WASHINGTON, D.C. (WSAU) -- A Wisconsin congressman is continuing to urge oil shippers to chemically stabilize the oil before sending it on trains. Third District Democrat Ron Kind of La Crosse says there are perils with shipping oil, either by pipeline or by railcar, but a relatively low-cost additive makes the oil much less volatile. It’s an additive that is already used in pipelines and is required for all oil shipped in Texas.
Kind wants to see that additive used nationwide for both pipelines and trains. “There is a plant being built right now in North Dakota for this very purpose. I hope they move forward as quickly as they can, and hopefully get some more competition in the marketplace, too, for the development of this agent, but that too can go along ways to stabilizing this oil, making it less dangerous.”
Right now, regulations require railroads to notify emergency management officials if a train has over a million gallons of oil. Kind thinks the threshold is too high, and local officials need to know about smaller amounts and everything that could require an emergency response from local officials. “More disclosure. You know, I think people have a right to know what’s being shipped through their neighborhoods and our communities so that we’re prepared to deal with it, and there’s a larger public conversation over this, too.” He adds, “The sheer volume, the number of cars, things of that nature I think the community has a right to know, and that way you know what type of resources you need to prepare for something if there is a derailment.”
Kind says the pipelines have concerns, but he’s encouraged by new technology to monitor them, and is pleased they already use the oil stabilizing agent.