Under transparency common sense, regulators agree to keep intelligence coming towards responders

After a near month long controversy, the US DOT regulators agreed not to weaken the disclosure of hazardous train movement data to the state emergency responders. It could have easily been done by the commercial rail executives, but was not.

Morning headline in the Philadelphia Inquirer reads ” U.S. won’t weaken oil-train public disclosure rules”. This federal policy reversal comes within two days following a hard hitting Inquirer editorial on the subject. PAUL NUSSBAUM, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

Posted in paper on Saturday, May 30, 2015 image: http://media.philly.com/designimages/partnerIcon-Inquirer-2014.jpg

Responding to congressional and public criticism, federal regulators said Friday they would not weaken rules requiring certain disclosures about trains transporting crude oil and other hazardous materials.

The Inquirer reported this week that new oil-train rules issued May 7 – to go into effect in October – by the U.S. Department of Transportation would end a 2014 requirement for railroads to share information about large volumes of crude oil with state emergency-response commissions.

Oil-train safety in Philly will NOT be kept secret

The DOT pre-existing rule “will remain in full force and effect until further notice while the agency considers options for codifying the May 2014 disclosure requirement on a permanent basis,” the agency now says.

DOT admits that “transparency is a critical piece of the federal government’s comprehensive approach to safety”

The federal DOT agency said it supported “the public disclosure of this information to the extent allowed by applicable state, local, and tribal laws.”

U.S. Sen. Robert P. Casey (D., Pa.) told the news press that he was pleased by the agency’s decision. “First responders who risk their lives when trains derail deserve to know what chemicals they could be dealing with when they get to the scene,” Casey said.

Sent from Jim Blaze’s iPad

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