The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) issued a letter to railroads today reminding them that they are required to notify both the State Emergency Response Commissions (SERCs) and the Tribal Emergency Response Commissions (TERCs) when traveling through individual states or tribal regions with Bakken crude oil trains.
The Federal Government issued an Emergency Order in May of 2014 that mandated railroads notify SERCs and/or TERCs when transporting 1,000,000 gallons(approximately 35 tank cars) or more of Bakken crude oil through individual states or tribal regions. In addition, railroads will also need to provide a volume estimate, the anticipated frequency of train traffic and the route the trains would be taking.
This Emergency Order further instructed the host railroads to provide contact information for at least one person. The FRA has since made this Emergency Order a permanent requirement.
The Acting FRA Administrator, Sara Feindburg, issued the following statement. “We strongly support transparency and public notification to the fullest extent possible. Railroads transporting crude oil must continue to provide the information required by the Emergency Order to SERCs and to update notifications in a timely manner. FRA will continue with random spot checks and regular compliance audits to ensure the states, local communities, and first responders have the information necessary to respond to a possible accident. FRA will take enforcement actions as necessary to ensure compliance.”