The biggest train-related story since our last issue of the Railgram has to be the Norfolk Southern derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. We note that the problem was compounded by a slow EPA response that allowed the corporation’s request to burn off toxic chemicals—possibly necessary to avoid an uncontrolled explosion, but done in such a way that the burn was incomplete and unknown chemicals, possibly dioxins, were released. Worse, the rather delayed air-quality monitoring did not include testing for the deadly dioxins, but only for their precursors.
Sadly, this just further damages the public image of railroads, building on railroad workers’ almost-strike of early December of last year. The president shut down the strike, in the interest of avoiding supply-chain issues, but it was surely a controversy that damaged the public image of rail.
Continue Reading Report from the Chair, March/April 2023
Funding for transportation for senior citizens and persons with disabilities will be increased. The bill that will raise the portion of the Casino Revenue Fund that will be spent on special transportation programs will increase from 7.5% to 8.5% beginning with the next fiscal year on July 1st. Because revenue earned by the casinos in Atlantic City has decreased recently, the total amount of funding will decrease. Still, the percentage increase makes the picture less gloomy than it otherwise might have been. The Lackawanna Coalition supported the measure.
Assembly Bill 2046, which would increase the portion of the Casino Revenue Fund for transportation for senior citizens and persons with disabilities, passed the Assembly on January 11th by a vote of 75 to 2, with 2 abstentions. The measure would raise the percentage of the fund dedicated to special transportation from 7.5 to 8.5%. The Senate passed a similar measure in December, and Goveror Corzine is expected to sign the bills before he leaves office. The Lackawanna Coalition supports the initiative.
The Lackawanna Coalition has expressed support for a legislative initative that would increase funding for transportation for senior citizens and disabled residents. The measure now before the legislature, Senate Bill 1830 and Assembly Bill 2046, would increase the portion of revenue from the Casino Revenue Fund for senior and disabled transportation from 7.5 to 8.5%. At this writing, the bill has passed the Senate and is waiting for action in the Assembly.