News from the office of Congressman John Garamendi:
Today, Congressman John Garamendi (CA-03), a Member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, joined his Northern California colleagues Representatives Doris Matsui (CA-06), George Miller (CA-11), and Mike Thompson (CA-05) in sending a letter to Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx expressing concern over the increased shipments of crude oil by rail in their districts, and calling for action to increase safety.
The shipments pass through the Third Congressional District communities of Fairfield, Suisun City, Dixon, and Davis.
In today’s letter, the members wrote, “We are especially concerned with the high risks involved with transporting lighter, more flammable crude in densely populated areas. Should spills or explosions occur, as we have seen over the last year, the consequences could be disastrous, costing lives, damaging property, and harming the environment. While we are pleased with the many actions that DOT has taken thus far and we believe that your agency is making steady progress, we must still emphasize the utmost importance of demonstrated compliance with federal regulations by the railroad and petroleum industries. We believe there must be accountability and comprehensive oversight, as well as adherence to the most stringent of standards.”
Specifically, the letter calls on the Department of Transportation (DOT) to:
- Provide a report on the level of compliance by the railroad and petroleum industry to theMay 7th Emergency Order that requires information be shared in a timely manner with local entities.
- Issue a rulemaking that requires stripping out the most volatile elements from Bakken crude before it is loaded onto rail cars.
- Expedite the issuance of a final rulemaking to require the full implementation of Positive Train Control (PTC) technology for all railroads transporting lighter crude and provide a status report on the progress of PTC implementation to date.
- Expedite the issuance of a rulemaking that requires phasing out old rail cars for newer, retrofitted cars.
A PDF copy of the signed letter is available here.