Home Warner, Kaine respond to proposed rulemaking on crude by rail

Warner, Kaine respond to proposed rulemaking on crude by rail


congressU.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine yesterday joined hundreds of stakeholders in responding to the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) request for public comment on new rules it has proposed, highlighting areas to further strengthen DOT’s rules in order to ensure the safe transport of crude-by-rail.

On April 30, 2014, a train carrying crude oil derailed in Lynchburg along the James River, resulting in a fire in the downtown area and the release of approximately 20,000 gallons of crude that burned off and leaked into the James. In the wake of April’s derailment, the Senators urged DOT to move forward with the rulemaking process to improve the safety of oil trains and protect Virginians from disastrous accidents.

In their joint letter in May, the Senators called on DOT to implement advance notification and information sharing procedures between state and local level emergency officials to better prepare local first responders in the event of a hazardous material incident. In addition, Senator Warner brought together more than 80 federal, state and local officials in Richmond to discuss ways to improve the safety of oil trains in June.

The Senators strongly support DOT’s proposed codification of the emergency order that requires trains containing one million gallons or more of crude oil to notify affected states about their travel routes. However, they request DOT extend those notification requirements to trains containing other highly flammable and dangerous substances such as ethanol and chlorine.

The Senators also urged DOT to work with stakeholders to develop a secure online portal to give local first responders and official emergency personnel direct access to real-time data on crude oil shipments. Additionally, in response to DOT’s request for input regarding tank car design and safety standards, the Senators urged that stronger tank car safety standards be put in place and that older tank cars more prone to puncture be retrofitted or phased out of use.

DOT announced its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on July 23, 2014, asking for public comment on its proposal by Sept. 30th.  After reviewing the comments, DOT will move forward with the next step in finalizing the new rules, possibly be the end of the calendar year.



Have a guest column, letter to the editor, story idea or a news tip? Email editor Chris Graham at [email protected]. Subscribe to AFP podcasts on Apple PodcastsSpotifyPandora and YouTube.

Latest News

steve enright bridgewater

Bridgewater College basketball coach Steve Enright leaving for Keene State job

jmu football

JMU introduces Eastern Kentucky AD Matt Roan as new athletics director

It’s been a busy couple of days of changes at the top at James Madison University, with the school naming Charlie King the interim president, and a new person being put in charge of the athletics department, Matt Roan, of late the AD at Eastern Kentucky.

Taylor Swift in concert in New York
Arts & Media, US & World

‘The Tortured Poets Department’ is here: Happy release day for Swifties everywhere

At 2 a.m. ET, Taylor Swift announced “The Tortured Poets Department” is actually a double album, meaning 31 new songs are out today, under the title “TTPD: The Anthology.”

senior citizen smelling flowers in garden
Climate, Virginia

Warmer weather in Virginia means earlier planting times, longer harvest season, more bugs

live music concert
Schools, Virginia

Shenandoah Conservatory to offer three-day summer guitar festival

arrest handcuffs jail prison sentence
Public Safety, Virginia

Richmond Police: Suspect charged in homicide of 14-year-old male

crime scene tape
Public Safety, Virginia

Police: Richmond man charged in Deforrest Street juvenile homicide