CHARLESTON, Va. — On Friday, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) gave Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Pete Buttigieg more clarity about the Norfolk Southern Railroad derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. I asked you to West Virginia border. Senator Manchin also called on the DOT to review and improve its inspection practices with a particular focus on railroad maintenance and safety.
On February 3, 2023, the Norfolk Southern Railroad derailed in East Palestine, Ohio. The ensuing fire derailed 38 vehicles and damaged 12 of his vehicles, including 11 of his vehicles carrying hazardous materials. This set off a dangerous chemical fire that forced residents to evacuate for several days, while local and state officials performed controlled burns to prevent a potentially fatal explosion. This week, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)) publish a bulletin An investigation into the derailment revealed that the wheel bearings had overheated several miles before the accident, but had not reached their limit until shortly before the accident.
“We are very appreciative of the prompt response of first responders and local and state officials, and there are no current reports indicating that people in West Virginia should be concerned about air and water quality. But I do understand the concerns raised by people in West Virginia and Ohio closer to the scene.People deserve answers.” Senator Manchin said some of it. “This raises serious questions regarding equipment maintenance, inspections and existing safety systems intended to prevent these accidents.”
On February 16, 2015, a train carrying 107 tankers of Bucken Shale crude oil from North Dakota derailed in Adena Village near Mount Carbon, West Virginia. A total of 27 tankers derailed, 378,000 gallons of crude oil were released, fires started and massive fireball eruptions destroyed nearby homes and forced more than 1,000 people to flee their homes for several days. I was. Had the derailment occurred just two miles down the track, it could have caused extensive damage to the town of Mount Carbon and many lives lost. Since derailing in 2015, Senator Manchin has worked to protect strong brake requirements Additional safety standards that can prevent these pile-ups.
“It took nine years for the FRA to finalize the Electronically Controlled Pneumatic (ECP) Braking Regulations. …It has now been more than 16 years since the FRA first began ECP research.The length and weight of trains has increased in recent years on freight railroads to the United States. We recommend that the FRA reconsider this cost-benefit analysis as it increases with tonnage shipped across the Senator Manchin continued. “While it is encouraging that the FRA has resumed regular railroad audits to ensure compliance with safety regulations, we have much more to do. We strongly encourage a review of inspection practices with a particular focus on safety.”
February 16, 2023Senator Manchin issued a statement on the Norfolk Southern train derailment in East Palestine.
The full text of the letter is below or here.
Dear Secretary Buttigieg:
At approximately 8:54 pm on Friday, February 3, a Norfolk Southern Railroad (NS) train derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, approximately 20 miles from the West Virginia border. The ensuing fire derailed 38 vehicles and damaged 12 of his vehicles, including 11 of his vehicles carrying hazardous materials. This started a dangerous chemical fire that forced residents to evacuate for several days, while local and state officials performed controlled burns to prevent a potentially fatal explosion. We are very appreciative of the prompt response of first responders and local and state officials, and are relieved that there are no current reports indicating that West Virginians should be concerned about air and water quality. However, we understand the concerns raised by people in West Virginia and Ohio closer to the scene. People deserve answers.
This week, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released a preliminary report on the derailment in East Palestine. The NTSB found that the wheel bearings were getting hot several miles before the accident, according to data from trackside sensors, but did not reach critical thresholds until shortly before the accident. In its report, the NTSB cited problems with the rail car’s axle that may have contributed to the crash, and surveillance video showed the wheel bearings were in the final stages of failure due to overheating shortly before the derailment. is shown. This poses significant problems for facility maintenance, inspection and existing safety systems to prevent these accidents.
At approximately 1:30 pm on February 16, 2015, a train carrying 107 tanker trucks carrying Bucken Shale crude oil from North Dakota derailed in Adena Village near Mount Carbon, West Virginia. A total of 27 tankers derailed, releasing 378,000 gallons of crude oil, igniting fires, causing massive fireball eruptions, destroying nearby homes, and displacing more than 1,000 people for several days. rice field. Had the derailment occurred just two miles down the track, it could have caused extensive damage to the town of Mount Carbon and many lives lost. It may sound familiar, but it’s because the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is reporting his 1,044 train derailments in 2022, and the number of train derailment accidents across the United States. Because it is all too common in
Since then, rail infrastructure has played an increasingly important role in the country’s energy and chemical industries. That economic activity is welcome, but we must protect the people of West Virginia and other communities across the country that live along these corridors. I have fought for a long time to protect the strong braking requirements that can be. It took the FRA nine years to finalize its regulations for electronically controlled pneumatic (ECP) brakes. I fought to make sure they were included in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act of 2015 after they were removed from previous versions of the bill. Unfortunately, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) within the Department of Transportation announced that after a Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) found the requirement was not economically justified, withdrew his ECP requirement for trains. More than 16 years have now passed since the FRA first began her ECP study. As train length and weight have increased in recent years along with the tonnage transported within the United States by freight rail, we recommend that the FRA revisit this cost-benefit analysis. As I said then, we simply cannot be wrong.
We are pleased that the FRA has resumed regular audits of railways to ensure compliance with safety regulations, but more needs to be done. The last system-wide audit of NS by the FRA took place almost a year ago in May 2022. In an audit report released in July 2022, the FRA noted that “NS’s performance, from access to and accuracy of records, to the methods and processes used to prioritize testing of rules to prevent incidents. We found that there was a discrepancy between the operational test and the inspection program.” Also, the NS Transportation Division and “Inadequate communication between” was found. The FRA concluded that these issues could “increase the overall risk of train derailments”.
As such, I urge the DOT to review its inspection practices with a particular focus on maintenance and safety. At a minimum, the FRA should work with freight railways to better understand maintenance procedures and standardize these practices across the industry. I fully understand that future research efforts by the NTSB will focus on maintenance procedures and practices, the use of wayside defect detectors, and rail vehicle inspection practices, and I welcome the findings. In the meantime, I ask DOT to consider what it can do by then and make sure it does what it can do now and in the future.
- How does the FRA audit the maintenance procedures used on freight railroads? How often are these audits performed?
- Is the DOT considering additional inspection processes to enhance its ability to quickly and accurately identify defects in tracks and rolling stock?
- Using the available data, can the FRA determine how often wheel bearings and rail vehicle axles should be maintained? Is there additional data that the FRA needs to determine how these should be maintained?
- Can you provide an update on the industry implementation of Electronically Controlled Pneumatic (ECP) brakes? Could ECP have prevented or mitigated some of the damage caused by the derailment in East Palestine?
We look forward to your answers to these important questions. Thank you for your attention to this important issue.
https://www.wtrf.com/ohio/sen-manchin-calls-on-secretary-buttigieg-to-provide-answers-on-east-palestine-train-derailment-improve-dot-safety-inspections/ Why is Manchin looking to Buttigieg for answers on East Palestine?