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API’s focus on rail safety

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

A statement has been released by the API and US Department of Transport highlighting actions being taken by the oil and natural gas industry as it continues to work to improve railroad safety.

Statement from Jack Gerard API President and CEO

‘Safety is always our top priority. We are working closely with the regulators and the railroad industry and looking in a holistic way at how to prevent accidents, mitigate impacts if they occur, and support emergency response.

‘While nearly all rail shipments reach their destinations without incident, our common goal should be zero rail incidents. All options must be considered to reach this goal. Prevention efforts should examine issues like track maintenance and positive train control (PTC). Our mitigation efforts are looking at topics like tank car design and crude oil testing and classification. And a review of emergency response is examining ways to improve training and communications for emergency responders.

‘We are committed to using the best science, research and real world data to make measurable improvements to safety. A holistic approach based on sound science and data will ensure that any changes to existing standards and practices achieve real safety improvements and do not shift risk to other areas. It is critical that our actions actually improve safety and reduce risk.’

Steps to safety

The API is taking the following actions to improve safety in a collaborative and holistic way:

  • API has assembled top experts to develop a comprehensive standard for testing, classification, loading and unloading of crude oil based on the best available science and data.
  • API continues to work with PHMSA and other representatives from the Department of Transportation to share information and expertise on crude oil characteristics.
  • API has helped to lead the effort to improve tank car design.
  • API is working with the railroads to enhance emergency response training through Transportation community awareness and Emergency Response.

Adapted from a press release by Claira Lloyd.

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