Oil train insurance bill passes Assembly

Capital New York | June 16, 2014 | Column by Scott Waldman

ALBANY—The first piece of legislation aimed at curbing the influx of oil trains in New York has passed the state Assembly.

The new bill, sponsored by Democratic Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy of Albany, is targeted at limiting the storage and transportation of oil through the state. It would require companies that store tar sands or Bakken crude oil in New York to carry adequate liability insurance for cleanup and decontamination.

Sen. Mark Grisanti of Buffalo is sponsoring the bill in the Senate, but it's not clear if it will pass before this year's legislative session ends on Thursday.

If the bill passes the Senate and is signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, it could encourage the passage of similar legislation that has already been introduced.

Fahy joined with other Albany-area legislators on Saturday to introduce others bills aimed at restricting the movements of oil trains in New York.

Another bill would strengthen penalties when trains block crossings—raising the penalty from $100 to up to $75,000—and yet another would create a private right of action so that, in the event someone is harmed by violation of that law, they can recoup their losses. Bill language is currently being drafted to increase the balance of the state’s oil spill fund to 2014 standards.

“We just want to make sure they're adhering to the rules and complying,” Assemblyman John McDonald said.


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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.