April 30, 2015

DeFazio Reacts to New Rail Tank Car Safety Rules

Washington, D.C.Today, Ranking Member of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR) issued the following statement in response to the long-awaited rail tank car safety rule released today.

“I want to congratulate Secretary Foxx for issuing a Final Rule on rail tank cars transporting flammable materials, including crude oil and ethanol. The National Transportation Safety Board first recommended replacing and retrofitting these cars more than 20 years ago. I am currently reviewing the Final Rule and consulting with stakeholders on the safety mandates, including the different replacement and retrofit standards. At first glance, this rule will provide certainty to manufacturers, shippers, and railroads and better protect the American public,” said DeFazio.


Rep. DeFazio has been heavily pushing the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to improve the safety of rail tank cars for years.  In January 2015, he sent a letter to DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx urging him to take immediate action to address rail tank car safety and other significant pipeline and hazardous materials safety hazards. He followed up with a letter to the DOT Inspector General requesting a full audit of PHMSA’s pipeline and hazardous materials safety programs.

In March, DeFazio sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office requesting an examination of emergency response capabilities to handle crude oil transportation by rail.