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Study: More Oil Trains Roll Through Columbus

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Tom Borgerding
/
WOSU News
U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) flanked by Mike Pannell of the Franklin County Emergency Management Agency as he proposes a speed up of oil tank car replacements

A new study of hazardous material transport shows more oil tank cars are rolling through Columbus.  The oil tankers often carry crude oil from the Midwest to refineries south and east of Columbus.  Franklin County Emergency Management Director , Mike Pannell, says he's surprised by the new study.

"It jumped up off the page after we did the study. Crude oil was number one for carloads. In one specific period we counted 344 carloads of crude oil coming through at one time," says Pannell.

Pannell and Columbus fire officials Tuesday expressed support for proposed federal legislation to speed removal of older oil tank cars from railroads.  Democratic U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown says the proposal will tighten rail safety standards.

"But over time we want to find ways to work cooperatively with them to make sure when they're coming through Central Ohio, when they're coming through Columbus  these tanker cars, that the rail lines are safer and the tanker cars are safer where there's an accident," says Senator Brown

A train derailment near the Ohio State fairgrounds in 2012 caused a tank car explosion and forced evacuation of nearby residents and businesses.