Press Releases

Sen. Warner and Kaine Urge Timely Release of Long-Awaited Regulations for Trains Hauling Bakken Crude Oil

Derailment in WV last weekend followed 2014 accident in Lynchburg

Feb 20 2015

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine today urged federal regulators to move quickly to finalize and publish new safety regulations on oil trains. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is currently considering proposed new regulations from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), but final regulations are not expected to be released until this spring. In urging OMB to act sooner rather than later, Sens. Warner and Kaine pointed to last weekend’s oil train derailment in Mount Carbon, West Virginia, and to the April 30, 2014 derailment in Lynchburg, Va. In both instances, rail tanker cars were carrying Bakken crude oil to an oil shipping depot in Yorktown, Va.

“We must enact new, stronger standards for these tank cars that carry dangerous materials through our communities,” Sens. Warner and Kaine wrote in today’s letter. “The sooner these standards are in place, the sooner manufacturers can bring safer tank cars to market. Until then, the industry continues to wait for clearer direction, and thousands of Virginians along this route bear the risk of future accidents.”

One week after the Lynchburg derailment, Sens. Warner and Kaine urged USDOT to issue regulations requiring the strongest possible tank cars, and to require railroads transporting Bakken crude oil to notify emergency response officials in the communities along the rail corridor. In addition, Sen. Warner convened more than 80 local, state and federal officials in Richmond in June 2014 to discuss ways to make transporting crude oil by rail safer.