10/29/2017   Statement by Machinists Union President Bob Martinez, and Sal Rosselli, President, National Union of Healthcare Workers, on President Trump Declaring the Opioid Crisis a Public Health Emergency



  05/24/2015   Another Louisiana Parrish Dealing With Tank Car Derailment


 Courtesy: Addis Police Department

ADDIS, LA – On May 19, 2015, Officials with West Baton Rouge Parish reported a mandatory evacuation and shelter in place issued as a precaution after a train derailment in Addis has been lifted. The order was lifted around 1:15 a.m. All residents were allowed to return to their homes. Originally, the evacuation order went into effect at 7 p.m.

Four chemical tankers derailed in Addis around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. Officials ordered the evacuation of Acadian Crossing and Sunset neighborhoods, as well as areas within 1,000 feet from the derailment site. Officials said the four Union Pacific cars were en route to Livonia. The train was moving slowly at the time of the derailment. Union Pacific officials won't know the cause of the derailment until they move the tankers and inspect the tracks.

Louisiana State Police, Department of Environmental Quality and Union Pacific all responded to the scene to inspect the tankers. The chemicals on the train are sodium hydroxide, propylene oxide, propylene dichloride and nitrogen blanket purge. Sodium hydroxide, also known as lye and caustic soda, is an inorganic compound. Propylene oxide is an organic compound used for the production polyurethane plastics.

Propylene dichloride is an organic compound classified as a chlorocarbon. It is a colorless, flammable liquid with a sweet garlic odor. It is obtained as a byproduct of the production of epichlorohydrin, which is produced on a large scale. In contact with water, epichlorohydrin hydrolyzes to 3-MCPD, a carcinogen found in food. It is also used as a solvent for resins, and paints, and it has found use as an insect fumigant.

The Addis Police Department is investigating the derailment, along with the assistance of the West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office.

Officials said the evacuation was a precaution, in the event something would happen when crews turned the train cars back upright. Officers with the Addis Police Department went door-to-door to inform residents of the evacuation and to assist.



  05/06/2015   Union Pacific Railroad ordered to pay $100K

Union Pacific Railroad ordered to pay $100K to worker who was retaliated against for reporting injury

An OSHA investigation has determined that management of the Union Pacific Railroad added insult to injury to a worker in Roseville, Calif., who was hurt on-the-job by retaliating against him for reporting his injury in February 2011.

Investigators established that Union Pacific action violated the Federal Railroad Safety Act. As a result, OSHA has ordered the railroad to pay the worker $100,000 in punitive and compensatory damages. For more information, see the news release.

This case follows a pattern of behavior by Union Pacific toward its injured employees. OSHA recently reported that the railroad has faced more than 200 whistleblower complaints nationwide since 2001.

OSHA enforces the whistleblower* provisions of the FRSA and 21 other statutes protecting employees who report violations of various industries. Detailed information about OSHA's Whistleblower Protection Program and employee whistleblower rights is available at



  02/08/2015   Feds Delay Final Rules for Crude Oil Tank Cars

A DOT-111 rail tanker travels through Council Bluff Iowa

The growing number of older rail cars used by the oil industry has prompted calls for safety upgrades from many organizations and agencies. Philadelphia is experiencing a major boom in the oil industry, and  has become one of busiest crude-by-rail shipment sources in the U.S. Federal regulators with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) are delaying the release of final regulations for older freight-rail tank cars transporting ethanol and crude oil. The rules will be released May 12 instead of March 31st as was originally planned.

This comes after many railroad industry groups warned in public comments that the proposed phase-out of DOT-111 tankers carrying Class 1 flammable materials by October 2017 and a phase-out of those carrying Class 2 liquids by October 2018 will lead to shortages of tank cars. Federal officials late last year received more than 3,400 public comments on an array of proposals aimed at safer transportation of crude oil by rail. They include a new design for tank cars, retrofitting existing tank cars, installing new braking systems and speed restrictions.

In a joint filing, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) and the American Petroleum Institute (API) contend the tank car industry doesn’t have the capacity to retrofit the estimated 143,000 tank cars that would need to be modernized to meet the new specifications. They say manufacturers could not build new tank cars fast enough.

About 70 percent of crude oil shipped to refineries from the Bakken Shale Formation in North Dakota and Montana — and 70 percent of ethanol shipped to refineries — is transported by rail, according to the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, a trade group representing 120 U.S. refineries.

As a State Impact analysis from Pennsylvania has previously reported, Bakken oil has helped breathe new life into Philadelphia’s refineries, but the city has also become one of the nation’s most heavily traveled regions for rail oil shipments. A string of recent accidents has prompted calls for safety upgrades.

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