2 D.C. lawmakers tell agency they have 'concerns' over new rail transport rules

U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA) and Sen. John Thune (R-SD) said certain aspects of the new federal safety standards for transporting volatile liquids in rail tank cars may produce "unintended consequences." | Contributed photo
House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) and Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee Chairman John Thune (R-SD) said on Friday in a statement that certain aspects of the Department of Transportation's new federal safety standards for transporting crude oil, ethanol and other volatile liquids by rail tank car could have unintended consequences.

“We are pleased the Department of Transportation has finally set a stronger federal standard for transporting crude oil by rail," the duo's written statement said. "The new tank-car requirements are a sensible approach to address shortcomings in older car designs and will lead to substantial safety benefits. While we fully support efforts to strengthen crude oil tank cars and set thoughtful operational requirements, we have some concerns regarding the new rules and how certain requirements could create unintended consequences throughout the rail network.  We look forward to working with Secretary Foxx and other colleagues as we fully evaluate these new policies – especially the effects of certain requirements on the movement of agriculture commodities, intermodal shipments, automobiles, raw materials and passenger-rail service across the country.”