Sen. Mark Warner applauds nomination of Marie Therese Dominguez for key Obama administration post

mark-warnerU.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) released the following statement after President Obama announced his intent to nominate Marie Therese Dominguez as Administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), U.S. Department of Transportation:

“I have known Marie Therese for several years, and I fully support her nomination to be PHMSA Administrator.  She brings years of experience in both private and public sector management.  She has a strong background in infrastructure development and oversight through her work with the Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works program.  As PHMSA Administrator, she will be faced with very challenging issues, from pipeline safety to the safe transport of crude oil by rail.  I know she will be up to the task.”

Marie Therese Dominguez serves as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works at the Department of Defense (DOD), a position she has held since 2013.  Prior to this position, she served as Vice President for Government Relations and Public Policy for the United States Postal Service from 2007 to 2013.  From 2004 to 2007, Ms. Dominguez was a Partner at Fieldworks, LLC and from 2001 to 2004 she was the Director of Human Capital and Performance at Resource Consultants, Inc.  From 1998 to 2000, Ms. Dominguez served as the Deputy Chief of Staff and Counsel for the Federal Aviation Administration at the Department of Transportation (DOT).  She served as Special Assistant to the President and Associate Director of Presidential Personnel at the White House from 1997 to 1998.  From 1996 to 1997, Ms. Dominguez was Special Assistant to a Member of the Board at the National Transportation Safety Board.  Ms. Dominguez received a B.A. from Smith College and a J.D. from Villanova University School of Law.

Sen. Warner has introduced legislation along with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) and other colleagues to better protect local communities by getting unsafe oil trains off the tracks. The Hazardous Materials Rail Transportation Safety Improvement Act of 2015 would reduce risks to communities near railroad tracks by speeding up the phase-out of older tank cars and encouraging companies to replace them with newer, safer cars. The bill also would place a $175 per shipment fee on older tank cars with widely known safety risks that are used to ship crude oil and other hazardous materials, and makes available a tax credit for companies that upgrade to cars that meet the new safety standards that were announced by the Department of Transportation earlier this month.

One week after an oil train derailed in downtown Lynchburg, Va., on April 30, 2014, spilling 20,000 gallons of Bakken crude oil into the James River, Sens. Warner and Kaine urged USDOT to issue regulations requiring the strongest possible tank cars, and to require railroads transporting Bakken crude oil to notify emergency response officials in the communities along the rail corridor. In addition, Sen. Warner convened more than 80 local, state and federal officials in Richmond in June 2014 to discuss ways to make transporting crude oil by rail safer. On February 20 of this year, Warner and Kaine urged federal regulators to move quickly to finalize and publish the USDOT proposed regulations. Last month, Sens. Warner and Kaine along with 19 other Senators called for robust investment for a Safe Transportation of Energy Products program to address increasing safety concerns related to the transportation of Bakken crude and other energy products.

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