Biden administration open to laws after Ohio derailment

The rule got here after one of many deadliest prepare derailments, in 2013, when a prepare carrying crude oil dislodged from its tracks within the small city of Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, killing 47 individuals and engulfing a lot of the city in flames.

Going through public outcry from that conflagration and different oil and chemical prepare derailments, corresponding to a 2012 incident in New Jersey by which a prepare crashed and spilled vinyl chloride right into a river close to Philadelphia, the Obama administration in 2014 proposed new security guidelines for trains carrying flammable substances, together with a requirement for rail firms to put in so-called electronically managed pneumatic (ECP) brakes. The rule was finalized in 2015.

The trade had been arguing that the worth tag for rail firms to put in ECP was too excessive and never economically justified. After the Authorities Accountability Workplace launched a 2016 report that discovered fault within the company’s cost-benefit evaluation, the Trump administration repealed the brake requirement for the reason that “anticipated advantages don’t exceed the anticipated prices.”

Debate over the rule coincided with intense lobbying by the rail trade. Over the previous 10 years, Norfolk Southern spent probably the most on lobbying in 2013, 2014 and 2015, spending $2.9 million, $2.75 million and $2.4 million, respectively. Its in-house lobbying has not surpassed $2 million since.

The railroad lobbied through the 113th Congress, which coated 2013 and 2014, towards laws requiring two-man crews for locomotives and the rule requiring ECP brakes on trains, disclosure data present.

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