The Federal government says it plans to rescind a two-year old rule that required trains carrying crude oil to be outfitted with electronically controlled pneumatic brakes or ECP brakes. The ruling originally was a response following deadly and disastrous tanker derailments.
The U.S. Department of Transportation made the announcement this week. Long trains of oil-carrying tankers normally travel through Oklahoma from the storage sites in the northern part of the state. They pass through Oklahoma City as the oil is carried to refineries in the Gulf.
The ECP brakes had been finalized by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and the Federal Railroad Administration in 2015. The rule applied to trains carrying crude oil, ethanol and other flammable liquids.
But now the DOT has determined there was not sufficient justification for mandating the brakes which are expensive. Following congressionally mandated input from the National Academy of Sciences, the US Government Accountability Office and others, the determination was made that the cost-benefit analyses were not sufficient justification. The study revealed the mandate’s costs would exceed the benefits it would produce threefold.