Friday, February 20, 2009

Hi-Speed Rail for Johnsonville back on track again?

There is talk now that the plans for a high-speed "bullet-train" are back on the agenda since the Economic Stimulus Plan sets aside so many billions for railroad expansion. However, since this rail would run through our quaint little hamlet and ajoins many private property boundaries, the train would be running LITERALLY through our back yards. We say NO to bullet-trains running through our yards.

Stimulus Breathes New Life Into Buffalo-NYC High-Speed Rail

Submitted by Dan Hendrick on Thu, 2009-02-19 15:40.

The passing of the federal stimulus package, with its $8 billion earmarked for various transportation projects, has breathed new life into existing plans to build a new high-yield rail service in New York's Empire Corridor.

According to Sen. Charles Schumer, the proposed improvement of the route from New York City through Albany to Buffalo is a prime candidate to receive part of this funding. Schumer, along with other state and federal lawmakers, have expressed support for this project given the "aging and ailing" condition of the rail system in Western and Central New York.

With the present set-up, passenger trains must share tracks with freight trains, crossings and other structural details have caused delays (and would need to be upgraded to accommodate high speed service) and the need for a second track between New York City and Albany is growing.

The project has garnered support from U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko, who supports an upgraded passenger rail system to help "take cars off the road, reducing congestion, pollution and saving fuel."

40 Yrs after clean-up, Rensselaer dump still polluting

40 Years After Closure, Rensselaer Dump Still Polluting

Submitted by Dan Hendrick on Thu, 2009-02-19 15:22.

A toxic dump site in Rensselaer County is still wreaking havoc on the local environment, four decades after it was closed.

Valatie Kill is one of the bodies of water affected by the PCB contamination.Local officials in the town of Nassau said they are alarmed at the high level of polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, that are being found in fish near the Dewey Loeffel site, according to the Times Union. The fish were sampled in Nassau Lake and Valatie Kill.

Since 1979, the Department of Environmental Conservation has monitored the 16-acre dump site off Mead Road, which operated from 1952 to 1970. The state Superfund site contains twice the volume of industrial pollutants found at the Love Canal toxic waste site in Niagara Falls.

The Citizens' Environmental Coalition has long advocated for a more stringent cleanup, but state officials say there are too many such sites around New York and not enough money to clean them and dispose of the contaminants.

Dan Hendrick's blog