Federal safety inspection of crude oil railways.
Safety inspectors from the Federal Railroad Administration (“FRA”) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration are conducting unannounced safety inspections of railroads carrying Bakken crude oil. The officials cited last month’s railroad explosion in Lac-Megantic, Quebec as the reason for the inspections. Railroads have doubled the carloads of crude oil they carried in the first half of 2013, compared to the same timeframe in 2012, mostly from the Bakken shale play. FRA is also considering proposals to require retrofits to a type of tanker car involved in the Lac Megantic explosion, as well as to require a minimum of two engineers per train.