This website chronicles the City of Alexandria's actions regarding the Norfolk Southern Corporation's Ethanol Transloading Facility, which began operation in April 2008. The facility is located at the former Norfolk Southern intermodal terminal in the City's West End.
Ethanol is essentially grain alcohol that has been produced from crops such as corn, wheat, and barley. Because it is domestically produced, it reduces our dependence on foreign fuel sources. Naturally high-octane ethanol contains more oxygen, so it burns cleaner than gasoline and reduces carbon monoxide emissions. Most gasoline-powered vehicles can run on a blend consisting of gasoline and up to 10% ethanol.
More about ethanol >>
- Update to City Council on City Staff meeting with Norfolk Southern at its Ethanol Transloading Facility on April 29, 2015
- DOT Issued
Final Rule on "Hazardous Materials: Enhanced Tank Car Standards and
Operational Controls for High-Hazard Flammable Trains"
On May 1, 2015, US DOT's agencies, namely, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) issued the final rule on the regulations titled "Enhanced Tank Car Standards and Operational Controls for High-Hazard Flammable Trains". A summary of the key
provisions of this regulation can be found on the following web link:
The regulation in its entirety can be found on the following web link:
The City has previously commented on this regulation. City staff plans to review this final rule and assess its impacts on the City and its residents.
City of Alexandria's Response to Railroad Safety and Security Task Force Draft Report Dated April 9, 2015
- U.S. DOT Press Release on April 17, 2015: DOT Agencies
Take Coordinated Actions to Increase the Safe Transportation of Energy Products
On April 17, 2015, The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced with its agencies a package of targeted actions that will address some of the issues identified in recent train accidents involving crude oil and ethanol shipped by rail. These actions represent the latest in a series of more than two dozen that
DOT has initiated over the last nineteen months to address the significant threat to public safety that accidents involving trains carrying highly flammable liquids can represent. The present announcement includes one Emergency Order, two Safety Advisories, and notices to industry intended to
further enhance the safe shipment of Class 3 flammable liquids. This press release can be found at the following website:
Norfolk Southern's Response to the Mayor's Letter of March 19
- Virginia Rail Road Safety and Security Task Force Draft Report Has Been Issued and the Public is Invited to Comment Until April 19
The City has learned that the draft report of the Virginia Rail Road Safety and Security Task Force created by the Governor last May has been issued. The public has until April 19 to comment on this draft report using a comment form. The draft report and the comment form can be found at the
Draft Report: https://pshs.virginia.gov/media/3769/rail-task-force-final-version_draft_v2_akt.pdf
The City intends to review and send comments regarding this draft report in due course. This draft report is to be finalized by this Task Force by April 30.
Letter to Mr. Charles W. Moorman, Norfolk Southern Corporation - April 7, 2015
Mayor William Euille's Letter to US DOT Secretary regarding rail transportation of hazardous/ flammable products and ethanol transloading facility
Mayor William Euille's Letter to Norfolk Southern (NS) CEO regarding NS expansion Plan for its transloading facility in Alexandria
- City News Release:
City of Alexandria Continues Opposition to Norfolk Southern Ethanol Transloading Operations (March 19, 2015)
Norfolk Southern Letter to Mayor Regarding Plans to Increase Operations (Received March 19, 2015; Dated March 20, 2015)
Mayor's Letter of September 30, 2014, Commenting on the PHMSA Proposed Rulemaking "Hazardous Materials: Enhanced Tank Car Standards and Operational controls for High-Hazard Flammable Trains"
- Norfolk Southern Holds Community Open House on June 17, 2014
The Norfolk Southern Corporation held a community open house on Tuesday, June 17, 2014. This meeting was first requested by Mayor Euille, in response to community concerns regarding the ethanol transloading facility located in Alexandria. The meeting will be an opportunity for residents to learn about the facility and possible future plans. Staff from Norfolk Southern, the City, and Virginia Department of Environmental Quality will be available to answer questions and address community concerns.
- Norfolk Southern Ethanol Transloading Facility Update
Norfolk Southern (NS) is continuing to pursue exemption from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ) air permitting requirements for the proposed expansion of the ethanol transloading facility located in Alexandria. In a
recent letter to VDEQ, NS requested formal confirmation of this exemption, and follow-up within 14 days, should VDEQ determine the transloading facility is not exempt.
NS also responded to a letter outlining the City's concerns
sent by Mayor William D. Euille in January. In summary, the letter states that 1) NS agrees with the City's request for a vegetative buffer on areas of its property near the Cameron Station community, and is willing to discuss financial support for the tree plantings; 2) if the City holds a meeting with the community, NS will participate; and 3) with planned expansion of the transloading facility, there may be further facility improvements, such as the addition of tracks, which could potentially reduce nighttime rail activity.
Mayor's Letter to Norfolk Southern Chairman & CEO Regarding Noise Issues - January 9, 2014
Norfolk Southern Requests VDEQ Exemption at the Ethanol Transloading Facility
August 20, 2013 Meeting with Norfolk Southern Representatives and Tour of Ethanol Transloading Facility
Norfolk Southern Seeks Permit to Increase Rail Cars at Ethanol Transloading Facility
September 2012 Ethanol Spill
Community Notice: Norfolk Southern Begins Used Oil Transfer Operations
Emergency plans, emergency preparedness guide, life and safety information, and other preparedness resources.
Information and documents chronicling legal actions taken by the City and Norfolk Southern regarding the ethanol transloading facility and its operations.
Documents, testimony, timelines, electronic and written correspondence, media coverage and other City materials related to the Norfolk Southern facility.
On June 16, 2008, Mayor William D. Euille and the Alexandria City Council released a statement concerning the City's actions regarding the Norfolk Southern ethanol transloading facility.