Friday, May 1, 2015

DOT issues final rules on flammable oil trains

The Obama administration imposed tougher safety regulations Friday for trains carrying crude oil, responding to growing alarm about a series of fiery derailments that killed dozens of people in a small Canadian town and have rattled U.S. communities from North Dakota to Alabama to Virginia.

Details of the rules provoked a furious rebuke from the railroad industry’s main lobbying group, which called DOT’s mandate for advanced brakes “a rash rush to judgment,” while oil refiners said its requirements for retrofitting older tank cars by as early as 2018 are “unrealistic” and may disrupt commerce. On the other hand, the rules fall far short of some environmental groups’ call for banning oil train shipments altogether, and they don’t require oil companies to process their fuel to make it less volatile before shipping it.

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