Domestic rail shipments of crude oil grew from 9,500 train car loads in 2008 to 435,560 loads in 2013—an increase of nearly 4,500 percent. The growth in shipment volume has increased the threat of spills, explosions, and other effects associated with a train derailment or crash. Recent incidents in Lac Mégantic, Quebec, Lynchburg, Virginia, Mount Carbon, West Virginia, and Galena, Illinois demonstrate the consequences of crude by rail incidents on surrounding communities and natural environments.
This report assesses opportunities, risks, and challenges attendant to future development and deployment of UAS within the National Airspace System (NAS) affecting UAS forecast growth from 2015 to 2035. Analysis of four key areas is performed: technology, mission needs, economics, and existing or anticipated challenges to routine use in NAS operations. Forecast effects of emerging technologies as well as anticipating new technological innovations in areas of airframes, powerplants, sensors, communication, command and control systems, and information technology and processing are evaluated. Anticipated mission needs include intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), as well as new areas such as stores delivery, cargo transport, search and rescue, and pilot augmentation; example business case models are developed for each of these areas. Challenges to routine UAS usage in the NAS include: absence of legislation and regulations for safe flight in integrated airspace; pilot training and certification; regulatory, policy, and procedural issues; social issues, such as privacy and nuisance concerns; environmental issues, such as noise and emissions; and safety.
Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) Gas Distribution Pipeline Safety Report
PHMSA made an adjustment to the expected value of property damage occurring from 2001 through 2005, since some of the property damage was caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 (an outlier), which skewed the damages above expectations and which this rule was not designed to mitigate. A more accurate expected value of benefits, perhaps reflective of a longer timeline and taking into account risks and consequences not experienced from 2001 through 2005, would show a higher expected benefit of this rule} It is possible for high-consequence accidents to occur, in which there are a disproportionately large number of casualties (Le., deaths and serious injuries), since a portion of gas distribution piping is located in densely populated areas with schools and businesses containing a large number of people.
It appears another new round of fraudulent USDOT letters are starting to circulate among motor carriers. The letters appear to be from the “U.S. Department of Transportation Procurement Office” and signed by a fictitious name of “Julie P. Weynel – Senior Procurement Officer”. The letters are attempting to obtain banking information from the targeted companies.