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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

Rep. Payne calls for tighter standards on DOT-111 tank cars


U.S. Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-N.J.) on Wednesday announced new legislation aimed at strengthening safety standards for DOT-111 tank cars transporting flammable liquids.

Known as the Tank Car Safety and Security Act of 2015 (H.R. 1789), the bill would require all DOT-111 tank cars to include an outer steel jacket, thermal protection, full-height head shields and high-flow capacity pressure relief valves.

The proposed legislation also calls for tank cars built before October 2011 to be retrofitted with high-flow capacity pressure relief valves and other design modifications to prevent bottom outlets from opening in an accident. Any older tank cars that are not adjusted accordingly would be phased out under the bill.

"As we saw from the recent unfortunate incident in West Virginia, the consequences of a derailed tank car carrying hazardous materials can be devastating, threatening water supplies and endangering the lives of many,” said Payne, referring to the mid-February CSX Transportation derailment in Mount Carbon, W.Va. “There is a clear need to ensure the safe transport of flammable liquids."

The law would also require the Transportation Security Administration to issue a set of procedures ensuring that rail cars carrying crude oil are not left unattended when transferred from one carrier to the next.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/17/2015