U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced legislation that would help protect local communities that experience dangerous oil tanker cars barreling through their backyards every day by providing an incentive for companies to phase out older, dangerous tanker cars sooner rather than later.

Schumer has long fought to get these tanker cars that carry volatile crude, which are prone to explosion in a derailment, off the rails and out of communities as soon as possible. Schumer explained that the Hazardous Materials Rail Transportation Safety Improvement Act of 2015, which Senator Schumer introduced along with Senators Wyden, Feinstein, and Merkley, would reduce risks to communities near railroad tracks by speeding up the phase-out of older tank cars and encouraging companies to replace them with newer, safer cars.

This legislation would establish a $175 fee on the oldest and most dangerous tank cars used to ship crude oil and would use the revenue from that fee to provide grants to communities for emergency preparedness, first responders, and additional inspectors. In addition, it would make available a tax credit for companies that upgrade their tank cars to the highest required safety standard within three years.

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The federal government needs to do a top-to-bottom review of the Long Island Rail Road to see if it is “rotten” and rife with safety problems like its sister agency, the Metro-North Railroad, Sen. Charles Schumer said Tuesday, March 18.

The Federal Railroad Administration last week released a scathing report describing lax supervision, subpar training and other problems at Metro-North. The report was the result of an intensive 60-day review prompted by a spate of Metro-North accidents, including the Dec. 1 derailment in the Bronx that killed four passengers and injured more than 70 others.

Read the complete story at the New York Daily News.

NEW YORK – Two U.S. senators on Sunday called for expanded national railroad safety inspections, a day before a special federal safety team arrives in New York for a 60-day probe into operations on the Metro-North Railroad commuter train after the deaths of four passengers.

In light of the deadly Dec. 1 derailment, Sen. Charles Schumer said safety inspections are “woefully underfunded” and that the Federal Railroad Administration “simply doesn’t have enough resources to fully inspect our rail lines, to sufficiently prepare implementation of safety measures or even do safety spot checks around the country.”

Read more at SFGate.