Lowey Announced Push For Crude Volatility Standards Or Stop Transport Altogether

Just before Congresswoman Nita Lowey announced her push for legislation to reduce crude oil volatility in West Nyack this morning, she briefed the attendees of a breaking news story out of North Dakota in which an oil train derailment caused ten tanker cars to catch fire, billowing thick black smoke, and evacuating nearby towns though no injuries were reported. The 109 train car shipment was carrying Bakken crude, an especially combustible oil Lowey compared to jet fuel with its 13.7 psi of vapor pressure when oil from Louisiana or the Gulf of Mexico measure at under 5. Lowey applauded Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx’s strides to approve TC-117 measures to implement tank car safety standards including jacketed and updated car construction, ECP breaks, and a reduction in train speed. Lowey commented that her own legislation would halt interstate rail shipment of any crude oil measuring greater than 8.5 psi and would work directly with the U.S. Department of Transportation and Energy to establish a national standard for maximum volatility of railway crude.

Local and environmental officials in attendance supported Lowey’s efforts including Hayley Carlock, Enviromental Advocacy Attorney for Scenic Hudson, Paul Gallay, President of Hudson Riverkeeper, Clarkstown Supervisor Alex Gromack and Elijah Reichlin-Melnick, representative for Orangetown Supervisor Andy Stewart. Chief William Barbera of the Rockland County Sheriff’s Office stood in for Sheriff Louis Falco and announced a full scale simulation of a train derailment planned for July in a collaborative effort with CSX, police, EMS, and the fire department to better prepare themselves for a potential crude oil disaster. Her bill will be announced next Monday which will likely face opposition by the Republican controlled Congress.

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