Crude Oil Rail Shipments Exempt from Public Disclosure: US DoT

Published By : 05 May 2015 | Published By : QYRESEARCH

According to the new regulations issued by the United States Department of Transportation, information about rail shipments of crude oil is henceforth exempt from public disclosure. 

This puts an end to the existing regulations of the department of transportation which needed railroads to declare to the public and the state officials details regarding the rail shipment of large volumes of dangerous crude oil. These requirements of disclosure were introduced last year after a train wreck in Lynchburg, Virginia where a Bakken crude oil train derailed. 

Henceforth, railroads will only have to declare the necessary details with emergency responders who will keep the information to themselves. This information regarding the railroads will be exempt from public records, state disclosure laws, and the Freedom of Information Act.

The new regulations do cover crucial oil train operations in terms of braking systems, speed restrictions, and routing. It also accepts safety improvements in the design standards of tank car, and adopts a sampling and classification program for products of unrefined petroleum. All of these points are in need in order to tackle the increasing hazards of crude transport via rail. 

After the derailment and inferno at Lynchburg, the feds demanded that railroads notify emergency response agencies if the shipments contained over one million gallons of crude oil and were being transported through their states. Although the railroads agreed to these requirements, they asked the states to keep confidential all the information being declared to them. However, most of the states refused to comply with this request. 

Since then, the oil industry has argued that information regarding the railroad shipment of oil was sensitive in terms of customer protection and security and should not be available to the general public. 
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