Gov. Christie has conditionally vetoed the Oil Train Safety bill (S806/A2463). This conditional veto puts fence line communities and first responders at risk by continuing to deny them access to information about rail hazards that other states have made available. Blocking information to local first responders is egregious and puts their lives at risk.
The bill also called for owners and operators of high hazard trains to file discharge, response and clean-up plans with the NJ Office of Emergency Management. Gov. Christie also conditionally vetoed this requirement with no credible explanation.
Right to Know is not just a phrase. It is a call for action. In this case, giving community members the right to know about rail car hazards would give them an opportunity to work with emergency responders and have a plan in place in case of a derailment. It could lead to more community engagement and oversight to ensure everything is being done by the railroads to ensure their community is protected.
“At the end of the day, we don’t know what is moving through our communities. We don’t know that rail companies have plans or financial ability to deal with disasters,” said Dan Fatton, WEC Executive Director.