Surface Transportation Board to look at trash trains
If you operate trash trains are you regulated like other railroads?
The U.S. Surface Transportation Board will hear oral arguments April 19 on this issue as it considers a proposal by New England Transrail, LLC to acquire, construct and operate a rail line and related facilities in Wilmington and Woburn, Mass., that would handle garbage along with other commodities.
The railroad proposes to receive by truck a variety of commodities, including sand and gravel, plastics resins, liquids, municipal solid waste and construction and demolition debris, then move them by rail.
Because its proposed activities and operations would either constitute or be integrally related to rail transport, the railroad contends it is subject to STB jurisdiction.
The STB said several parties disagree, maintaining activities involving trash and construction debris would not be part of rail transportation. It said the hearing should assist it in determining the extent to which the proposed activities constitute transportation by a rail carrier, and thus lie within the STB’s exclusive regulatory jurisdiction.
The STB said following that determination that, if the railroad wishes to proceed, it would still need to conduct a detailed environmental review (in addition to the ongoing investigation and study of the site being undertaken by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the Superfund law), before determining whether to approve the proposed rail construction and operations.
The case, New England Transrail, LLC d/b/a Wilmington & Woburn Terminal Railway — Construction, Acquisition and Operation Exemption — in Wilmington and Woburn, Mass., has STB Finance Docket No. 34797.
The STB will hold oral arguments at 10 a.m. April 19 in the STB’s hearing room on the 1st Floor of the agency’s headquarters at Patriots Plaza, 395 E St., S.W., Washington.