Feinstein demands ‘strongest’ protections for oil trains

Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne FeinsteinHotel lobby cheers scrutiny on Airbnb GOP platform attempts middle ground on encryption debate Week ahead: Encryption fight poised to heat up MORE (D-Calif.) urged Secretary of Transportation Anthony FoxxAnthony FoxxDC Metro lags on federal safety actions Republican lawmakers sound the alarm over Cuba flights Feds seek new rules to mitigate oil train derailments MORE to adopt the strongest safety protections possible when issuing rules on the transportation of oil by train.

“Strong, definitive safety regulations are necessary to protect lives and ensure that the investments in railcars now underway are an effective use of resources,” Feinstein wrote in a letter to Foxx this week. “I encourage you to put in place the strongest possible safety protections.”

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Feinstein said she was concerned about the increased volume of “flammable liquids traveling unannounced” through her home state.

Feinstein recommended at least three regulations that Foxx could implement, such as requiring the “strongest tank car design” that uses pneumatic brakes to decrease the possibility of derailment. She also called on Foxx to notify states when “volatile liquids” are on their railways so that emergency responders can prepare for the worst.

Feinstein’s letter came as business groups criticized the department for too aggressively pushing the phase-out of older rail cars. 

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