WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) released the following statement today in response to the Department of Transportation issuing tougher safety regulations governing the transport of oil and ethanol by rail:
“Communities all across the country – from Maine to West Virginia to California – have experienced the destruction wreaked by the derailment of rail cars and the outdated regulations governing them,” Senator King said. “No one ought to feel like their towns and communities are in danger every time a train runs through. I welcome the Administration’s new rules as a positive step forward in enhancing rail safety and safeguarding communities in Maine and throughout the nation, and intend to stay on this issue until it is fully resolved.”
Senator King has been a strong supporter of increased rail safety measures. Last year, he joined several of his colleagues in advocating for the creation of a Safe Transportation and Energy Products Fund to provide U.S. Department of Transportation new flexibility to address emerging issues related to the transportation of combustible energy products – including more expeditious rulemakings, technical studies, increased rail and energy product inspections, safety mitigation and response planning, first responder training, and community outreach.
He has also pressed the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to immediately implement National Transportation Safety Board recommendations that were the result of an investigation of the horrific train derailment in Lac-Megantic, Quebec.