The two DOT agencies are conducting audits, and PHMSA is making unannounced inspections, to ensure railroads

NFPA Taking Comments on Five New Projects

One is a proposed standard on competencies of responders to derailments of high-hazard flammable trains carrying crude oil, ethanol, and other Class 3 products.

NFPA announced that it is seeking public review and comments by June 15 on five new projects. They include a new standard setting protocols for aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) response to accidents at public air shows, a standard on required competencies of responders to derailments of high-hazard flammable trains carrying crude oil, ethanol, and other Class 3 products, and an EMS Officer standard.

Recommended by the International Council of Air Shows, the ARFF standard would specify the number and type of ARFF vehicles that should be used, the number and type of personnel manning them, placement of vehicles relative to crowd areas and performing aircraft, and maximum response time to an on-field incident.

The derailment responder standard would define the knowledge, skills, and training required by technical advisors from industry, public first responders, and others to be qualified to safely mitigate these large-scale incidents. According to NFPA's supporting document, the standard could include knowledge of physical and chemical properties of the product(s), type, condition and behavior of tank cars, railway safety for first responders, stability of the incident, risk factors, environmental factors, downstream potential for fire spread/contamination from flowing product, damming or diking possibilities, evacuation considerations, foam types, volumes required, large capacity foam equipment operation, application techniques, containment and securement of unburned product, and a section on pre-planning and exercises with first responders, railroads, shippers, and other resources.

The EMS Officer standard would identify the minimum job performance requirements necessary to perform the duties of an emergency medical services officer and would identify four levels of progression: EMS Officer I, EMS Officer II, EMS Officer III, and EMS Officer IV.

One new project concerns hazardous waste disposal.

According to NFPA's announcement, anyone interested in commenting on the projects should include this information: resources on the subject matter, the names of those interested in participating on the Committee (if established), the names of other organizations actively involved with this subject, and whether there is a need for such a project. Submit comments to the Codes and Standards Administration Department, NFPA, 1 Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02169-7471.

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