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December 21, 2014
Brattle Report on Proposed Changes for Tank Cars with Hazardous Materials Cited in Wall Street Journal

A Brattle report authored by principals Kevin Neels and Mark Berkman, “A Review of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s Draft Regulatory Impact Analysis,” was recently cited in The Wall Street Journal’s recent article “Railcar Bottleneck Looms for Oil.”

The article discusses how the changes proposed for tank cars could disrupt crude oil and other energy shipments. The proposed federal regulations will require tank cars carrying crude oil to be retrofitted with more puncture-resistant features in two years, three years for those carrying ethanol, and five years for tank cars carrying other flammable liquids such as heating oil and chemicals.

The Railway Supply Institute, who commissioned the Brattle report, claims there are not enough resources to retrofit cars carrying flammable liquids quickly enough to meet the proposed federal deadlines, and that thousands of cars will be taken out of service as a result. “They can’t all be modified by the deadline, and the only alternative would be to yank them out of service,” said Dr. Neels.

The Brattle report studied the impact of the proposed regulations for the railway institute, which represents railcar-leasing companies and car manufacturers. Drs. Neels and Berkman found that reduction in the amount of available tank cars could result in either decreased production or forced reliance on more expensive types of transportation such as trucks.

To read the article in its entirety, please click here.

The Brattle report can be downloaded here.