"The National Transportation Safety Board called Thursday for federal regulators to take more aggressive steps to protect the public and the environment from oil spills and fires from trains."
"The NTSB, an independent agency that makes recommendations but has no regulatory powers, asked the Federal Railroad Administration and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to develop oil-spill response plans that account for the large volumes of crude oil now moving by rail.
It urged regulators to identify routes for such shipments that would avoid population centers and environmentally sensitive areas. It also said regulators should make sure that crude oil, especially from North Dakota’s Bakken region, was properly classified to reflect its higher level of hazard.
After intense fires following derailments in Quebec, Alabama and North Dakota, regulators concluded that the Bakken crude, which is extracted from shale rock through hydraulic fracturing, is more volatile than conventional oils."