Statement By Senator Craig M. Johnson On (s.6727) Proposed Legislation To Notify Localities Of The Rail Transportation Of Hazardous Materials

Craig M. Johnson

January 13, 2008

"This is common sense legislation that should be passed as soon as possible. While communities and first responders need to be prepared for anything that comes along our rails, the fact that this type of dangerous material can be transported through our neighborhoods at any time of the day or night should give anyone within the range of the train lines some serious pause. With several other rail expansion projects already in the planning stages, the potential to increase the capability to transport this and other types of freight through our communities is both very real and, in certain instances, very dangerous.

The MTA LIRR should address this situation, even before such legislation is made law, by providing iron-clad guarantees to residents that this unfettered access will be restricted; by mandating that freight companies start to notify them and affected localities now of the transport of any hazardous material; and by limiting such transports to times of day when first responders can best deal with the fallout of any accidents involving this material."