Report: The feds are going easy on railroad companies

Federal railroad regulators aren’t criminally prosecuting railroad companies that have had serious safety violations on trains hauling hazardous materials and are not pursuing civil fines when necessary, according to a new report released by the U.S. Department of Transportation inspector general. After looking at a small sample of safety violations over a five-year period, the inspector general’s office found 17 cases that should have been referred for criminal investigation.

Maine reverses course and will now release crude oil transport data

After consulting the Maine Attorney General’s office, state environmental regulators will begin releasing information on crude oil shipments. This comes after the passage of a controversial law in October that prevented state or local officials from releasing any information on crude-by-rail shipments in the state.

NTSB: Lynchburg crude oil derailment could have been prevented

The accident where 17 rail tank cars hauling crude oil derailed on a CSX train in Lynchburg, Va., two years ago wouldn’t have happened if the railroad had time to implement the recommendations it had accepted from a rail failure working group two weeks before the accident, a report from the National Transportation Safety Board concluded.

New York and federal safety officials fix defects on crude oil routes

After examining 215 oil tank cars and about 190 miles of track, the safety officials found and fixed four critical defects and 16 non-critical defects. Critical defects are problems that need to be fixed immediately. 

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