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Monday, December 19, 2016

Congressman Kind’s Bill to Increase Rail Safety Signed into Law

WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Rep. Ron Kind’s legislation to increase rail safety and provide needed resources for first responders, the RESPONSE Act, was recently  signed into law by President Obama.

“Wisconsinites have dealt with the negative impacts of rail traffic long enough and today President Obama signed into law my bill to solve the problem and keep our neighborhoods safe. As I have visited with residents in communities up and down the Mississippi River and across central Wisconsin I have heard concerns about the risk they face from train derailments. The RESPONSE Act works to solve the problem by providing more training for our first responders and holding big railroad companies accountable for their actions,” said Rep. Kind.

In light train derailments in Ferryville, Alma, Watertown, and in our neighboring communities of Brownsville, Minnesota and Galena, Illinois Rep. Kind has been working with community members and local officials on finding ways to increase rail safety and hold big rail companies accountable.

The RESPONSE Act establishes a subcommittee under FEMA’s National Advisory Council. It brings together federal agencies, technical experts, emergency responders and the private sector to review training methods, resources, best practices, and unmet needs related to railroad incidents we can ensure the safety of Wisconsin residents and local communities.

The subcommittee is tasked with evaluating and providing recommendations on:

·         The quality and application of training for local emergency responders related to rail hazardous materials incidents
·         Modernizing training course content related to rail hazardous material incidents
·         Identifying any overlap in training content and opportunities to develop complementary courses and materials
·         Determining the effectiveness of funding levels for training emergency responders
       ·         Developing a strategy for integration of commodity flow studies

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