Apr 23, 2014
By Jane Brown
Rail-safety rules are about to be strengthened in Canada following last summer’s disaster in Lac-Megantic, Quebec. There are published reports this morning that Ottawa will require railways to prepare for catastrophic explosions and other disasters by making emergency response plans mandatory for all crude-oil shipments that pass through Canada. The federal government will also reportedly require a rapid phase out of the older model tank cars that are commonly used to haul crude oil by rail. The changes are expected to be announced today. They come after a Globe and Mail investigation which showed that regulators in Canada and the U.S. had done little to respond to a massive increase in shipments of crude oil before the devastating explosion in Lac-Megantic last July. Forty-seven people were killed when an oil-laden train derailed and exploded in the worst railway disaster in modern Canadian history.