David Giambusso in Capital New York reports
that on March 18 a coalition of environmental activist groups renewed their demands that the state more than double the $40 million oil spill fund, after four North American oil train accidents earlier this year. "The $15 million increase in the fund cap to $40 million proposed by the Executive and Assembly budgets could and should be increased," Riverkeeper, the Sierra Club, Environmental Advocates of New York and the Adirondack Council said in a joint statement. "In today’s dollars, the $25 million fund created in 1977 would be a $96.4 million fund today. Thus, we urge that the fund cap be increased to $100 million to bring it back to parity with the monetary protection it afforded nearly four decades ago." State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli also announced March 18 that he was against moving control of the oil spill fund from his office into the Department of Environmental Conservation. "There are real threats to New York communities if an oil train derails and the state doesn't have the money to rapidly respond and properly clean it up," DiNapoli said in a statement Wednesday. "We need to boost the money flowing into the oil spill fund to deal with spills, and the management of the money should stay with the Office of the State Comptroller." Locally, oil trains run daily on the west side of the Hudson River, with many sitting at a yard in Albany between I-787 and the river. Read the full story in Capital New York.