Payne, Jr. Statement on Tennessee Train Derailment

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10) today released the following statement after a freight train carrying toxic gas derailed in Tennessee, causing the evacuation of thousands:

“My thoughts are with those affected by this terrible crash, especially with the people being treated for exposure to toxic gas. I am grateful for the first responders who put themselves in harm’s way to protect others, and that no fatalities have been reported.

“Five thousand residents were evacuated, 30 people are being treated for respiratory symptoms from the gas, and there are serious concerns about water contamination. The derailment could have been devastating had it occurred in another location.

“This derailment serves as a glaring reminder that more needs to be done to ensure the safe transport of hazardous materials. I recently introduced the Tank Car Safety and Security Act of 2015 to strengthen the safety standards for DOT-111 tank cars that transport flammable liquids because, while transporting hazardous materials always carries risk, we have a responsibility to protect our communities by mitigating that risk. The problem of train car derailments isn’t going to fix itself. We need to act now.”