Senator demands disclosure of crude oil railroad shipments
June 29, 2014
Following Wednesday’s delayed disclosure of a shipment of 1 million gallons of crude oil by railroad earlier this month, State Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, demanded timely disclosure of crude oil shipments by railroad. [Daily Democrat]
In May, the U.S. Department of Transportation ordered that railroads must begin sharing information about large shipments of crude oil with state and local officials. In the past, railroad officials have argued that making public times and routes of tank cars carrying toxic cargo is a security risk.
“While I applaud the Office of Emergency Services’ release of BNSF Railway’s after-the-fact disclosure of a crude-by-rail shipment through nine Northern California counties earlier this month, what the public wants and what local responders need is information regarding future shipments of crude oil by rail, in order to better prepare any necessary response in the event of any potential accident or mishap with this hazardous cargo,” Wolk said. “I call on the federal and state government to require railroads to provide advance notice regarding hazardous material shipments through our communities.”
In 2013, crude oil rail shipments increased 506 percent in the United States, and more is planned. In Nipomo, Phillips 66 would like to add 1.3 miles of new track to an existing rail spur, so that up to five trains a week can deliver crude oil to the Bay Area for processing.