Domestic rail shipments of crude oil grew from 9,500 train car loads in 2008 to 435,560 loads in 2013—an increase of nearly 4,500 percent. The growth in shipment volume has increased the threat of spills, explosions, and other effects associated with a train derailment or crash. Recent incidents in Lac Mégantic, Quebec, Lynchburg, Virginia, Mount Carbon, West Virginia, and Galena, Illinois demonstrate the consequences of crude by rail incidents on surrounding communities and natural environments.
Tear Gas (o-Chlorobenzylidenemalonitrile; CAS No. 2698-41-1) is a white crystalline powder with a pepper-like odor. It was first synthesized by Corson and Stoughton in 1928 (thus the abbreviation “CS”). It was developed in the 1950s as a replacement for the chemical incapacitant CN (1-chloroacetophenone) used by police because CS was a much more potent irritant than CN, but was significantly less toxic.