NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) — New York Attorney
General Eric T. Schneiderman released comments Dec. 6 on the announcement by
the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) that
it will act on his oil shipping petition.
There is currently an alleged loophole in federal law that
allows highly flammable crude oil to be routinely shipped by rail through communities
in New York and across the country.
Schneiderman filed the petition in December 2015. He sought
rule-making from the PHMSA that would require crude oil transported by rail in
the country to achieve a vapor pressure of less than 9 pounds per square
inch. According to Schneiderman, vapor pressure is a key driver of oil’s
explosiveness and flammability.
“I applaud the federal government
for recognizing the need to address the danger that crude oil shipments pose to
communities across New York State,” Schneiderman said in the
“In New York, trains carrying millions of gallons of
crude oil routinely travel through our cities and towns without any limit on
its explosiveness or flammability – which makes crude oil more likely to catch
fire and explode in train accidents. The
federal government’s commitment to initiate a
rule-making marks a long overdue first step toward reducing the danger to
residents in harm’s way of oil trains in New York
and across the country.”