New rules from the U.S. Transportation Department seeking to make crude-carrying train cars safer are being challenged in court by the American Petroleum Institute (API).
The department's rules, put forward on May 1, set a 2020 deadline to have some 43,000 crude-hauling train cars replaced or retrofitted.
In its petition filed Monday, API argues that the 2020 requirement should be put on hold for now, saying too many cars would have to be replaced or retrofitted in too little time.
"We definitely support upgrades to the fleet," API spokesman Brian Straessle told the Associated Press. "It's a matter of timing."
The new rules, which come in response to a number of oil-train fires and derailments that have occurred recently, also include a new braking standard for certain train cars. API is also challenging that requirement.
The Transportation Department is standing behind its rules.
"We believe the rule will stand up to challenge in court and remain hopeful that industries impacted by these changes will accept their safety obligations and follow the new regulations," Transportation Department spokeswoman Suzi Emmerling said, according to the AP.
Environmentalists and safety proponents also have concerns about the rules and could take action in court as well. Some of the groups want to see the deadlines set under the rules sped up, for example, and the exemption for trains with less than 35 cars eliminated.
Illinois saw a significant oil-train derailment back in March. A BNSF train shipping Bakken crude oil derailed in a rural area near Galena, Illinois and two of the cars caught fire.