Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Dear Friends and Neighbors,
  Contacting our national legislators is important in order to combine our efforts on this topic.
Wishing you well,

On Tuesday, January 7, 2014 1:00 AM, Patricia J. Popple <> wrote:

The Frac Sand Sentinel (#31) from January 5, 2014, highlighted (via articles) the issues related to derailed tanker cars carrying volatile fuel.  I have copied the articles below for your reference.

Mon Dec 30, 2013 16:46 from Zero Hedge by Tyler Durden
CloseMark as           read and hide
Wind is taking toxic smoke towards areas southeast of Casselton, ND, after train derailment. Residents urged to stay indoors

train has derailed west of Casselton, North Dakota just before 2:20 p.m. Monday. As Valley News Live reports, several area emergency teams are on scene and are setting up an incident command center. Emergency crews are urging people to stay inside and a code red alert has been sent out to residents in a two mile radius of the accident. The Casselton Fire Department says a Burlington Northern Santa Fe train is involved. An unknown number of cars derailed, but Valley News Live reports is told one bulk oil car is on fire and toxic black smoke is being released
Fiery Oil Train Crash in Raging Shale Oil Boom State of North Dakota 


 Warning issued about oil shipped from the Bakken oil shale patch

After I sent out the newsletter, I received this comment from a reader in the La Crosse area!

Train explosions prompt regulator warning on Bakken oil flammability

I then received a great article written by Steve Horn who writes for 

I read the article and near the end of the article (you have to look for more beyond the first page) I found a video showing a discussion between Scott Smith and Mark Ruffalo (It is about 10 minutes long but you just have to see it!!! ).  The two have a discussion about the North Dakota derailment and the concerns they have about the vast qualities of volatile substances these old obsolete tankers are carrying across the plains! There are some pretty clear cut revelations.

I wrote to Craig Peachy, Director of SMART in the Transportation Division in Madison and asked him the following questions:

"Are tankers of crude oil coming through WI from the Bakken??? If so, what measures are being taken to safeguard residents? I had a note this morning from a guy from an area south of La Crosse tell me these tankers were moving through "his back yard".  I would guess that this problem is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of dangers to people living near the rail." I then asked him to read Steve Horn's revealing article and to take a look at the interview between Smith and Ruffalo.

Craig Peachy responded with the following:


Yes, that oil is moving through Wisconsin and yes many citizens are concerned with the recent derailments moving this oil. I have many articles on the subject and all eyes in Washington are on the issue. One of the biggest problems are the old DOT111 cars being used in moving the oil. However, the real problem lies with the railroads moving the oil itself-safely. Track conditions, mechanical inspections of rail cars, fatigue of train crews etc. There is currently an HR 3040 Safe Freight Car bill in congress right now that has about 45 cosponsors already signed on that would require 2 persons on every freight train. The Quebec train derailment may have been diverted had there been a two person crew on board. The fact of the matter is the railroads everyday haul much more dangerous products than this oil. Its all about moving it safely. When I get a chance I'll send you the HR 3040 link for people to contact their representative. We would appreciate if you pass on to your group.
Thank you,
Craig "

Craig Peachy then sent me a copy of the letter he had written to Congressman Petri-HR 3040 about supporting  two-person crews. It is attached and I suggest you read it to see why there are problems on some shipments of hazardous products particularly when only one crew member is on board. I suggest you write to your congressman to draw attention to HR 3040 asking that there be at least two certified people on board trains to assure greater opportunities for safety not only on the train but for the communities and areas where these very long trains travel, often carrying volatile and hazardous materials.

Craig also shared this article. Subject: Tell Congress: Support Two-Person Crews HR 3040
Craig can be contacted if you wish to know more, but I think it is important that citizens support bills that require greater safety for those on board those trains not only for the crew's protection but for the protection of people living in the areas surrounding the rail.  I know for certain that tankers go through Chippewa Falls and often are seen on tracks waiting to be picked up. My assumption is that some of the materials they have on board are hazardous and require special handling. You have probably seen them in your area as well!

Craig Peachy, Director
SMART – Transportation Division
Wisconsin Legislative Board, LO 056
7 N Pinckney Street, Suite LL-25
Madison, Wisconsin 53703-4208
0ffice-608 251 4120

Later today, another person sent this article to me which raises questions about the energy lobbyists fighting to reduce the regulation which seems to be the name of the game when it comes to corporations not concerned about the safety of people living around or near big heavy industrial operations. 
Trains Carrying Oil Keep Exploding, but Will the Energy Lobby Allow More Regulation?

I urge you to write to your legislators at the national level as well as other governmental officials to help make life along the rail safe for all of those who could be affected.

Thanks for your help in this matter. I know you have lots on your plate in every area where this letter is sent. However,  policies need to be developed for the safety of all of us.
Pat Popple