Proposed Oil Spill Response Rules are Part of an ‘All-of-the-Above Strategy’ for Community Safety – Larsen

Jul 14, 2016 Issues: Energy, Transportation

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02) today applauded the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) proposed new rules to improve oil spill response and mitigate impacts of derailments of crude oil traveling by rail.

According to PHMSA, “the proposed rule would update and clarify the comprehensive oil spill response plan requirements for certain trains and would require railroads to share information with state and tribal emergency response commissions to improve community preparedness for potential accidents.”

“I have heard from many of my constituents who are concerned about the risk oil traveling by rail poses to their neighborhoods. It is a concern I take seriously and it is why I fought to increase funding for at-grade rail crossings and replace older tank cars with newer models to reduce the risk of explosion,” said Larsen, who sits on the House Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee. “By updating and expanding the response to oil spills these proposed rules are part of an all-of-the-above strategy when it comes to the safety of our communities.”

Larsen has consistently fought to implement measures to protect communities near trains carrying crude oil. Last year he championed provisions in the long-term transportation bill to improve the caps on older tank cars to reduce pressure and the potential for explosion in case of an accident. Larsen also successfully secured resources to improve at-grade rail crossings where rail incidents are most likely to occur and where rail lines have the highest impact on car traffic.