- Associated Press - Thursday, March 27, 2014

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is urging the Environmental Protection Agency and the Coast Guard to upgrade contingency plans for oil spills in New York and New Jersey.

Gillibrand says safety guidelines need to be updated because the amount of oil transported by railroad through densely populated areas has more than doubled in the two years since the plan was last updated. The Port of Albany has become a major hub for shipments of volatile North Dakota crude headed for coastal refineries.

In the letter written Wednesday to the EPA and Coast Guard, Gillibrand notes the importance of local responders being included in the planning processes, saying that they are likely to be on the scene of the incident first.

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