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Oil pipelines have just got a new sense of urgency Add to ...

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Ottawa’s tougher new oil-by-rail regulations haven’t only started the countdown to remove outdated and potentially hazardous tank cars from the country’s increasingly crude-intensive rail lines. They have also started the clock on Canada’s plans for new oil pipelines.

The new rules, announced Wednesday, give rail car owners three years to replace or retrofit all DOT-111 oil tank cars built prior to January, 2014, to bring the entire fleet to higher standards. It’s a tall order: DOT-111s account for more than 70 per cent of all tank cars in North America, and more than 100,000 of them are used to transport crude and other flammable liquids.

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