Target: Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx
Goal: Enforce the new regulations for the discontinued use of old oil tankers for the transportation of crude oil more strictly
Recently, the Department of Transportation (DOT) issued new rules concerning the oil tankers used to transport crude oil along the United States’ railways. Over a decade ago after a deadly explosion in Quebec, the National Transportation and Safety Bureau (NTSB) conducted a study on the DOT-111 oil tanker model. The NTSB then released a report that stated that the tank cars were fundamentally “inadequate” for the transportation of hazardous, flammable materials. However, even with the report issued by the NTSB, the DOT did not act to fix this problem until recently. With the boom in oil production in North Dakota and Canada, the DOT-111s have been used to move the petroleum crude oil from these places to major distribution hubs, such as Philadelphia. The new rules proposed by the DOT call for the updating of this model to prevent the cars from being susceptible to puncturing in accidents, such as derailing and collision, and prevent leaking.
Even with these new regulations in place, however, the old DOT-111s are still being used to transport these materials. Roughly half the fleet of DOT-111 are the old models, and have most likely not been refitted to meet the new regulations. This means that even with the new rules, companies are still using the oil tankers that are prone to rupture during an accident and leaking. The spilling of oil from these cars does not only horribly affect the environment, but can also cause explosions if the accident is violent enough. The results of these weaknesses can range from the destruction of the environment to human casualties if the accident occurs in a populated area. Tell the DOT to crack down on the companies still using these oil tankers as they are an imminent threat to public safety.
Dear Secretary Anthony Foxx,
The Department of Transportation (DOT) has recently prohibited the use of the old model DOT-111s in the transportation of hazardous materials. This oil tanker model is unfit to be used because of its many weaknesses. These cars have been surveyed by the National Transportation and Safety Bureau (NTSB) and have been deemed “inadequate” to transport hazardous and flammable materials because they are prone to leaking and puncturing if involved in an accident.
The new regulations set up by the DOT prevent the use of DOT-111s for the use of transporting hazardous materials, but companies still continue to transport crude oil using this model. Roughly half the fleet being used to transport petroleum crude oil from North Dakota and Canada are the old DOT-111 model cars that have most likely not been updated to fit the new regulations. For the safety of the public, I urge you to enforce the new regulations more strictly.
[You Name Here]
Photo credit: Dan Loya via Creative Commons