City Coucil approves safer rail resolution
"With the increase of train traffic in Philadelphia, we are flirting with disaster," said Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, who introduced a resolution urging new and tougher federal regulations for trains carrying crude oil.
City Council members unanimously approved the resolution that also calls for safety precautions and emergency response workshops for residents.
An Inquirer investigation revealed that up to 80 trains move crude oil through Philadelphia each week, and some 700,000 people live within a half-mile radius of these rail lines, putting them at risk in the event of a derailment.
The resolution also urges that the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management supports all governmental agencies in providing information to residents about what materials are distributed throughout their neighborhoods.
Councilman Johnson said he will work in partnership with the administration in presenting neighborhood forums on evacuation plans and how residents can protect themselves in the event that a catastrophe occurs.
“We need the federal government to make this a priority and release new standards for tank cars that carry waste,” Kenyatta said. “The most frustrating thing is that the local government does not have the authority to legislate train standards, so we are stuck waiting for the federal government to act.”