Action Update: July 18, 2008
Communications Office - Norfolk Southern Ethanol Transloading Facility Web Site
This Web site is updated regularly. Recent additions include:
- Copies of all electronic communications between the City, residents, and Norfolk Southern.
- Information about the upcoming Surface Transportation Board hearing on railroad hazmat transport issues.
- A letter from Mayor William D. Euille regarding security and threat assessment recommendations.
- Information about the Norfolk Southern lawsuit challenging the Haul Route Permit.
- Information about Congressional actions on the City’s behalf.
The Norfolk Southern Haul Route Permit
On July 3, the City issued a renewed haul route permits to RSI Leasing, Inc. for hauling ethanol inside the limits of the City of Alexandria. The permits specify the hauling route from the Norfolk Southern Ethanol Transloading Facility to the City limits, and limits the number of trucks to 20 per day. While Norfolk Southern maintains that RSI Leasing has no control over the ethanol transloading facility, the City, citing the contract between RSI and Norfolk Southern, asserts that RSI is operating the facility and is the correct party to be subjected to the permit.
Emergency Egress from Summers Grove
On July 8, at 7 p.m., City Staff member Steve Mason (Project Manager and Special Assistant to the City Manager) and Rich Baier (Director, Transportation & Environmental Services) attended the Summers Grove Homeowner's Association meeting. Following the review of a request from an earlier meeting for the creation of an emergency access route from the neighborhood to one of the surrounding streets, the Board acted on a motion by President John Pecic to table any further discussion of this emergency access and ask the City to focus on moving the fire station forward in the budget. All five Board members present supported the motion.
Ethanol emergency response training continues for firefighters; the first invoice was transmitted to NSC for approximately $55,000.
A Fire Prevention Permit has been issued for the Norfolk Southern site. The City’s inspection found the Norfolk Southern facility in full compliance with Statewide Fire Prevention Code.
To date, the City has received, and has been invoiced, for firefighting equipment and supplies totaling $54,597.24.
City Attorney’s Office
On July 8, the City submitted a copy of the testimony for the Surface Transportation Board Hearing on July 22, 2008, concerning the transportation of hazardous materials by rail. Vice Mayor Pepper will present the testimony; Ignacio Pessoa and other City staff will be present to answer legal or technical questions.
On July 16, the City Attorney responded to letters from Norfolk Southern regarding the City’s hauling permit to RSI Leasing, the contractor that conducts the transloading operations at the Norfolk Southern facility. While Norfolk Southern maintains that RSI Leasing has no control over the ethanol transloading facility, the City, citing the contract between RSI and Norfolk Southern, asserts that RSI is operating the facility and is the correct party to be subjected to the permit.
On July 17, the City filed documents with the Surface Transportation Board (STB) in order to address Norfolk Southern's Response to the City's STB Petition for a Declaratory Order. The City maintains that Norfolk Southern’s response has no bearing whatsoever on the legal issue the City presented to the Board: whether the transloading operation is conducted by the railroad, or by RSI Leasing, Inc. as a separate and independent company acting on its own behalf.
Transportation & Environmental Services (T&ES)
T&ES has discontinued its truck counting activities. For the 20 days that trucks were counted, the daily average was 28 trucks exiting the facility, with a highest day total of 46 trucks on July 7.
Norfolk Southern Community Monitoring Group (NSCMG)
The first meeting of the NSCMG, originally scheduled for July 16, was rescheduled for Wednesday, July 30, at 7 p.m., at the Beatley Library. The group will work in collaboration with City staff and agencies to monitor and keep the community informed about the many issues regarding Norfolk Southern’s ethanol transloading operation. Vice Mayor Redella S. (“Del”) Pepper and Councilman Ludwig Gaines will represent City Council on the group.
Emergency Evacuation Plans for Cameron Station and Summers Grove
Draft emergency evacuation plans for Cameron Station and Summers Grove have been developed and distributed for review. These plans will be discussed at the first NSCMG meeting on July 30.