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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Iowa

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Railroad Derailments: Preparedness is the Key to Ensure Public Safety

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – Last August, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Iowa organized and hosted the Iowa Railroad Safety Symposium on the Des Moines Area Community College campus in Ankeny, Iowa.  The purpose of the program was to bring together members of the various disciplines and agencies that work in all aspects of public safety at the federal, state and local level to better understand and be better prepared to address safety challenges connected to railroad, pipeline, and hazardous materials transportation. 

Since the Symposium was held, the Iowa Department of Transportation and the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department completed a study of crude oil and biofuels railroad transportation incident response preparedness in Iowa, which provides excellent information and analysis on several of the topics discussed last August. The final study is called the Iowa Crude Oil and Biofuels Rail Transportation Study.

The full study as well as summary documents can be found at: http://www.iowadot.gov/iowarail.

The oil train derailment that occurred in Oregon last week again demonstrates the importance of continued vigilance of federal, state and local agencies in working together to be prepared to address safety challenges connected to railroad, pipeline, and hazardous materials transportation. An AP story on that derailment can be found at:

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/oil-train-derailment-fire-damaged-oregon-city-water-39626260.

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Updated June 8, 2016