By TONI ELLINGTON
On Tuesday, September 9, 2014, the Department of Transportation (“DOT”) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to propose new safety rules for the transporting of crude oil and hazardous materials by rail. The proposed rules, offered by the Federal Railroad Administration, would require that railroad cars containing crude oil and hazardous materials not be left unattended on main rail lines or side tracks outside of rail yards unless certain brake safety protocols are followed.
The proposed rules can be accessed at 79 FR 53356-53383. The rule changes are partially in response to a July 2013 accident in Quebec in which a tank car containing crude oil exploded and killed 47 people.
According to DOT, because of increased production in the Bakken shale, the number of carloads of crude oil originating from the area has increased from 10,800 in 2009 to over 400,000 in 2013.
The deadline for public comments on the proposed rule changes is November 10, 2014. For assistance, please contact Toni Ellington at (504) 599-8500.