McCoy Renews Call for Train Derailment Notification Legislation after Selkirk Crash

Time Warner Cable NEWS  |  October 23, 2014  |  By Maria Valvanis

SELKIRK, N.Y. -- Concerns and criticism continue to grow after as many as 25 train cars derailed Wednesday night at the Selkirk rail yard. CSX officials said they followed the proper protocols while County officials say that's not enough.

The cleanup continues in Selkirk after that major CSX train derailment Wednesday night. Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple said because the train contains hazardous materials, it's not just a 'mild situation.' Time Warner Cable News reporter Maria Valvanis has the story.

The derailment happened about a mile down the rail yard, but media hasn't been able to get close to the scene to see exactly what's going on. And CSX officials and local leaders are painting two very different pictures.

Despite the crash, there were no injuries or leaks of any hazardous materials. CSX officials said some non-hazardous material carrying cars were leaning, or not completely upright, and one car that was carrying propane was involved in the derailment.

Albany County Executive Dan McCoy said the cars were piled up on top of each other, some badly twisted, and others leaning up against the propane tank, which he said posed a very serious threat to the public. McCoy said CSX neglected to inform his office of the derailment, something he says is unacceptable.

"This is the problem. It's about notification process and being a partner, because every time they do this, it's like secrecy. Of course it makes us stand back and say what else are you trying to hide from us?" McCoy said.

McCoy has been pushing for new legislation that would make it a crime for train companies not to report an incident to the county within 30 minutes. He said proper communication gets emergency crews to the scene faster.

In response, CSX spokesperson Rob Doolittle released a statement saying the company did nothing wrong.

"CSX reported the incident within the time frames required by applicable state and federal regulations. Safety is CSX's highest priority and protecting our workers and the communities in which we operate is our first concern," the statement read.

DOT officials confirmed that CSX did report the incident within one hour of it happening -- as required by current state law. There is no current law requiring train companies to report incidents to the county at all.

CSX crews and contractors were on site working to remove the derailed cars. The incident hasn't impacted train operations outside of the rail yard.

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commented 2014-10-23 22:56:18 -0400 · Flag
Let’s here it for Albany County which is the ONLY government body that is standing up for the people
commented 2014-10-23 21:42:04 -0400 · Flag
Let’s turn back the clocks to March 2014… 13 tank cars carrying crude oil derail at the Selkirk rail yard.

“Given the controversy about crude oil shipments into Albany, you would think that CSX is doing its dead-level best to avoid a derailment,” said Fred Millar.

Considering March’s derailment, the four CSX derailments prior to that in only a handful of months, and now the current event, I interpret CSX’s “dead-level best” as a resounding failure that maintains no comfort or assurance of their ability to prevent disastrous incidents, nor communicate with those charged to protect us (Sheriff Craig Apple).

All this after Leader Cuomo’s Safety “Inspection Blitz.”

Executive Officers, with knowledge of the potential for death, (CSX and Buckeye and Global and Canadian Pacific) engaging in this risky business of the transportation of crude shale oil by rail should by law, in the event of a lethal incident, warrant Murder (2nd Degree) charges of Depraved Indifference.
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.