RAIL SAFETY
11:32 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Onondaga County: We're Prepared in the Event of an Oil Train Incident

Onondaga County Emergency Management officials say there has been an increased focus on how to respond to any potential incident involving a train carrying crude oil.  The volume of shipments of volatile crude from North Dakota on what critics have called flawed, outdated tank cars has skyrocketed through the county on its way to the Port of Albany.  

A DOT 111A tank car sits on the edge of Lac Megantic's destroyed downtown last summer in Quebec.
Credit Brian Mann / North Country Public Radio (NCPR)

  That’s raised concerns from federal, state, and city officials about the danger and ability to respond. 

Onondaga County Commissioner of Emergency Management Kevin Wisely explains how they're working with CSX railroad to prepare for any incident that may occur, including derailment of oil tank cars.

Wisely says he's also been on conference calls with state officials, and Gov. Cuomo has commissioned a task force to review incident prevention response capacity specific to crude oil.  He says the state is also working with the Federal Railroad Agency to inspect rails.  

CONCERN IN ALBANY

Albany County officials have recently tried to reassure the public over concerns about the crude oil trains that travel through the city.  Officials have acknowledged that the trains pose a significant risk but they also admit that depending on the nature of an accident, there’s little they can do.  

The Innovation Trial’s Jenna Flanagan attended a recent Common Council meeting at the Albany Public Housing Authority​.