Crude Must Be Tested Before Transport, DOT Says

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 11: Anthony Foxx speaks after being ceremonially sworn in as Transportation Secretary, at the U.S. Department of Transportation, July 11, 2013 in Washington, DC. Foxx, the former mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina, was officially sworn in on July 2 and is the 17th Secretary of Transportation in U.S. history. 
National Journal
Clare Foran
Add to Briefcase
Clare Foran
Feb. 25, 2014, 12:38 p.m.

The Trans­port­a­tion De­part­ment on Tues­day is­sued a re­quire­ment for prop­er test­ing and clas­si­fic­a­tion of crude sourced from North Dakota’s Bakken form­a­tion be­fore rail ship­ment in an ef­fort to boost safety in the wake of a series of re­cent de­rail­ments.

“Today we are rais­ing the bar for ship­ping crude oil on be­half of the fam­il­ies and com­munit­ies along rail lines na­tion­wide — if you in­tend to move crude oil by rail, then you must test and clas­si­fy the ma­ter­i­al ap­pro­pri­ately,” Trans­port­a­tion Sec­ret­ary An­thony Foxx said in a state­ment.

Spot tests con­duc­ted by the de­part­ment’s Pipeline and Haz­ard­ous Ma­ter­i­als Safety Ad­min­is­tra­tion have shown that mis­la­beling and im­prop­er clas­si­fic­a­tion of crude-by-rail ship­ments may be wide­spread. The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion says this is a con­cern be­cause Bakken crude may be more ex­plos­ive than con­ven­tion­al oil, a qual­ity that ne­ces­sit­ates strict over­sight to en­sure safe trans­port.

Crude-by-rail safety has come un­der the mi­cro­scope fol­low­ing a num­ber of ac­ci­dents in the past year in­volving trains haul­ing Bakken crude. At the end of Decem­ber a train car­ry­ing crude de­railed near Cas­selton, N.D., spark­ing a massive fire­ball.

Amid fiery ex­plo­sions and de­rail­ments, DOT has been the sub­ject of cri­ti­cism from law­makers and the private sec­tor for fail­ing to ex­ped­ite a rule­mak­ing that would im­prove the safety of DOT-111 tank cars, a type of car fre­quently used to move crude.

In re­sponse, the de­part­ment has moved for­ward with emer­gency or­ders, in­clud­ing the one is­sued Tues­day, to tight­en safety stand­ards in the ab­sence of a fi­nal rule­mak­ing. The or­der also states that ship­pers can­not use the low­est-strength tank car that would nor­mally meet ship­ping re­quire­ments.

“When you do ship it, you must fol­low the re­quire­ments for the two strongest safety pack­ing groups. From emer­gency or­ders to vol­un­tary agree­ments, we are us­ing every tool at our dis­pos­al to en­sure the safe trans­port­a­tion of crude,” Foxx said.

The emer­gency or­der ar­rives just pri­or to an over­sight hear­ing set to be held on Wed­nes­day by the House Trans­port­a­tion and In­fra­struc­ture Com­mit­teee Rail­roads, Pipelines and Haz­ard­ous Ma­ter­i­als Sub­com­mit­tee that will ex­am­ine pas­sanger and freight rail safety. 

PHMSA ad­min­is­trat­or Cyn­thia Quater­man is one of the wit­nesses set to testi­fy at the hear­ing. 

What We're Following See More »
EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 1
DEA Head Rosenberg Resigning
20 minutes ago
THE DETAILS

"Chuck Rosenberg, the acting head of the Drug Enforcement Agency who has found himself and his agency at odds with the Trump administration in recent months, told staff members Tuesday that he is planning to step down from his post." The Obama administration holdover will step down on October 1.

Source:
HAD BEGUN TO PUBLICLY CRITICIZE TRUMP
Sen. Corker to Retire
1 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Another Republican member of Congress is showing himself out the door. After much thought, consideration and family discussion over the past year, Elizabeth and I have decided that I will leave the United States Senate when my term expires at the end of 2018,” said Sen. Bob Corker in a statement. The Tennessean has served since 2006.

Source:
NOT ILLEGAL, BUT MUST BE FORWARDED TO WORK ACCOUNTS
At Least 6 WH Advisors Used Private Email Accounts
1 hours ago
THE LATEST

Jared Kushner, Stephen Bannon, Reince Priebus, Gary Cohn, Stephen Miller, and Ivanka Trump sent or received some emails on personal accounts that related to White House business. "Officials are supposed to use government emails for their official duties so their conversations are available to the public and those conducting oversight. But it is not illegal for White House officials to use private email accounts as long as they forward work-related messages to their work accounts so they can be preserved."

Source:
SAYS CONTACTS WERE “BENIGN”
Stone Releases Correspondence with Guccifer 2.0
1 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Roger Stone, a longtime friend and adviser to Donald Trump, released correspondence Tuesday" with the online hacker known as Guccifer 2.0 , which "U.S. intelligence agencies said was used by Russian government-linked entities to distribute embarrassing information about Democrats during the 2016 election. The disclosures came in a 47-page opening statement made available to reporters in advance of Mr. Stone’s Tuesday appearance in front of the House Intelligence Committee." Stone called his contacts with Guccifer "limited" and "benign."

Source:
PRIEBUS, SPICER, HICKS, MCGAHAN
Mueller Could Start Interviewing White House Figures This Week
1 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Special counsel investigators could start interviewing current and former White House staff as soon as later this week regarding the Russian probe, two sources familiar with the matter tell CNN. One source cautioned it is still being worked out with Robert Mueller's office and said it might be delayed until next week." Among those who could have a sit-down with the special prosecutor: former chief of staff Reince Priebus, former press secretary Sean Spicer, communications director Hope Hicks, White House counsel Don McGahn, communications adviser Josh Raffel and associate counsel James Burnham.

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login