In 2002, a Canadian Pacific Railway train derailed near Minot, N.D., causing violent rupture to five tankers and spilling 220,000 gallons of anhydrous ammonia. Roughly 11,600 people were evacuated or asked to stay in their homes. The plume of corrosive gas gradually expanded five miles downwind. More than 1,100 people were treated for chemical burns, mainly to their eyes, nasal passage, throat and lungs. The DM&E rail line runs through the city of Rochester within a few hundred yards of medical facilities, senior living centers and major businesses. Disaster preparedness officials in Rochester have said a similar accident to the one in Minot would be devastating, as hundreds or thousands of patients and vulnerable individuals would be unable to escape.
"Because of the STB's refusal to address our community's safety concerns, we will continue oppose any plan that would jeopardize our safety and vitality by increasing train traffic, speed, and shipments of hazardous materials," said Rochester Mayor Ardell Brede.
The Rochester Coalition continues to engage in an ongoing dialogue with officials from Canadian Pacific Railway, eager to hear specifics of their plans to ensure public safety and ensure the long-term economic vitality of southeastern Minnesota.
The Rochester Coalition represents the city of Rochester, Olmsted County, the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce and Mayo Clinic. For more information, visit http://www.protectrochester.com.
For more than a decade, DM&E has pursued a major rail expansion across
southern Minnesota and South Dakota, hoping to haul large amounts of coal
from Wyoming's Powder River Basin to power plants in the Midwest and 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
|SOURCE Rochester Coalition|
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