Wednesday, April 23, 2014
 

 

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Schumer calls for first responders to be notified of hazardous rail freight

GOSHEN – Local authorities are not required to be notified of hazardous materials being brought through an area on freight cars and US Senator Charles Schumer called for that to be implemented.  The senator on Tuesday urged the procedure during stops in Rockland and Orange counties.

Right now, the State Police in Albany are notified, but that does not help the local authorities and emergency responders in the event of a train derailment, he said.

In Goshen, Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus pointed to two recent derailments, in Rockland and Ulster counties, where fortunately there was no danger, but the local first responders must know about hazardous materials coming through the area, he said.

“Let us know when these are going through our communities so we can prepare out emergency responders to meet that emergency if that ever occurs,” Neuhaus said.  “But, with that emergency being notified to our 911 center, our systems are useless.”

Rockland County Sheriff Louis Falco said it is “both absurd and dangerous” that locals are not notified.

Schumer also called for the dangerous DOT-111 rail cars to be either ungraded or replaced.