Congresswoman Matsui Issues Statement on U.S. Department of Transportation's Final Oil-Train Safety Regulations

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Washington, DC, May 19, 2015 | comments
Friday, May 1, 2015
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Congresswoman Matsui Issues Statement on U.S. Department of Transportation’s Final Oil-Train Safety Regulations
Today Congresswoman Doris Matsui (CA-06) commented on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) release of its Final High Hazard Flammable Trains Rulemaking.  While DOT has been working to address this very serious safety hazard, Congresswoman Matsui believes more must be done.  Given the increased incidents of train car derailments, and the immediate impact a derailment with crude oil can have on nearby communities, especially through highly populated urban areas like those in Sacramento, Congresswoman Matsui recently introduced legislation with Reps. Jim McDermott (WA-07) and Ron Kind (WI-03), the Crude-by-Rail Safety Act(H.R. 1804), to help protect communities living along America’s extensive railway networks.
Upon the release of the rule, Congresswoman Matsui said, “I am pleased that DOT has released these important regulations, but they do not go far enough in addressing the greatest dangers of shipping crude oil by rail quickly enough.  We need to get dangerous tank cars off the tracks now and we need to address the volatility of Bakken crude gases before we increase shipments.  With multiple sets of tracks going through our neighborhoods and downtownarea, the consequences of a derailment in Sacramento are too severe to ignore.  Comprehensive action must be taken to increase the safety of these rail cars, and it must be taken now, which the bill I introduced with Congressmen McDermott and Kind will do.”
While DOT’s final rule addresses some of the safety risks involved with effective braking, tank car retrofitting, operating speeds, rail routing, and classification, the Crude-by-Rail Safety Act goes further to require the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to establish new regulations to mitigate the volatility of gases in crude oil shipped in tank cars, immediately phases out ill-equipped and older tank cars, and approves $40 million for first responder training programs to improve emergency response procedures. 
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