Lipinski hails new U.S. safety standards for rail tank cars
U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL) praised new U.S. regulations unveiled on Friday for rail tank cars transporting crude oil, ethanol and other volatile liquids.
The new rules, which correspond with Canada's standards, require thicker steel shells, gauge jackets and thermal protection, as well as improved pressure-relief valves and additional head shielding for rail tank cars transporting volatile liquids.
Additional changes include reduced train speeds in urban areas and improved rail routing that aims to reduce risks. Existing cars must be retrofitted to comply with the new safety standards, which will be done on a schedule that ensures tank cars carrying the most volatile materials are retrofitted first.
“I will continue to fight to make our rail communities as safe as possible,” Lipinski said. "These new standards are definitely a step in the right direction. After seeing a number of terrible oil train incidents over the past few years, it is imperative that the Department of Transportation be more proactive when it comes to the safety of the American people and the future of this vital industry. It is my hope that in the coming months and years, more action will be taken on this critical issue, including additional support for my ongoing efforts to improve first-responder training and technology on these rail cars.”