News > News > Preserve River Ecology > Crude Oil Transport > Enviro Groups Call for Emergency Action to Halt Crude Oil Trains in Light of Today’s Accident in Virginia

Enviro Groups Call for Emergency Action to Halt Crude Oil Trains in Light of Today’s Accident in Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contacts: Jay Burgess, Scenic Hudson, 914-489-0362, jburgess@scenichudson.org
Tina Posterli, Riverkeeper, 516-526-9371, tposterli@riverkeeper.org


Statement by The Natural Resources Defense Council, Riverkeeper and Scenic Hudson

HUDSON RIVER VALLEY – April 30, 2014 – The Natural Resources Defense Council, Riverkeeper and Scenic Hudson praised Governor Cuomo for issuing today a comprehensive set of steps that could lead to greater safety on a huge volume of crude oil transport through the Hudson Valley. The environmental groups went on to ask for President Obama to call on U.S. Secretary of Transportation to issue an emergency order to ban the use of DOT-111 train cars to carry crude oil. The organizations also called on federal and state leaders to join them in the call – to make the Hudson River and Valley safer today.

Just this afternoon a CSX train—made up of defective DOT-111 cars carrying Bakken crude oil— derailed causing a fire and spill in Lynchburg, VA. This underscores the absolute imperative of addressing the issue of escalating crude oil transport in the Hudson Valley. The major public safety issue posed by crude oil transport has been called out by Congress, the industry itself, the National Transportation Safety Board – as well as Riverkeeper, Scenic Hudson and Sierra Club in an April 2 letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Under federal law, the Secretary of Transportation has the authority to “immediately order restrictions and prohibitions that maybe necessary to abate unsafe conditions or practices that cause an emergency situation involving a hazard of death, personal injury or significant harm to the environment.” This emergency has happened in Lac-Megantic Canada, resulting in 47 deaths, today in Virginia, and many more times around the nation. We shouldn’t wait for a disaster in the Hudson Valley to happen before appropriate action is taken. We seek the governor’s leadership in joining us to press the Secretary of Transportation to exercise the powers he has to protect the citizens of New York and the country.
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