U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Statement on Crude by Rail Final Rules
"Congress should pass legislation that speeds up the phase out of these dangerous cars and I am hopeful that my Republican colleagues will join our effort to do so as we work to keep Wisconsin communities safe."
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced its Final Rule on High Hazard Flammable Trains (HHFT) Rulemaking (also known as the “Crude by Rail Rule”):
“Today the Department of Transportation and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration released much-anticipated final rules to update safety standards governing the transportation of crude oil by rail. While I am glad that the Administration is finally taking steps to protect our communities, I have serious concerns with these rules. Inadequate tank cars will be allowed to continue carrying volatile crude oil until 2020 and in some cases—indefinitely. While I understand concerns about allowing time for industry to adjust to new standards, I believe that tank cars without thermal protection are inappropriate for shipping crude oil, period. Congress should pass legislation that speeds up the phase out of these dangerous cars and I am hopeful that my Republican colleagues will join our effort to do so as we work to keep Wisconsin communities safe.”
Recently, Senator Baldwin joined Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to introduce legislation that would set strong new safety standards for trains hauling volatile crude oil, to better protect American communities along the tracks. The Crude-By-Rail Safety Act of 2015 requires the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to draft new regulations to mitigate the volatility of gases in crude oil shipped via tank car and immediately halt the use of older-model tank cars that have been shown to be at high risk for puncturing and catching fire in derailments.
In March, Senator Baldwin sent a letter to President Obama urging the Administration to issue final guidance to address oil train safety. The letter also included specific proposals to strengthen the recommended rules after recent accidents, including one on March 5th in neighboring Galena, Illinois, have demonstrated the need for improvements.
In January, Senator Baldwin urged DOT and PHMSA to finalize a rule to increase oil tank car safety after the agencies missed their deadline. The agencies were required by law to have completed the rule by January 15, 2015. Senator Baldwin provided public comments on the proposed rule in a letter to DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx and PHMSA Administrator Cynthia Quarterman in 2014.
More information on Senator Baldwin’s efforts on Wisconsin rail safety here.
Press Releases by U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin
The measure now comes to the Senate for a vote.
U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin, Sherrod Brown and Bob Casey Introducing ‘Buy America’ Amendment to Water Infrastructure Bill, Call on Republican Leaders to Take ActionDec 6th, 2016 by U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin
Republican House leadership removed the Buy America reform, which previously passed the Senate by 95-3
U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Statement on Removal of ‘Buy America’ Reform in Water Infrastructure BillDec 5th, 2016 by U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin
“By removing my Buy America standard, Speaker Ryan and House Republicans are embracing the status-quo in Washington.”
U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Releases Statement on Nomination of Wealthy Insider with Deep Roots on Wall Street for Treasury SecretaryNov 30th, 2016 by U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin
“Wisconsin families struggling to get ahead do not want foxes guarding the hen house.”
Legislation aids Great Lakes communities by delivering next generation coastal data
U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Votes for Bipartisan Reform to Increase Access to High Quality Health Care in Rural WisconsinNov 29th, 2016 by U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin
Rural communities in Wisconsin and across the country face many challenges in accessing high-quality health care.