Letter: Oil transportation concerns should be taken seriously

Published:

Bill Rich's

recent letter of concern about the North Dakota Shale oil being transported by railroad through Hudson should be taken very seriously by our city Council and government. We should not accept the railroad's possible dismissal of such concern.

The Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration warns that this bakken oil is typically lighter and more volatile than traditional oil and may contain large amounts of flammable gas, requiring more care on the tracks. And, consider the oil-laden trains parked on our sidings. Railroads plan to switch to heavier cars, now being built, but we must deal with here and now. Mr. Rich also points out that the most likely site of a derailment here is in close proximity to the location of our fire and police departments.

If they are taken out, what is our plan to alert households as to what to do, where to go and how to get there? Ideally, we should work to prevent any possible disaster. But sensibly, we need a detailed plan down on paper, on the front of refrigerators, not on a web site or by cell phones, which often don't work at such times.

The common thread in the stories of those small towns that suffered derailments, including the Canadian one that lost 47 people, was a lack of a plan to deal with it. If Hudson has such a catastrophe plan, it should be publicized.

Blowing the noon siren won't suffice. And, Mr. Ellsworth's millions are no longer around to help rebuild our fair city.

T.C.Williams, Hudson

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