By Susan Weber, Commentary September 5, 2014 TimesUnion.comEvery energy choice has its risks and problems. But the risks of continuing reliance on fossil fuels — ever more difficult to access, hazardous to process and transport, and harmful to use — have become unacceptable.
Even though the DOT-111 "bomb trains" carrying highly flammable Bakken crude through our state were declared unsafe by the federal government in 1991, more than 20 years ago, nothing has been done to end their use.....This disregard for public safety is alarming.....
....While Gov. Andrew Cuomo is correct that jurisdiction over rail transport rests with the federal government, the state has powers as well. Our state Department of Environmental Conservation and Department of Health could order all crude oil operations at or near the Port of Albany to cease, and this imminent hazard be summarily abated, using the federal hazard declaration as justification.
Short of summary abatement, the permits granted to Global Partners and Buckeye without proper environmental assessment could be revoked on obvious grounds:..... read more here
Reuters By Rory Carroll and Jennifer Chaussee Sep. 5, 2014
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A San Francisco Superior Court judge on Friday dismissed a lawsuit brought by environmental groups against Kinder Morgan’s Richmond, California, rail terminal, which quietly began unloading crude oil from trains this year, saying the plaintiffs waited too long to file their complaint.
The groups argued that since the company was given permission from regulators to begin accepting the deliveries without public notice, they were not immediately aware of the change.
Judge Peter Busch acknowledged there were “deep concerns” about the new cargo, which passes through the densely populated city of Richmond, but said the plaintiffs missed the 180-day window to request that the permit be revoked.
Suma Peesapati, an attorney for the environmental groups that brought the suit, said the company and regulators knowingly deceived the public.
“This is just how the agencies and industry win – hide the information, make the change under the cover of night, and hope people don’t notice while the clock winds down on any hope to stop these dangerous and callous developments,” she said...........read more here