CHARLES CITY- Recent major accidents involving trains carrying oil have caused a federal review of safety practices. The National Transportation Safety Board recommended that trains carrying oil be rerouted, where possible to avoid populated areas says Jerry Schnoor with the University of Iowa Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research.
The proposed recommendation might catch local residents attention after a train carrying ethanol fuel tanks derailed in Charles City due to flooding and washout conditions last May.
Railroad workers were rescued by emergency personnel as three locomotives and three cars carrying ethanol were partially submerged in the Little Cedar River. Later, the locomotives and cars were found to be leaking diesel and ethanol fuel.
Schnoor says railroads now carry more than 10 percent of US oil, with significant traffic in states that lack sufficient pipelines.
For more information about the proposed safety recommendation, visit IowaEnvironmentalFocus.org.