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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-95-015
Details
Synopsis: ON 6/6/94, A CONDUCTOR FOR THE NORFOLK SOUTHERN RAILWAY COMPANY DETECTED PRODUCT LEAKING FROM THE BOTTOM OF TANK CAR UTLX 79211 IN THE NORFOLK SOUTHERN HARRY DEBUTTS YARD IN CHATTANOOGA, TENNESSEE. THE TANK CAR CONTAINED 12,184 GALLONS OF A 75-PERCENT CONCENTRATION OF ARSENIC ACID, WHICH IS CLASSIFIED AS A POISONOUS MATERIAL & ALSO DESIGNATED AS A MARINE POLLUTANT UNDER THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION HAZARDOUS MATERIALS REGULATIONS.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE NORFOLK SOUTHERN CORPORATION: IDENTIFY & DESIGNATE WITHIN THE DEBUTTS YARD, AND THE COMPANY'S OTHER RAIL YARDS THAT HANDLE TANK CARS CARRYING HAZARDOUS MATERIALS, AREAS WHERE LEAKING TANK CARS CAN BE PLACED TO CONTAIN THE LEAKING CARGO & TO PROVIDE ACCESS FOR OFFLOADING OPERATIONS.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Railroad
Location: Chattanooga, TN, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA94SZ011
Accident Reports: ​Tank Car Failure and Release of Arsenic Acid
Report #: HZM-95-01
Accident Date: 6/6/1994
Issue Date: 3/2/1995
Date Closed: 1/25/1996
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: Norfolk Southern Corporation (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Hazmat

Safety Recommendation History
From: Norfolk Southern Corporation
To: NTSB
Date: 2/6/1996
Response: As evidenced in the System Plan and the Virginia Division Plan we transmitted with our last letter, NSR has designated specific areas within our rail yards as "isolation track locations" for the purpose of handling leaking tank cars. The Tennessee Division includes these same designations. Three isolation track areas .have been designated for deButts Yard: North End - West Pullback Track Near Hump - Advance Track South End - Old Derrick Track In addition, NSR has Environmental installed aTrans Systems, Inc. railroad containment pan at the West Pullback Track. spill The NSR system-wide Emergency Action Plan and EAPs for each of our nine divisions were completed and in place at all facilities by December 30, 1995. We believe NSR has now fully addressed Recommendation R-95-15.

From: NTSB
To: Norfolk Southern Corporation
Date: 1/25/1996
Response: THE BOARD'S HAZARDOUS MATERIALS STAFF REVIEWED THE REVISED SYSTEMWIDE EMERGENCY ACTION PLAN & THE EMERGENCY ACTION PLAN FOR THE VIRGINIA DIVISION THAT WERE FORWARDED WITH MR. TOBIAS'S LETTER. WE FOUND THAT THE FORMER APROPRIATELY DESCRIBES COMPANY PROCEDURES & POLICIES & THAT THE LETTER CONTAINS VERY SPECIFIC INFO ABOUT EACH YARD & TERMINAL WITHIN THE DIVISION. BOTH PLANS WERE COMPREHENSIVE & VERY WELL DONE, & THE BOARD COMMENDS NORFOLK SOUTHER FOR ITS EFFORTS IN THIS REGARD. MR. TOBIAS'S LETTER INDICATED THAT THE EMERGENCY ACTION PLANS FOR THE OTHER DIVISION WILL BE SIMILAR IN FORMAT & CONTENT TO THAT THE VIRGINIA DIVISION. WE LOOK FORWARD TO RECEIVING A COPY OF THE EMERGENCY ACTION PLAN FOR THE TENNESSEE DIVISION, WHICH COVER THE DEBUTTS YARD IN CHATTANOOGA. THE BOARD NOTES THAT PREDETERMINED ISOLATION TRACKS WERE SPECIFIED FOR EACH YARD & TERMINAL IN THE VIRGINIA DIVISION EMERGENCY ACTION PLAN. BECAUSE THIS PLAN WILL BE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE EMERGENCY ACTION PLANS FOR THE OTHER OPERATING DIVISIONS, DEVELOPMENT OF THE SYSTEMWIDE & DIVISION EMERGENCY ACTION PLANS SATISFIES R-95-15, WHICH CLASSIFIED " CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ACTION."

From: Norfolk Southern Corporation
To: NTSB
Date: 10/23/1995
Response: IN THE INTERIM [SINCE 5/18/95] NSR ]NORFOLK SOUTHERN RAIL WAY COMPANY] HAS ALLOCATED SIGNIFICANT RESOURCES DESIGNED TO ADDRESS THE THREE NTSB RECOMMENDATIONS [R-95-15, -16, & -17], & HAS INITIATED A HOST OF OTHER MEASURES TARGETED AT IMPROVEMENT OF RAILWAY SAFETY & RESPONSIBLE ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT. THE EFFORTS HAVE INCLUDED: DEVELOPMENT OF A FULLY REVISED, COMPREHENSIVE SYSTEM-WIDE EMERGENCY ACTION PLAN ("EAP") FOR HAZARDOUS INCIDENTS. DEVELOPMENT OF FULLY REVISED, COMPREHENSIVE DIVISION (& YARD) SPECIFIC EAPS FOR HAZARDOUS MATERIALS INCIDENTS. PURCHASE OF A TRANS ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEMS, INC. (TESI) RAILROAD SPILL CONTAINMENT PAN (FITS WITHIN RAILS) FOR INSTALLATIOIN AS A TEST AT THE DEBUTTS YARD. TABLE-TOP EXERCISE & FULL-SCALE DRILL WITH CHATTANOOGA FIRE & EMERGENCY RESPOSNE PERSONNEL IN JUNE 1995. TO DATE IN 1995, MORE THAN 21 OTHER HAZMAT TRAINING PROGRAMS WITH LOCAL AUTHORITIES ACROSS THE UNITED STATES, TOTALING OVER 1,000 ATTENDEES LOGGING 2.,781 MAN-HOURS OF TRAINING. REGARDING R-95-15: NSR HAS COMPLETED THE SYSTEM-WIDE EAP, BUT IS STILL IN THE PROCESS OF COMPLETING THE DIVISION-SPECIFIC (& YARD) PLAN FOR TENNESSEE. WHEN COMPLETED LATER THIS YEAR, APPROPRIATE YARD WILL HAVE A SPECIFIC LOCATION IDENTIFIED & DESIGNATED ON THE YARD MAP FOR PLACEMENT OF LEAKING TANK CARS. COPIES OF THE TENNESSEE PLAN WILL BE FORWARDED TO THE NTSB WHEN COMPLETED. {NOTE: COPIES OF THE REVISED SYSTEM-WIDE EAP & THE REVISED EAP FOR THE VIRGINIA DIVISION WERE PROVIDED WITH NSR'S LETTER.] IN ADDITION TO THE DESIGNATION OF SPECIFIC AREAS OF DEBUTTS & OTHER YARDS, NSR IS IN THE PROCESS OF TESTING A VARIETY OF OPTIONS FOR CONTROL & CONTAINMENT OF SPILLS. THIS INCLUDES THE RECENT ACQUISITION & PLACEMENT OF A CATCHMENT PAN AT DEBUTTS YARD. NSR WILL TEST THIS AT DEBUTTS & WILL IMPLEMENT A FINAL SOLUTION BASED ON THE RESULTS OF THESE TESTS.

From: Norfolk Southern Corporation
To: NTSB
Date: 8/15/1995
Response: I have been asked to respond to your letter of June 1, 1995 to Mr. David R Goode with respect to the report on the arsenic acid release of June 6, 1994 in Chattanooga. For ease o.f refznce, I am attaching a copy of Norfolk Southern’s response to safety recommendations R95-15 through 17, which were forwarded to the NTSB on May 18, 1995. I assume that a copy of this letter had not made its way to you when you wrote the June 1, 1995 letter to Mr. Goode. As for the factual matters raised in my letter of May 5, 1995, Norfolk Southern Railway Company endeavored in its communications with the NTSB to address those items in the draft report which the railroad believed were in error. Nonetheless, a&x issuance of the final report, we felt compelled to point out continuing errors for the record. Thus, we appreciate your placing my May 5, 1995 letter into the public docket.

From: NTSB
To: Norfolk Southern Corporation
Date: 7/12/1995
Response: THE BOARD NOTES THAT NORFOLK SOUTHERN IS REVIEWING ITS EMERGENCY RESPONSE & SPILL PLANS FOR ITS RAIL YARDS & WILL DESIGNATE AREAS FOR EACH YARD, INCLUDING THE DEBUTTS YARD, WHERE LEAKING TANK CARS CAN BE PLACED. ALTHOUGH THESE ACTIONS ARE RESPONSIVE TO THE RECOMMENDATION, THE BOARD WOULD APPRECIATE MORE SPECIFIC INFO ABOUT THE PLACEMENT OF LEAKING TANK CARS IN THE DEBUTTS YARD & THE GUIDANCE PROVIDED BY NORFOLK SOUTHERN TO ITS OTHER RAIL YARDS FOR IDENTIFYING & DESIGNATING AREAS WHERE LEAKING TANK CARS CAN BE PLACED. PENDING YOUR REPLY & THE COMPLETION OF YOUR REVIEW, R-95-15 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE."

From: Norfolk Southern Corporation
To: NTSB
Date: 5/18/1995
Response: NORFOLK SOUTHERN RAILWAY COMPANY (NSR) SET UP A HAZARDOUS MATERIALS INCIDENT RESPONSE QUALITY TEAM TO REVIEW ITS RESPONSE & SPILL PLANS & TO VERIFY THAT THESE PLANS IDENTIFY THOSE LOCATIONS WITHIN DEBUTTS YARD & NSR'S OTHER RAIL YARDS WHERE TANK CARS CAN BE PLACED TO CONTAIN ANY LEAKAGE & TO OFFLOAD CARGO WHERE & WHEN THAT ACTION IS APPROPRIATE. FEDERAL REGULATIONS LIMIT OUR OPTIONS FOR MOVING CARS. ADDITIONALLY, CERTAIN PORTABLE CONTAINMENT & RELATED SPILL CONTROL EQUIPMENT HAS BEEN STOCKED ON SITE AT THE YARD.