"The safe transportation of hazardous materials in bulk quantities by rail and cargo tank truck is a priority for the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). The Department remains committed to the safe transport of flammable liquids by all modes of transportation, including the nation's 140,000 mile freight railroad network. The rapid increase in energy production from shale formations in the United States in regions such as North Dakota, Texas, Colorado and Pennsylvania during the last decade has dramatically increased the volume of crude oil moving by rail and truck. While overall rail accidents have declined by 43 percent, and accidents involving the transportation of hazardous materials have been reduced by 16 percent during the last decade, incidents that do occur can pose tremendous challenges for public safety officials and may have significant and devastating consequences to the public, local communities, and the environment. Derailments in Canada, Alabama, North Dakota, and Virginia involving crude oil shipments have underscored the need for a renewed focus on the safe transportation of bulk hazardous materials, specifically flammable liquids by rail. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) have been taking aggressive efforts to ensure the safety of the American public and the environment."
Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration: http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/