Four California congressmen have expressed their concern over rail shipment of crude oil and called for an expedited rulemaking on rail-car retrofits.
In a letter to Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx
, Democratic Congressmen John Garamendi, Doris Matsui, George Miller, and Mike Thompson also asked for a rulemaking requiring “the most volatile elements from Bakken crude” to be stripped out before rail transport.
In addition, they want a report on industry’s compliance on crude transportation information sharing with local authorities, and a final rulemaking on the positive train control requirement.
“We are especially concerned with the high risks involved with transporting lighter, more flammable crude in densely populated areas. Should spills or explosions occur, as we have seen over the last year, the consequences could be disastrous, costing lives, damaging property, and harming the environment,” they wrote.
“While we are pleased with the many actions that DOT has taken thus far and we believe that your agency is making steady progress,” the congressmen continued, “we must still emphasize the utmost importance of demonstrated compliance with federal regulations by the railroad and petroleum industries. We believe there must be accountability and comprehensive oversight, as well as adherence to the most stringent of standards.”