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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-95-017
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: INITIATE & PARTICIPATE IN EMERGENCY RESPONSE DRILLS & EXERCISES WITH LOCAL EMERGENCY RESPONSE AGENCIES AT ALL RAIL YARDS WITHIN THE NORFOLK SOUTHERN OPERATING SYSTEM OPERATING SYSTEM.
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):

Safety Recommendation History
From: Norfolk Southern Corporation
To: NTSB
Date: 2/5/1996
Response: My last letter summarized a wide variety of efforts in this area. Since then, we participated in another full-scale drill in Clinton, Tennessee, on November 30, 1995. A copy of the brochure describing the mock incident is enclosed for your records. NSR believes we have fully addressed Recommendation R-95-17.

From: NTSB
To: Norfolk Southern Corporation
Date: 1/25/1996
Response: THE BOARD UNDERSTANDS THAT NORFOLK SOUTHERN HAS PARTICIPATED IN EMERGENCY RESPONSE DRILLS IN CHATTANOOGA & OTHER LOCATIONS SINCE THE RECOMMENDATION WAS ISSUED. THE BOARD ALSO NOTES THAT NORFOLK SOUTHERN STIPULATED IN THE NEW SYSTEMWIDE EMERGENCY ACTION PLAN THAT TABLE-TOP & FULL-SCALE EXERCISES INVOLVING THE PARTICIPATION OF LOCAL EMERGENCY RESPONSE OFFICIALS ARE TO BE CONDUCTED & THAT A NORFOLK SOUTHERN TEAM IS DEVELOPING A FORMAL PLAN THAT WILL ESTABLISH THE FREQUENCY & LOCATION OF THE DIFFERENT EXERCISES, GUIDELINES FOR EVALUATING & DOCUMENTING EACH EXERCISE, & GUIDELINES FOR TAKING CORRECTIVE ACTION. THE FORMALIZATION OF GUIDELINES TO CONDUCT EMERGENCY RESPONSE EXERCISES INVOLVING LOCAL OFFICIALS WILL HELP ENSURE THAT SUCH JOINT EXERCISES ARE PERFORMED ON A REGULAR & ONGOING BASIS. BECAUSE OF THESE POSITIVE ACTIONS, R-95-17 IS CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ACTION."

From: Norfolk Southern Corporation
To: NTSB
Date: 10/23/1995
Response: N 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-95-17: NSR HAS BEEN COMMITTED TO THESE KINDS OF ACTIVITIES FOR NEARLY 10 YEARS. IN ADDITION TO THE TRAINING PROGRAMS SUMMARIZED ABOVE (THE JUNE 1995 PROGRAMS COVER THE TABLE TOP & FIELD EXCERCISES IN CHATTANOOGA, TENNESSEE), FIELD EXERCISES WERE HELD IN CONJUNCTION WITH LOCAL FORCES IN COLUMBUS, OHIO, ON 11/18/94, KENOVA, WEST VIRGINIA, ON 7/15/95, & MADISON COUNTY. TENNESSEE ON 7/19/95. ONE IS SCHEDULED FOR LUDLOW, KENTUCKY LATER THIS YEAR. NSR PARTICIPATION IN EMERGENCY RESPONSE DRILLS IS ONGOING.

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 HAS PROVIDED TRAINING TO EMERGENCY RESPONDERS, HAS PARTICIPATED IN DRILLS & EXERCISES WITH LOCAL EMERGENCY RESPONSE AGENCIES, & HAS BEEN ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN THE TRANSPORTATION COMMUNITY AWARENESS & EMERGENCY RESPONSE PROGRAM. HOWEVER, MOST OF THESE ACTIVITIES OCCURRED BEFORE THE ACCIDENT IN CHATTANOOGA & WERE DISCUSSED IN THE BOARD'S ACCIDENT REPORT. HOWEVER, THE BOARD REMAINS CONCERNED ABOUT NORFOLK SOUTHERN'S REGULAR PARTICIPATION IN SUCH DRILLS & EXERCISES. THE BOARD WOULD APPRECIATE A DESCRIPTION OF ANY CORPORATE GUIDELINES TO THE RAIL YARDS & THEIR IMPLEMENTATION REGARDING THE FREQUENCY & THE SCOPE OF DRILLS BETWEEN RAIL YARDS & EMERGENCY RESPONSE AGENCIES IN COMMUNITIES IN WHICH THE RAIL YARDS ARE LOCATED. PENDING YOUR REPLY, R-95-17 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE."

From: Norfolk Southern Corporation
To: NTSB
Date: 5/18/1995
Response: FOR OVER 10 YEARS NSR HAS BEEN PARTICIPATING IN EMERGENCY RESPONSE DRILLS & EXERCISE WITH LOCAL COMMUNITIES ON 0UR LINES. NSR WAS ENGAGED IN A NUMBER OF SUCH EMERGENCY RESPONSE DRILLS DURING 1994, FURNISHING BOTH EQUIPMENT & CREWS. THIS EFFORT WAS ONLY PART OF MORE THAN 5,000 HOURS OF TRAINING PROVIDED FOR LOCAL EMERGENCY RESPONSE AGENCIES DURING 1994. NSR WILL PARTICIPATE WITH EMERGENCY RESPONSE PERSONNEL OF THE CITY OF CHATTANOOGA IN BOTH A TABLE-TOP EXERCISE & A FULL SCALE RAIL EMERGENCY RESPONSE EXERCISE AT DEBUTTS YARD IN MAY 1995. ALSO, WE HAVE ARRANGED WITH THE DUPONT COMPANY TO HAVE ONE OF ITS TRAINING TANK CARS (WITH INSTRUCTORS) AVAILABLE IN CHATTANOOGA FOR A FULL WEEK OF EMERGENCY RESPONSE TRAINING IN JUNE. WE HAVE YARD EMERGENCY RESPONSE PLANS AT 120 FACILITIES. AT EACH OF THESE FACILITIES WE HAVE BEEN WORKING TO ESTABLISH POSITIVE WORKING RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE LOCAL COMMUNITIES. GENERALLY, COMMUNITY REQUESTS & THE DESIRE TO CONDUCT EMERGENCY RESPONSE DRILLS AT LOCATIONS WHERE THEY APPEAR TO MOST NEEDED ESTABLISH THE PRIORITIES OF THESE DRILLS. NSR HAVE BEEN HEAVILY INVOLVED IN THE TRANSPORTATION COMMUNITY AWARENESS & EMERGENCY RESPONSE (TRANSCAER) INITIATIVE, A PROGRAM WHICH WAS SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED FOR EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS TRAINING. THIS COMMUNITY OUTREACH PROGRAM IS FULLY SUPPORT BY INDUSTRIES INVOLVED WITH THE SHIPPING, MANUFACTURING, DISTRIBUTION & TRANSPORTATION OF HAZARDOUS MATERIALS. IN 1994, WE PROVIDED TRANSCAER TRAINING TO NEARLY 1,367 EMERGENCY RESPONDERS, REPRESENTING 242 DEPARTMENTS IN 11 STATES. IN MARCH 1995, NSR BECAME ONLY THE THIRD RAILROAD COMMON CARRIER EVER TO BE AWARDED THE NATIONAL TRANSCAER ACHIEVEMENT AWARD.