California’s emergency responders will receive more information about trains carrying crude oil under legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday.
As the volume of crude oil transported by trains increases, elected officials in California have amplified concerns about the types of deadly accidents that have struck several towns. Responses have included the Brown administration questioning the safety of a planned refinery, budget bills funding new rail inspectors and creating an oil-by-rail fee funding the state’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response program, and legislation intended to prepare communities for potential catastrophe.
Assembly Bill 380 requires railroad companies to provide more information about potentially hazardous cargo to the state’s Office of Emergency Services, has rail carriers set up a call center that local 911 responders could contact for information, and dictates that locals have access to the railroads’ hazardous-materials emergency response plans.
In seeking legislation, Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento, cited the number of trains that rumble through Sacramento. Another bill seeking to fund oil-spill-response training by levying an additional fee, Senate Bill 1319, faltered amid industry pushback.
Also earning Brown’s signature on Thursday:
• Legislation banning involuntary inmate sterilization in California prisons. Senate Bill 1135 responded to aCenter for Investigative Reporting story
detailing forced sterilizations that was later corroborated bya state audit
• A bill barring the sale and display of Confederate flags, or images of the symbol, by state entities. Assembly Bill 2444 sailed through the Legislature with minimal opposition.
All told, Brown announced having signed 47 bills and vetoing 10. Tuesday is the deadline for the governor to finish signing bills on his desk.