Due to the impact of the wildfires in the Pacific Northwest and impact to our firefighting and first responder communities, this course has been postponed to a to-be-determined date in the last two weeks of October. To be notified of the rescheduled date, please email ce@uw.edu.

The Pacific Northwest is experiencing rapid changes in the railcar movement of oil to our ports and refineries. Engines hauling 100 or more tank cars of Bakken crude oil pass through the Seattle area about 20 times per week, and the volume is increasing. Not just any crude, the oil these trains carry is a highly flammable product extracted from the Bakken region of North Dakota. Five such Bakken trains have derailed in North America since February—rupturing tank cars, polluting waterways, and igniting fires that burned for days. If an oil-train accident were to occur in a populated area, the results could be disastrous.

Safety experts and emergency responders are seriously concerned about the safe transportation of Bakken crude. Though federal and state laws have been passed addressing improved railcar design and recommending chemical testing of the shipped oil, implementation is slow, and accidents are still happening. Emergency responders fear the measures fail to address preparedness.

This course is designed to give participants general awareness and safety information on Bakken crude oil. Learn what you and your municipalities, communities, and organizations need to know to be prepared in the event of a rail incident.

Please view the Course Flyer for more information.

This full day course begins with 8:00am registration, 8:15am-4:30pm course program, and includes a catered lunch break.

Course objectives

Participants will be able to:
• Characterize the unique physical properties and hazards of Bakken crude oil
• Describe where Bakken oil is coming from and how it is being transported
• Relate case studies from recent incidents
• Identify the imminent response issues that municipal, county, state, and federal organizations will face and the hazard response steps they will need to take


Emergency and field responders; transportation experts; safety professionals; leaders from municipal, county, state, and federal agencies; environmental professionals; hazardous waste professionals; public policy leaders.


John Malool is the course director and lead instructor for the hazardous materials training program at the Centers for Education and Training of the NIOSH-funded New York-New Jersey Education and Research Center, and the Northwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety. He has many years of hazardous waste site health and safety experience with the federal government, and currently serves as Chief of Operations of a Hazmat Unit for a regionalized county fire department in New Jersey. In addition, he served as the Hazardous Materials Response Team Coordinator for the Mid-Bergen HazMat Response Team. Formerly, he was a Senior Training Specialist for the for the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) Training Center in Edison, NJ and an Environmental Health and Safety Specialist for the Response and Prevention Branch of the US EPA. Prior to his five years’ experience with the US EPA, he managed a hazardous waste clean-up company. John holds a BS degree in Fire Protection and Safety Administration from Jersey City State College, and an MS degree in Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety, CUNY-Hunter College.

David Byers manages statewide response operations for the Washington State Department of Ecology, and will speak on Washington State’s new rule regarding Bakken oil transport.


American Board of Industrial Hygiene Certification Maintenance can be obtained for this activity. See the ABIH website for CM credit criteria.


Roosevelt Building - University of Washington
4225 Roosevelt Way NE, Suite 100
Seattle, WA 98105
United States

Directions and Accommodations

FROM Interstate 5 Northbound/Southbound:
Exit at NE 45th Street. Turn East onto NE 45th Street toward the University of Washington campus. Proceed approximately two blocks until you reach Roosevelt Way NE. Turn right onto Roosevelt Way NE (one way heading south) and travel to the Roosevelt Building, 4225 Roosevelt Way NE. The Roosevelt Building is located on the west side of the road, immediately south of the UW Medical Center Roosevelt Clinic, and across the street from the University Inn.   

FROM Interstate 90 or Highway 520 Westbound:
Take the Interstate 5 North Exit, and proceed north to the NE 45th Street exit.  See directions above.

Pay lot parking is available in the Sound parking garage located immediately south of the Roosevelt Building entrance.

There are several hotels within walking distance of the Roosevelt Building that offer discount rates to guests of the University of Washington. Please mention you are a guest at booking to see if the discount rate is available.

University Inn

Watertown Hotel

Hotel Deca

PDF of Directions and Accommodations