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Irving Oil to convert fleet of crude oil railcars to meet U.S. standards

SAINT JOHN, N.B. - Irving Oil says it will convert its fleet of crude oil railcars to comply with U.S. recommendations for DOT-111 tank cars built after Oct. 1, 2011.

The Saint John-based company says it will complete the conversion by April 30 and it will require the removal of older-model railcars from service.

Specifications out by the Association of American Railroads call for railcars built after October 2011 to be constructed with reinforcements that have been reported to reduce the risk of product loss if the railcars derail.

The DOT-111 railcars came under scrutiny because they were the same model involved in the derailment in Lac-Megantic, Que., last summer that killed 47 people and incinerated the town's downtown core.

Investigators said 60 of 63 railcars carrying oil that left the tracks in that disaster spilled their contents because of tank car damage.

Irving Oil says it will also ask its suppliers to adhere to the American standards by Dec. 31.

The Canadian Press

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