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PHMSA oil train official steps down

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Cynthia Quarterman, the federal regulator who oversaw expansion of the US oil train sector and the fallout from several fiery derailments, will step down, according to reports.

As administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) since November 2009, Quarterman has been a leading safety official as oil train deliveries from North Dakota neared 750 000 bpd and several derailments in the USA and Canada raised concerns about such shipments.

PHMSA has been under scrutiny for more than a year as officials have tried to respond to the hazards posed by oil train cargoes, which have grown in volume along with a rise in domestic crude production.

PHMSA did not confirm Quarterman's departure, which reportedly will come next week.

Quarterman has been at the forefront of the United States’ efforts to improve the safety of trains carrying crude oil amid a string of major explosions in North America since last year.

In July, PHMSA and the Federal Railroad Administration proposed a series of new rules for oil trains to reduce speed, improve braking and phase out the oldest tank cars.

Quarterman has led PHMSA since November 2009.

Edited from various sources by Elizabeth Corner

Sources: ReutersThe Hill

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