WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y.—Congresswoman Nita Lowey applauded the Federal Railroad Administration’s increased enforcement of rail safety rules.
The FRA issued 6,845 violations and $15 million in penalties in the fiscal year ending Sep. 30, up 23 percent from the previous year. Lowey, who represents Rockland County and most of Westchester County, through which both passenger and shipment rail lines run, hailed the announcement.
“Strict safety standards exist for a reason,” Lowey said. “And I’m glad the Federal Railroad Administration is holding railroads accountable for adhering to these regulations.”
Lowey, the Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee, particularly pointed to the danger of hazardous materials being shipped through Rockland.
“Tank cars carry highly volatile crude oil through American communities each day, including Rockland County. No one should have to live with dangerous explosive materials rumbling through their back yards,” Lowey said.
Passenger safety is also an issue for Lowey, as both Amtrak and Metro-North run through Westchester. In 2011, Metro-North’s safety came into question when a train coming from Westchester crashed shortly after entering the Bronx, killing four and injuring 61 passengers.
Lowey is a co-sponsor of the Crude-by-Rail Safety Act now in Congress, which would authorize $40 million for first responder training programs, establish grants for local communities to update emergency response plans, and improve emergency notification procedures.
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