Ald. Bob Bauman
Press Release

Rail and state officials to testify during committee discussion of Bakken crude oil

News release from Alderman Robert Bauman

By - Apr 28th, 2015 09:46 am

Continuing a discussion that began in a meeting earlier this month, Public Works Committee chair Alderman Robert Bauman said the committee will once again take up a file that details the use of rail lines to transport crude oil through the City of Milwaukee.

During the meeting tomorrow, officials from the rail industry and the state of Wisconsin are expected to answer questions from committee members. When the file was taken up on April 8, local emergency management officials testified that, while they are prepared to respond to any transportation-related disaster, there is little if anything the city can do to regulate the trains that run through Milwaukee.

“At the last meeting, we heard from Third Ward residents whose homes these trains roll past on a daily basis,” Alderman Bauman said. “Recent rail disasters have them rightfully concerned, and I hope Wednesday’s meeting can provide them some answers.”

Over the past couple years, several accidents, fires and explosions related to Bakken oil carried in rail cars have spurred calls for tougher regulations. Most notably, a runaway train explosion leveled much of the town of Lac-Mégantic, Quebec in 2013, killing 47 people. In March, a BNSF Railway Co. train carrying Bakken crude jumped the track near Galena, Ill. and burned for several days.

The communication file is scheduled to be heard in the Public Works Committee meeting tomorrow, Wednesday April 29 at 9:00 a.m. in Room 301-B of City Hall. The meeting will also be broadcast live on the City Channel, and online at milwaukee.gov/citychannel. Media coverage is invited.

Highlights of the April 8 discussion can be seen on the latest edition of Council Rewind, available online at milwaukee.gov/CouncilRewind.

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