WASHINGTON (AP) — Four trains hauling crude oil have derailed in the U.S. and Canada since mid-February, rupturing tank cars, spilling their contents, polluting waterways and igniting spectacular fires that burned for days.
The derailments have deepened safety concerns that if an oil-train accident were to occur in a populated area, the results could be disastrous.
Responding to a request from Reps. Ted Lieu and Maxine Waters, D-Calif., the U.S. Chemical Safety Board has sent a team to Torrance to investigate last month’s explosion and fire at an Exxon Mobil refinery, the Los Angeles Times reports.
GOGAMA, Ontario (AP) — A CN Rail train carrying crude oil derailed early Saturday in northern Ontario, causing numerous tank cars to catch fire and spill into a local river system, officials said.
It was the third CN oil train derailment in northern Ontario in less than a month, and the second in the same area, renewing concerns about the safety of shipping crude oil by train and further suggesting that new safety requirements for tank cars carrying flammable liquids are inadequate. CN said the cars had been retrofitted with protective shields to meet a higher safety standard known as the 1232.
At a hearing Thursday, State Sen. Isadore Hall told Brian Ablett -- manager of Exxon Mobil's Torrance refinery -- that lawmakers would hold the company “accountable” for last month’s explosion at the facility, which Ablett said was caused by pressure in an emission control device, the Los Angeles Times reports.
GALENA, Ill. (AP) — The rail cars that split open and burst into flames during a western Illinois oil train derailment this week were retrofitted with protective shields to meet a higher safety standard than federal law requires, railroad officials said.
The fire continued to burn Friday, a day after 21 of the train's 105 cars derailed in a rural area south of the city of Galena. No injuries were reported, but the accident was the latest in a series of failures for the safer tank-car model that has led some people calling for even tougher requirements.
Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., told a hearing Thursday on the Torrance refinery explosion that he would ask the U.S. Chemical Safety Board to investigate the accident, while outside the hearing refinery workers issued warnings about safety practices, KCLA reports.
GALENA, Ill. (AP) — A freight train loaded with crude oil derailed in northern Illinois, bursting into flames and prompting officials to suggest that everyone with 1 mile evacuate, authorities said.
The BNSF Railway train derailed Thursday afternoon in a rural area where the Galena River meets the Mississippi, according to company spokesman Andy Williams. The train had 103 cars loaded with crude oil, along with two buffer cars loaded with sand. A cause for the derailment hadn't yet been determined. No injuries were reported.
Saying that stiffer safety requirements under consideration are not enough, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., has written to the Energy and Transportation Secretaries, demanding that volatile gases get removed from crude before it is transported by rail, FuelFix reports.
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy says a proposal to improve the fuel efficiency of trucks and buses is getting reviewed by the White House Office of Management and Budget, The Hill reports.
Experts are raising doubts about vapour pressure limits set to take effect in North Dakota Wednesday, maintaining that plans for state regulators to test pressure at the wellhead won’t accurately reflect pressure in tanker cars, Reuters reports.
In a net metering case in Pennsylvania, a judge has rejected a lawsuit by Solar Energy LLC, which had been challenging PPL Electric Utilities Corp.’s refusal to hook up its solar farm, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.