That's what the U.S. Department of Transportation called shipments of crude oil by rail last month when it issued an emergency order requiring rail companies to notify emergency responders when dangerous shipments of explosive crude oil move through communities.
This order comes after a record-breaking year of oil train derailments, spills and explosions. It's clear that these "bomb trains" — as some are calling them — pose an imminent threat to the countless communities across the country that these trains run through. Yet rail companies are trying to keep this information about oil shipments secret from the public.
Tell your governor that the public has a right to know when dangerous oil trains are carrying millions of gallons of explosive crude oil through our communities!
Last month, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) issued an emergency order requiring railroad companies to provide state emergency commissions with detailed information when large shipments (one million gallons or more) of explosive Bakken crude oil is shipped through states. The emergency order was in response to a record-breaking number of crude-by-rail disasters over the last year, which have shown that these shipments of highly volatile oil pose an "imminent hazard" to the public. The requirement includes disclosing the number of trains each week, the specific routes the trains will travel and which counties they will cross.
Not only is this information critical to emergency responders, it's also critical to the residents of the communities that are threatened by these oil shipments. So many people live, work or go to school near these rail routes and yet have no way of knowing whether or not they are at risk.
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I urge you to make sure that our state makes this information available to the public.
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