Albany County Executive Pushes for More Regulations on Oil Trains

oiltrianIn attempts to increase regulation on oil trains that are bound for Washington, Albany County Executive Dan McCoy joined a lawsuit that accuses the federal court of slacking in previous efforts.

In 2014, Governor Cuomo ordered state agencies to review the routes and methods of crude oil transport throughout Upstate New York, and to develop adequate emergency spill response and fire suppressing plans.

With 44 trains a week carrying at least one million gallons in tow, crude oil has been passing through Upstate New York and Albany County from North Dakota for three years now. While no derailment incidents have occurred in New York thus far, emergency management officials are constantly on their toes, training to respond to potentially devastating derailments.

These oil tankers are extremely dangerous, and call for major regulation in ensuring that they are properly phased out and stopped altogether. But according to Capital New York, the Cuomo administration has yet to act on this, despite the request of County Executive McCoy and environmental groups alike.

In 2013, an oil derailment occurred in Quebec, killing 47 people.

In hopes of preventing such disasters from occurring in New York, McCoy filed an Amicus brief against the U.S. Department of Transportation in federal appeals court.

As part of the lawsuit, McCoy called for a faster phase-out, as well as higher rates of stabilization of oil before shipping. Additionally, he called for more disclosure of train routes.

Typically, storage tanks must be larger than the oil storage itself, with 100% storage capacity and an accompanying second storage case.

In addition to this, the county of Albany will be joining a separate lawsuit against Global Partners, which with state permission, plans to use trains to transport over two billion gallons of crude oil.

While emergency response is important, McCoy hopes to achieve prevention of derailment and oil devastation and contamination in Upstate New York.

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