DOT to fine Canadian Pacific for delayed derailment notification

WRGB | May 12, 2014 | Staff Report

ALBANY -- Four train cars carrying crude oil slipped off the tracks early Monday morning at Canadian Pacific’s Kenwood Rail Yard at the Port of Albany. The New York Department of Transportation said it will fine the railroad $5,000 for not promptly notifying the agency of the incident.

No one was injured in the incident and no oil leaked from the tanks. Canadian Pacific said it is investigating how the cars derailed.

Under New York State Law, rail accidents must be reported within one hour of the accident. A spokesperson for the railroad said it notified the Federal Railroad Administration within one hour of the derailment, but acknowledged it did not notify state officials until hours later.“Safety is a priority with CP and we take any occurrence seriously.   All safety precautions were taken at the time of this incident to ensure priority response.  CP acknowledges there was a disconnect in the process pertaining to New York State Department of Transportation reporting, which was quickly identified by railroad officials and has already been addressed internally to ensure appropriate reporting procedures are now followed,” said the railroad in an emailed statement,”

Hours after the incident, Sheriff Craig Apple addressed the Albany County Legislature to discuss the county’s preparedness to a major derailment.

His remarks followed a simulated derailment last week at the Port of Albany where many area first responders practiced their response.

“I think four to six cars we would start to be taxed. We have a comprehensive emergency plan we're always updating that plan. We're obviously focusing a lot on the crude oil,” said Apple. 

The sheriff is currently working to create a Tanker Task Force to manage the multi-agency response to a derailment while maintaining fire services to area communities.

“There’s just not enough resources out there yet so we're working hard to continue working at rural areas,” said Apple. “How do we fight this fire if it's in the woods? How do we get that water out there? There’s not hydrants that run along these rail roads in many instances.”

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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.