SOURCE: Desmog Blog
DATE: February 26, 2019
SNIP: The government of Alberta, Canada, the heart of tar sands country, recently announced plans to get into the oil-by-rail business. Attempting to work around a lack of pipelines, the provincial government intends to spend $3.7 billion to lease 4,400 oil tank cars and locomotives to export more Canadian tar sands oil to the U.S. The announcement came just days after the latest oil train derailment and spill in Manitoba, Canada.
New regulations enacted after the 2013 oil train disaster killed 47 in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, require oil and rail companies to use newer rail cars to move oil. And while these new tank cars — known as DOT-117 and 117Rs — are more robust than the older tank cars involved in the deadly incident, they aren’t immune to the forces of a train derailment.
In the past year, two Canadian oil trains consisting of these “safest” tank cars have derailed and resulted in large oil spills.
The most recent oil train crash, which occurred on a ranch in Manitoba on February 16, involved 37 derailed tank cars. No details have been released on the amount of oil spilled, but aerial photos show streams of dark black oil leaking from the damaged tank cars.