WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration needs to take steps immediately to protect the public from potentially catastrophic oil train accidents even if it means using emergency authority, National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah Hersman said Wednesday.
The Transportation Department is in the midst of drafting regulations to toughen standards for tank cars used to transport oil and ethanol, as well as other steps prevent or mitigate accidents. But there isn't time to wait for the cumbersome federal rulemaking process — which often takes many years to complete — to run its normal course, Hersman said.
WASHINGTON (AP) — An internal investigation has found that the Environmental Protection Agency failed to disclose long-term cancer risks and a small chance of death to 81 human test subjects who consented to breathe in diesel exhaust and other pollutants during experiments.
The inspector general's report released Wednesday said that at least some people participating in studies in 2010 and 2011 would like to have known whether a study involves a chance of death, no matter how small.
While diesel fumes include 19 potentially cancer-causing substances, an EPA manager said cancer risk was irrelevant because subjects were exposed for two-hour periods. Cancer typically develops over years of exposure.
The Coast Guard won praise from residents in King Cove, Alaska after crews carried an injured fisherman to receive medical treatment, the Coast Guard's fifth such rescue from the region, KTUU reports, adding that officials said if there was a road out of the town treatment would have been available sooner without putting Coast Guard personnel at risk.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The government is mandating new safety regulations that it says will help protect workers on electrical power plants and transmission lines.
Assistant Labor Secretary David Michaels says the update to 40-year-old safety standards could save nearly 20 lives and prevent 118 serious injuries each year. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration estimates that 74 workers die each year from accidents in these industries.
The agency says the new rules will require better fall protection for workers on poles and towers, protective clothing for some workers and training to avoid electrical hazards.
TOKYO (AP) — For the first time since Japan's nuclear disaster three years ago, authorities are allowing residents to return to live in their homes within a tiny part of a 20-kilometer (12-mile) evacuation zone around the Fukushima plant.
The decision, which took effect Tuesday, applies to 357 people in 117 households from a corner of Tamura city after the government determined that radiation levels are low enough for habitation.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A year after a major oil spill in a small Arkansas town, a congressman says that while communities believe they are ready for a disaster, there is always something else to do to prepare.
The Clinton School of Public Service invited public officials to its campus in Little Rock on Monday to discuss what they may have learned from the March 29, 2013, spill in Mayflower.
"You're never as ready as you think you are," said Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Ark., whose district includes the town. "You're never as ready as you need to be."
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. transportation officials rebuked the oil industry Friday for not giving up information regulators say they need to gauge the danger of moving crude by rail, after several accidents highlighted the explosive properties of fuel from the booming oil shale fields on the Northern Plains.
Department of Transportation officials told The Associated Press they have received only limited data on the characteristics of oil from the Bakken region of North Dakota and Montana, despite requests lodged by Secretary Antony Foxx more than two months ago.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Pacific Gas & Electric Co. said Thursday the company will likely face federal criminal charges for its role in a fatal gas pipeline explosion in the San Francisco Bay Area.
A disclosure document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission by PG&E Corp. and its subsidiary said the company expects the federal government will bring criminal charges against the utility in connection with the Sept. 9, 2010, explosion of its transmission pipeline in San Bruno.
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — State regulators are seeking more information from a Massachusetts company that plans to expand its Hudson River facilities routing rail shipments of North Dakota crude oil to coastal refineries.
The Department of Environmental Conservation sent letters to Global Partners, based in Waltham, Mass., on Monday. The agency requested more information about emergency response plans, community impact, overall operations and other aspects of a rail terminal planned in New Windsor, just north of West Point.
A White House spokesman Wednesday night challenged a report by Rolling Stone that President Barack Obama will decide against the controversial Keystone XL pipeline project, saying on Twitter that "nobody knows" his thinking, National Journal reports.
Rosebud Sioux Tribe member Gary Dorr, at the protest camp against the Keystone XL project set up this week on the National Mall, told National Journal he worries about the effects any leaks from the proposed pipeline might have on the Ogallala Aquifer.
General Electric is set for its biggest-ever acquisition, looking to pick up the French firm Alstom, which builds power plants and trains, in a deal with a price tag of more than $13 billion, sources tell Bloomberg.
Benchmark U.S. crude for June delivery gained 18 cents to $101.62 a barrel in electronic trading on the Nymex Thursday, after falling the day before to the lowest close in more than two weeks, while Brent crude gained 9 cents to $109.20 in London, Bloomberg reports.
With just over six months to go until November elections, a poll commissioned by The New York Times finds Senate incumbents vulnerable in four important Southern states, with Republicans having the edge but victory not out of reach for Democrats.
Japan is protesting that limiting ships to 49 meters wide in the expanded Panama Canal would exclude the giant Q-Flex carrier, which would affect possible U.S. LNG export deals, The Wall Street Journal reports
Montana Attorney General Tim Fox handed over documents an environmental group had requested about the state’s decision to join in a protest over proposed fracking regulation on federal land, the Great Falls Tribune reports.
Rancher Cliven Bundy, in his well-publicized dispute with the Bureau of Land Management, has tapped into long-held Western resentment over extensive federal land ownership in the region, The New York Times reports.
A new ethane export facility along the Gulf Coast in Texas could handle 240,000 barrels per day and help relieve the growing glut of the liquefied gas, according to project developer Enterprise Products Partners, FuelFix reports.