Essex County officials eye safety of oil trains

ELIZABETHTOWN (AP) – Northern New York officials are reviewing their disaster plans in response to a dramatic increase in rail shipments of highly volatile crude oil from North Dakota to the Port of Albany.

The Plattsburgh Press-Republican reports that Canadian Pacific Railway is moving as many as 20 trains weekly from the Canadian border south along Lake Champlain and the upper Hudson River. Each train has 100 cars filled with crude.

Concerns have been raised over the safety of oil trains after a series of disastrous derailments last year, including one in Quebec that killed 47 people.

Essex County Emergency Services Director Donald Jaquish has urged local emergency planning officials to attend a meeting in Elizabethtown on March 11, when Canadian Pacific will make a presentation on its emergency-response planning and preparedness.