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Legislation Would Protect Communities From Oil Train Accidents

California’s oil pipelines are reaching capacity. As a result the California Energy Commission projects that nearly a quarter of the oil imported to the state will be delivered by rail by 2016.

But last year’s crude oil train explosion in Quebec that killed 47 people has raised awareness of the dangers of train accidents involving crude oil.

Democratic Assemblyman Roger Dickinson’s legislation would require railroads provide greater detail of the risks to state and local emergency planners.

“This includes critical information including the degree of flammability, toxicity and flashpoint of the oil being transported, the number of tank cars in each train, the standards of the tank cars were built to, the amount of oil carried per train,” he says.

None of that information is required in current risk assessments. Dickinson says he will introduce the legislation next week.

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