MILWAUKEE (WITI) — On Wednesday, May 27th, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin will talk with local first responders and concerned citizens to highlight the dangers facing Milwaukee and surrounding communities as volatile oil train traffic increases. She’ll call for immediate action to increase rail safety in Wisconsin.
Senator Baldwin’s Crude-By-Rail Safety Act would set new standards for crude volatility, take unsafe tank cars off the tracks, and increase fines for violations. In addition, the legislation would authorize funding for first responder training, equipment and emergency preparedness and require comprehensive oil spill response plans for trains carrying oil, petroleum and other hazardous products.
“The danger facing Wisconsin residents living near rail lanes has materialized quickly. Just a few years ago, an oil train in our state was a rare sight. Today, more than 40 oil trains a week pass through Wisconsin. As more and more volatile crude oil moves through Wisconsin by rail, it is critical that appropriate safety measures are in place to reduce the risk of deadly accidents and that our emergency personnel have the training and resources to respond in case of tragedy,” Baldwin said.
Canadian Pacific runs seven to 11 oil trains per week through the city of Milwaukee.
The trains cross through Hart Park in Wauwatosa, the Menomonee Valley, downtown Milwaukee and the Bay View neighborhood where Beulah Brinton Park is located.
This is the same crude-by-rail route that a Canadian-bound train followed in 2013 before it crashed in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, killing 47 people.
Read more about Senator Baldwin’s efforts to improve Wisconsin rail safety here.