Train carrying crude oil derails in northern Ontario

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.


California lawmakers confront Exxon staff at hearing

Los Angeles Times

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.

Illinois oil train derailment involved safer tank cars

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.


Safety the focus at Torrance hearing on refinery blast


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.


Train carrying Bakken crude derails, burns in Illinois

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.


Gases should be stripped from crude carried by rail: Schumer


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.


High gas levels in oil on W.Va. derailed train

The Wall Street Journal

The quantity of combustible gas contained in the crude oil on the train that derailed in West Virginia last month was greater than levels permissible in a new North Dakota standard set to take effect in April, according The Wall Street Journal. 


Oil train wrecks increase pressure for tougher safety rules

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fiery wrecks of trains hauling crude oil have intensified pressure on the Obama administration to approve tougher standards for railroads and tank cars despite industry complaints that it could cost billions and slow freight deliveries.

On Feb. 5, the Transportation Department sent the White House draft rules that would require oil trains to use stronger tank cars and make other safety improvements.


Guest Opinion: Rail industry upgrading oil tanker safety ahead of new regs

Railroads share the public’s deep concern regarding the safe movement of crude oil by rail and, as recent incidents have shown us, freight railroads and others who share responsibility for the shipment of oil must continue to make improvements to ensure public confidence.


EIA: Refinery blast to have extended impact on West Coast fuel prices

An explosion and fire at an Exxon Mobil refinery in Torrance, Calif., last week resulted in a spike in West Coast fuel prices, and it may take considerable time for southern California to obtain supplies to re-balance the market, the Energy Information Administration warns.


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