Image courtesy of National Transportation Safety Board/Wikimedia Commons.

A new bill proposed by two Oregon senators this week would require a federal investigation into any “major” oil train accident.

According to KTVZ, the bill was proposed on Wednesday by Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, both Democrats.

The Mandate Oil Spill Inspections and Emergency Rules (MOSIER) Act would require the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to investigate “every major oil train derailment,” according to a statement from the senators.

Details about how large a spill must be to qualify as a major accident under the bill have not been disclosed yet.

The bill also calls for the clarification of the Federal Rail Administration’s authority to place moratoriums on oil train traffic when accidents occur and would require the Department of Transportation to “reduce the amount of volatile gases in the crude oil these trains transport.”

According to ThinkProgress, the bill would also supply the NTSB with $2 million in additional funding.

The MOSIER Act was proposed just over a month after an oil train derailed near Mosier, Oregon.

A train hauling Bakken crude derailed near Mosier on June 3, sparking a blaze and shutting down a nearby water treatment plant.

No injuries or casualties were reported.

Wyden also praised a proposed rule announced by the Department of Transportation on Wednesday that would require railroads to provide more notification about shipments of crude and other flammable liquids.

The proposed rule calls for a larger number of High-Hazard Flammable Trains to have comprehensive plans in case of an accident, instead of basic plans that are currently required.

The rule would also require train operators to be prepared to respond to an incident involving a worst-case spill scenario.


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