The railroads that operate in Illinois are instructing local police and fire departments on how to handle a hazardous material spill. The effort is little known, but it should be known, says State Rep. John E. Bradley (D-Marion).
“I thought it would be a good opportunity to be proactive and let the general public know all the efforts that have been made by the rail industry within the state of Illinois to ensure our public safety, and the level of cooperation taking place, so that those of us that live in rail communities know that the state of Illinois is not just sitting back and waiting for something to happen,” he said.
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A training session, at the railroads’ expense, was conducted last year in East St. Louis. There are more training days scheduled for June in Joliet and in the Chicago area. The railroads involved are the Union Pacific, BNSF, CSX and Norfolk Southern.
Politicians are involved because they are urging the railroads to keep offering this training.
The railroads themselves are considering maximum operating speeds, mechanical inspections and safety advisories when hazardous materials are being transported by train.
This is pertinent now because of the amount of crude oil and ethanol that is being transported by train.