Hoeven says DOT timetable on rail tankers too long

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 15, 2014 at 3:46 pm •  Published: January 15, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Department of Transportation needs to speed up its timeline for finalizing new rules on the construction of rail tanker cars, North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven said Wednesday.

Hoeven's comments came after an item published in the federal register indicated that new rules for tankers might not be finalized until sometime after January 2015. The timeline was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Hoeven said he and other North Dakota officials had initially asked for expedited rules in Dec. 2012 and that "industry needs regulatory certainty."

"We are concerned that unless DOT provides guidance sooner, the timelines will be too long for industry to transition to newer, safer tanker cars in a timely way," Hoeven said.

Hoeven's office said the Transportation Department had already reached out to him promising a clarification soon on its timeline.

An item published in the federal register on Tuesday indicated that the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Administration's schedule for making rules on improving or phasing out tanker cars is not scheduled to end until Jan. 2015. The agency oversees the transportation of hazardous materials, including oil.