News > News > Preserve River Ecology > Crude Oil Transport > Riverkeeper responds to Sen. Charles Schumer’s proposal on crude oil train safety

Riverkeeper responds to Sen. Charles Schumer’s proposal on crude oil train safety

For Immediate Release: May 4, 2015

Contact: Leah Rae, Riverkeeper
914-478-4501, Ext. 238

“Sen. Schumer is right to demand faster, stronger action to address the imminent danger from crude oil trains that run straight through our towns daily and along our rivers daily,” Riverkeeper President Paul Gallay said. “We should not have to wait five or 10 years for what’s urgently and clearly needed: to get accident-prone rail cars, clearly prone to disastrous spills and explosions, off the tracks.”

“The feds have acknowledged these accidents will continue – at a rate of five to 15 mainline derailments every year, with potentially billion dollar consequences – it’s completely unacceptable to delay action,” Gallay said. “The NTSB itself called a 10-year phaseout ‘excessively long.’ We share the Safety Board’s concern that ‘such a timeline for action would present increasing risk of severe injury to persons, property, and environmental damage for many years to come.’”

The proposal today by Sen. Schumer makes significant improvements to the industry-friendly rule announced Friday by U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx on the shipment of hazardous materials by rail.

“The Senator’s clear, unambiguous requirement for comprehensive oil spill response plans for trains carrying crude oil and other hazardous products – as our own federal safety officials have recommended – will be a breakthrough in the efforts to confront this nationwide threat to local communities,” Riverkeeper Staff Attorney Sean Dixon said. “Moreover, the proposal appropriately speeds up the phaseout of the most dangerous rail cars, extends speed limits based on population density, and calls for volatility standards within one year for crude oil shipments by both rail and barge.”

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