Best Practices for Crude Oil Rail Transportation Emergency Response Operations

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), in partnership with the Federal Railroad Administration and the U.S. Fire Administration’s National Fire Academy, have been working to develop incident management “best practices” reference materials for emergency responders to prepare them to safely and effectively respond to crude oil transportation incidents. By leveraging the knowledge, expertise, resources and information available from public and private sector response agencies, emergency responders can implement a coordinated and effective response operation to safely and effectively mitigate the consequences of an incident.

The result of this partnership is the Commodity Preparedness and Incident Management Reference Sheet PDF 176 KB. This document contains incident management best practices for crude oil rail transportation emergency response operations that include a risk-based hazardous materials emergency response operational framework. This framework provides first responders with key planning, preparedness and response principles to successfully manage a crude oil rail transportation incident. The document also assists fire and emergency services personnel in decision-making and developing an appropriate response strategy to an incident (i.e., defensive, offensive, nonintervention).


For more information on response to crude oil transportation incidents, visit the PHMSA website.