Gov. Jack Dalrymple today spoke with BNSF Railway Chairman and CEO Matt Rose to further discuss the need for improved rail safety.
"It's very clear that we need tank cars with improved safety features for the transportation of Bakken crude oil," Dalrymple said. "We support new, more stringent safety standards for tank cars, but we also need to address operational practices. The discussion about operating rules needs to include train speeds."
Dalrymple told Rose that he expects the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to act quickly in developing enhanced safety standards for new railway tank cars and in developing a plan for the replacement of tank cars in the nation's fleet.
Dalrymple and Rose also discussed operational practices of trains that carry shale oil. The governor called for a review of: train speeds in populated areas; operational protocols involving trains passing one another through populated areas and communication systems for improved emergency response between trains that pass one another.
This week, Dalrymple will be briefed by officials at Trinity Industries Inc., one of the nation's leading manufacturers of oil tank cars. In 2012, Trinity Industries purchased the West Fargo heavy metal fabrication plant formerly owned by DMI Industries. Trinity employs 120 workers at the West Fargo plant where they build metal storage tanks. Dalrymple scheduled the meeting to get the manufacturer's perspective regarding the latest safety features in rail tank car construction.