Hoeven to Meet Saturday with BNSF Railway President and CEO to Address Railroad Safety

FRISCO, TEXAS – Senator John Hoeven today said he will meet with BNSF Railway President and CEO Matt Rose Saturday near the company’s headquarters in Fort Worth to get an update on the Casselton derailment and measures that can be taken to enhance railroad safety. The senator is maintaining an ongoing dialog with officials on the state, local and federal level to identify the cause of the accident and seek ways to minimize the chance of a similar event occurring in the future.

“While it’s a blessing that no one was hurt in this accident, we must now work with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), industry and leaders on all levels to get to the root cause of this week’s derailment,” Hoeven said. “We also need to rigorously review ways that shipping petroleum products by rail can be improved for safety. For instance, it will be important to identify which products can be shipped in which railcars for maximum safety until newer cars come online. At the same time, we must advance long-overdue rules for building new tankers with enhanced safety features as soon as possible.”

Hoeven said that industry needs to continue to find ways to increase safety for transportation of oil products, including working to get more of the newer double-hulled cars online. A year ago, he and Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana wrote to Cynthia L. Quarterman, the head of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) asking her to finalize such rules as early in 2013 as possible. To date, no rules have been issued. As a result, rail car manufactures are reluctant to produce new cars because they are uncertain of what will be required.

The senator also spoke with Rose, as well as NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman, on Tuesday to express his concern about Monday’s accident and to expedite ways that rail transportation safety can be improved. Later in the day Hoeven, along with Governor Jack Dalrymple and Congressman Kevin Cramer, met in Casselton with NTSB officials.