Evaluation of Risk Acceptance Criteria for Transporting Hazardous Material

This report reviews and offers recommendations from Sandia National Laboratories of risk acceptance criteria for the transportation of hazardous materials in the U.S. The risk criteria should be used with the results of a quantitative risk assessment (QRA) in risk acceptance decision-making. The QRA for transportation risk is fundamentally the same as a fixed facility. However, there are differences in calculations of both the probabilities of occurrence and the location of hazards. Involuntary individual fatality risk is recommended to be acceptable for annual probabilities of less than 3 x 10⁻⁷ for any population, including vulnerable populations, and may be considered acceptable at the regulators discretion for non-sensitive/non-vulnerable populations if less than 5 x 10⁻⁵ and demonstrated to be as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP). Societal risk is recommended to be acceptable if the annual frequency of events that would result in N or more fatalities is less than 10⁻⁵/N events per year and may be considered acceptable at the regulators discretion if less than 10⁻³/N events per year and demonstrated to be ALARP. These criteria should be applied to the societal risk over the entire transportation route, not normalized per-distance. These values are adapted from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 59A, a U.S. and international standard for liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility siting.

  • Record URL:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Sandia National Laboratories

    P.O. Box 5800
    Albuquerque, NM  United States  87185

    Federal Railroad Administration

    Office of Railroad Policy and Development, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    Federal Railroad Administration

    Office of Research, Development, and Technology
    Washington, DC  United States 
  • Authors:
    • Ehrhart, Brian D
    • Brooks, Dusty
    • Muna, Alice B
    • LaFleur, Chris
  • Publication Date: 2020-2


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 68p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01735144
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: DOT/FRA/ORD-20/06, DE-NA0003525, SAND2020-2467 R
  • Contract Numbers: 693JJ618N000044
  • Created Date: Mar 30 2020 12:34PM