Pa. Crude Oil Report has 27 Suggestions

A report written for the state of Pennsylvania pertaining to crude oil by rail safety has 27 recommendations, including implementing standards for infrastructure and equipment testing, especially for track and wheel defects, and a 35 mph speed limit through urban areas.

The recommendations also call for increased inspections and protocols for coordination between state and federal agencies.

Titled “Assessment of Crude by Rail Safety Issues in Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” the report was prepared by Allan Zarembski,  who was hired by the state in late April.

“Every week, roughly 60 to 70 trains carrying crude oil travel through Pennsylvania destined for Philadelphia or another East Coast refinery, and I have expressed grave concern regarding the transportation of this oil and have taken several steps to prevent potential oil train derailments,” said Gov. Tom Wolf. “Protecting Pennsylvanians is my top priority and Dr. Zarembski’s report is important in helping my administration take the necessary steps. I will also continue to work with CSX and Norfolk Southern, both of which have demonstrated concern for rail safety and an interest in working with my administration.”

The recommendations are divided into primary and secondary categories.

Primary categories are expected to have direct safety results and can be implemented by the railroads directly working with the state or by the state itself.

Secondary categories include actions that are more difficult to implement or which may require action by a party other than the railroad or the state.

In May, Wolf sent a letter to CSX and NS urging them to adopt improved safety initiatives for all trains with crude-by-rail cars operating in Pennsylvania and to fully and expeditiously comply with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s announced Final Rule.

To read the full report, go to www.governor.pa.gov.

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