The US Department of Transportation has reversed a decision requiring crude oil rail tank cars to be fitted with an advanced breaking system designed to prevent fiery derailments.
The requirement to install so-called electronically controlled pneumatic brakes was included in a package of safety reforms unveiled by the Obama administration in 2015 in response to a series of deadly derailments that grew out of the US shale boom.
There have been at least 17 significant ethanol or crude derailments since 2006, according to government data.
The oil and rail industry criticized the move at the time, arguing the costs to install the brakes are prohibitive and the technology is not conclusively proven to be more effective.
Supporters of the brake system said they would reduce stopping distances and reduce dangerous pile ups. The breaks are being phased in on passenger trains, such as Amtrak.
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