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NY Comptroller Urges More Insurance For Rail Oil Spills

New York state's comptroller is urging federal authorities to strengthen safety measures against oil spills and require trains to carry sufficient insurance to cover cleanup costs from major accidents.

Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli is administrator of New York's Oil Spill Fund. He cites a U.S. Transportation Department finding that oil shippers and rail companies carry insurance that may be insufficient to cover a serious accident involving tankers carrying crude oil or other hazardous materials.

In a letter to the department and the Federal Railroad Administration, DiNapoli says a review of Securities and Exchange Commission filings shows CSX Corp. is self-insured for $25 million for "non-catastrophic" property damage and $50 million for natural catastrophes.

He says Canadian Pacific Railway filings lack information.

They are the two major carriers of crude oil in New York.

© 2016 AP

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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