Train Cargo Posing Potential Threat To Bergen County Residents? - My9 New Jersey

Train Cargo Posing Potential Threat To Bergen County Residents?

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Bogota, New Jersey (My9NJ) - It’s a situation no one wants to see, train derailments like the one last month in Lynchburg, Virginia that dumped tons of flaming crude oil into the James River. The same kind of big trains that derailed there however roll right through Bergen County where a lot of people live.

Bogota Mayor Antero “Tito” Jackson Jr. discussed what this means for the locals who reside near these train tracks.

“There are houses all along the rears that abut the train tracks here so as far down as the eye can see,” he said.

Jackson has more than 3 decades in emergency services and serves as Bogota’s Emergency Management Coordinator. He says the trains rolling through town carrying oil and more sensitive chemicals present vulnerabilities that are difficult to prepare for.

“If you sat here with the guidebook when the train went by as to what the chemicals are that are passing through here and the oil that’s coming through here, it’s pretty scary that if we had an accident of that magnitude, depending on which way the wind was blowing, you’re talking about thousands of people having to evacuate,” Jackson explained.

Bogota has a long list of emergency plans, personnel, and resources. It’s just that some potential situations like a chlorine spill are too much for a small town to handle alone.

CSX runs the lines that go through town and the ones where the derailments happened down South. They say they’ve introduced technology enabling first responders and officials to track freight shipments in real time. They support industry calls for newer, stronger tanker cars built to higher standards.

CSX also says they’re introducing new training and information programs for first responders with rolling classrooms that would reach about 6,500 emergency services personnel each year.


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