CSX Railroad fined for failing to report derailments

Wednesday, March 5, 2014
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— The state Department of Transportation announced Wednesday that it has fined CSX Railroad for failing to report two train derailments carrying crude oil last week.

Commissioner Joan McDonald said the department fined CSX Railroad a total of $10,000, as permitted under state law. Both derailments involved tank cars transporting crude oil.

“Public safety is our top concern, and we will remain vigilant in holding rail companies accountable for following state law when transporting hazardous materials,” McDonald said in a news release.

The derailments occurred on Feb. 25 in Kingston and Feb. 28 in North Dakota, with no oil spilled during either incident. The cause of the derailments are unknown and under investigation, according to the transportation department.

This week the Department of Transportation conducted a series of inspections involving the shipment of crude oil at the Port of Albany and other rail yards. The state Department of Environmental Conservation also started a multi-week inspection at the Port of Albany.

“We are taking action to safeguard our communities from the potential risk of crude oil shipments by launching more aggressive and enhanced enforcement of rail safety,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a news release Friday announcing the increased inspections. “This inspection blitz has resulted in immediate improvements to some of the state’s busiest rail sites.”

On Tuesday Gov. Andrew Cuomo also sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security calling for a boost in rail safety standards.

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