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Lawmakers push for tighter regulations after oil leak
ALBANY -- Lawmakers toured the Port of Albany less than 24 hours after 100 gallons of oil spewed from a faulty pipeline at Global Partners.
It was a coincidence Congressman Paul Tonko was in Albany the morning after the oil leak. The tour was scheduled far in advanced. However, Tonko says the recent oil leak signifies the need for more safety regulations related to the transport of oil and other hazardous substances even though this incident had nothing to do with a train derailment.
Tonko and other officials from the Port of Albany said they are waiting to hear about a $22 million grant they applied for through the federal government to expand the terminal and create a barge service.
Albany County Executive Dan McCoy says he is not sure he can get on board with that push.
"It's not really going to increase that much value and tax base for the county of Albany and for the city for that matter but we're taking all the risk. That means more and more trains are going to be coming in and there will be some short-term jobs for construction and stuff like that but nothing long-lasting," McCoy said.
Tonko also said he has been working with the U.S. Department of Transportation to come up with a plan to retrofit older railcars and design new ones with the idea of increased safety and energy efficiency in mind.
"There will be a price tag but, you know, what is the price tag that we are willing to put on human life and destruction out there?" Tonko said.