Schumer: Oil train safety plan inadequate for NY
February 26, 2014 1:36PM
FILE - In this July 6, 2013 file-pool photo, emergency workers examine the aftermath of a train derailment and fire in Lac-Megantic, Quebec. Federal regulators issued an emergency order Tuesday requiring tests of crude oil before shipment by rail to determine how susceptible it is to explosion or fire, a response to a string of train accidents since last summer involving oil from the Bakken region of North Dakota and Montana. A runaway train with 72 tank cars of Bakken oil derailed, exploded and burned in the downtown area of Lac-Megantic, Quebec, near the Maine border in July. Forty-seven people were killed and 30 buildings destroyed. Oil trains have also exploded and burned in North Dakota and Alabama in recent months. (AP Photo/Ryan Remiorz, File-Pool)
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Sen. Charles Schumer says federal regulators must amend their new emergency order for rail shipments of crude oil to phase out unsafe tanker cars and reduce train speed in populated areas.
The New York Democrat says Wednesday that the agreement announced by the federal Department of Transportation and Association of American Railroads doesn’t go far enough to protect upstate New York communities. Trains pull hundreds of tankers of highly volatile crude oil from North Dakota, across the Midwest and cross New York daily in a virtual moving pipeline to East Coast refineries.
The federal order announced Tuesday requires more stringent testing of crude to determine how susceptible the cargo is to explosion or fire. But it doesn’t bar companies from continuing to use cars known as DOT-111s that are at risk of rupture in a crash.