February 27, 2014

Sen. Schumer pushes for safer oil transports



“This was an issue when I was on the City (of Plattsburgh Common) Council (1986 to 1990), and it still is today,” he said.

“We need to know what is in these cars, and we will stay very much involved in this.”


Schumer said he also supports federal regulators who issued an emergency order Tuesday requiring more-stringent testing of crude oil before shipment by rail to determine how susceptible the cargo is to explosion or fire.

DOT-111 cars are not pressurized, unlike pressurized DOT-105 or DOT-112 cars, which have thicker shells and heads and are much less prone to breaching during a derailment, studies have shown. 

The National Transportation Safety Board found that the heads and shells of older DOT-111 cars can almost always be expected to breach in derailments that involve pileups or multiple car-to-car accidents.

Schumer said that five years ago, about 31 oil cars a day were passing through upstate New York, and now there are 1,400 tank cars a day.

“We are transporting more of this crude oil by rail each day, not less. 

“While we are thankful for the economic benefit that comes from increased commerce, the damage wrought by a just a single accident in a populated area could undo that benefit a thousandfold or more.”

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