SAN ANTONIO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Bob Andrews Group, LLC (BAG) today announced the formation of BAG – Emergency Response Services, LLC (BAG-ERS), a wholly-owned subsidiary that will focus on providing specialist emergency preparedness and response services to protect crude oil unit trains in North America as well as the communities in which they operate.
“BAG Emergency Response Services will offer customized emergency preparedness and response solutions tailored to the specific risk profile of railroads, shippers, fixed facility operators, insurers, and communities along a particular unit train travel route”
The new company will provide industrial firefighting specialists as well as specially-designed firefighting equipment aimed at crude oil unit trains and their associated fixed loading and unloading facilities.
According to the company, the Bob Andrews Group has been working to establish this capability for the past several months, but the recent Lac-Mégantic tragedy has served as a catalyst to launch this much-needed service on an expedited basis. “BAG Emergency Response Services will offer customized emergency preparedness and response solutions tailored to the specific risk profile of railroads, shippers, fixed facility operators, insurers, and communities along a particular unit train travel route”, said Chief Robert C. Andrews, Jr., P.E., Bob Andrews Group President & CEO. “Among the risk metrics we will use to tailor our solutions will be the frequency and routes of unit train travel, the population density and any environmentally sensitive areas along the route, and the current preparedness level of local first responders”, Andrews said.
According to Andrews, the company will apply three emergency response deployment models, alone or in combination, in order to provide sufficient personnel and equipment to curtail the growth of an emergency in its earliest stages and within agreed-to response time parameters.
Location options include both wayside fixed emergency response facilities housing specially-designed, high-rail firefighting vehicles, as well as the inclusion of specially-designed firefighting railcars that will be part of the crude oil unit train consist. “Being able to interrupt the growth of the fire or emergency at its earliest phase is critical to preventing a Lac-Mégantic-type disaster in the future”, Andrews said.
The company is immediately available to work with railroads, shippers, facility operators, insurers, communities and first responders, as well as local, state, and national regulators in both the United States and Canada to help them specifically satisfy the myriad concerns that have arisen out of the Lac-Mégantic tragedy.
The company believes that its projected emergency response enhancements represent a reasonably small incremental increase in rail shipping costs and are easily justifiable on a cost vs. risk reduction basis.
Additional Background – The Lac-Mégantic Disaster
On July 6, 2013, a catastrophic accident involving a freight train containing loaded tank cars of petroleum crude oil occurred in the town of Lac-Mégantic, Quebec. The train was approximately 4,700 feet long, weighed over 10,000 tons and consisted of five locomotives, a loaded box car, and 72 loaded tank cars containing petroleum crude oil.
At approximately 1:00 a.m., it appears that the [unmanned] train began rolling and picking up speed down the descending grade toward the town of Lac-Mégantic, Quebec. Near the center of town, the train derailed.
The locomotives separated from the train and came to a stop approximately ½ mile from the derailment site. The box car and 63 of the loaded tank cars derailed. A number of the derailed tank cars released product resulting in multiple explosions and numerous fires. At this time, it is estimated that there were 42 fatalities and 5 persons are still missing. There was also extensive damage to the town, and approximately 2,000 people were evacuated from the surrounding area.1
According to news sources, clean-up costs alone are estimated to exceed $200 million. Costs related to life loss and property damage will be additional. On August 7, 2013, the railroad whose train derailed filed for bankruptcy protection in both the Quebec Superior Court in Montreal (under the Companies Creditors Arrangement Act) and the United States Bankruptcy Court in Bangor, Maine (under Chapter 11).
1 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 152 / Wednesday, August 7, 2013 / Notices
About the Bob Andrews Group
Additional information about the Bob Andrews Group can be found on their website at www.bobandrewsgroup.com.