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Congressman Mike Thompson

Representing the 5th District of CALIFORNIA

THOMPSON INTRODUCES CRUDE-BY-RAIL SAFETY ACT

Apr 15, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-5) today co-authored and introduced the Crude-by-Rail Safety Act which establishes comprehensive new safety and security standards for the transport of crude oil by rail. The legislation is designed to help protect communities along the nation’s railway networks. The legislation comes amid growing concerns that current standards do not address the threat posed by transporting crude oil by rail. Representatives Jim McDermott (WA-7), Doris Matsui (CA-6) and Ron Kind (WI-3), and Nita Lowey (NY-17) introduced the legislation with Thompson.

“Public safety is priority number one when it comes to transporting highly volatile crude oil,” said Thompson. “Railcars transporting crude run through the heart of our communities, and as recent accidents have demonstrated, robust, comprehensive action is needed. The bill introduced today  puts safety measures in place that will help make sure communities are secure, railcars are as strong as possible, and first responders are prepared in the event of an emergency.”

In recent months, the large growth in crude-by-rail transport has led to increased rail traffic and a rise in rail accidents. Four derailments in the US and Canada in under a month earlier this year underscored the urgency of action to curb the risks of transporting volatile crude oil. The legislation introduced today will increase safety standards and accountability. 

The Crude-by-Rail Safety Act would establish new, commonsense federal safety standards for railcars transporting oil across the country.  This legislation:

  • Establishes a maximum volatility standard for crude oil (propane, butane, methane, and ethane) transported by rail
  • Prohibits use of unsafe DOT-111 tank cars, including the removal of 37,700 unsafe cars off the rail network
  • Establishes the strongest tank car standards to-date
  • Requires comprehensive oil spill response planning and studies
  • Increases fines for violating volatility standards and hazmat transport standards
  • Requires disclosure of train movements through communities and emergency response plans
  • Requires railroads to implement a confidential close-call reporting systems

 

Congressman Mike Thompson is proud to represent California’s 5th Congressional District, which includes all or part of Contra Costa, Lake, Napa, Solano and Sonoma Counties.  He is a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee. Rep. Thompson is also a member of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition and chairs the bipartisan, bicameral Congressional Wine Caucus.

 

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