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Honorable Tim Walz

Representing the 1st District of MINNESOTA

Walz Applauds Rail Safety Announcement from Department of Transportation

May 7, 2014
Press Release

U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) issued new Emergency Order and Safety Advisory to all railroads and shippers requiring additional safety precautions regarding the transport of Bakken crude

Washington, DC [5/7/14] Today, Rep. Tim Walz applauded the U.S. Department of Transportation for issuing a new Emergency Order and Safety Advisory to all railroads and shippers requiring additional safety precautions regarding the transport of Bakken crude oil.

“Today’s announcement is a step in the right direction and will help ensure railroads and shippers are communicating with first responders who keep our communities safe,” Representative Walz said. “While I’m pleased with this announcement, I believe more can and must be done. I will continue to work closely with community leaders, first responders, and the railroad industry to ensure we’re doing all we can to increase rail shipping safety.”

Specifically, the Emergency Order increases communication between first responders and the industry by requiring railroads to immediately notify State Emergency Response Commissions about the operation of trains carrying Bakken crude oil through their states. 

Additionally, the Safety Advisory urges those shipping or offering Bakken crude oil to use tank car designs with the highest level of integrity available in their fleets. The advisory also advises to avoid the use of older legacy DOT Specification 111, CTC 11, or AAR 211 tank cars for the shipment of Bakken crude oil to the extent possible. 

Walz has held a number of meetings on rail safety in 2014, bringing together local community leaders, first responders, and the rail industry to discuss ways to improve safety. In February, Walz also called for and participated in a U.S. House of Representative Transportation and Infrastructure Hearing on rail shipping safety.

Representative Walz sits on the U.S. House Transportation Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials.

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