Wednesday, May 7, 2014
 

 

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Crude oil training drill being held at Port of Albany

ALBANY – A two-day training drill at the Port of Albany to simulate risks associated with flammable liquids like crude oil began on Tuesday and continues today by the state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services. It will involve Capital District first responders and haz-mat teams.

Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney (D, NY18) praised the effort and said it should be replicated along the West Shore Line in the Hudson Valley, particularly in the populated areas of the cities of Newburgh and Kingston.

“I want to have more safety drills. I want to do a field hearing on this,” Maloney said.  “I am on the committee in Congress that oversees these things. I would like to bring some people together to look at this very closely,” he said. “Drills are great but we need more than drills. We need to make sure the accidents don’t happen in the first place.”

Michael Edelstein, president of Orange Environment, Inc., said a similar drill to that in Albany is needed at the oil terminal facilities in New Windsor and truck routes leading to Albany.

“What is needed for rail and truck traffic is the equivalent of the Right to Know Process of reporting under the Superfund, which allows citizens and officials to know what is stored in their community,” Edelstein said.

A host of public officials on all levels of government have expressed their concern about rail safety in light of recent freight train derailments that involved crude oil tanker cars. Those DOT-111 cars have been deemed to be unsafe and there has been a unified call to upgrade or replace them.