Tag Archives: Rail

Upgrades to Unsafe Tank Cars Could Take 15 Years, Board Says

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Accident-prone tank cars used to haul crude oil and ethanol by rail could remain in service for another 15 years under federal rules that allow companies to phase in upgrades to the aging fleet, according to the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board. Transportation officials and railroad representatives have touted the rules as a key piece of their efforts to stave off future disasters, following a string of fiery derailments and major spills that raised concerns about the crude-by-rail industry. Yet without mandatory, periodic benchmarks for meeting the requirements, the decision to […]

US Report: Rail Safety Violations Should Be Prosecuted

February 2016, Vol. 243, No. 2

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. regulators are failing to refer serious safety violations involving freight rail shipments of crude oil and other hazardous cargo for criminal prosecution, and are going lightly on civil fines, according to a report released Friday by a government investigator. The Federal Railroad Administration routinely applies only modest civil penalties for hazardous materials safety violations, even though inspectors request penalties only for serious or repeated infractions, said the report by the Department of Transportation’s inspector general. Instead, the agency’s attorneys have made it a priority to process penalties quickly and avoid legal […]

Los Angeles Sues Gas Company over 6-Week-Old Leak

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles city attorney has sued the Southern California Gas Co. over a 6-week-old natural gas leak that has sparked complaints of illness and forced hundreds of families out of a San Fernando Valley neighborhood. The Superior Court lawsuit alleges unfair competition and creation of a public nuisance.

Los Angeles Sues Gas Company over 6-Week-Old Leak

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles city attorney sued the Southern California Gas Co. on Monday over a 6-week-old natural gas leak that has sparked complaints of illness and forced hundreds of families out of a San Fernando Valley neighborhood.

The Superior Court lawsuit alleges unfair competition and creation of a public nuisance.

Manslaughter Charges Dropped for BP Supervisors in Oil Spill

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Justice Department launched a sweeping and costly criminal investigation after BP’s rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico killed 11 workers and caused the nation’s worst offshore oil disaster. For roughly two years, a task force of FBI agents and prosecutors occupied an entire floor of a high-rise building across from the federal courthouse in New Orleans.

Steel Factory Gas Leak Kills 10, Injures 7 in Eastern China

BEIJING (AP) — A gas leak at a steel parts factory in eastern China killed 10 people and left seven others hospitalized with carbon monoxide poisoning in the latest deadly industrial accident to hit China, officials said Monday.

The leak occurred late Saturday and poisoned 17 people, five of whom died immediately, the Zouping County government said on its official microblog. It said five more died early Sunday, and the cause of the leak was under investigation.

Manslaughter Charges Filed in 2012 Black Elk Platform Blast

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal grand jury indicted two companies on involuntary manslaughter charges and three people face charges in a deadly 2012 explosion on an oil production platform in the Gulf of Mexico, the Justice Department said Thursday.

The explosion and fire started during welding work on a platform owned by Black Elk Energy Offshore Operations LLC, killing three workers and injuring several others. In lawsuits and a federal report, the company and its contractors have been accused of failing to follow proper safety practices and rushing work.

New Jersey Mayor: No One Called to Report Gas Smell

ELIZABETH, N.J. (AP) — Tenants at a house that exploded, killing one person and injuring several others, noticed an “overwhelming” gas smell the day before but didn’t call any emergency agencies, though it remains unclear whether that was because they thought the owner knew about it.

More details about the Wednesday morning incident also emerged, including that the ground floor of the building was being used as an illegal apartment with its gas and electricity supply apparently off the books, Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwage said.

Blast Levels New Jersey Duplex; 1 Reported Dead

ELIZABETH, NJ (AP) — An explosion in northern New Jersey that leveled a duplex Wednesday, knocking a next-door neighbor out of bed, killing one resident and leaving two other people in critical condition with severe burns, officials said.

In all, 14 people were taken to hospitals, including an 11-year-old who was one of the critically injured in the Elizabeth explosion, Mayor Chris Bollwage said. The names and ages of the victims weren’t immediately released.

Study: Dispersants Failed to Help Oil Degrade in BP Spill

WASHINGTON — The chemical sprayed on the 2010 BP oil spill may not have helped crucial petroleum-munching microbes get rid of the slick, a new study suggested.

And that leads to more questions about where much of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill went. If the new results are true, up to half the oil can’t be accounted for, said the author of a new study on the spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

1,000 Barrels of Crude Spill from Pipeline in Rural Oklahoma

BILLINGS, Okla. (AP) — A Tulsa-based pipeline company says about 1,000 barrels of crude oil has spilled from a pipeline in rural Oklahoma.

Bruce Heine, a spokesman for Magellan Midstream Partners, said in an email Friday the oil was released about 6 p.m. Thursday from a Magellan pipeline that stretches from Enid to Ponca City. He said the spill occurred in a rural area near Billings and no injuries occurred.

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