Seven environmental groups have filed a lawsuit challenging the safety rules for trains carrying oil, arguing the regulations are too weak to protect the public. The groups, including the Sierra Club and Center for Biological Diversity, charge that the rules will allow the industry to continue to use “unsafe tank cars” for up to 10 years and fail to set adequate speed limits for oil trains. “We’re suing the administration because these rules won’t protect the 25 million Americans living in the oil train blast zone,” said Todd Paglia, executive director for ForestEthics, one of the groups bringing the lawsuit.
In their suit, the green groups asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to force the Transportation Department to reconsider the “unduly long phase-out period” for these tank cars, as well as the speed limit and public notification requirements in the rule. While environmentalists have argued the phase-out for the tank cars is too long, energy and rail groups have raised concerns that the time allotted to switch over tank cars is not feasible.
The American Petroleum Institute also filed a lawsuit May 18 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit challenging the timetable for retrofitting rail cars and requirements for electronically controlled pneumatic brakes.
Source: Insurance Journal
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