Maryland releases crude oil train counts and movements

RELATED TOPICS: CRUDE OIL | FREIGHT | REGULATION | CSX | NS | EAST
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ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Want to know how many crude oil trains travel through Maryland each week? The state is releasing the numbers.

The Associated Press says that Maryland's Dept. of the Environment began releasing weekly numbers of crude-by-rail shipments that travel through the state on Wednesday.

The numbers show that one to five trains are operated each week by CSX Transportation, and they travel through the city of Baltimore, along with Allegany, Baltimore, Carroll, Cecil, Frederick, Harford, Howard, and Washington counties. Norfolk Southern operates as many as 16 trains per week through Cecil County.

The issue of notifying state and local emergency management agencies of crude-by-rail shipments has long been a contentious issue. The U.S. Department of Transportation has maintained that local first responders need to know about these movements in the event of an oil train derailment and explosion, and many first responders have been trained by the railroads on how to best handle such an event.

The railroads, on the other hand, do not want the records released to state and local agencies, as they believe that this information would provide business intelligence to competitors. Nevertheless, the U.S. DOT issued an emergency order in 2014 that requires railroads to report crude-by-rail movements moving through a given state to that state’s emergency management agencies.

In Maryland, the Associated Press and additional news organizations requested public release of the records under the Maryland Public Information Act. In August, a Maryland judge ordered that the records be disclosed.


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