifications be made by railroads directly to emergency responders, or to emergency responders as well as SERCs or other appropriate state delegated entities. We note in our report on the Paulsboro, New Jersey, accident that unlike fixed facilities, railroads transporting hazardous materials are not required to work with communities to develop emergency plans. Emergency planning responsibilities should include providing (1) emergency planning notification to both local and state emergency planning committees, (2) an emergency coordinator who participates in the local emergency planning process, (3) notice of any operational changes that could affect emergency planning, and (4) any information necessary to develop and implement local emergency plans. The absence of a regulatory requirement for railroads to notify and assist local emergency planning committees leaves communities unprepared to deal with releases of hazardous materials. We believe that the DOT emergency restriction/prohibition order targeting railroad transportation of crude oil from a single geographic region in the United States does not go far enough, and that community notification and planning should be required for all hazardous materials transported by rail. We have found that despite voluntary outreach and community awareness programs, such as the Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response program, many communities and emergency responders are unaware of and unprepared for the risks associated with hazardous materials traffic on railroads. For this reason, we issued the following safety recommendation to PHMSA: Require railroads transporting hazardous materials to develop, implement, and periodically evaluate a public education program similar to 49 CFR Parts 192.616 and 195.440 for the communities along railroad hazardous materials routes. (R 14-19) We believe that the best approach to regulating notification would be to codify the requirements detailed in Safety Recommendations R-14-14 and R-14-19. Question 2. Whether the 1,000,000-gallon threshold is appropriate, or whether another threshold such as the 20-car HHFT threshold utilized in this NPRM’s other proposals is more appropriate. If you believe that a threshold other than 1,000,000 gallons is appropriate, please provide any information on benefits or costs of the change, including for small railroads. We are concerned that 1 million gallons is significantly above a reasonable risk threshold. At that value, notification would apply only to trains with more than about 35 tank car loads. Yet catastrophic derailment failure involving even a single tank car loaded with flammable liquid can cause extensive destruction and loss of life. Therefore, we believe that the notification threshold should be significantly lower. In addition, the threshold should be based on the worst-case consequences of a derailment resulting in fire. At a minimum, the threshold should be set no higher than the value in the proposed definition of an HHFT. Question 6. Whether such information should be deemed SSI, and the reasons indicating why such a determination is appropriate, considering safety, security, and the public’s interest in information. We believe that notification information should raise the awareness of both the general public and stakeholders about hazardous materials routes running through their communities. Having an informed public along rail routes could supplement a carrier’s safety measures and help reduce the consequences of emergencies involving hazardous materials. Classifying routing information about hazardous materials as “security sensitive” would unreasonably restrict the public’s access to information that is important to its safety. An informed public can be prepared to implement protective actions when accidents occur. While the general public may not require detailed information, such as the specific numbers, dates, and times of hazardous materials tank cars traveling on a route, people need to know whether they live or work near a hazardous materials route. They also need to be aware of the hazards associated with releases, what rail carriers do to prevent accidents and mitigate consequences, how to recognize and respond to an emergency, what protective action to take in the event of a hazardous materials release, and how to contact rail carriers regarding specific concerns.