New Rules Fail to Protect Public Safety, Nation's Waterways, Wildlife
In response to inadequate federal proposals for regulating transport of volatile crude oil by rail, the Center for Biological Diversity (“Center”), Adirondack Mountain Club (“ADK”) and Friends of the Columbia Gorge (“Friends”) filed comments today calling for an immediate ban on puncture-prone tank cars involved in several explosive accidents.
The legacy DOT-111 tank cars remain in widespread use despite the National Transportation Safety Board’s acknowledgment that they’re likely to breach in derailments. The new rules proposed by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration allow for the dangerous tank cars to continue in service over a five-year phase-out period. The groups also filed a petition for an emergency order, asking the Department of Transportation to immediately require comprehensive oil-spill response plans for oil trains.
“Allowing these dangerously deficient tank cars to remain in service is playing Russian roulette with public safety,” said Jared Margolis, an attorney at the Center who focuses on the impacts of energy development on endangered species. “These tank cars put our health and the environment at risk, so allowing their continued use is unacceptable.”