Governor Andrew Cuomo has directed state agencies to strengthen the state's oversight of petroleum shipments by rail, citing devastating accidents in Quebec and North Dakota and the expansion of crude oil shipping through the Port of Albany.
Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens announced the action at a legislative budget hearing Wednesday. He says Cuomo issued an executive order directing the Department of Environmental Conservation and other agencies to evaluate the state's spill prevention, response and inspection programs involving rail and ship transport of petroleum products.
The agencies are to report recommendations to Cuomo on April 30. The state is asking the federal government to fast-track enhanced standards for transporting crude oil by rail and water to help prevent accidents.
(c) 2014 AP