Cuomo proposes transfer and increase in oil cleanup fund amid railroad shipping boom

IndustriesAssociated Press

The Cuomo administration has proposed boosting New York's oil spill fund to $40 million amid the recent surge in railroad shipping and dangerous derailments, while transferring authority from the state comptroller to its own environmental staff.

The increased funding is supported by the comptroller's office and environmentalist groups. Shifting control to the Department of Environmental Conservation is not.

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The administration says the agency would be more efficient.

The comptroller says his office provides stronger oversight.

The New York State Association of Counties, citing huge recent spikes in shipments of crude oil that's more explosive or dense than normal, says there's significant potential risk to residents and the environment.

The group also backs the fund increase through higher shipping fees but says the comptroller should keep it dedicated solely to cleanups.