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Lawmakers tentatively agree to block tougher air cargo safety rules for lithium batteries
WASHINGTON (AP) ' A congressman says lawmakers have tentatively agreed to block the Obama administration from requiring air shipments of lithium batteries to be treated as hazardous cargo because of the danger of battery fires during flight.
Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., told The Associated Press the decision was reached Thursday in negotiations over a long-term funding bill for the Federal Aviation Administration.
Lawmakers agreed to include a provision blocking proposed safety rules for lithium battery shipments by requiring the U.S. to follow international shipping standards. The House had approved the provision, but the Senate had not.
The provision was backed by a powerful array of industries that ship products containing the batteries.
But pilots' unions say current U.S. and international standards aren't tough enough to prevent fires, air crashes and deaths.