The New Jersey Senate Transportation Committee approved an oil train transparency bill on Monday, reviving an effort that had been stymied by former Gov. Chris Christie. The legislation, S-1883, would require railroads to develop oil spill response plans in case of a derailment.
The bill, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, D-Teaneck, would also require more transparency from railroads about their shipment of flammable liquids through the state.
The states surrounding New Jersey have made the routes and estimated volumes of oil train traffic publicly accessible when compelled by public information requests from news organizations. Effectively, the public already has the information railroads want to shield.
“There has been precedent for releasing this information,” said Debra Coyle McFadden, assistant director of the New Jersey Work Environment Council.