NACD Expresses Concern on Railworthiness Directive to FRA

In response to member concerns about the Federal Railroad Administration's (FRA) recent Directive requiring replacement of certain McKenzie valves or removal from service of rail cars with these valves, NACD staff reached out to FRA by phone and with a letter explaining the impact the Directive will have on chemical distributors.

In the letter to FRA, NACD Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Jennifer Gibson specifically expressed concerns the scope of the Directive is unnecessarily broad as it covers valves that have presented no safety concern and extends to tank cars that may not even carry hazardous materials. She also stated concerns about the unrealistic deadlines, which require all 3" McKenzie valves to be replaced by May 12, 2015, or the tank cars with these valves to be removed from service and all 1" and 2" valves to be replaced by June 11, 2015, or the tank cars with these valves to be removed from service.

This time frame requires the replacement of tens of thousands of valves or removal of the impacted rail cars from service in less than 10 weeks. FRA responded to NACD that the agency is aware of industry's concerns and is considering options to make the Directive more workable. NACD will alert the membership promptly on any changes.

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