WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced last week that Florida, New Jersey and New York have obtained federal certification of their rail transit State Safety Oversight (SSO) programs.
The three states were the last of 30 to get the required approval before a mid-April federal deadline.
Federal law requires states with rail transit systems to obtain FTA certification of their SSO programs by April 15, 2019.
“FTA is pleased that Florida, New Jersey and New York have developed safety oversight programs that meet federal certification requirements and will strengthen rail transit safety,” said FTA Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams.
The Washington Department of Ecology on Monday delivered a report to state legislators outlining key recommendations to improve public safety in response to the rapid increase of crude-by-rail shipments through the state.
The Washington Legislature requested the study due to recent changes in how crude is transported through rail corridors and waterways. The “Marine and Rail Oil Transportation Study” includes 40 recommendations on ways to better protect public health and safety — such as the prevention of an oil train derailment or spill — as well as how to better respect tribal treaty rights.