New Safety Recommendations a Good Step Forward

Tougher rules still needed for transport of toxic chemicals


TRENTON—“We applaud today’s recommendations by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to toughen standards for trains carrying crude oil. Monday’s train derailment over the Schuylkill in Philadelphia was one in a long list of reminders that dangerous and toxic materials are transported through our region everyday.”

“Philly residents were lucky to escape the more disastrous oil spills experienced recently by residents in North Dakota and Alabama. But the residents of Paulsboro, NJ weren’t so lucky when a train derailed and spilled enough vinyl chloride to evacuate the entire town and send 71 people to the hospital just over a year ago.”

“The NTSB recommendations to the Department of Transportation are a good first step in protecting the public, but we also need stronger standards for toxic chemical transportation. The reality is that the many oil and chemical facilities in New Jersey and the Philadelphia area pose a huge threat to public health and safety. Trains and trucks transport tons of hazardous and toxic materials through our communities on a daily basis to and from oil refineries, manufacturers, and other chemical facilities.”

“A spill or accident in North Jersey could put over 12 million people at risk from exposure. In Philadelphia, the Trainer Refinery would threaten over 2 million if there was an incident there. The President issued an Executive Order to improve the safety and security of chemical facilities. The Department of Transportation should act quickly to heed recommendations for stronger rail cars and route planning that would avoid heavily populated areas.”

NJPIRG is a statewide, non-partisan, non-profit consumer advocacy group.
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The NTSB recommendations can be found here: