One of Wisconsin’s U.S. Senators remains hopeful Congress will adopt tougher reporting requirements for railroads that are hauling crude oil across the country.
Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) says she’s heard numerous concerns from Wisconsin residents, who worry about the growing number of trains moving through the state. She notes that “in just the past couple of years, we’ve gone from virtually no trains bringing crude oil to…around 45 trains a week.”
Despite those rising numbers, the Wisconsin Democrat says emergency responders usually don’t know where those trains are or what they are carrying. Baldwin added language to a Senate transportation bill that would require real-time reporting on hazardous material movements and regular reports on rail bridge inspections, which she believes would provide vital information to communities that are concerned about the potential devastation a major derailment, explosion, or spill could cause. “There’s a real sense of urgency that we act to better enhance safety for all of the people along the rail line,” Baldwin argues.
Other provisions in the bill include requiring railroads to develop comprehensive oil spill response plans and evaluate their insurance coverage. Baldwin says she plans to fight “tooth and nail” to keep here proposals in the legislation, which is awaiting action in the U.S. House of Representatives.