Tag: safety

MSHA Announces Reinstatement of 2017 Obama-Era Rule on Workforce Examinations

On Monday, September 30, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) reinstated an Obama-era rule imposing heightened requirements for health and safety workplace examinations in surface metal and nonmetal mines. The reinstatement represents yet another volley in an already protracted regulatory process spanning two presidential administrations and multiple lawsuits. The 2017 Obama-era rule, marking one … Continue Reading

EPA Finds No Systemic Threat to Drinking Water from Fracking

On Thursday, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) released a long awaited, and congressionally mandated, study detailing the relationship between hydraulic fracturing and drinking water. The EPA found no signs of “widespread, systemic” drinking water pollution from hydraulic fracturing. “It is the most complete compilation of scientific data to date,” says Dr. Thomas Burke, with the EPA’s … Continue Reading

New State Oil-By-Rail Regulations Take Effect, While Rail Capacity Is Squeezed

As we reported earlier, consideration of proposed federal rulemaking concerning crude oil-by-rail transportation recommended by the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration and Federal Railroad Administration is underway, and, after receiving more than 3,000 submissions, the comment period closed on September 30.  Nevertheless, and despite the possibility of preemption challenges in litigation, state governments in … Continue Reading

With Increased Federal Scrutiny, State Governments Look To Expand Oil-By-Rail Oversight

With the federal Department of Transportation’s recent emergency order impacting those who transport crude oil by rail, state governments are likewise considering additional regulatory oversight that could affect the industry in the wake of recent train derailments such as the one yesterday in Virginia. In Minnesota, where more than 800 tank cars carrying oil from … Continue Reading

UPDATE: USDOT Clarifies Its Oil-By-Rail Emergency Order To Answer Industry Concerns

In response to questions raised by the petrochemical industry, the federal Department of Transportation (USDOT) amended its emergency order restricting those who transport crude oil by rail in the United States last Thursday.  Among other revisions, the amended order requires that shippers test their oil cargoes with sufficient frequency to ensure that their hazardous material … Continue Reading

USDOT Issues Emergency Order Impacting All Bakken Crude Oil Rail Shipments

In response to safety concerns over trains carrying crude oil extracted from Bakken shale, the federal Department of Transportation (USDOT) issued an Emergency Restriction/Prohibition Order yesterday, affecting all those who transport crude oil by rail in the United States. Specifically, the USDOT stated that its investigations into train accidents and derailments in North Dakota, Alabama, … Continue Reading

Transportation Safety Issues Fueling Pipeline Proposals In North Dakota And Minnesota

Following the derailment and explosion of a train carrying crude oil near Casselton, North Dakota, and a federal Department of Transportation safety alert that Bakken crude may be more prone to ignite at lower temperatures than other crudes, there’s renewed interest in finding secure transportation alternatives for those natural resources.  Pipelines are one alternative gaining … Continue Reading
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