UPDATE 2-Canada, U.S. agencies urge fast action on oil-by-rail safety
By Randall Palmer and Louise Egan
OTTAWA Jan 23 (Reuters) - North American regulators should phase out the type of rail car involved in last July's deadly Lac-Megantic crash "sooner rather than later," Canadian investigators said on Thursday, urging the United States and Canada to impose tougher standards swiftly.
Canada's Transportation Safety Board (TSB) and the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued three recommendations each, adding pressure on regulators to improve safety on the tracks after a series of oil-by-rail accidents in recent months.
Neither the TSB nor the NTSB have the power to impose regulations, which only the U.S. and Canadian governments can put in place.
"A long and gradual phase-out of older cars simply isn't good enough," TSB Chairwoman Wendy Tadros said at an Ottawa news conference. "The period in which that phase-out happens is something we're going to leave to regulators, but we're saying this should be happening sooner rather than later."
Government officials in both countries said on Thursday they viewed the recommendations as a matter of urgency.
The oil that exploded in the Lac-Megantic, Quebec, derailment, which caused an explosion and fire that killed 47 people, was carried in DOT-111 tanker cars that pre-dated tougher new safety standards for that type of car that were introduced in October 2011. Continued...