Safety Recommendation R-14-022
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 ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN RAILROADS: Amend the United States Hazardous Materials Instructions for Rail to require train crews to immediately provide their train consists and the emergency response information for all hazardous materials on the train to federal, state, or local emergency response officials when accidents occur.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Railroad
Location: Paulsboro, NJ, USA
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: 1/2/2020
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: Association of American Railroads (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Hazmat

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: Association of American Railroads
Date: 1/2/2020
Response: We note that you have revised the United States Hazardous Materials Instructions for Rail to advise railroads to immediately share with emergency response personnel, when requested, information from shipping papers, and to provide them with the train consist. These revisions satisfy Safety Recommendation R-14-22, which is classified CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ACTION.

From: Association of American Railroads
To: NTSB
Date: 3/22/2018
Response: -From Edward R. Hamberger, President and Chief Executive Officer: Regarding Safety Recommendation R-14-22. previously AAR informed the Board that the United States Hazardous Materials Instructions had been modified to provide that train consist and emergency response information should immediately be shared with emergency responders. The Board requested documentation to that effect. The latest copy of "Hazardous Materials Instructions for Rail" is on AAR's website at https://www.aar.org/Documents/BOE/US%20HMl%20for%20Rail%202015%20-%20FINAL %206.30.2015.Qdf. The language in "SECTION VIII. EMERGENCY RESPONSE" addresses the Board's concern: 4. Cooperating with Local Emergency Responders a. Immediately share any requested information from the shipping papers with emergency response personnel. (1) Provide an extra copy of the train list/consist, when available. Note: Retain any waybills and a copy of the train list/consist until you can deliver them to the first railroad manager on the scene. (2) Immediately share a copy of the emergency response information provided with the shipment. Regarding Safety Recommendation R-14-23, AAR has changed its database to use the text of the Emergency Response Guidebook. Railroads either print the information on the train consist or provide crews with a copy of the Emergency Response Guidebook. Accordingly, AAR suggests that the NTSB designate Safety Recommendations R-14-22 and R-14-23 as "CLOSED-ACCEPTABLE ACTION."

From: NTSB
To: Association of American Railroads
Date: 6/12/2015
Response: We note that you have modified the United States Hazardous Materials Instructions for Rail to instruct railroads that they must immediately share train consist and emergency response information with responders. Please provide us a copy of the revised language for our review. Pending our receipt of this documentation, Safety Recommendation R-14-22 is classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: Association of American Railroads
To: NTSB
Date: 12/17/2014
Response: -From Edward R. Hamberger, President and Chief Executive Officer: Regarding Safety Recommendation R-14-22, the United States Hazardous Materials Instructions for Rail already provided for the sharing of train consist and emergency response information with emergency response personnel. As clarification, the Instructions have been modified that railroads should "immediately" provide this information. Regarding Safety Recommendation R-14-23, the emergency response information will now direct emergency responders to consult the "the North American Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG) for all evacuation/protection actions." Specifically the emergency response information will state as follows: PROTECTIVE ACTIONS CONSULT THE ERG FOR PROTECTIVE ACTION CONSIDERATIONS, INCLUDING: INITIAL ISOLATION OR EVACUATION DISTANCES AND SHELTER-IN-PLACE RECOMMENDATIONS Accordingly, the AAR suggests that the NTSB designate Safety Recommendation R-14-22 and Safety Recommendation R-14-23 as "Closed-Acceptable Action." Should you are or any member of your staff require any additional information pertaining to our actions in addressing these two Safety Recommendations, please contact either me a member of my staff. Thank you in advance for your assistance in closing these two Safety Recommendations.