MID-HUDSON – Following Monday’s derailment of 28 tank rail cars full of crude oil, resulting a massive explosion and fire near Mount Carbon, West Virginia, state and federal representatives are calling for swift action to regulate those cars.
“If we’re serious about safety, we needed these critical commonsense technology improvements yesterday,” said Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney (D, NY18).
Final federal regulations have yet to be implemented requiring strengthening of the DOT-111 tanker cars and their replacement in two years.
“Thousands of communities like Mount Carbon are at risk when highly explosive crude travels in inadequate tanker cars,” Maloney said.
He has been pushing for the immediate release and implementation of regulations mandating safety standards for transporting oil by rail by last month, which was by congressional mandate. Instead, the US Department of Transportation announced it will not issue the final rule until May.
State Assemblyman Frank Skartados (D, Milton) called for swift action to improve safety on local rail lines in response to the Mount Carbon and Ontario, Canada incidents.
“Once again, while we wait for federal regulators to implement tougher safety regulations on the transportation of crude, another community has been devastated,” Skartados said. “How many more tragedies are needed before they take action? Many of the communities I represent are vulnerable to the same situations that are unfolding in West Virginia and Ontario.”