2005 ADOPTED RESOLUTIONS
TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS

ASSURING SAFE RAIL TRANSPORT OF HAZARDOUS MATERIALS THROUGH CITIES

WHEREAS, Each day hundreds of thousands of shipments of extremely hazardous materials such as chlorine, ammonia, phosphoric acid and molten sulfur travel through the hearts of our cities and near critical infrastructure; and

WHEREAS, studies and practical experience have shown that a major break of a single tanker of hazardous materials can result in mass casualties; and

WHEREAS, Citizens should have a reasonable expectation that hazardous materials are being shipped in the safest manner; and

WHEREAS, accuracy and availability of information about hazardous materials should be extended to the storage of freight on sidings and to other practices that could pose risks to immediate neighborhoods and major local assets and venues.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the United States Conference of Mayors calls on Congress and the Administration to direct the United States Department of Homeland Security and the United States Department of Transportation to conduct an assessment of freight railroad notification procedures for the transport of hazardous materials through local jurisdictions; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the United States Conference of Mayors calls on Congress and the Administration to direct the United States Department of Homeland Security to establish a coordinated system for notifying appropriate local first responders of the transportation of rail hazardous materials through local jurisdictions; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the United States Conference of Mayors calls on Congress and the Administration to direct the United States Department of Homeland Security and the United States Department of Transportation to make available to local first responders a rail carrier’s comprehensive list of all hazardous material scheduled to be transported through such local jurisdiction; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the United States Conference of Mayors calls on Congress and the Administration to direct the United States Department of Homeland Security and the United States Department of Transportation to work with railroad operators to increase physical security measures surrounding shipments and storage of hazardous materials, with such increase to include the number of hazardous materials inspectors employed by the Federal Railroad Administration, lighting, fencing, alarms and access control for tunnels, bridges, interlockings, track, yards and facilities; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the United States Conference of Mayors calls on Congress and the Administration to direct the United States Department of Homeland Security and the United States Department of Transportation to require freight rail cars carrying hazardous materials be equipped with the latest safety technology and protective countermeasures; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the United States Conference of Mayors calls on Congress and the Administration to direct the United States Department of Homeland Security and the United States Department of Transportation to conduct an immediate review of rail infrastructure still using manual switches to determine areas where automatic switches should be installed.

©2005 The U.S. Conference of Mayors
Tom Cochran, Executive Director
1620 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
Tel. 202.293.7330 ~ Fax 202.293.2352
info@usmayors.org