Tag Archives: Senator Charles Schumer

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.


Oil tank cars pose a hazard when moving and when parked

Repost from  The Post-Standard, Syracuse, NY (Letters to the Editor)

Oil tanker rail cars pose a hazard when moving and when parked

To the Editor:

Every sports person knows that a moving target is harder to hit than a stationary one. When you can read graffiti on oil tanker cars parked in the train yards in Minoa, and other areas around Syracuse, you know you have a serious safety problem.

Interstate commerce allows Bakken crude-oil rail shipments from North Dakota to “pass” through Central New York State. U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., wants the U.,S. Department of Transportation and the Association of American Railroads to reduce the speed limit of these oil tanker trains from 50 mph to 40 mph through Syracuse and other heavily populated areas. Between 200 to 300 tanker cars “pass” through the Syracuse area daily. Presently, the 40 mph speed limit only applies to Buffalo and the New York City area.

These antiquated, poorly designed DOT-111 tanker cars pose a potential danger to the populace and the environment regardless of their speed! This was evidenced by the recent CSX derailment of crude oil tanker cars in Lynchburg, Va.

It doesn’t make one iota of difference if these trains travel at speeds of 40 or 50 mph, as long as they keep “passing” through the Syracuse area. Parking, however, for indefinite periods in small populated communities, like Minoa, is not acceptable.

Are we, Minoa residents, considered collateral damage – dispensable, if an accident, man-made or otherwise happens?

Come on, CSX … move these hazardous oil tankers out of my village; my front yard is not a bomb depot.

M. Claire Crull