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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) yesterday released the agenda and list of panelists for a forum on safety pertaining to rail-transported crude oil and ethanol, which will be held April 22-23 in Washington, D.C.Open to the public and accessible via a webcast, the forum will address how the phenomenal growth in crude and ethanol production in North America over the past decade has altered the way the flammable liquids are transported, NTSB officials said in a press release. The severe consequences resulting from an accidental product release underscores areas of concern identified in recent NTSB safety recommendations, they said.The forum will feature two panel discussions on each day. On April 22, a panel on tank-car design, construction and crashworthiness will feature Robert Fronczak from the Association of American Railroads (AAR); Bill Finn from the Railway Supply Institute Committee for Tank Cars; Todd Treichel from the RSI-AAR Railroad Tank Car Safety Research and Test Project; Gregory Saxton from the Greenbrier Cos.; Francisco González III from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA); and David Jeong from the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center. The day's other panel on rail operations and risk management approaches will feature Rich Connor from the FRA; Skip Elliott from CSX Corp.; Lee Johnson from the American Petroleum Institute (API); Robert Grimalia from Union Pacific Railroad; Christopher Barkan from the University of Illinois; and Anand Prabhakaran from Sharma and Associates Inc.On April 23, a panel on emergency responses to crude and ethanol tank-car releases will feature Steven Pearson, a retired fire chief from the North Park, Ill., fire department; Greg Noll from the National Fire Protection Association; Richard Edinger from the International Association of Fire Chiefs; Danny Simpson from CN; Frank Reiner from TRANSCAER; and Claudia Gelzer from the U.S. Coast Guard. The day's other panel on federal oversight and industry initiatives pertaining to crude and ethanol will feature Karl Alexy from the FRA; Magdy El-Sibaie from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration; Stéphane Garneau from Transport Canada; Ed Hamberger from the AAR; Bob Dineen from the Renewable Fuels Association; and Prentiss Searles from API.
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