Rail-car oil spills skyrocket

More crude oil was spilled last year in railcar incidents than in previous 37 years combined

More crude oil was spilled last year in U.S. railway incidents than in the prior 37 years combined.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration released data showing that more than 1.15 million gallons of crude oil was spilled last year from rail cars transporting the substance, compared to 800,000 gallons during the period of 1975-2012, according to MSN News. Some of that spilled oil came as a result of major train derailments in Alabama and North Dakota.

The PHMSA data does not take into account spills that took place in Canada. In one incident alone—the widely publicized oil spill that occurred on July 6 in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, after a runaway train derailed and exploded—more than 1.5 million gallons of oil was spilled.