(Hartford, CT) – Today, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Surface Transportation, released the following statement in response to news that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has made considerable progress on stronger safety standards for tank cars. Progress on these proposed standards comes a little less than fourth months after two trains derailed near a small town in North Dakota causing several oil tank cars to explode.
“DOT’s progress on these stronger, stricter standards is a good step forward, but aggressive action is needed to keep families and communities along rail lines out of harm’s way. In light of recent accidents in North Dakota and Lac-Mégantic, the finalization process for these rules should be expedited so potential dangers on the ground are not further aggravated by a lack of action. I will continue to monitor DOT’s progress on these standards, as well as the industry’s growth and day-to-day operations, to determine what federal legislation may be needed to prevent even more tragedies from occurring.”