LIRR Fails to Consider Impact of “Trash Train” Hauling of Municipal Waste on Mainline
Nassau County Deputy Presiding Officer Rich Nicolello and Legislators Vincent T. Muscarella, Laura Schaefer and Rose Marie Walker are calling on the LIRR to re-open the environmental review of the proposed 3rd Track Project. The legislators are demanding that the LIRR disclose the potential impacts to the community of the proposal to haul massive amounts of trash on the mainline and give the public an opportunity to voice their concerns.The public has learned from news articles (including “Trash Train” http://libn.com/2017/02/17/trash-train/) that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) has been negotiating a “waste-by-rail” proposal that would transport up to 900 tons of baled municipal solid waste per day via the LIRR mainline that runs through the heart of communities subject to the addition of the proposed 3rd Track Project.“It has been clear from the outset that increased freight transportation is a primary motivation for the 3rd Track Project.” stated Legislator Nicolello, “The LIRR rushed through the hearings on the 3rd Track, gave little to no consideration of the impacts of increased freight, and never disclosed that the State was negotiating the “Trash Train” deal. The “Trash Train” proposal is merely a first step, and the enhanced capacity of the 3rd Track will allow for the transportation of massive amounts of municipal waste and freight through the communities along the mainline of the LIRR.”Legislators Nicolello, Muscarella, Schaefer and Walker are demanding that the LIRR reopen the environmental review process. The Legislators are demanding new public hearings and an extension of the public comment period to allow residents to voice their concerns. The Legislators have submitted “FOIL” document requests to the MTA/LIRR and NYSDEC formally demanding all documentation and agency communications regarding the “Trash Train” proposal.The failure to consider this important issue lends support to the findings of the recently released Vertex study commissioned by the Villages of Floral Park, New Hyde Park and Garden City Park and the Town of Hempstead. Vertex found that the LIRR’s environmental review was incomplete, superficial and plagued with deficiencies.“The LIRR’s environmental review is clearly inadequate. The LIRR must immediately reopen the review process for a thorough analysis that addresses the concerns and questions of the residents,” said Legislator Nicolello.