On the Radio: Review of oil carrying trains

Photo by user Big Grey Mare; Flickr

This week’s On the Radio segment covers the proposed changes to oil carrying trains by the National Transportation Safety Board. Listen to the audio below or continue reading for the transcript.

Recent major accidents involving trains carrying oil have caused a federal review of safety practices.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

The National Transportation Safety Board recently expressed growing concern over tragic accidents involving oil trains that have caused major loss of life. The recommendation is that trains be rerouted, where possible, to avoid populated areas.

The board also said that crude oil should get the same regulatory treatment as other hazardous substances.

Railroads now carry more than 10 percent of US oil, with significant traffic in states that lack sufficient pipelines.

Along with rerouting the trains, federal regulators are also considering proposals that require oil tank cars to be upgraded with thicker steel and other features that reduce the risk of punctures.

Potential regulations have implications for the ethanol industry, which has long relied on tank cars to transport fuel.

To learn more about this issue, visit iowaenvironmentalfocus.org.

From the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, I’m Jerry Schnoor.

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