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BLET calls for two-person crews at Congressional hearing

(Source: McClatchy News Service, February 26, 2014)

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The chief of a federal agency tasked with improving the safety of crude oil shipments by rail declined Wednesday to give lawmakers a date for new tank car rules that railroads and safety officials have sought for years. Cynthia Quarterman, administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, also testified the tank car fixes weren’t “a silver bullet,” and were only “one piece of the mitigative puzzle” in making crude oil transportation safer.

Some of the first people in harm’s way in a derailment are the train crews. John Tolman, vice president and legislative representative for the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, a railroad labor union, said no train should be operated with fewer than two people. The train that derailed in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, in July had a sole operator.

“You don’t get on a commercial airline with a single person up there,” Tolman testified.

Full story: Miami Herald

Thursday, February 27, 2014

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