On September 25, 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation that will provide California’s emergency responders with more information about trains carrying crude oil and require railroad companies to provide more information about potentially hazardous cargo to the state’s Office of Emergency Services (“OES”). In summary, Assembly Bill 380 requires:
- a rail carrier to prospectively estimate and submit to OES notification of the weekly movements of trains through a county, as specified and to update that notification once every 6 months;
- a rail carrier to update and notify OES within 30 days of the rail carrier determining that there will be a material change in the estimated volume of Bakken oil, as defined, plus or minus 25% per week relative to the most recent estimate previously submitted OES;
- each rail carrier to maintain a response management communications center, as specified;
- OES to disseminate information necessary for developing emergency response plans from the reports it receives pursuant to this act to each unified program agency, as defined, when OES determines a unified program agency area of responsibility may be impacted by a hazardous material or oil cargo spill;
- each rail carrier to provide OES with a summary of the rail carrier’s hazardous materials emergency response plan, as specified;
- OES to provide a copy of each summary report of a rail carrier’s hazardous materials emergency response plan to each unified program agency when OES determines a unified program agency area of responsibility may be impacted by a rail carrier spill of hazardous material or oil cargo, as specified; and,
- prohibits a recipient of the reports and hazardous materials emergency response plan from divulging or making known that information to unauthorized recipients, as specified.