Oil safety involves more than tankers – Bismarck Tribune

[colored_box color=green]A fire burns Monday, Feb. 16, 2015, after a train derailment near Charleston, W.Va. Nearby residents were told to evacuate as state emergency response and environmental officials headed to the scene. (AP Photo/The Register-Herald, Steve Keenan)[/colored_box]

Oil safety involves more than tankers

While the investigation continues into Monday’s massive explosion of Bakken crude oil tankers after a train derailment in West Virginia, a spokesperson for the Department of Mineral Resources says proper conditioning of the oil is just one of four pieces needed to ensure transport safety.

Alison Ritter said the State Industrial Commission’s oil conditioning order, effective April 1, sets a standard of certainty for the design of safe railcars.

“This is where we believe North Dakota fits into the solution of making oil as safe as possible for transport,” Ritter said.

However, she said the Federal Railroad Administration is responsible for unit train routing, speed limits, brakes and track maintenance, as well as notification of state emergency responders. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is responsible for overseeing how crude is labeled and tanker car design, and it and states are responsible for funding and training emergency responders, she said.

CSX Transport says the Bakken oil tankers that exploded this week were built to the higher safety standards.

The Dakota Resource Council continued its attack on state officials Wednesday, saying the new oil conditioning order for Bakken oil falls far short of what’s needed.

The order requires oil producers to reduce volatile gases in the oil to reach a maximum pressure of 13.7 pounds per square inch.

The DRC and others point out that the Bakken oil involved in a derailment explosion that killed 52 people in Quebec in 2013 was even lower, at 9.3 psi.

“We can and should do better,” the organization said in a statement Wednesday. The organization had pressed the Industrial Commission to require that the oil be stabilized to remove more of the gases.

Bakken crude has been involved in six train explosions since 2008, including one outside Casselton 14 months ago.

(Reach Lauren Donovan at 701-220-5511 or lauren@westriv.com.)

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Concerned about the Summit Pipeline?
Check out these resources and please don’t hesitate to contact us!

1. View the FAQ Fact Sheet here

2. Interested in being connected to collective legal representation?:

Learn more here

3. Landowners Know Your Rights:

Landowners: Know Your Rights Regarding Voluntary Easements, Eminent Domain, and the Summit Carbon Solutions Pipeline.

More information about your rights hee

4. Contact Information:

If you would like more information or if you have any questions, please contact Eliot:

eliot@drcinfo.com or 701-997-5181