Sherrod Brown pushes new bill to accelerate switch to safer railcars for crude oil, hazardous materials

Akron Beacon Journal

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown on Wednesday called for doing more to better protect Ohio communities by removing the older railcars transporting hazardous materials.

“We’ve seen too many derailments of trains with unsafe cars, often carrying crude oil and other hazardous material. It’s time to put a stop to these dangerous and costly spills,” Brown said in a teleconference.

“That’s why I introduced legislation that would help reduce risks to communities near railroad tracks by phasing out older tank cars, providing a tax credit to help companies upgrade to newer, safer cars, and help communities better prepare for accidents,” he said.

Up to 50 trains per week carrying volatile crude oil from North Dakota’s Bakken Shale region pass through Ohio on their way to East Coast refineries, according to data from railroad companies.

The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that trains carrying crude oil or ethanol will derail an average of 10 times per year for the next 20 years, causing as much as $4 billion in property damage.

Ohio was third in the United States for the most rail incidents involving hazardous cargoes in 2014, Brown said.

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Sherrod Brown pushes new bill to accelerate switch to safer railcars for crude oil, hazardous materials »