The deadly hazards of Bakken crude oil shipments are of particular concern to residents of New Jersey, as thousands of these rail cars now pass through our towns in at least 11 counties.

A derailment in communities such as Edison, Woodbridge, Carteret, Perth Amboy or Linden would threaten hundreds of thousands of people and the environment. The vapors from a spill, even without a fire or explosion, pose a serious health risk, including exposure to cancer-causing benzene; toluene, which has been linked to nerve damage; and hydrocarbons that have been linked to lung damage.

There are two pieces of legislation that will be voted on by the Senate this Monday that will help protect New Jersey communities.

Please contact your Senator and tell them to vote yes on S2979 and SCR165.

S-2979 (Weinberg D-37/Gordon D-38) Requires owners of railroad bridges to submit annual bridge inspection records to the Department of Transportation.

SCR165 (Weinberg D-37/Sacco D-32) Urges Congress to pass “Crude-by-Rail Safety Act” which would strengthen safety measures for the transport of crude oil by rail to protect the environment, the public, and communities in America.

For more information on the hazards of Bakken crude oil by rail, download the WEC factsheet Bakken Crude Oil By Rail: New Dangers for Firefighters.