Hoeven Statement on Today's Derailment in Heimdal, N.D.

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today issued the following statement in response to the derailment of a train carrying crude oil near Heimdal, North Dakota:

“Our first concern when something like this happens is always lives and property. We’re grateful that there were no reported injuries as a result of today’s derailment. We want to thank the first responders on the scene and our thoughts are with those who had to evacuate their homes to assure their safety. We are also grateful to the state and federal responders who are at or traveling to the scene.

“Today’s incident illustrates why we need a comprehensive approach to rail safety to prevent accidents in the first place and to mitigate their impacts when they do occur. That’s why the new rules for moving crude oil by rail issued earlier this week by the U.S. Department of Transportation are important. We must get the tanker car fleet upgraded. In fact, we have been pushing for measures to make the transport of crude oil safer since 2012, when we asked the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to issue a new standard for safer tanker car construction.

“We don’t yet know the cause of today’s accident, but we need to study it carefully to make sure we are doing all we can to prevent such accidents in the future. We also need to make sure our first responders have the tools they need to protect people and property. In addition, we will continue to review the new DOT safety regulations to ensure that they meet the safety needs of communities in North Dakota and across the country.

“It’s all about safety and everyone – regulators, railroads, oil shippers and first responders on the state, local and federal levels – has a role to play in ensuring that our communities are safe when trains carrying oil pass through them.”