The House of Representatives and the Senate recently passed the RESPONSE Act of 2016, in an effort “to enhance emergency responder training for incidents involving hazardous-materials rail transportation.” The bill passed the House on November 29, and the Senate on December 10, before being signed into law by President Obama on December 16.
The RESPONSE Act of 2016 – also known as the Railroad Emergency Services Preparedness, Operational Needs, and Safety Evaluation Act of 2016 – establishes an interagency group under the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to review training, resources, strategies, and information emergency responders have and need to respond to hazardous materials incidents on railroads.
The bill amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002, and is a reaction to a 2013 accident involving a train carrying crude oil.
For more information on the bill, please follow the links below.
S.546 – RESPONSE Act of 2016, Congress.gov
Interagency Group on Safety to Be Created, FED Week
U.S. House passes RESPONSE Act, RailwayAge