There is one summary. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in Senate (10/12/1988)

Hazardous Materials Rail Transportation Safety Act of 1988 - Directs the Secretary of Transportation to issue regulations regarding emergency response procedures for rail carriers in accident or emergency situations involving the transportation and storage of hazardous materials. Prescribes the contents of such requirements, including a prohibition on the use of railroad tank cars built before November 6, 1971, in hazardous materials transportation unless they meet all safety and design requirements imposed by the Secretary.

Directs the Secretary to enter into a contract with the National Academy of Sciences for a study of railroad tank car design, and to report the results of such study to the Congress.

Requires the Secretary to promulgate regulations requiring training courses, certified by the Secretary, to be given by any person engaged in hazardous waste transportation.

Directs the Federal Railroad Administration (the Administration) to increase the number of inspections it conducts on trains, tracks, and bridges used in connection with hazardous materials transportation. Mandates that each train carrying hazardous materials be inspected by Administration inspectors at its point of origin. Prescribes an inspection schedule for track and major signal systems associated with hazardous materials shipments.

Requires the Secretary to employ and maintain a specified additional number of safety inspectors to implement the inspections required by this Act and to focus their activities upon the transportation of high-level nuclear waste and spent fuels (with remaining time spent upon the transportation of all other hazardous materials). Requires the Administration to hire one professional engineer to specialize in the development of improved tank car specifications, regulations, and inspections.

Amends the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act to impose criminal penalties upon persons who deface or remove hazardous materials transportation placards.

Directs the Administration to inspect bridges on hazardous materials transportation routes, and to assess the current condition of bridges nationwide to determine if bridge safety regulations are needed. Authorizes appropriations.