Navigation Links
Rochester Coalition and Mayo Clinic Challenge Railroad's Contention That Hazmat Rail Shipments Pose no Risk

New evidence suggests Rochester will become high-speed rail corridor for

coal and hazardous material shipments

ROCHESTER, Minn., May 20 /PRNewswire/ -- On behalf of the Rochester Coalition, Mayo Clinic today presented federal regulators with new evidence that suggests Rochester will become a high-speed rail corridor for coal and hazardous material shipments soon after the Canadian Pacific Railway's acquisition of the Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad (DM&E) is approved. The evidence contradicts previous assertions made by the DM&E and Canadian Pacific used to justify their position that the U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB) should deny mitigation for Rochester and Mayo Clinic.

Evidence in the public record now suggests that a substantial number of carloads of ethanol will move through Rochester on their way to Chicago after the Canadian Pacific gains control of the DM&E. Recent sworn testimony offered by DM&E executives in a separate legal matter also suggests that the DM&E, now owned by the Canadian Pacific but not directly under its control, is actively moving forward with a plan to expand into Wyoming's Powder River Basin (PRB), but the Canadian Pacific claims no such decision has been reached.

The STB has accepted the Canadian Pacific's claims that there would be no significant increase of hazardous material shipments through Rochester as a result of the DM&E sale, so safety mitigation improvements were unnecessary. The STB also previously agreed to a Canadian Pacific request not to require specific mitigation protections for Rochester until or unless the railroad decides to proceed with the PRB expansion. Both contentions appear to be inconsistent with facts now available.

New Hazmat Evidence

In its filed rebuttal papers, the Mayo Clinic stated that "Evidence classified as 'highly confidential' in the Canadian Pacific's April 18 filing to the STB makes it clear that its prior representations are not consistent with its current non-public, sealed representations regarding the nature and extent of the transportation of hazardous materials through Rochester."

The Canadian Pacific previously represented that all of the anticipated growth in ethanol traffic will either move west (to interchange with Burlington Northern Santa Fe) or via Iowa, Chicago & Eastern's lines to the Chicago gateway. The record now states that once the Canadian Pacific, according to its officials, "are confident that track conditions are adequate to ensure safe movement" of ethanol and other hazardous materials over the "DM&E track from Owatonna through Rochester, Minnesota," they will use that routing for the substantial increase in the projected number of carloads of ethanol. The specific data is under a protective order and cannot be disclosed here.

"The STB's decision not to do an environmental review or require mitigation for Rochester was based on the contention there would be no increased risk resulting from the DM&E sale," added Richard Streeter, legal counsel for the Mayo Clinic. "Clearly the Canadian Pacific's latest submission provides different facts. There will be an increase in the amount of hazardous materials traveling through Rochester, which must be properly mitigated to ensure the community's safety and the safety of Mayo Clinic's patients and staff."

DM&E Sworn Testimony: Full Speed Ahead on PRB

DM&E executives stated under oath in eminent domain cases brought by the DM&E that the Canadian Pacific has decided to pursue the PRB project and is actively participating in the project's development with the goal of beginning construction in early 2009. The executives stated that the DM&E currently is spending $3.5 to $4 million a month to advance the PRB expansion, including paying for eminent domain lawsuits aimed at local landowners who are refusing to give their land to the DM&E.

"It's hard to believe that a company like the DM&E, with just $250 million in annual revenues, could spend up to approximately $48 million of that revenue on a single project that hasn't been approved," added Streeter. The DM&E and Canadian Pacific are successfully having it both ways -- advancing the PRB project by seizing farmers' lands, without having to be accountable for the project's impacts or to those who will be affected."

The STB currently is reviewing the Canadian Pacific's acquisition of the DM&E, which historically has had among the worst safety records in the railroad industry and presently operates on substandard tracks. If approved, the acquisition will cause a dramatic increase in traffic, including hazardous materials shipments on DM&E tracks, and may, according to the agreement between the railroads, result in sending more than 34 high-speed, coal-unit-trains through Rochester and within a few 100 yards of Mayo Clinic every day.

As a condition of the Canadian Pacific's acquisition, Mayo Clinic has requested the STB require specific mitigation for Rochester, including:
-- Consultation on how best to minimize project-related impacts to Mayo

Clinic, including limited transportation of hazardous materials

through Rochester.

-- Negotiate voluntary contractual limitations on the total number of

through-traffic trains moving through Rochester with Mayo Clinic and

the city of Rochester.

-- Regulatory/contractual speed limits on local hazardous materials


-- Multiple grade separations for specific in-city road crossings.

These grade separated crossings should be designed and located to

facilitate the movement of emergency vehicles to and from medical

facilities providing emergency services in Rochester, including

Saint Marys Hospital and Rochester Methodist Hospital, which are

both Mayo Clinic hospitals.

-- Increased inspection and installation of wayside detectors, such as

hot box/loose wheel detectors, to the west and east of Rochester to

provide timely warning of potential problems prior to entering

Rochester city limits.

-- Pre-notification for Rochester emergency services of hazmat cargo.

-- Whistle-free crossings for non-grade separated road crossings.


For nearly a decade, the DM&E has pursued a major rail expansion though parts of southern Minnesota and South Dakota in order to haul large amounts of coal from Wyoming's Powder River Basin to distribution points in the East. Unable to secure private financing for the project, DM&E sought the largest federal loan to a private company in American history -- a $2.3 billion loan from U.S. taxpayers to finance a major rail expansion project through the Midwest. On Feb. 26, 2007, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) denied the DM&E's $2.3 billion loan application citing that the loan would have posed an unacceptably high risk to federal taxpayers.

In early September 2007, the Canadian Pacific announced its acquisition of the DM&E.

The Rochester Coalition is committed to protecting the people of Rochester and the patients and staff at Mayo Clinic as well as other affected communities. The Rochester Coalition represents the city of Rochester, Olmsted County, the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce and Mayo Clinic.

SOURCE Rochester Coalition
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Rochester Medical Marketing VP Retires
2. Rochester Medical Applauds Improved U.S. Medicare Coverage Policy for Intermittent Catheters
3. Mayo Clinic Seeks Mitigation for Rochester as Condition of Canadian Pacific - DM&E Railroad Merger
4. Rochester Medical Announces First Quarter 2008 Earnings Conference Call February 4, 2008
5. Rochester Medical Reports Record Fourth Quarter Sales and Record Year
6. U.S. Reps. Oberstar and Walz Discuss DM&E Railroad Expansion With Rochester, Minn. Leaders
7. National Coalition for Quality Colorectal Cancer Screening and Care Testifies Before FDA Advisory Panel on Fospropofol Labeling:
8. NBCHs Community Coalitions Health Institute Receives CDC Grant
9. Healthcare Coalition Launches Enhanced Website Offering Tools and Materials to Improve Patient Care During Transitions of Care
10. Coalition for 21st Century Medicine Congratulates U.S. Senate on Passage of Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act
11. National Business Coalition on Health Issues Value-Based Purchasing Report at 5th Annual World Health Care Congress
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/28/2015)... ... 28, 2015 , ... Beginning November 30th at 6:00 a.m. EST until 11:59 p.m. EST, ... possible savings of up to 20% off orders $80 or more to free gifts with ... few hours. , As a competitive e-commerce website for skin care and cosmetic needs, customers ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... According to an article ... University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia suggested that laws requiring bicyclists ... The article explains that part of the reason for the controversial conclusion is that, ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... convenient way to dispense prescription medications at home, so he invented the patent-pending ... monitor and dispense prescription medications. In doing so, it could help to prevent ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... , ... ProSidebar: Fashion is a set of 30 kinetic edge ... video editors can easily add an informative sidebar to any FCPX production. Create ... featuring self-animating drop zones, lines, bars, and text with the ease of FCPX's drag ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... ... simply groundbreaking television series, "Voices in America", which is hosted by Hollywood legend, James ... are presently affecting Americans. Dedicated to providing the world with a wide variety of ... focus on, one episode at a time. , In the latest installment currently ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/29/2015)... Nov. 29, 2015  The GE Health Cloud 1 ... Society of North America (RSNA) meeting ... healthcare industry, the new cloud ecosystem and its applications will ... care pathways and multidisciplinary teams – both inside and outside ... and CEO of GE. "As the digital industrial leader, we ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... , Niederlande, November 27, 2015 ... fotodynamischer Bremachlorin-Therapie bei fortgeschrittenem Krebs.   --> ... Bremachlorin-Therapie bei fortgeschrittenem Krebs.   --> ... Bremachlorin-Therapie bei fortgeschrittenem Krebs.   Clinical ... --> Clinical Cancer Research vom ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... Un nuevo enfoque combina la ... cáncer avanzado.   --> Un nuevo ... Bremachlorin para el cáncer avanzado.   --> ... la terapia fotodinámica de Bremachlorin para el cáncer avanzado. ... --> Clinical Cancer Research . --> ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: