The Chlorine Institute's Transportation Issue Team has established long-term goals of maintaining the ability to transport CI mission chemicals in a safe and secure manner and eliminate transportation releases. In order to monitor the industry's progress in the reduction of CI mission products, the Transportation Issue Team tracks the number of incidents annually by plotting incident data collected from the US Department of Transportation's (DOT's) 5800 Incident Reports Database.
Below you will find annual data (updated 01/25/21) that reflects the total number of chlorine rail incidents, as reported in the DOT incident database, as well as incidents with respect to the total number of chlorine shipments. Chlorine rail incidents are a very small percentage of the total number of hazardous materials incidents reported to DOT. In fact, in 2020, the total number of chlorine rail tank car incidents reached ZERO. With respect to the total number of chlorine rail shipments in the U.S. 100% of the total number of chlorine rail shipments in the U.S. during 2020 made it to their destination without a release. In the previous year, the number of chlorine incidents occurred in less than 0.011% of the total number of chlorine rail shipments. Chlorine rail incidents are most often minor releases resulting from improper securement of tank car valves or fittings, which is an issue the Transportation Issue Team continually works to address.
The Transportation Issue Team establishes intermediate and annual goals to help create industry focus in achieving a reduction of incidents. Currently, the Issue Team tracks bulk rail, bulk highway and bulk marine incident data for chlorine, sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide (caustic), hydrochloric acid, sodium hypochlorite, anhydrous hydrogen chloride and vinyl chloride monomer. The various task groups working under the Transportation Issue Team develop recommendations and guidance, with final approval by the Issue Team, in order to achieve the goals for these products and modes. More details on this incident data can be found in CI's 2020 Transportation Incident Report.