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Highlights from Irving Oil's presentation on crude oil issues

In a June 6 PowerPoint presentation exactly one month before the Lac-Mégantic disaster, Gary Weimer, quality assurance and control manager at Irving Oil's refinery in Saint John, N.B., expressed concerns about the quality of the crude the refinery receives by rail cars.

Problems identified by Irving

1. Tank cars used to move oil by rail can contain a mix of different types of crude as well as additives and pieces of trash.

2. Samples are collected when rail cars reach their destination instead of when they are loaded. By the time testing is completed, it is too late to address any safety issues related to moving the oil by rail.

3. Lack of oversight at transloaders, which are used to load oil from trucks into rail tank cars, in some remote locations.

Solutions proposed by Irving

1. Testing all oil at loading facilities – rather than waiting until it arrives at Irving’s refinery. Transport Canada issued new regulations after the Lac-Mégantic disaster requiring shippers to test oil before it is sent by rail.

2. Irving also suggested putting a stop to the practice of mixing different types of crude in the same rail cars.

Source: Irving Oil

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