Disasters

"Feds Issue Emergency Order on Crude Oil Trains"

"WASHINGTON -- The Transportation Department issued an emergency order Wednesday requiring that railroads inform state emergency management officials about the movement of large shipments of crude oil through their states and urged shippers not to use older model tanks cars that are easily ruptured in accidents, even at slow speeds."

Source: AP, 05/08/2014

Washington State Oil Trains Run Into Heavy Opposition

"As Washington environmental regulators start wrestling with the safety of new and larger fuel terminals along the Pacific Coast, some residents in southwest Washington communities are getting restless — with worries about the safety of crude oil shipped by rail to refineries and shipping docks."

Source: Olympian, 05/06/2014

"Epic Rains Deluge Florida Panhandle & Parts of Alabama"

"Strong storms have been moving over the Southeast since this weekend, spawning tornadoes from Alabama to Arkansas. On Tuesday they trekked further east, spreading heavy rain across the Alabama coast and Florida Panhandle. Rainfall totals for many cities in those regions were so high that they were closer to hurricane totals than spring storms."

Source: Climate Central, 05/02/2014

Report: Poorest U.S. Minorities at Highest Risk of Chemical Accidents

"Americans at highest risk from accidents at chemical plants are largely from minority communities and are disproportionately poor — and industries and regulators are failing to take measures to make their situation any safer, according to a new study."

Source: Aljazeera America, 05/02/2014

"NTSB Investigating Derailment, Oil Spill in Lynchburg"

"The National Transportation Safety Board has launched an investigation of a freight train derailment in Lynchburg that destroyed three oil tanker cars, lifted a plume of black smoke into the sky and spilled thousands of gallons of crude oil into the James River."

Source: Richmond Times-Dispatch, 05/01/2014

Are Your Schoolkids Threatened by Chemical Plants? An App for That

When the fertilizer depot in West, Texas, blew up, some schools were damaged beyond repair. Fortunately, none of the kids died. But it raised an issue that has been obvious — and too often ignored by news media — for years. A new tool from the Center for Effective Government will help environmental journalists learn which schools in their area are near facilities that handle toxic, hazardous, explosive, or combustible materials.

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