Group calls for more regulations for oil transport trains

The Coalition to Ban Unsafe Oil Trains wants stricter regulations for transporting crude oil.

The Coalition to Ban Unsafe Oil Trains wants stricter regulations for transporting crude oil. (3/6/15)

BERGEN COUNTY - A group of north Jersey residents are planning to rally against using trains to transport crude oil through residential neighborhoods.

Lou Kahn, of Teaneck, says he is worried that if one of these trains derails, there could be an explosion or an environmental disaster.

“With so many important facilities right here on our tracks, we are very concerned about lives and damage of all kinds,” he says.

The number of trains carrying oil increased significantly after the U.S. started drilling for oil in the Bakken region several years ago. The trains going through Bergen County are often going from North Dakota to refineries in upstate New York.  

Transportation company CSX transports about 3 million gallons of crude oil through Bergen County every week. Rob Doolittle, a spokesman for CSX says the company is doing everything possible to keep people safe.

"We have increased our efforts to reach out to first responders and communities where these trains travel to make sure they have the information they need to respond in the event of an incident,” he says.

Doolittle adds, "We believe the tank cars are safe but we also believe there are ways to make them safer, such using thicker materials to create the tanks." 

Kahn and his group Coalition to Ban Unsafe Oil Trains plans to rally Saturday to call for more regulations and oversight on the transportation of crude oil.

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