Aerial view of the derailment scene.​​ (Photograph courtesy of Pike County Office of Emergency Management with overlay annotations by NTSB.)

NTSB: Loose Debris from Mudslide Probable Cause of CSX Derailment

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently determined that the probable cause of a February 13, 2020, derailment of CSX Transportation (CSX) train K42911 on a railroad track that runs between a hillside and the Russel Fork River in Draffin, Ky., was loose mud, vegetation, sand, soil and rock from a mudslide that obstructed the track following excessive rain accumulation over several weeks.

PHMSA Issues $1MM Proposed Civil Penalty to Colonial Pipeline

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) on May 5 issued a proposed civil penalty of $986,400 to Colonial Pipeline Company for “multiple probable violations of federal pipeline safety regulations stemming from an inspection of the company’s Control Room Management procedures.” A Notice of Probable Violation (NOPV) released to Colonial Pipeline “alleges that failures to adequately plan and prepare for a manual restart and shutdown operation contributed to the national impacts when the [Colonial] pipeline remained out of service after the May 2021 cyber-attack,” PHMSA reported.

PHMSA Awarding $100MM for Pipeline, Hazmat Safety

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) will award $98,800,117 to states, territories and tribes for six pipeline and five hazardous materials safety grant programs in FY 2021.

Senate Commerce Committee’s Bipartisan $78B Surface Transportation Bill Advances

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation has passed its five-year surface transportation bill authorizing $78 billion for rail, freight, safety and research programs; it is a bipartisan measure supported by the Association of American Railroads (AAR) and the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA).

“This budget reflects our Administration’s priorities, and responds to our country’s needs,” Secretary Pete Buttigieg said. “It will start giving America the tools to get back to work, modernize our infrastructure, combat the climate crisis, and build equity into our transportation system so everyone can get around safely and affordably.”

USDOT Unveils $88B FY22 Budget Proposal (Updated)

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) is slated to receive $88 billion under President Joe Biden’s $6 trillion fiscal year 2022 budget proposal, which was submitted to Congress on May 28.

USDOT Previews FY21 Small Business Innovation Research Program Topics

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) is providing a preview of the 13 topics to be featured in the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program this year. Program grants will total $1.9 million.

The final rule is in response 24 petitions by shippers, carriers, manufacturers and industry representatives, which were submitted to PHMSA between February 2015 and March 2018.

PHMSA Releases Final Rule Revising Hazmat Regs

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued a final rule amending Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR2). It is effective Dec. 28, 2020.