Railroad Safety Task Force Meets in Richmond
Richmond, VA - Governor Terry McAuliffe's Railroad and Security Task Force met in Richmond Wednesday. Officials from various agencies spoke candidly about the need for more information from railroads and other agencies, to help reduce the possibility of another derailment. The meeting was co-chaired by Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran and Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne. Massoud Tahamtani from the Virginia State Corporation Commission said that the five rail inspectors under his supervision can inspect railroads, but don't have the authority to enforce repairs. The task force heard presentations from officials at VDOT, State Police, and other agencies. Also discussed was the executive order issued by US Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, in which railroad carriers are to provide information and schedules for all trains carrying one million gallons or more of oil. That equates to about 35 rail cars. Secretary Layne told ABC 13 he thinks that the order doesn't go far enough. "I think that's a good start. But I think what we heard today was that if our first responders know what they are dealing with, the better informed, the better the response is going to be," Secretary Layne said. Layne says the executive order could be more comprehensive to cover smaller shipments. According to the executive order, carriers have until June 7 to provide the information to each state's Emergency Response Commission. Failure to do so can result in a fine of $175,000, and possible imprisonment.