Feds will delay Bomb Train Decision until Christmas –CBS12 2022-07-25

Cecile “CeCe” Scofield is famous for related activity in addition to being the driving force behind the WWALS Petition to FERC for Rulemaking on small, inland, LNG facilities, on which you can comment or intervene.

[Oncoming Train --CBS 12 News, 2022-07-25]
Oncoming Train –CBS 12 News, 2022-07-25

Mike Magnoli, CBS12.com, July 25, 2022, I-Team: Feds will delay “Bomb Train” Decision until Christmas,

STUART, Fla. (CBS12) — Keeping an Eye on your Safety, CBS 12 News is following up on liquefied natural gas (LNG); the feds have given energy companies and the railroads the green light to transport it by rail through our neighborhoods.

The I-Team has been reporting on concerns the federal government is allowing what opponents label “bomb trains” to put our communities at risk.

Here’s a quick re-cap:

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) powers FEC (Florida East Coast Rail) trains.

The Trump administration approved transporting LNG in railroad tanker cars in Florida and Alaska.

The Biden’s administration is reviewing that rule and it may overturn LNG by rail authorization.

The Department of Transportation and The Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration were supposed to have a final decision on this last month, but apparently 18 months isn’t enough for this administration to decide whether tanker cars full of liquid natural gas are safe to go rolling down our accident-prone rail lines here in Florida. They told the I-Team to check back in December.

And that delay has Florida’s Safe Train Alliance mad and speaking out.

Keeping an Eye on your Safety, CBS 12 News is following up on liquefied natural gas (LNG); the feds have given energy companies and the railroads the green light to transport it by rail through our neighborhoods. (WPEC)

CeCe Scofield drove our crew through a busy railroad crossing in Stuart at cove road. She pointed out her church and the nearby senior home where members of the congregation regularly volunteer.

“If there’s an explosion involving LNG at this intersection, I say, we’re going to say goodbye to a lot of people that live here,” Scofield said.

These tracks are used by Brightline and freight trains.

Right now the only LNG on this route is stored in what are called tender cars- they’re directly behind locomotives, which use the LNG for fuel, but if the Biden administration doesn’t act soon, energy companies will have the freedom to haul full tankers of LNG up and down the state on this stretch.

In previous reports, the I-Team has explained how destructive an LNG train derailment or leak could be.

“You will have a boiling liquid expanding vapor explosion,” Scofield said, “Otherwise known as a bleve.”

Scofield has been involved in the fight against LNG for nearly twenty years, before she even moved to Florida. In her native Massachusetts, an energy company wanted to store massive quantities of liquid natural gas on the banks of the Taunton River, Scofield and other protestors there managed to kill the project. Now she’s fighting LNG here in South Florida, arguing it’s an accident waiting to happen.

“How can you run a passenger rail at 110 on the same track as LNG at 40 miles per hour, that’s a scheduling nightmare,” Scofield said.

Florida’s East Coast Rail won’t comment on this controversy.

Sec. of Transportation Pete Buttigieg told congress he’s concerned about LNG on rail and considering new restrictions, but when last month’s deadline came and went, the feds told energy companies and the railroads- they need until Christmas.

There’s more in the story, mostly about how high prices are being used as an excuse for more LNG production, and how proponents claim it’s safe.

And this from Cecile:

Back on cove road, Cece Scofield tells the I team, she predicts regulators will continue to stall, so she’ll continue to sound off with her warnings.

“There’s really no way in these populated areas to protect the citizens from these trains that are barreling down the tracks,” Scofield said.

LNG export routes, Map
Map: by WWALS, from federal and state filings of LNG export operations.

Readers, maybe you’d like to mention that in your comments on the FERC Rulemaking about small, inland LNG facilities, because that’s where much of this LNG by train is and will be coming from.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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