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 statement.

“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.”

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