Cantwell Statement on PHMSA Rulemaking on Volatility of Crude Transported by Rail

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell released the following statements after the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration announced an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking on vapor pressure for crude oil transported by rail:

“I applaud the Department of Transportation for taking this important step to regulate the dangerous and volatile crude oil being transported through communities across Washington state and the nation. The volatility of crude oil must be regulated by the federal government, not private corporations.” 


Today’s announcement follows months of pressure from Cantwell. In 2015, Cantwell successfully passed a proposal requiring DOT and the U.S. Department of Energy to study crude oil volatility – a critical component to DOT’s final rulemaking.

Cantwell has been a constant voice in increasing tanker car safety and reducing volatility of crude oil that passes through communities across Washington state. Following the oil train derailment in Mosier, Oregon, Cantwell led a group of ten senators calling on DOT and PHMSA to set an emergency interim rule for volatility of crude oil transported by rail.

As part of her efforts to protect communities along rail tracks, Cantwell introduced the Crude-By-Rail Safety Act of 2015, which would set strong new safety standards for trains hauling volatile crude oil.