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County Executive Statement on Derailment at Selkirk Rail Yard

June 24, 2016

I am glad there was not a leak and the cars remained upright when they slid off the tracks. However, this is another reason why I am concerned about the volume of trains transporting crude oil and other flammable and hazardous materials through our backyards, neighborhoods and right along the Hudson River. I have continued to call on our state and federal governments for extensive reforms. Derailments continue to happen and we need to ensure the safety of our residents with stricter standards imposed on our rail lines and the equipment.

3/12/14   Albany County Executive issues Moratorium.

8/28/14   Letter to NYS DEC Commissioner Martens calling for year-long air quality study at the Port of Albany .

9/30/14   Letter to US Dept. of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx on rail car safety recommendations submitted jointly with Albany Mayor.

10/23/14   Selkirk train derailment and Albany County was not notified. 

12/1/14   Albany County Dept. of Health issues letter of concern to NYSDEC regarding issues involving Global Facility and proposed expansion.

2/17/15   County Executive outlines in his State of the County message what needs to be done- DOT 11 phase out now, Positive Train Control faster, lower speeds mandated for flammable liquids in dense urban areas, more money for first responder reimbursement in case of an accident and asked NYS DEC to rescind neg dec for Global and call for full environmental impact statement.

3/4/15   Supports Senator Chuck Schumer’s call on the USDOT to take measures to address the volatility of crude oil shipped via rail. This is the first time that one of our federal legislators has expressed support for this action by the USDOT. Just this week the Wall Street Journal reported that the crude oil aboard the train that derailed recently in West Virginia contained high levels of combustible gases.

4/22/15  County Executive issues statement on rail safety inspection conducted by NY DOT FRA. Report shows that increased monitoring by the state and the Federal Railroad Administration is warranted.

5/1/15   County Executive issues statement supporting announcement of joint US-Canadian rail regulations.

5/6/15   County Executive issued a statement on BNSF derailment in Heimdel, ND. Called on feds to revisit new regulations issued on 5/1/15. 

5/21/15   DEC rescinds the negative declaration regarding Global’s expansion at the Port of Albany.

5/28/15   Expert Advisory Committee issues report on Crude Oil Safety.

9/1/15    Albany County launched two separate legal actions that the county has taken to protect the health and safety of Albany County residents in light of inaction by the federal government regarding the oversight of oil trains in the county.

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Albany County ExecutiveDaniel P. McCoy