State programs Rail

NY’s Cuomo calls for rail safety reforms

Albany, NY – New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) recently urged federal officials to speed up federal rail safety reforms, as derailments of trains transporting volatile crude oil continue to occur in North America.

Cuomo’s letter, sent March 4, came shortly after two train derailments in his state. Crude oil from the Bakken Formation has been a recent topic of concern among federal officials and the rail industry due to its apparent ability to ignite at lower temperatures than “traditional” crude oil.

In his letter to Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, Cuomo asked them to prioritize improvements in rail tank car designs and labeling, inspections of tracks on at-risk routes and emergency reporting requirements for train derailments involving crude oil. He also requested that the Department of Homeland Security add crude oil to the list of hazardous materials that it tracks so New York emergency response agencies have real-time information about the location of crude oil shipments.