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Supervisor Barger Brings Train Derailment Preparedness and Response Readiness Focus to L.A. County

Published on Friday, February 17, 2023 | 6:28 am
 
Supervisor Kathryn Barger via Supervisory Kathryn Barger’s Facebook page

In light of the recent significant train derailments in Eastern Ohio and yesterday in Michigan, Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger said she will introduce a motion at the next Board of Supervisors meeting calling on Los Angeles County’s Office of Emergency Management to assess and report on the County’s level of preparedness and general disaster response readiness in the event that a similar situation were to take place in Los Angeles County.

“Freight rail plays a critical role in the delivery of goods and commodities in our region and beyond, since Los Angeles County is home to the largest port in North America,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger. “Our County has one of the seven Class I Rail Corridors in the nation. The Corridors are shared by commuter, intercity, and freight rail operators and are located near populated areas and residential communities, so it is important for our Board to understand how the County can and would respond to potential derailments and disasters.”

On February 3, a freight train derailment occurred in East Palestine, Ohio, resulting in 38 rail cars derailed and a fire erupted. Part of the train and its cargo of hazardous chemicals ran off the tracks, leaving a fiery and frightening jumble, according to the New York Times. The train was carrying vinyl chloride, butyl acrylate, Ethylhexyl acrylate, and ethylene glycol monobutyl ether. The derailment caused a controlled burn of the spill, resulting in a 1-mile radius evacuation.

The second major February train derailment occurred near Detroit, this time involving a train carrying chemicals. Fortunately, the rail car containing the chemicals managed to stay on the rails, and officials have confirmed that there was no leak.

Details about Barger’s motion will be released shortly, according to her office.

The next L.A. County Board of Supervisors meeting will take place on Tuesday, February 28.

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