RedWingderailment_Feb2012Above is photo from Red Wing derailment, from Republican Eagle.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has ordered stricter standards for transportation of crude oil, stemming from the Bakken oil train disasters cross country.  It’s about time!

DOT – Emergency Restriction – Prohibition Order (Docket DOT-OST-2014-0025)

From the Order, it seems they’re getting it figured out:

Here in Minnesota, Rep. Frank Hornstein is holding an INFORMATIONAL hearing.  He’s the chair of House Transportation Finance, and if you want to testify (this is not about a specific bill, that’s pending), contact the Committee staff and let them know you’re interested in speaking out:

Administrator: Matt Scherer 651-296-3316

Legislative Assistant: Rachel Nelson 651-296-5486

You can also contact committee members and let them know what you think, here’s the Committee Page and emails are listed.

Now, back to the DOT Order — here are some specifics about misclassification leading to improper shipment:

And they specifically address the Lac Megantic explosion and found that the rail cars that had NOT exploded were correctly classified:

There are a lot of interesting links in this report, links to investigations, etc., including this page, about the investigation that really got the DOT rolling:

PHMSA Ongoing Bakken Investigation Shows Crude Oil Lacking Proper Testing, Classification

From this report, note the links to Notices of Proposed Violations, chump change, but nailing down some violations (note, for example the Hess Corporation one, with multiple violations, and there’s a sliding scale taking into account past violations, so will they be on them in the future?  We shall see.):

As a result of today’s findings, PHMSA has expanded the scope of Operation Classification to include testing for other factors that affect proper characterization and classification such as Reid Vapor Pressure, corrosivity, hydrogen sulfide content and composition/concentration of the entrained gases in the material.  PHMSA will also move forward with the Notices of Proposed Violations totaling $93,000 that were issued to Hess Corporation, Whiting Oil and Gas Corporation, and Marathon Oil Company, and will continue working with the rail and oil industry based on Secretary Foxx’s Call to Action, including sharing of additional data, and recommendations for future safety initiatives.

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