U.S. Senator Dick Durbin says Illinois could be the next site of an oil train derailment if safety standards aren’t improved.
Durbin met with federal transportation officials and Illinois mayors to discuss proposed rules on trains carrying crude oil. Those rules would force older tank cars to be retired or retrofitted, which Durbin feels is necessary to avoid what happened in a small town in the Canadian province in Quebec, where an oil train derailed and exploded, killing 47 people and causing $2 billion in property damage.
Durbin thought of that when he saw oil being transported by rail in Carroll County earlier this week. “Over a hundred cars, tank cars, moving slowly through a town in northwestern Illinois, and it just crossed my mind that was a much longer and larger train than the one that destroyed that village in Quebec,” Durbin said.
The proposed rule would require that crude oil and other hazardous material be transported in upgraded cars by 2017, though Durbin is urging federal officials for an even faster transition.