SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Legal Newsline) — California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced May 25 that he has urged the Trump administration to close a loophole that allows highly flammable, highly explosive crude oil to be shipped by freight rail via so-called “bomb trains” through communities in California.
According to Becerra’s news release, these so-called “bomb trains” are responsible for a large amount of rail accidents. This includes the 2013 explosion in Quebec that killed 47 people.
“Millions of Californians live, work, and attend school within the vicinity of railroad train tracks,” Becerra said. “A derailment or explosion in California could put countless lives at risk and cause major damage to our land and waterways. This risk is simply unacceptable. I urge the Trump administration to act immediately.”
Becerra seeks a rule under which all crude oil transported by rail in the United States would need to achieve a vapor pressure of less than 9.0 pounds per square inch (psi). Becerra’s office noted that vapor pressure is a key component of determining oil flammability.
Becerra is joined in the call for this requirement by attorneys general from Illinois, Maine, Maryland, New York and Washington state.