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New York's senators applaud safety proposals for transporting crude by rail

Tom Magnarelli/WRVO (file photo)
Sen. Charles Schumer called for better safety standards of DOT 111 rail cars in Syracuse in August 2013

Sen. Charles Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand are welcoming the announcement today by the federal Department of Transportation for increased safety measures for rail cars that carry crude oil.

With more oil being shipped via train from the Bakken region in North Dakota and adjacent Canada to the East Coast, and more accidents involving those tanker cars, safety concerns have been growing.

Schumer told reporters today that he hopes the rules will be implemented as soon as possible.

“These desperately needed safety regulations will phase out the aged and explosion prone DOT 111 tanker cars that are hauling endless streams of highly flammable crude oil throughout communities across the countries and New York, particularly in upstate New York and down through the Hudson Valley,” said Schumer.

The new regulations require that all DOT 111 tanker cars carrying crude oil be retrofitted or replaced within two years, and within five years for cars carrying all other flammable materials. It also calls for additional safety measures, including thicker walls and rollover protection.

Schumer and Gillibrand, both Democrats, have been promoting the need for better safety standards.

“Safety is job number one. And the DOT (the Department of Transportation) should be commended for heeding our call and including a package of common sense safety measures like speed limits, new braking controls and standards for a safer tank car that will further safeguard communities along freight lines,” said Schumer.