Tuesday, March 24, 2015

As oil trains roll across America, volunteer firefighters face big risk

As oil trains roll across America, volunteer firefighters face big risk

....Nearly two years after a crude oil train derailed, exploded and killed 47 people in the Canadian town of Lac-Megantic, Quebec, in 2013, there are no uniform U.S. standards for oil train safety procedures, and training varies widely across the country, according to interviews with firefighters and experts in oil train derailments and training.

About 2,500 fire departments are adjacent to rail lines transporting oil in North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa alone, according to figures provided by the Department of Transportation, but no nationwide statistics exist. The DOT does not know which of these fire departments are in need of training, a spokesman said.

The scenario concerns experts who say more needs to be done for sparsely equipped, rural, mostly volunteer-run fire departments to prepare as oil train accidents increase. Already this year, four oil trains have derailed and exploded in North America, double last year's tally......   more here

Oil Fields Put New Pressure on Fire Depts.

The energy boom in rural America creates a new set of challenges for local fire departments, reports a trade journal. If a mid-sized city with a professional department is having trouble getting prepared, what does that mean for the small, mostly volunteer departments that protect rural America? -   Daily Yonder


Rail industry’s improved tank cars failing to prevent spills

Union Pacific train cars derail in Weld County, second train derailment in two days - Colorado


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