Federal rail safety legislation proposed by NY Sen. Schumer

Repost from The Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Schumer pushing new rail safety bill

June 28, 2014

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York, announced Thursday he has co-sponsored a bill aimed at better coordinating federal resources to improve responses to railroad derailments, including those involving oil cars.

The bill, called the Railroad Emergency Preparedness, Operational Needs and Safety Evaluation (RESPONSE) Act of 2014, would establish a subcommittee under the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Advisory Council to address the issue of railroad derailments and the resulting hazmat incidents, with a specific focus on crude oil transported down New York state railroads.

Schumer said the committee would be tasked with bringing together all of the relevant federal agencies, emergency responders, technical experts and the private sector for a review of training, resources, best practices and unmet needs related to emergency responders to railroad hazmat incidents. Schumer said if the bill is approved all flammable, hazardous materials that travel railways would be subject to review by subcommittee members, with a particular focus on train oil transport, as evidenced by the increased risk associated with derailments of cars that carry this crude oil.