Mary Arnold and Mary Parisen from CURES - Civics United for Railroad and Environmental Solutions - attended a recent COMET meeting and discussed pollution problems in our area caused by freight trains. The presentation included an informative slide show, Particulate pollution is a serious health problem in all of western Queens and one goal is to get the railroads to use cleaner technology.
COMET is a member of CURES - Civics United for Railroad Environmental Solutions. The goal of this new group is to pressure elected officials for changes with respect to railroad pollution, emissions and practices. As mentioned in the Times Ledger, "The group wants both the MTA and the state Department of Transportation to allocate more funds for inspections of trains, redirecting garbage containers to barge transfer stations and for retrofits to the New York & Atlantic Railway’s aging fleet of locomotives." Federal stimulus money has been allocated for similar purposes in other districts. We want some of it to come to western Queens to upgrade the LIRR's locomotives to make them cleaner and quieter and purchase new garbage containers that seal in odors adequately. We also are pushing for more frequent cleanups along the tracks to discourage dumping.
Read more: Tensions rise over boro rail [Times Ledger]