Warner: Lynchburg Oil Tanker Derailment Could Have Been Worse | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Warner: Lynchburg Oil Tanker Derailment Could Have Been Worse

Play associated audio
Survey crews in boats look over tanker cars as workers remove damaged tanker cars along the tracks where several CSX tanker cars carrying crude oil derailed and caught fire along the James River near downtown Lynchburg, Va., Thursday, May 1, 2014. Virginia state officials were still trying Thursday to determine the environmental impact of the train derailment.
(AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Survey crews in boats look over tanker cars as workers remove damaged tanker cars along the tracks where several CSX tanker cars carrying crude oil derailed and caught fire along the James River near downtown Lynchburg, Va., Thursday, May 1, 2014. Virginia state officials were still trying Thursday to determine the environmental impact of the train derailment.

The derailment of a CSX train carrying Bakken crude oil in Lynchburg, Virginia, earlier this year could have been much worse. That's the conclusion of a hearing led by Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) in Richmond.

Emergency responders, government officials and corporate representatives met to discuss ways of improving crude oil transportation.

Warner said 46 times more oil is shipped on U.S. rail cars than in 2008, and that volume creates a challenge. In Lynchburg, 17 cars derailed and three fell into the James River, but the spectacular fire was caused by the rupture of only one car as its crude oil burned.

“The car that actually ruptured in Lynchburg was actually one of the safer, newer cars," Warner said. "So the question is: even are the newer cars going to be safe enough with the volatility of this Bakken crude — and are there other things that can be done both with the new cars and retrofitting older cars that can increase safety?"

Warner said companies must find out exactly how much more volatile Bakken crude is and whether the mixture can be modified to make it less so. He also said localities should be warned in real time what’s passing through, and smaller localities may not have the personnel or equipment to respond to such crises.

Warner added that new laws or regulations may be needed, but it’s in the economic self-interest of producers and distributors to tackle those vulnerabilities and ensure the safety of transporting oil.

NPR

High Tea, Afternoon Tea, Elevenses: English Tea Times For Dummies

It's easy to get overwhelmed by the English and their social tea traditions. What time does each of them take place, anyway? But don't fret. The Salt is here to offer guidance.
NPR

Communities Get A Lift As Local Food Sales Surge To $11 Billion A Year

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says local food is growing quickly from a niche market into something that's generating significant income for communities across the country.
NPR

Chris Christie Becomes 14th Republican Presidential Candidate

With New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in the race, there are now 14 Republican candidates for president. Two more are expected to join by the end of July.
NPR

Flood Maps Can Get Much Sharper With A Little Supercomputing Oomph

Entrepreneurs are turning to Oak Ridge National Lab's supercomputer to make all sorts of things, including maps that are much more accurate in predicting how a neighborhood will fare in a flood.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.