On July 24, 2014 PHMSA/DOT announced proposed revisions to HAZMAT regulations that establish requirements for “high-hazard flammable trains” (HHFT). They define HHFT’s as trains with 20 or more cars carrying ethanol and crude oil.
CARS questions the reasoning of 20 or more cars considering that catastrophic damage can easily occur with just a few DOT-111’s derailing.
CARS proposes that HHFT’s be defined as any train carrying 3 or more contiguous DOT-111’s carrying oil or ethanol.
BLEVEs (Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion) can occur when just a few cars begin to burn and boil the liquid in an adjacent car. Preventing a BLEVE should be the number one priority. In a BLEVE, the entire contents of a tank car (typically 30,000 gallons) explodes instantaneously and poses the highest risk of death and destruction.