Media Advisory: Transportation of Hazardous Energy Liquids, Gases Addressed in Two New Reports

Since 2005, the country’s increase in production and supplies of crude oil, natural gas, and corn-based ethanol have created unforeseen demands and safety challenges on their long-distance transportation via pipelines, tank barges, and railroad tank cars.  Two new reports by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine examine safety issues associated with this increased transport of hazardous energy liquids and gases.  

A new letter report releasing on Oct. 5 reviews the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) test results and analysis of electronically controlled pneumatic brakes for train units compared with other braking technologies and systems tested by DOT.  The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act requires DOT to reconsider the suitability of ECP brakes for train units carrying crude oil or ethanol to determine whether such brakes would reduce the incidence of train derailments and the associated safety risks, relative to other braking systems.  Advance copies of A Review of the Department of Transportation Testing and Analysis Results for Electronically Controlled Pneumatic Brakes will be available to reporters only beginning at noon EDT Wednesday, Oct. 4.  The report is embargoed and not for public release before 11 a.m. EDT on Thursday, Oct. 5.

Another report by the National Academies, releasing on Oct. 11, examines safety risks stemming from the changes in the quantity, routing, frequency, and properties of long-distance transportation of crude oil, ethanol, and natural gas.  To help ensure safe transportation in the future, the report reviews and compares the performance of long-distance modes for transporting energy liquids and gases, analyzes strategies to reduce the likelihood and severity of harmful incidents, examines resources needed to plan for and respond to these incidents, and determines whether changes in public policy could reduce the probability of these incidents and their adverse impacts.  Advance copies of Safely Transporting Hazardous Liquids and Gases in a Changing U.S. Energy Landscape will be available to reporters only beginning at noon EDT Tuesday, Oct. 10.  The report is embargoed and not for public release before 11 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, Oct. 11.

To obtain a copy of either report, reporters should contact the National Academies’ Office of News and Public Information; tel. 202-334-2138 or email