Maine Lawmakers Seek Action on Rail Car Safety Regulations

Posted on August 1, 2013

Earlier this week, we related how the current administration is currently mulling the adoption of new standards to govern a type of rail car designed to transport hazardous liquids.  Although various rail industry groups are fighting the proposed safety measures, there are some lawmakers who continue to exert pressure to see the safety mandates get put into effect.

A new report looks at the efforts of two of those lawmakers, Representatives from Maine who met yesterday with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s administrator.  This leader of that sector of the Department of Transportation reportedly listened to concerns from lawmakers that the regulatory update being sought was happening too slowly.

It was back in October that the recommendations were originally to be rolled out, but that didn’t happen, with the agency wanting more time to hear from the public and trade groups.  The new regulations would be centered around the DOT-111, a car whose design makes it subject to a breach in the event of a derailment.

The safety issues, which were highlighted by the National Transportation Safety Board as far back as 1991, came to the fore due to a Canadian derailment involving a train carrying 72 of the at-risk cars.  47 people died in that Quebec crash.

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