Gov. Cuomo announced last week that he has issued an executive order directing five state agencies to review and strengthen oversight of oil trains traveling through the state.


Gov. Cuomo has directed the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Department of Transportation (DOT), the Department of Health (DOH), the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to consult with federal authorities and to undertake a thorough assessment of State’s prevention and response rules and inspection programs involving the transportation of petroleum products by rail and water. The agencies are to report to the Governor by April 30, 2014, assessing the State’s capacity to prevent and respond to accidents involving the shipment of crude oil, and to make any recommendation to increase safety.


According to the Governor’s statement:


“The rail transport of Bakken crude oil from North Dakota has gone from next to nothing four years ago to 800,000 barrels per day now nationally. Bakken crude travels over approximately 1,000 miles of New York rail and via ship and barge on the Hudson River from the Port of Albany, bound for refineries in Canada and the mid-Atlantic States. According to recent reports, The Port of Albany handles some 40,000 carloads annually or about 120 per day.”