Help Us Stop Ethanol Trains from Traveling Through Cambridge

Please join Cambridge’s Representatives and Senators next Tuesday, April 16 for a public meeting on a proposal to run ethanol-carrying trains through Cambridge. The meeting will be held at 6pm at the King Open School (850 Cambridge St., Cambridge) and will feature a presentation of MassDOT’s ethanol safety study, followed by a chance to speak directly with¬†your legislators about where we go from here.

I’ve written about this proposal before, but here’s a quick primer:

  • Global Partners LP wants to ship ethanol to its facility in Revere
  • Global is currently shipping ethanol to Revere by barge, but wants to switch to rail, presumably¬†to increase its profits
  • Ethanol is a highly volatile fluid; when it catches fire, water is useless, and first responders must use a toxic chemical foam to extinguish the blaze
  • Under current law, the burden for emergency preparedness falls squarely on local communities. Global is not currently required to do anything to help Cambridge prepare for an ethanol train accident

My colleagues in the delegation and I have reached out to our federal elected officials, and they assure us that they’re working with the federal Department of Transportation to explore our options. But the support of the people of Cambridge is critical in this process, and I hope you’ll join us.

1 comment

  1. Mary M. Trainor - Reply

    Cambridge is a densely populated city. If one of the containers of ethanol, while being transported by rai,l ignited, it would be next to impossible to evacuate the residents in a timely manner that would avoid loss of life, and the lives of the first responders would, most definitely, be in jeopardy as well. What degree of increased profits to the oil company justify this carelessly irrational proposal? I can only assume that the desire for increased profits drives is driving this proposal.

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