Friday, January 23, 2015

DeFazio Blasts U.S. DOT for Failing to Address Rail Tank Car Safety

DeFazio Blasts U.S. DOT for Failing to Address Rail Tank Car Safety

Will request an Inspector General audit of PHMSA safety programs

Jan 22, 2015     Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Today, Ranking Member of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR) sent a letter to U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Anthony Foxx, urging him to take immediate action to address rail tank car safety and other significant pipeline and hazardous materials safety hazards.

“Despite numerous incidents involving the transportation of crude oil and other flammable materials by rail, subsequent NTSB safety recommendations, and an industry petition for new tank car design standards, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) failed to take action until a train transporting crude oil in DOT-111 tank cars in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, killed 47 people and completely destroyed the town center,” said DeFazio. “Here we are almost 15 months later, and we still do not have a final rule.”

DeFazio also takes issue with PHMSA’s failure to address longstanding, significant safety issues that extend to pipelines.....    more here

see also:  

Federal Court Order: Explosive DOT-111 "Bomb Train" Oil Tank Cars Can Continue to Roll


Rep. Larsen seeks post on subcommittee dealing with rail transportation

By SHANNEN KUEST   Skagit Valley Herald    01/22/15
U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Wash., will have a voice on the congressional subcommittee that will address railroad safety and traffic.    

He requested a position on the Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in response to constituents’ concerns in northwest Washington.    

“People in northwest Washington have shared with me their concerns over the last year about the increase in trains carrying crude oil on rail lines near their communities,” Larsen said in a press release Wednesday announcing he will take the post.    

“Serving on this subcommittee will allow me more oversight of our country’s rail lines and will better position me to help strengthen the rail infrastructure in the Pacific Northwest.”     

The subcommittee has jurisdiction over the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, which is in charge of writing rules to safely transport hazardous materials like crude oil; the Federal Railroad Administration, which governs railroad operations; and the Surface Transportation Board, which governs disputes between shippers and rail companies.    

The post will put him in a better position to help ensure Washington communities are as safe as possible, Larsen said in the release. 



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