U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) last week called on the U.S. Department of Transportation to issue an emergency order requiring oil companies to stabilize highly flammable crude oil before shipping it through New York.
Current law allows such oil to be shipped without being stabilized, making violent explosions far more likely, Schumer said in a press release.
“The damage that volatile, highly dangerous crude can cause in New York communities is tremendous, but there are important steps we can take to significantly lower the risk of a damaging explosion, like making crude oil less volatile before it’s transported through our backyards,” said Schumer.
Schumer called for an emergency order on the heels of a crude oil train derailment in Oregon last month. Sixteen of the train’s cars derailed, four caught fire and 40,000 gallons of crude oil were spilled. The train was carrying Bakken crude oil, which has been shown to be more volatile than other types of crude oil.
Bakken oil is shipped through New York, Schumer noted. He is advocating for strengthening tank-car standards to make punctures and breaches less likely — a “critical step” in making the transport of crude oil by rail a safer venture. However, making the crude oil itself less volatile before shipping is also needed, he said.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) and GCT USA officials on Friday will greet the Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) Benefactor, the largest container ship ever to call on the port at GCT Bayonne.
The MOL Benefactor, which is a 10,000 20-foot-equivalent-units (TEU) container ship, successfully passed through the newly expanded Panama Canal on July 1. The ship was the first neo-Panamax vessel to complete a commercial transit through the new expanded locks, according to a press release issued by ship owner Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd.
Since opening the expansion June 26, the Panama Canal has been able to accommodate ships as large as 14,000 TEUs. The MOL Benefactor is the first ship to visit an East Coast port after passing through the locks.
Mitsui OSK Lines took delivery of the new ship in March.
Detroit’s M-1 Rail has awarded a five-year, $15.5 million contract to Transdev for operations and maintenance of the city’s QLINE streetcar.
Under the contract, Transdev will be responsible for hiring staff, training and managing streetcar operators, service operations, dispatch, vehicle and track maintenance, and fare enforcement, M-1 Rail officials said in a press release.
The initial contract is renewable for up to five additional years.
“In selecting Transdev, we are bringing a premiere international provider of streetcar operations services to Detroit,” said Paul Childs, chief operating officer for M-1 Rail. “Our partnership with Transdev ensures the QLINE will provide a safe, reliable and best-in-class transit experience for our ridership.”
QLINE streetcars will travel along a 3.3-mile route along Woodward Avenue in downtown Detroit. The streetcar is expected to begin service in 2017.