New safety rules proposed to curb oil train fires

FILE - This July 9, 2013 file photo shows workers comb through debris after a train derailed Saturday causing explosions of railway cars carrying crude oil in Lac-Megantic, Quebec. A string of fiery train derailments across the country has triggered a high-stakes and behind-the-scenes campaign to shape how the government responds to calls for tighter safety rules. Billions of dollars are riding on how these rules are written, and lobbyists from the railroads, tank car manufacturers and the oil, ethanol and chemical industries have met more than a dozen times since mid-May 2014 with officials at the White House and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. Their universal message: Don’t make us pay for increased safety _ that’s another industry’s problem. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Paul Chiasson, File)
FILE - This July 9, 2013 file photo shows workers comb through debris after a train derailed Saturday causing explosions of railway cars carrying crude oil in Lac-Megantic, Quebec. A string of fiery train derailments across the country has triggered a high-stakes and behind-the-scenes campaign to shape how the government responds to calls for tighter safety rules. Billions of dollars are riding on how these rules are written, and lobbyists from the railroads, tank car manufacturers and the oil, ethanol and chemical industries have met more than a dozen times since mid-May 2014 with officials at the White House and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. Their universal message: Don’t make us pay for increased safety _ that’s another industry’s problem. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Paul Chiasson, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal regulators are proposing to phase out thousands of older rail tank cars that carry crude oil. It’s the government’s response to a series of fiery train crashes over the past year, including a runaway oil train that exploded in the Quebec town of Lac-Megantic, killing 47 people.

The Department of Transportation said Wednesday that older DOT-111 tank cars will have to be retrofitted or replaced.

Accident investigators have complained for decades that the cars are too easily punctured or ruptured when derailed, spilling their contents.

 

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