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BLET NEWS FLASH
INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, April 16 – The BLET Washington State Legislative Board, in conjunction with the SMART-TD Washington Legislative Board, has been lobbying the Washington State Legislature in support of legislation that would require two qualified crew members on trains operating in the state of Washington. Recently, this legislation (HB 1841) passed the State Assembly and will soon be voted on by the State Senate.
Public safety in regards to hazardous material trains is a driving force behind support of the legislation. Since 2009, Washington State has seen a dramatic increase in hazardous material trains (e.g., highly flammable crude oil and compressed gases). U.S. oil production is expected to increase 25 percent by 2025, and it is expected that much of this oil will be transported by trains. This legislation gives Washington State the capability to require more than two crew members for these types of trains, if it is determined by the state’s Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) that doing so would mitigate the risk to public safety when in route to the state’s oil refineries.
Continue reading “Minimum crew size bill awaits vote in Washington State Senate”