"U.S. Orders Tests on Oil Shipments"

"Federal regulators on Tuesday ordered shippers to properly test and classify crude oil from the productive Bakken region before loading it onto freight trains, a move meant to tighten regulatory standards after a spate of derailments and explosions that highlighted the hazards of carrying crude oil on rails."

"The announcement from the office of secretary of transportation, Anthony Foxx, was the fourth emergency order or safety advisory issued in the last seven months related to the booming oil-by-rail trade.

The Transportation Department is under pressure to beef up the safety of these trains, a business that has soared in the last two years thanks to the growth of domestic oil production in North Dakota. Recent accidents have drawn attention to the risks of shipping large quantities of crude oil in unpressurized railcars. The danger was highlighted in July when a runaway train derailed in Quebec, killing 47 people."

Jad Mouawad reports for the New York Times February 25, 2014.

SEE ALSO:

"Feds Ban Small Number of Tank Cars Carrying Crude, Rail Industry Says" (McClatchy)

"Feds Moved on Tank Car Safety Only After Quebec Oil Train Disaster" (McClatchy)

"U.S. Issues Emergency Testing Order to Crude Oil Rail Shippers" (Wall St. Journal)

"Accidents Spur U.S. To Mandate Tests of Oil Moving By Train" (Reuters)

"Lawmakers to Press Federal Officials, Industry on Oil-Train Risks" (Ben Geman)

"Oil-Train Boom Launches Environmental Battle" (Capital New York)

Source: NY Times, 02/26/2014