Ethanol Trains Stopped by Bill

Governor Deval Patrick signed a transportation bill last week that gave approval to an amendment offered by Senator Anthony Petruccelli that stops train delivery of ethanol through a number of cities and towns, which includes East Boston.

Instead, the bill orders that further studies be made of the efficacy of transporting 1.7 million gallons of ethanol by freight train twice weekly through Everett, East Boston, Chelsea, and Revere.

Mayor Thomas Menino said he was pleased that more time will be spent studying the safety issue. “Everything is about the safety of the neighborhood and of the residents living there,” he said.

He also hailed the governor signing the bill.

“I am extremely pleased the governor has signed this bill – and I am pleased as well that Senator Petruccelli’s amendment passed as part of it. Safety is everything to us in this city. We simply can’t afford a twice weekly potential of a catastrophe in our city. It is simply too densely populated,” he added.

Mayor Dan Rizzo of Revere said he was pleased that Petruccelli’s bill passed and that the governor felt strongly enough about public safety issues to make certain that residents here aren’t placed in harm’s way.

“This is all about safety and it is safety first and foremost when it comes to Revere’s residents where I sit,” said the mayor.

In neighboring Chelsea, City Manager Jay Ash suggested that ethanol deliveries could be made by floating sea barge instead of 60 car freight trains, as desired by Global Fuel, who was planning the ethanol deliveries.

“Delivery by sea with Coast Guard overview is perhaps the best way to go with a dangerous cargo such as this,” said Ash. “Seaborne delivery takes residents out of the mix if something unexpected happened,” he added.

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