Delaware Lawmakers Pursue Safety for Oil Rail Shipments - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delaware Lawmakers Pursue Safety for Oil Rail Shipments

Posted:

DOVER, Del. (AP) - State lawmakers are working to ensure that increased rail shipments of oil to Delaware come with adequate safety and response measures.

Members of the House Energy quizzed industry officials Wednesday on safety and inspections standards for tanker cars bringing oil shipments to the Delaware City Refinery and for the tracks that carry them.

Lawmakers also heard from state and local emergency response officials on their ability to respond to a tanker derailment or fire.

Crude oil shipments by rail have increased dramatically in the United States in recent years. PBF Energy brings crude oil by train from various sources, including tar sands oil from Canada and oil fields in North Dakota, to a new rail loop it built near the Delaware City refinery.

The National Transportation Safety Board noted recently that crude oil shipments by rail have increased by more than 400 percent since 2005.

But the use of rail tank cars to ship crude oil has come under increasing scrutiny following deadly derailments in North Dakota and Quebec. Federal regulators have particularly focused on the design of older tanker cars involved in those accidents.

Herman Seedorf, head of refining for PBF and former manager of the Delaware City refinery, said the company plans to use new tanker cars built to higher safety standards that have been voluntarily adopted by the rail industry and which exceed what the current law requires.

Seedorf said that, starting April 1, the refinery will not accept any shipments of lighter crude oil using the older-design tankers. The same standard will apply to shipments of heavy crude by the end of June, he said.

"We, as a company, have been way ahead of the curve," Seedorf said.

Jamie Turner, head of Delaware Emergency Management Agency, said he was confident in the ability of local and state officials in Delaware to respond in the unlikely event of a train derailment.

Representatives of CSX Railroad and Norfolk Southern, which carries tankers to the Delaware City refinery, said safety is a priority for them, and that rails and cars are subject to regular inspections.

Bryan Rhode, regional vice president of state government affairs for CSX and former secretary of public safety in Virginia, said development of domestic shale oil production represents a tremendous economic opportunity.

"Rail has a critical role in this opportunity, but with this role comes great responsibility," he said.

  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • Shoreline Under Repair Along NASA Wallops Flight Facility

    Shoreline Under Repair Along NASA Wallops Flight Facility

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 12:05 AM EDT2014-07-23 04:05:19 GMT
    For more than one year, the Atlantic Ocean has been chewing up a zone that protects NASA's most critical launch assets on Wallops Island. Hurricane Sandy is to blame. Now, a coastal restoration project is underway to fix the damage on the coastline.More
    For more than one year, the Atlantic Ocean has been chewing up a zone that protects NASA's most critical launch assets on Wallops Island. Hurricane Sandy is to blame. Now, a coastal restoration project is underway to fix the damage on the coastline.More
  • Second Public Hearing Brings More Opposition

    Second Public Hearing Brings More Opposition

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 11:24 PM EDT2014-07-23 03:24:04 GMT
    When Planning and Zoning held their public hearing on July 10, hundreds of people came out to voice their support and opposition to a country music festival in the Harbeson area. Approximately two weeks later on Tuesday afternoon about 100 showed up to voice their opinion, primarily in opposition. The County Council heard from dozens of neighbors who said they were staunchly against the festival, citing potential problems with noise, traffic, pollution, and crime.More
    When Planning and Zoning held their public hearing on July 10, hundreds of people came out to voice their support and opposition to a country music festival in the Harbeson area. Approximately two weeks later on Tuesday afternoon about 100 showed up to voice their opinion, primarily in opposition. The County Council heard from dozens of neighbors who said they were staunchly against the festival, citing potential problems with noise, traffic, pollution, and crime.More
  • Updated: Fire Ruins Historical Hebron Church

    Updated: Fire Ruins Historical Hebron Church

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 11:33 PM EDT2014-07-23 03:33:21 GMT
    Fire has destroyed the historical St. Paul's Episcopal Church located on westbound Route 50 in Hebron.More
    Authorities are investigating a Tuesday fire that destroyed the historical St. Paul's Episcopal Church at the corner of Memory Gardens Lane and Route 50 in Hebron, Md. Preliminary damage is estimated at approximately $500,000.More
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Updated: Fire Ruins Historical Hebron Church

    Updated: Fire Ruins Historical Hebron Church

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 11:33 PM EDT2014-07-23 03:33:21 GMT
    Fire has destroyed the historical St. Paul's Episcopal Church located on westbound Route 50 in Hebron.More
    Authorities are investigating a Tuesday fire that destroyed the historical St. Paul's Episcopal Church at the corner of Memory Gardens Lane and Route 50 in Hebron, Md. Preliminary damage is estimated at approximately $500,000.More
  • Two Killed in Del. Crash

    Two Killed in Del. Crash

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 11:45 AM EDT2014-07-22 15:45:19 GMT
    Delaware State Police say two Dover men were killed Monday night after the tow truck they were riding in went off the road and crashed into a telephone pole near Little Creek.More
    Delaware State Police say two Dover men were killed Monday night after the tow truck they were riding in went off the road and crashed into a telephone pole near Little Creek. More
  • Federal Appeals Court Deals Blow to Health Law

    Federal Appeals Court Deals Blow to Health Law

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 11:46 AM EDT2014-07-22 15:46:35 GMT
    A federal appeals court has delivered a serious setback to President Barack Obama's health care law, potentially derailing subsidies for many low- and middle-income people who have bought policies.More
    A federal appeals court has delivered a serious setback to President Barack Obama's health care law, potentially derailing subsidies for many low- and middle-income people who have bought policies.More
Powered by WorldNow

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service