Sunday, December 2, 2007

MA town out to derail NJ train company

The Boston Globe reported Dec. 2 that leaders in the Massachusetts town of Wilmington are urging the chemical company, Olin Corp., to back off plans to sell a portion of its former manufacturing property--now a Superfund site--to a Jersey railroad company that plans to use the property for a waste transfer station.

For several years, local environmentalists, politicians and area solid-waste management companies have been opposing the truck-to-rail transfer facility proposed by New England Transrail (NET), which has its headquarters in Teaneck, NJ.

Olin, which closed its Wilmington site in 1986, is based in Missouri and produces copper alloys, ammunition, and chlorine.

Much of the local opposition reportedly has been based on the fear that, if NET wins its petition before the federal Surface Transportation Board (STB) to be designated as a rail carrier, it would not be subject to state and local environmental statutes and regulations.

Local opponents won a partial victory in July, when the STB ruled that part of NET's plan involving shredding of construction and demolition debris would "extend beyond the scope of rail transportation and would therefore be subject to the full panoply of state and local regulation."

The Board also said that would withhold a final decision until the federal Environmental Protection Agency completes "an ongoing remedial investigation and feasibility study of the site on which NET proposes to operate."

A copy of the STB's July 10 ruling is available here.

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