May 27, 2015

DOT to audit FMCSA oversight of high-risk carriers

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The Department of Transportation’s Inspector General is conducting an audit into concerns about the “timeliness and effectiveness” of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s reviews of carriers that pose a greater risk. The IG audit, announced in a May 5 memo, cited investigations in 2013 by the National Transportation Board of four motor carriers involved [...]

SMART TD applauds DOT’s tank car final rule

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Washington, D.C. – Earlier today, the Department of Transportation (DOT) announced its final rule for rail shipments of flammable liquids. The rule calls for enhanced safety standards for High-Hazard Flammable Trains (HHFT), including stricter tank car construction standards, the phasing out of older tank car models, the use of electronically controlled pneumatic brakes (ECP), and [...]

DOT issues final rule for transporting liquids

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Rule will make significant and extensive changes to improve accident prevention, mitigation and emergency response WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced a final rule for the safe transportation of flammable liquids by rail. The final rule, developed by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), in [...]

Keep flying, DOT tells Great Lakes

KEARNEY — The U.S. Department of Transportation has issued an order to Great Lakes Airlines to extend its service at Kearney Regional Airport while Kearney waits for federal approval of the airline to replace Great Lakes. The order, issued Wednesday, also sets temporary rates for Great Lakes to continue providing Essential Air Service at the [...]

Seattle City Council seeks DOT emergency order

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SEATTLE – City Councilmember Mike O’Brien and all eight of his council colleagues signed a letter calling for the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to issue an emergency order prohibiting the shipment of Bakken crude oil in legacy DOT-111 tank train cars. Bakken is highly flammable and easily ignited at normal temperatures by heat, static discharges, [...]

Interstate bus drivers’ physicals must be done by CME

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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is reminding interstate truck and bus drivers that beginning May 21, all new USDOT physicals must be performed by a qualified health professional listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners. “Safety is our highest priority and it is vital that [...]

DOT takes emergency action for safe crude shipments

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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation May 7 issued an emergency order requiring all railroads operating trains containing large amounts of Bakken crude oil to notify State Emergency Response Commissions (SERCs) about the operation of these trains through their states. Additionally, DOT’s Federal Railroad Administration and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued a [...]

Obama sends transportation bill to Congress

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The Obama administration on Tuesday (April 29) sent a bill to Congress that aims to cover an expected shortage in money to spend on America’s bridges, roads and transit systems, but Republican opposition could prevent its passage. Funding for the four-year, $302 billion legislation would come partly from ending certain tax breaks for businesses, a [...]

DOT’s Foxx urges safer rail tank cars

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx on Wednesday asked oil-by-rail leaders to create a tank car fit to carry the kinds of fuel involved in recent fiery derailments even as he dodged lawmaker questions about when such a plan would be ready. Rail shipments of oil have been on the rise in regions that [...]

Rail hazmat emergency response programs offered

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The Rail Workers Hazardous Materials Training Program announces three HazMat/Chemical Emergency Response Training Programs will be held this spring in Houston, Texas. These programs address U.S. Department of Transportation and the Occupational Health and safety Administration required training in addition to procedures, levels of response and worker protection in a hazardous materials emergency or release, [...]