Pa. Governor Seeks Stricter Crude Oil Standards

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has asked President Barack Obama to impose stricter crude-by-rail safety and enforcement standards.

“The potential for disaster is too great to ignore,” Wolf wrote in a letter to the president. “In my first weeks in office, I have made it a top priority to address this issue. My administration has begun to take steps to increase safety and response capability regarding trains traveling through Pennsylvania.”

Wolf cited a spate of recent derailment of trains carrying crude oil in making the case for greater federal safety standards across the board.

He is seeking a reevaluation of rail speed limits in high-density areas, stricter standards for tank cars and train braking systems, and increased federal assistance in hiring and training more rail safety inspectors.

He also wants Bakken oil treated to remove dangerous volatiles prior to shipping.

Wolf said he plans to meet with executives of Norfolk Southern and CSX to discuss ways to decrease the risk of derailments and accidents.

Rail safety standards have also not kept pace with current shipment levels, Wolf said in asking for a greater sense of urgency in creating and implementing new federal safety standards.

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