It’s likely you’ve seen at least one on the news– a train derails, but, even worse, it’s carrying crude oil that causes a major explosion. There has been an increase in rail shipments of crude oil over the years, which is likely part of the reason accidents are also increasing. The primary tank cars for transporting crude oil are also old and could be replaced with newer, tougher cars.
As a result, the DOT proposed new rules last year on the rail shipments of flammable liquid. The proposed rules included phasing out old equipment and placing a lower speed limit on cargo trains carrying high-hazard flammable liquids like crude oil and ethanol.
The final rules were expected today, but VICE News reports the DOT said it won’t be able to publish those rules until May. Either way, new rules are coming, and companies that ship these liquids may want to start planning for any upgrades needed.