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For Release: Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Statement from NYSDOT Commissioner Joan McDonald and NYSDEC Commissioner Joseph Martens on the Crude Oil Train Derailment in West Virginia

Yesterday's derailment of 25 rail cars carrying crude oil through West Virginia and the resulting house fire is exactly the reason why the U.S. Transportation Department should not wait any longer to adopt tougher safety regulations for shipments of crude oil.

These proposed regulations - requiring rail cars to be retrofitted with reinforced steel plates and advanced braking systems - will help better protect our communities from the dangers posed by the transport of crude oil by rail.

For more than a year, Governor Cuomo has strongly advocated for the federal government to expedite new regulations regarding crude oil by rail, but the pace of progress remains far too slow.

New York has witnessed a dramatic increase in the amount of crude oil transported by rail in recent years. Under the Governor's direction, the State has taken aggressive actions to better protect our residents and natural resources. In addition, Governor Cuomo's budget proposes increasing the size of the Oil Spill Fund, which provides resources for oil spill cleanups when the responsible party cannot be identified or lacks the means to address a spill.

The safety of our communities and our residents must be our highest priority and we cannot wait until the next derailment to act.

We encourage President Obama to make the review and approval of these new regulations a priority.


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