(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) issued the following statement after the Department of Transportation (DOT) released its proposed rule for rail transportation of crude oil. The proposed rule aims to: 1) require a phase out within two years of all outdated cars unless the cars are retrofitted; 2) expand the requirements governing crude oil to include ethanol and all “flammable liquids”; 3) reduce operating speeds to 40 miles per hour in certain locations; 4) require improved classification of gases and liquids; 5) ensure that trains carrying flammable liquids are traveling over the safest, most secure routes; 6) require more notification to emergency response coordinators; and 7) require enhanced braking on trains carrying flammable liquids.
“After a series of horrifying and catastrophic incidents over the past year – both in the U.S. and in Canada – we must take action to protect our communities from the dangers posed by trains carrying crude oil and other dangerous substances.
“Although today’s action by DOT is a step toward making our rail transport safer, it is far from the final measure necessary. More steps are vital to ensure the safe transportation of freight and people who rely each day on our country’s vast network of railroads.”
Blumenthal is the chair of the Senate Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Surface Transportation.