Company announces all tank cars received at Clatskanie facility must meet higher safety standards
(Salem, OR) — After consulting with Governor Kitzhaber on his efforts to improve rail safety in Oregon, Global Partners announced today that beginning June 1, 2014, the company will no longer accept shipments of crude oil in DOT-111 tank cars that do not meet CPC-1232 safety standards. Instead, Global Partners, which owns an ethanol manufacturing and crude oil transloading facility at Port Westward in Clatskanie, will only accept shipments of crude oil in newer CPC-1232 tank rail cars. The Governor applauded the announcement.
“I appreciate the commitment to safety Global Partners is showing to its neighbors in northwest Oregon,” said Governor Kitzhaber. “Rail operators, shippers, and facility owners have an obligation to take every measure possible to ensure hazardous materials they transport and receive are shipped as safely as possible.”
DOT-111 tank cars have been involved in some of the most notable rail accidents in North America over the last year. Starting in June, all crude oil shipments to Global's Clatskanie facility must arrive in the newer CPC-1232 tank cars. The CPC-1232 standards add safety features for leak prevention and puncture resistance. They also include a thicker, more puncture-resistant shell or jacket around rail cars, extra protective head shields at both ends of the tank car, and additional protection for the top fittings.
"Global is committed to safety, and as part of that commitment we are requiring that all crude oil shipped by rail to our Clatskanie facility is transported in CPC 1232-compliant cars," said Eric Slifka, Global Partner's President and Chief Executive Officer. "We look forward to continuing our work with the state and local community to strengthen the safe transloading of crude oil and commence ethanol manufacturing to create new clean energy sources and economic opportunities for the region."
“We also need leadership at the federal level to phase out unsafe and outdated tank cars,” said Governor Kitzhaber. The Governor recently spoke with U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx requesting that the Administration adopt a new national policy to upgrade safety standards of tank rail cars. The Governor also wrote to Oregon’s congressional delegation expressing concerns about how slowly federal agencies have moved to update tank car designs. In the letter, the Governor wrote, the “National Surface Transportation Board first identified these rail cars on its ‘Most Wanted List’ in 1991, saying they are ‘more susceptible to damage’ than other rail cars, and therefore ‘pose a substantial danger to life, property, and the environment.’”
Global’s announcement comes one day after state legislators, local government officials, and congressional staff met with local, state, and federal agencies and railroad companies to discuss rail safety in Oregon. The group gathered in Linnton, Oregon, for a comprehensive look at current programs and resources in place for rail safety and emergency training and response. The briefing was part of Governor Kitzhaber's ongoing efforts to identify where more funding and oversight are needed at the state level, and to identify additional actions to improve rail safety and emergency response efforts.
Rachel Wray, 503-559-1277