Oregon OKs new hazardous-materials rail-transport rules

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The Oregon Transportation Commission recently approved proposed updated rules for transporting hazardous materials via rail.

The rules and the Oregon Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) four new rail inspectors are part of an effort to prevent incidents and also respond to them if they do happen.

“These rules will help ensure that first-responders get the information they need, when they need it, and agencies that need the information for planning purposes can also get it,” ODOT Director Matthew Garrett said. “The rules also provide a means for the public to get information they may need to be prepared in case of an incident.”

The four new inspectors bring the total number to 11. They all work with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to monitor the state’s vast rail operations and the safety of those operations.

“We increased staffing in part because of national concerns about the increase in crude-by-rail shipments,” Garrett said. “With our new staff members, we will have specific discipline-trained inspectors on duty to cover the state, even if an inspector is out sick or on vacation.”

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Oregon Department of Transportation

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