STATEMENT OF FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATOR JOSEPH H. BOARDMAN ON THE CINCINNATI RAIL CAR INCIDENT
Friday, September 02, 2005 (Washington, DC ) It is deeply troubling that a hazardous materials shipment, according to initial accounts, was left for months in a Cincinnati rail yard. We are going to get to the bottom of this incident, thoroughly investigate any and all violations of federal hazardous materials regulations, and punish those who are responsible. The release of a chemical product in the environment and the safety risk to the people of Cincinnati is disheartening and should not have occurred.
We will use the full extent of our regulatory authority to obtain the information we need from the railroads, the shipper of the tank car, and other parties involved. Where the evidence leads, we will follow. If we find that one or more parties violated federal hazardous materials regulations, we will take all appropriate enforcement actions, including imposing the strictest penalties permitted by law.
There are more than 1.7 million hazardous materials shipments by rail annually and the overwhelming majority arrive at their destinations safely and without incident. However, when something goes wrong, we want to know why so we can take corrective action to prevent a similar event from happening again in the future.