ALBANY – Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced the successful completion of another round of crude oil tank car and rail inspections, with one of them taking place here in Chautauqua County.
The inspections are intended to improve public safety and reduce potential dangers associated with the transport of crude oil across New York State.
Inspection teams examined 341 crude oil tank cars, approximately 132 miles of track and 69 switches. Overall, state and federal teams uncovered and addressed five critical defects and 42 non-critical defects.
Among the sections that were inspected was an area of the CSX Mainline Track, running from Ripley – here in Chautauqua County to Blasdell in Erie County, covering a total of 62 miles and including 37 switches. During the inspection, officials found eight non-critical defects, including fouled ballast and loose adjustable rail braces, switch point stops, switch rod bolts, guard rail bolts and bolts at switch transition devices.
Earlier this month a train derailed in Ripley, with 16 cars falling over and thousands of gallons of ethanol reportedly spilled, forcing the evacuation of dozens of homes in the area while hazmat crews cleaned up the spill. The cause of the derailment remains under investigation.
Following a series of out-of-state disasters involving the transport of crude oil by rail, New York State has taken a series of actions, including various rail inspections, to improve the safety and reliability of the practice.