Crude-oil transport in the Northeast has been surging for the past two years, and much of it is by rail. Indeed, nearly one-quarter of all North Dakota crude now passes on oil trains into Albany, New York and then on down the Hudson River by rail or ship.
The oil and transportation industries have simply ignored the health and safety threats of these booming shipments to people and the environment. But a large oil spill in the Hudson would be devastating -- and the chance of one occurring is unacceptably high.
In the past two months alone several oil trains have derailed in the Northeast. And in 2013 there was more oil spilled in rail accidents in North America than in the previous four decades combined.
Hudson spill-response teams have a responsibility to protect our communities and minimize harms to wildlife, including the 17 federally protected species that live in the river and bay. The problem is that the sudden surge in this industry has left these teams unprepared such that, in the event of an emergency, we can't be sure that what they'd do would actually help rather than cause more harm.
Act now and urge the U.S. Coast Guard and EPA to update their oil-spill response plan to ensure maximum protection for the many people and precious wildlife of the Hudson River and New York Bay.
March 20, 2014 Action Alert ID# 137
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