In a letter to Washington Governor Jay Inslee, the president of the Washington State Council of Fire Fighters, Dennis Lawson, asked “to prohibit rail transport of Bakken crude through our state until there has been a full investigation into the cause of the Mosier oil train derailment.”
Canada’s three major railways should benefit from the Oct. 19, 2015 sea-to-sea election sweep by Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party of Canada. Trudeau’s party even managed to get four members of parliament elected in Alberta’s two metropolises, Calgary and Edmonton—the ideological and financial anchors of the defeated Stephen Harper’s pro-pipeline and anti-rail Conservative government.
Irving Oil Ltd., operator of Canada’s largest crude oil refinery, has stopped importing crude oil sourced from the Bakken shale formation in North Dakota and shipped by rail in favor of cheaper crudes from such producers as OPEC, “reflecting a shift in crude costs affecting East Coast refiners during a global slump in oil prices,” the Wall Street Journal recently reported.
Could emergency service that’s been used worldwide be applied on a massive scale for California?
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) issued on July 30, 2015 a final rule to prevent unattended trains that carry crude oil, ethanol, poisonous by inhalation (PIH), toxic by inhalation (TIH), and other highly flammable contents from rolling away. Railroad employees who are responsible for securing a train will now be permanently required to communicate with another qualified individual trained on the railroad’s securement requirements to verify that trains and equipment are properly secured.
Northern Plains Rail Services (NPRS) said Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014 it has formed a partnership with NorthStar Midstream “to provide switching operations at their new transloading terminal located in Fairview, N.D.”
Canada’s transportation accident investigators gave the country’s rail regulator, Transport Canada, a passing grade on interim emergency directives introduced in April to reduce the chances of crude oil train explosions such as that which devastated downtown Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, on July 6, 2013.
The Department of Transportation hazardous materials regulator has quickly challenged the refinery lobby’s contention that Bakken crude falls comfortably within existing “Class 3 Flammable Liquid” and should continue to be transported in the DOT-111 general purpose tank car.