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Progress made since Lac-Megantic, Canada says

Transport officials working to lower risk of crude oil transport by rail after last year's deadly oil train derailment in Lac-Megantic, Quebec.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Progress made since Lac-Megantic, Canada says
Canada sees progress made in safety for crude oil transit by rail. UPI/Kim Shiflett. | License Photo

GATINEAU, Quebec, June 19 (UPI) -- Canadian transportation officials are making good progress in addressing the safety issues of crude oil transport by rail, the Transportation Safety Board said.

The safety board in Canada said progress made on safety since last year's deadly oil train derailment in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, was satisfactory.

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Transportation Safety Board Chairwoman Wendy Tadros said her agency was "pleased" with steps taken so far by Transport Canada to reduce the risks.

"There are risks to carrying more and more oil by rail and the board's recommendations are aimed at bringing those risks down," she said in a statement.

The Lac-Megantic disaster left more than 40 people dead. Canadian Transport Minister Lisa Raitt in January ordered rail cars designated as DOT-111, or Class-111, out of service. Those type of rail cars were involved in last year's accident and similar incidents in the United States.

Tadros said Canada is leading the way in rail car restrictions, adding she was watching for tougher action both in Canada and in the United States.

An increase in North American crude oil production has placed a burden on existing pipeline capacity, forcing some energy companies to rely more on railways to deliver crude oil to refineries.

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