With New Emergency Order from DOT , Maloney Continues to Urge Approval of New Crude by Rail Rules
Washington, DC – Following the Department of Transportation’s Emergency Order and Safety Advisory issued today, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) continued to call for the Office of Management and Budget to expedite the extensive rules on crude by rail. Today, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and Federal Railroad Administration issued a Safety Advisory urging railroads to use the most protective type of rail tank cars to ship the oil and to avoid, when possible, using older model DOT-111 tanker cars. In addition, The Department of Transportation’s Emergency Order will require railroads to immediately notify State Emergency Response Commissions about the operation of trains carrying Bakken crude oil through states like New York. Earlier this week, Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) sent a letter to President Obama and Office of Management and Budget Director Sylvia Burwell requesting the immediate release of comprehensive rules for crude oil transport safety, recommended last week by the Department of Transportation.
“We know this Bakken crude is highly explosive and dangerous, and our first responders must know if its barreling down the Hudson in unsafe tanker cars. Since 1992, we’ve known these tanker cars were highly hazardous, and the government can’t keep dragging its feet on these simple measures – the safety of our neighbors, environment and communities is far too important,” said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney.
Both the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Association of American Railroads (AAR) have called on the DOT to phase-out or retrofit existing DOT-111 cars deemed inadequate. Out of 92,000 DOT-111 rail cars in use, 78,000 are unsafe and are prone to splitting during derailments. According to executive order, the period for review of a draft regulation is limited to 90 days, which can be extended by the OMB Director. The average review time for draft rules submitted to the Office of Management and Budget is 53 days.
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney is a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and has been working with the Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to examine the environmental and economic impact of shipments of crude on the Hudson River. Last week, Representative Maloney announced plans to introduce legislation to make rail systems safer. In December, Representative Maloney introduced legislation that would increase funding for the Railroad Safety Technology Grant Program, which invests in train control technologies, electronically controlled pneumatic brakes, rail integrity warning systems, and other new or novel railroad safety technology such as Positive Train Control. This program expired on October 1, 2013.