NY reviewing oil-train info

Times Herald-Record | June 18, 2014 | Column by James Walsh

CSX's request for New York to withhold information from the public about its rail shipments of volatile crude oil remained under review Tuesday by multiple state agencies.

Oil-train cars are shown near Lake Katrine. PAUL BROOKS/Times Herald-Record

The departments of transportation, environmental conservation, and homeland security and emergency services were expected to reach a decision soon, state spokesman Peter Cutler said in an email.

An emergency order issued May 7 by the U.S. Department of Transportation requires railroads to disclose shipments of 1 million or more gallons of volatile Bakken crude oil. The ruling followed a series of derailments resulting in massive explosions and fires.

Railroads have cited security concerns about releasing the information, while federal officials see a need for emergency first responders to know when shipments pass through their jurisdictions.

So-called oil trains in the Hudson Valley typically haul 100 or more tanker cars, each capable of holding 30,000 gallons.

Global Companies of Waltham, Mass., is seeking state permits to install equipment in New Windsor and the Port of Albany that could be used to quicken the transfer of crude oil to storage tanks and barges on the Hudson River.

Environmental groups including Riverkeeper want the federal order to pertain to other petroleum products, including tar sand oil from Canada.

That type of crude sinks in water and is nearly impossible to retrieve, the environmentalists say.

jwalsh@th-record.com

http://www.recordonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20140618/BIZ/406180320/-1/NEWS

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PAUSE, People of Albany United for Safe Energy
PAUSE is a grassroots group of individuals who have come together to promote safe, sustainable energy and fight for environmental justice. We engage the greater public to stop the fossil fuel industry’s assault on the people of Albany and our environment.