Senators Say Gov't Too Slow To Write Safety Rules

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Senators say they're frustrated with the government's slow pace at writing new rail safety regulations in light of recent fiery freight train accidents and a deadly commuter train derailment.

Connecticut Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal warned witnesses at a Senate hearing Thursday, quote, "One of the things we're going to do here is impose accountability."

Cynthia Quarterman, head of the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration, said her agency is working as fast as possible to draft new standards for rail tank cars used to transport crude oil. She said that it takes time to address the more than 100,000 public comments the agency has received.

American Petroleum Institute Prentiss Searles said the oil industry isn't convinced standards need to be toughened beyond voluntary industry standards some cars already meet.

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