(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Chairman of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Surface Transportation, released a statement in response to a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Emergency Order requiring all railroads and shippers to take additional safety precautions regarding the transport of Bakken crude oil. Specifically, the Emergency Order requires railroads to immediately notify State Emergency Response Commissions about the operation of trains carrying Bakken crude oil through their states. In addition, the Federal Railroad Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued a Safety Advisory urging those shipping or offering Bakken crude oil to use tank car designs with the highest level of safety. Click here for the emergency order and here for the safety advisory.
“Stronger, stricter safety standards for shipping crude oil mean safer families living along rail lines. In light of recent accidents in North Dakota and Lac-Mégantic, it’s important that state emergency response teams are notified when trains carrying crude oil are coming through their towns so they can better respond in the event of an accident. I will continue to urge DOT to make progress on these standards, as well as monitor the industry’s growth and day-to-day operations to determine what federal legislation may be needed to prevent even more tragedies from occurring.”