Rail Safety and Security Task Force Meets in Lynchburg
Lynchburg, VA- Governor Terry McAuliffe's Rail Safety and Security Task Force held its second meeting in downtown Lynchburg Wednesday.
The task force was formed in response to the April 30, CSX train derailment in downtown Lynchburg, which resulted in nearly 30,000 gallons of crude oil being dumped into the James River.
Remarkably, no one was seriously injured and there was no major property damage, noted Co-Chair Secretary of Public Safety and Security Brian Moran. Moran's Co-Chair Secretary of Transportation, Aubrey Layne also presided over the meeting.
Representatives from Lynchburg's Fire Department, other first responder units as well as Timothy Butters, the Deputy Administrator for the U.S. Department of Transportation were all on hand, as well as general members of the public to offer input and feedback to the Task Force.
For the second time in a row, no member of the Federal Railway Administration was present. When asked if there was some sort of stale-mate between the local, state and federal entities, Secretary Moran told ABC 13 that all branches were working together to improve rail safety and were discussing improvements across the board.
Moran said he hoped someone from the FRA would be present at the next meeting to be held in Norfolk, next month.
Some of the input focused on slower speed limits for trains, reinforcing cargo cars so that if they do spill, there is likely a chance for spilling and other safety measures.
One area of concern is over the fragility of Virginia's waterways.
Pat Calvert, the Upper James RiverKeeper for the James River Association, said while he was glad to hear that there was no "major fire," after the April 30 crude spill, he didn't think that the James River should be the way to put out future toxic cargo fires.
A representative of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation also expressed concern over toxic rail cargo passing through waterways.