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Measure Spurred by Crash Becomes Law

July 28, 1993|JOANNA M. MILLER

Gov. Pete Wilson has signed into law a bill that will strengthen enforcement of rail safety regulations in the wake of the Seacliff train derailment and other recent train wrecks, Assemblyman Jack O'Connell (D-Carpinteria) announced.

The bill, SB-546 authored by O'Connell and Sen. Lucy Killea (I-San Diego), takes effect in October, said O'Connell spokesman Gavin Payne.

The law transfers $2.9 million of state funds into an account designated for rail safety and specifies that four new rail inspectors must be hired.

O'Connell said he and Killea initiated the law because the Public Utilities Commission had been "woefully inadequate" in its administration of railroad safety funds.

With the new law, the PUC has specific instructions on how rail safety funds must be spent.

"Obviously the bottom line is that we do not want to see another Seacliff occur again," O'Connell said in a statement. Two years ago, much of Seacliff, a small beach community north of Ventura, was evacuated after a rail car carrying hazardous materials overturned.

Also two years ago, the Sacramento River was polluted when a rail car overturned its load north of Sacramento at Dunsmuir.

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