No "Side-track" for SB-419 (Simitian) Hazardous Materials Tank Cars
06/13/06 - Asm Transportation accepts author's amendments and passes measure along party lines.
CICC is grateful to the membership, who in conjunction with CICC submitted some 50 letters voicing their concern and opposition to the bill to various members of the Committee.
Among the author's amendments which are not yet available as of this writing are:
- A provision to create a "bright line" for compliance (January 2006) as opposed to simply requiring best available technology
- A 5 year opportunity for the bill to become fully operable
- A requirement for CA Office of Emergency Services (OES) to review and report annually for the 5 years whether there are or are not a sufficient number of compliant railcars to handle the volume of specified hazardous materials. Enforcement to be predicated on the OES decision.
Senator Joseph Simitian's (D, Palo Alto) recurring theme in defense of his bill was simply, "Let's put the most hazardous materials in the safest tank cars." Speaking on behalf of the bill, Committee Chair Assemblywoman Jenny Oropeza (D, Long Beach) indicated that she believed all the talk about a shortage of rail tank cars and a resultant dependency on tank trucks was illusory; and would be resolved through supply and demand. Perhaps, but at what cost?
In addition to CICC testimony in opposition to the bill included: Railway Supply Institute, Union Tank Ca (UTLX), Western Propane, American Chemistry Council, Western Plant Health Association, and the Farm Bureau.
Testifying in support of the bill were: the Teamsters on behalf of Locomotive Engineers and Right-of-Way personnel, CA District Attorneys Association, Sierra Club, Environment California, and other local advocacy groups.
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