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API supports DOT rail tank car action

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Tanks and Terminals,

API has welcomed the US Department of Transportation’s (DOT) decision to rescind a requirement that tank cars be equipped with electronically-controlled pneumatic (ECP) braking systems. Given the lack of evidence in favour of ECP braking systems, API urged the agency to pursue other efforts that would improve rail safety.

Recently, ECP systems have been called into question by several government agencies, including the GAO and National Academies of Sciences finding that DOT’s testing and analysis underlying the rule was lacking. In recent comments submitted to the DOT relating to the agency’s updated regulatory impact analysis, API detailed the problems with the ECP braking requirement and called on the agency to revoke the rule.

“Safety is a core value throughout the entire natural gas and oil industry,” said API Midstream and Industry Operations Group Director, Robin Rorick. “The safety impacts of ECP brakes are marginal at best and mandating implementation of these systems ignores concerns about their reliability, availability and intrinsic safety while various other braking technologies have been proven reliable and effective.”

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