Federal regulators announced Thursday that the rail and energy industries will take steps to improve the safety of crude-by-rail shipments in the wake of a string of recent accidents.
Both industries will work to determine if improvements to existing Association of American Railroad tank-car standards are needed to improve rail safety, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx told reporters during a press call.
The secretary did not elaborate on how the improvements would be made.
Foxx was joined on the call by the head of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Cynthia Quaterman, and the leader of the Federal Railroad Administration, Joseph Szabo. All three officials took part in a meeting on Thursday with rail, oil, and natural-gas stakeholders that was described by Foxx as a "call to action" on crude-by-rail safety.
As a result of the negotiations, representatives from the rail industry also pledged to reduce the speed at which tank cars carrying crude oil travel in parts of the country where accident risk is the greatest.
The oil and gas industry, for its part, plans to work with DOT to share information about the content and volatility of crude-oil shipments to increase transparency and aid public- and private-sector efforts to improve tank-car safety.