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NY to strengthen oversight of oil shipping by rail

ALBANY (AP) -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo has directed state agencies to strengthen the state's oversight of petroleum shipments by rail, citing devastating accidents in Quebec and North Dakota and the expansion of crude oil shipping through the Port of Albany.

Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens announced the action at a legislative budget hearing Wednesday. He says Cuomo issued an executive order directing the Department of Environmental Conservation and other agencies to evaluate the state's spill prevention, response and inspection programs involving rail and ship transport of petroleum products.

The agencies are to report recommendations to Cuomo on April 30.

The state is also calling on the federal government to expedite enhanced standards for transporting crude oil by rail and water to reduce the potential for spills and accidents.
   AP-WF-01-29-14 1917GMT