To: Sarah Feinberg, Acting Administrator, Federal Railroad Administration
Enforce Railroad Health and Safety Law
It’s time the Federal Railroad Administration enforces existing law requiring regulation to preserve health and safety in communities adjacent to railroad traffic, particularly in metropolitan areas.
Why is this important?
Current lack of enforcement ignores growing threats of Bakken oil explosions so extensive and toxic, fire chiefs have testified that "even if we had an infinite amount of foam," the fires and toxic emissions would continue until all fuel had been exhausted, killing people and destroying wide swaths of land and riverbanks as they burned. Railroads are making secret decisions and hiding documents to such an extent, the federal Department of Transportation says it’s "impossible to know" to what extent railroads have prioritized or ignored safety in choosing routes. Railroads have also lobbied against federal regulatory efforts aimed at retrofitting tank cars for greater safety. Congress and the White House, Homeland Security and the FRA need to address the danger of Bakken oil explosions before disaster strikes.