Wednesday, May 24, 2006

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Lawmakers want end to federal law that allows railroads to ship garbage without local approvals

House members who spoke at a Washington DC hearing Tuesday on the federal law that allows railroads to bypass local laws in order to move garbage oppose the law.

Congressman Steven LaTourette, chairman of the House Transportation Committee, said he is against the law.

Congresswoman Sue Kelly, a member of the committee, is also against it. The Village of Croton-on-Hudson and the City of Middletown are both being impacted by the law. In both communities, rail operators want to build waste transfer stations along rail lines.

While Kelly was instrumental in stopping the Croton plan, she said it appears another company may be trying to take a similar strategy.

Allowing companies that own rail lines to use the law to their advantage and move garbage through a community” opens up a Pandora’s Box which removes any and all incentives for waste haulers to adhere to local regulation by simply locating their operations near train tracks, or by building a couple hundred feet of their own.”

Congressman Maurice Hinchey has been fighting Chartwell International’s Middletown and New Jersey Railroad plan. In written testimony, he said the proposed waste transfer station “is misreading federal law in order to advance its plans.”


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