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  • Saturday, 24 February 2024
The Hill’s Morning Report — Political focus on Ohio derailment intensifies

The Hill’s Morning Report — Political focus on Ohio derailment intensifies

The political focus on the recent train derailment in Ohio has intensified as investigators continue to search for answers and lawmakers call for action to prevent future accidents.

The derailment occurred on Sunday, February 20, when a CSX train carrying hazardous materials derailed and caught fire in the town of Mount Vernon, Ohio. The train was carrying crude oil, ethanol, and other hazardous materials, and at least one tanker car leaked its contents.

Fortunately, no injuries or fatalities were reported, but the incident has raised concerns about the safety of transporting hazardous materials by rail. It is the latest in a series of train accidents involving hazardous materials in recent years, including a 2013 derailment in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, that killed 47 people.

Lawmakers from both parties have called for action in response to the Ohio derailment. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) called for increased funding for rail safety programs, while Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio) urged the Federal Railroad Administration to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident.

In addition to the political response, the Ohio derailment has also sparked renewed debate about the safety of transporting hazardous materials by rail. Many environmental and safety advocates have long argued that transporting crude oil and other hazardous materials by rail poses a significant risk to public safety and the environment.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), there were more than 1,700 train accidents involving hazardous materials in the United States between 2006 and 2015, resulting in 63 fatalities and more than 4,000 injuries. The NTSB has repeatedly called for stronger safety measures to reduce the risk of these types of accidents.

In response to these concerns, the Department of Transportation has proposed new safety rules for transporting crude oil by rail, including requirements for stronger tanker cars and speed limits for trains carrying hazardous materials. However, these rules have faced opposition from some industry groups and lawmakers who argue that they are too costly and would disrupt the flow of commerce.

The Ohio derailment is likely to intensify the debate over these proposed rules and the broader issue of rail safety. It also highlights the need for continued vigilance and action to ensure that hazardous materials are transported safely and securely.

As investigators continue to search for answers and lawmakers call for action, the incident is a reminder of the importance of maintaining a strong and effective transportation infrastructure that is safe and secure for all.

The political focus on the recent train derailment in Ohio has intensified as investigators continue to search for answers and lawmakers call for action to prevent future accidents.

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