Issue Peaks Markey’s Interest; Congressman Wants Answers

Congressman Ed Markey came out this week with some serious concerns about Global Oil Partners’ plan to bring in large Ethanol trains to Revere on the commuter rail tracks.

“I plan to send a letter to Global Partners requesting answers to these questions, and how they plan to address the concerns of Revere residents,” Markey said in a statement. “I urge Global Partners to engage in transparent and timely discussions about their future plans with the community, including all city and state officials, and to collaborate with local first responders to ensure the safety and protection of area residents.”

Global first unveiled their plan last spring, telling Revere officials that they plan to bring in 60- or 80-car trains during the night on the commuter rail – coming in from Albany through Ft. Devens.

Global said they would hope to bring in trains two or three times a week. It would equate to hundreds of millions of gallons of Ethanol coming in by train per year.

Already, the plan has garnered some opposition locally.

Activist Ed O’Hara has championed a non-binding ballot question for the November election and has repeatedly discussed the public safety problems with Ethanol trains – specifically concerns about explosions and terrorism. While the question won’t have the ability to change Global’s plans, it will be a good opinion poll of whether or not the public wants such shipments coming into a dense urban neighborhood like Revere.

Markey’s position was encouraging for many locally as he was sort of between a rock and a hard place on this issue.

While being a major supporter of Ethanol as a fuel, Markey has also been a major critic of railways transporting hazardous materials in urban areas like Revere.

In his statement to the Journal, Markey said that there are serious concerns that need to be answered before any plan can be carried out. He called for a local process between Revere residents, the City and Global.

“Serious questions remain about Global Partners’ proposal to use commuter rail lines to transport ethanol along Chelsea Creek in Revere, including: how much ethanol will be transported through the region; how will the safety of residents of Revere and the surrounding areas be ensured in the case of an accident; how will the introduction of trains carrying ethanol affect commuter rail travel in the area; and how are stakeholders at the local city and state level being integrated into discussions on Global Partners proposal,” the statement read.

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