Government Action

Minnesota House Republicans block debate on Marquart oil train safety bill

March 27, 2015 | Inforum | ST. PAUL – Minnesota House Republicans blocked an effort to debate an oil train safety bill Thursday, citing that the legislation was introduced just last week and more work is needed to prepare a response to oil train explosion fears. Rep. Paul Marquart, D-Dilworth, asked fellow representatives to suspend […]

By March 27, 2015 0 Comments Read More →
Fire chiefs demand oil train disaster plans from BNSF Railroad

Fire chiefs demand oil train disaster plans from BNSF Railroad

March 27, 2015 | Seattle PI | The Washington Fire Chiefs, in a pointed letter, have asked the BNSF Railroad to turn over “Worst Case Scenarios” for an oil train accident as well as “Comprehensive Emergency Response Plans” for high hazard flammable trains. “What is the potential impact of a crude oil disaster in Washington […]

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Schumer leads Democratic push for oil train regulations

Schumer leads Democratic push for oil train regulations

March 27, 2015 | Capital New York | ALBANY—Sen. Chuck Schumer is leading a group of Democratic senators from states that have heavy oil train traffic to push for the immediate strengthening of federal regulations on oil tanker cars. “The feds need to know we mean business and expect them to issue the most stringent […]

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Senate Dems seek stronger oil train safety rules

Senate Dems seek stronger oil train safety rules

March 25, 2015 | The Hill| Senate Democrats have proposed a bill to set stronger safety rules for trains carrying oil, including regulating the content of the oil itself. Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) said the most critical problem with the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) ongoing regulatory effort on oil trains is […]

By March 25, 2015 0 Comments Read More →
State issues complaint against BNSF over possible hazardous material spills

State issues complaint against BNSF over possible hazardous material spills

March 25, 2015|TDN.com| BNSF Railway could be facing as much as $700,000 in fines for failing to report multiple hazardous material spills, including one through Cowlitz County on Jan. 12. On Friday, the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission issued a formal complaint following a staff investigation. [Read the entire article here.]

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Canadian National Railway’s derailment numbers soared 73% before recent crashes

Canadian National Railway’s derailment numbers soared 73% before recent crashes

March 23, 2015 | Business Financial Post | TORONTO — Canadian National Railway’s safety record deteriorated sharply in 2014, reversing years of improvements, as accidents in Canada blamed on poor track conditions hit their highest level in more than five years, a Reuters analysis has found. Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB) said on Tuesday that […]

By March 24, 2015 0 Comments Read More →
Improving Track Maintenance is Key to Oil Train Safety

Improving Track Maintenance is Key to Oil Train Safety

March 23, 2015 | PR Newswire|Railroad companies solely determine the level of track maintenance they perform; FRA regulates maximum allowable train speed based upon those track conditions. “By every measure, track caused accidents are the most prevalent and the most preventable,” said Simpson. “Even discounting the large number of low speed accidents regularly occurring in […]

By March 23, 2015 0 Comments Read More →
Rail industry prepares for tougher tanker rules

Rail industry prepares for tougher tanker rules

March 23, 2015| Bismark Tribune| When a train loaded with crude oil tankers rumbles down the track almost anywhere in the county, there’s an 80 percent chance it originated in the Bakken. [Read the entire article here.]

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Top 10 Questions About Oil Trains: Industry Lobbies for Weak Rules While Derailment Fire Rages

Top 10 Questions About Oil Trains: Industry Lobbies for Weak Rules While Derailment Fire Rages

March 21, 2015|Huffington Post| On Friday, March 6, while an oil train explosion in Illinois was still sending flames and black smoke into the air, railroad agents were in Washington, DC lobbying to weaken new train safety standards. Safer brakes are “extremely costly…” they told White House officials, and explained in great detail why speed […]

By March 21, 2015 0 Comments Read More →
State officials: 326,170 Minnesotans live near oil train tracks; unknown in ND

State officials: 326,170 Minnesotans live near oil train tracks; unknown in ND

March 20, 2015 | Inforum.com| ST. PAUL – A third of firefighters, law enforcement officers and others who protect 326,170 Minnesotans living near oil train routes have received initial training about how to deal with oil disasters. “We are opening their eyes, but we also are giving them a place to start,” said Kevin Reed […]

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