Hoeven: Federal Railroad Administration Offers $10 Million to Improve Road Crossings that Intersect Oil, Crude Rail Lines

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today announced that the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is accepting applications for $10 million in competitive funding to improve highway-rail grade crossings and track along routes that transport energy products such as ethanol and crude oil. The FRA’s guidelines for grant applications encourage states to implement innovative solutions to enhance rail safety, particularly at highway-rail grade crossings. The funding comes as part of the Railroad Safety grants for the Safe Transportation of Energy Products (STEP) by Rail Program.

“Producing more oil and gas is creating jobs, helping to grow our economy and making our nation more secure,” Hoeven said. “As we continue to work towards energy independence, it’s important for us to implement smart, long-term measures that will improve rail safety. This funding opportunity will do just that by encouraging states to use innovative solutions to enhance rail safety, while also allowing states to have the support they need to add more train crossings.”

Hoeven has been pushing for measures to make the transport of crude oil safer since 2012, when he asked the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to issue a new standard for safer tanker car construction. The new construction standard is vital, he said, because the industry needs regulatory certainty in order to make the substantial investment required to deploy a newer and safer fleet of tankers.

As a member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, Hoeven has also worked to secure federal funding that will enhance the safe transportation of energy products. Earlier this week, Hoeven announced that the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) awarded nearly $200,000 to boost rail safety for the transportation of hazardous materials.