Last Wednesday, the Cuomo Administration released a report on crude oil transportation safety, which makes a series of state and federal recommendations to help prevent disasters that have occurred in other areas. Gov. Cuomo also announced that he has written to President Obama urging the federal government to take immediate action to strengthen national standards and regulation of crude oil transport.
In January, Cuomo issued an executive order directing the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Department of Transportation (DOT), the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES), the Department of Health (DOH) and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to assess the state’s ability to handle the recent surge in oil trains, which now carry 160,000 barrels of oil every day through the state.
The report calls for better risk analysis of the crude oil being shipped here, the removal of dissolved gases before shipment, and for the industry to put in place an Internet-based system to track trains carrying hazardous material in real time. The report also notes that the federal government has primary responsibility for monitoring these trains.
Gov. Cuomo said:
“New York is taking aggressive steps to protect our communities from potential risks created by trains moving massive amounts of crude oil through our state. While rail transportation of crude oil has risen dramatically, federal regulations and safety precautions have lagged behind. New York is a major hub for this transportation and the State has taken a series of proactive steps to protect our citizens from any potential emergencies. Now we are urging the Federal Government, which has the most authority in this area, to join us in implementing major safety reforms that will safeguard our communities from crude oil disasters.”