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11/24/2015



Rail News: Safety

Washington Department of Ecology to draft new rules for crude-oil transport


The Washington state Department of Ecology is developing new rules that will require companies that transport oil by railroad or pipeline into or through the state to improve planning for accidents.

The new rules are being developed as the state prepares to implement the 2015 Transportation Safety Act, which state lawmakers passed earlier this year.

"These rules will help ensure public safety and environmental protection," said Dale Jensen, the department's spills program manager, in a press release. "Emergency responders will have more information, better resources, and training to respond to incidents in a rapid, aggressive, and well-coordinated manner."

One rule will lay out the requirements for how railroads must position spill response equipment; set standards for spill-response staffing, training and operations; and establish a spill-response drill program with evaluation standards.

The other rule will require facilities receiving crude oil to provide weekly advance notice to the department on the movement of substance, while pipelines will be required to provide biannual notice to the department. That rule also will identify the manner and type of information the department will disclose to emergency responders, tribal and local governments, and the public.



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