Feinstein demands ‘strongest’ protections for oil trains

Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne FeinsteinSenators already eyeing changes to 9/11 bill after veto override WH tried to stop Intel Dems' statement on Russian hacking: report This week: Shutdown deadline looms over Congress MORE (D-Calif.) urged Secretary of Transportation Anthony FoxxAnthony FoxxDriverless cars are coming, the federal government must act Five takeaways from the new driverless car guidelines White House rolls out guidelines for self-driving cars 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.