The American Petroleum Institute (API) has filed a petition with the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) requesting that the agency issue a rule clarifying its role as the regulator of rail tank car safety and the role that industry plays in recommending and developing new standards.
The Obama administration considered national standards to control explosive gas in oil trains last year but rejected the move, deciding instead to leave new rules to North Dakota, where much of the fuel originates, according to Reuters.
The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates trains carrying crude oil or ethanol will derail an average of ten times every year during the next two decades. Derailments are predicted to cause more than $4 billion in damage and possibly kill hundreds of people if an accident happens in a densely populated part of the U.S.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Wednesday announced its intention to issue a proposed rule requiring two-person train crews on crude oil trains and establishing minimum crew size standards for most main line freight and passenger rail operations.