Oil trains pose a significant threat to Pennsylvanians 

Transporting crude oil by rail from the Bakken formation in North Dakota is inherently unsafe. The U.S. Department of Transportation has stated that crude oil fracked from the Bakken is incredibly volatile and explosive. Punctures or leaks caused by train derailments can easily lead to explosions or fires, which can be catastrophic for local communities, impossible for firefighters to manage, and take days to burn out.

In the past 2 years, there have been several major Bakken oil train disasters—most recently, in Mount Carbon, West Virginia. The most disastrous of these explosions took place in Quebec, Canada in July of 2013, when an oil train derailed and exploded into a massive fireball, killing 47 local residents and leveling  a quarter of the town.

Oil train accidents have also happened closer to home. Pennsylvania had three near misses in the past two years alone—one outside of Pittsburgh and two in Philadelphia. In all three cases, trains carrying this highly volatile Bakken crude derailed in densely populated areas. Disaster was averted since these oil train accidents did not lead to explosions or fires.

We must protect Pennsylvanians from oil trains

Since these trains frequently travel through our cities and communities, nearly 4 million Pennsylvanians currently live within the possible evacuation zone of an oil train crash. Our elected officials must implement commonsense policies to protect Pennsylvanians’ health and safety from the growing threat of oil trains.

Of course, the only real way to ensure that we protect the public is to get America off of dirty, dangerous oil and halt the disastrous process of fracking for this oil.

In the meantime, there are much-needed steps to protect communities from the threat of oil trains.

First and foremost, we must ban the use of dangerous oil trains until the industry and experts have shown that they pose no threat to our communities and meet air-tight protection measures.

Moreover, we must stop the practice of oil trains traveling through highly populated areas in Pennsylvania, ending the practice of withholding information from local residents about oil trains traveling through their communities, , and creating emergency response plans in the case of a disaster.

The solution is clear. We need to get these dangerous oil trains out of our communities and out of Pennsylvania before they cause a catastrophic accident in the Keystone State. 

Issue updates

News Release | PennEnvironment

Labor unions, parent groups, and health experts join Philly council members to announce citywide coalition to tackle environmental health threats in public schools

[Philadelphia] – As Philadelphia City Council heard testimony from concerned citizens at a public hearing about the city’s public schools, a powerful coalition of unusual suspects announced the kick-off of the “Philly Health Schools Initiative” to address significant building condition deficiencies and related environmental health threats found in public school buildings, including lead paint, asbestos, mold and other risks. 

> Keep Reading
News Release | PennEnvironment

PennEnvironment Announces Pittsburgh Endorsements

[Philadelphia] – Today the citizen-based environmental organization PennEnvironment announced its slate of environmental endorsements for races in the mayoral and city council primaries in the city of Pittsburgh for the May 16th primary.

> Keep Reading
News Release | PennEnvironment

As Historic Clean Water Case Goes Before PA State Supreme Court, Nearly 100 Groups File Brief Supporting PA-DEP

Enviro groups, businesses, and elected officials ask PA’s high court to overturn lower court decision that could take the teeth out of clean water enforcement

> Keep Reading
News Release | Environment America

Environment America and EnergySage announce partnership to help more Americans adopt solar power

In an effort to help more Americans research and adopt solar energy for their homes and businesses, Environment America and EnergySage announced a new partnership today. Environment America will encourage its members and the general public to use the EnergySage platform to find the right solar installation option in their area.

> Keep Reading
News Release | Environment Texas

Federal Court: Exxon Violated Clean Air Act Over 16,000 Times, Must Pay $19.95 Million Penalty

HOUSTON – A federal district court has ruled on a lawsuit brought against ExxonMobil in 2010 by PennEnvironment's sister organization Environment Texas and Sierra Club. They, with the help of National Environmental Law Center, sued Exxon for violating the Clean Air Act more than 16,000 times at its Baytown, Texas, refinery and chemical plant.

> Keep Reading

Pages

View AllRSS Feed