The Trump administration is considering a rule that would allow trains carrying a potentially dangerous substance to travel through Michigan and other states. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is reviewing hundreds of public comments about the proposal to allow the bulk transport of liquefied natural gas in rail tank cars. Nathan Murphy with Environment Michigan says it would pose a threat to anyone who lives near the roughly 3,600 miles of railroad tracks.
“They’re going to be put in much higher danger if a train were to derail and an accident would happen and these trains would breach and leak, and potentially catch fire. And shipping this around Michigan, or having trains cut through Michigan on their way to someplace else, is just an incredible risk that communities aren’t willing to accept.”
According to federal regulators, liquefied natural gas has been transported safely by highway and vessel for more than 50 years, and rail transport is needed given the expansion of U.S. energy production. More than 400 comments were submitted, including from the National Transportation Safety Board, which said it would be detrimental to public safety.