Pennsylvania Governor Pledges Action on Crude Oil Trains

Gov. Tom Wolf said a newly released report containing 27 recommendations "is important in helping my administration take the necessary steps."

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf released a report on Aug. 17 that contains recommendations for ensuring crude oil shipped by rail through the state is done as safely as possible. Wolf had commissioned the report earlier this year; written by Dr. Allan M. Zarembski, PE, who directs the Railroad Engineering Program at the University of Delaware's Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, it lists 27 recommendations that include more frequent track inspections and adoption of several voluntary safety measures.

"Every week, roughly 60-70 trains carrying crude oil travel through Pennsylvania destined for Philadelphia or another East Coast refinery, and I have expressed grave concern regarding the transportation of this oil and have taken several steps to prevent potential oil train derailments," Wolf said as he released the report. "Protecting Pennsylvanians is my top priority, and Dr. Zarembski's report is important in helping my administration take the necessary steps. I will also continue to work with [CSX Corp.] and [Norfolk Southern Railway], both of which have demonstrated concern for rail safety and an interest in working with my administration."

Wolf said he sent letters to CSX and Norfolk Southern in May urging them to adopt improved safety initiatives for all trains with crude-by-rail cars operating in Pennsylvania and to fully comply with the final rule the U.S. Department of Transportation issued earlier this year.

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