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Opinion: New safety standards for oil trains are needed to prevent tragedy

(Source: Opinion column by Shawn Vestal published in the Spokesman-Review, May 15, 2019)

SPOKANE, Wash. — Washington’s new law to establish safer standards on the highly flammable oil trains that pass regularly through Spokane – past hospitals, a high school, a freeway – is likely headed for a courtroom. Attorneys general in six states with heavy oil train traffic, including Washington AG Bob Ferguson, have called on the federal government to do what the new state law will do: Require that crude oil be stored at lower vapor pressure. The law, developed in part with efforts from Gonzaga law students working with City Councilman Breean Beggs, puts vapor-pressure limits on crude oil unloaded and stored in Washington state. Vapor pressure affects the volatility and flammability of crude oil, and proponents of the lower limits say it makes it much less likely that a derailment will become an explosion.

Full story: Spokesman-Review

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

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