Cambridge Civic Journal Forum

April 16, 2013

Cambridge Delegation Announces Ethanol Train Meeting (Tues, Apr 16, 2013)

Filed under: Cambridge — Tags: , — Robert Winters @ 1:10 pm

Cambridge’s legislative delegation invites residents, property owners, and local organizations to participate in a public forum about a proposed plan to transport ethanol through the City of Cambridge by rail. The forum will be held Tuesday, April 16, 2013 at 6:00PM at the King Open School, 850 Cambridge St., Cambridge. Representatives from MassDOT will present the findings of their ethanol safety study at this meeting, followed by an opportunity for a dialogue between the public and elected officials.

“Ethanol is a highly volatile substance, and this proposal presents a clear and present public safety risk for the people of Cambridge. Without concerted action, the burden of emergency preparedness will fall on Cambridge taxpayers, while a Fortune 500 company pads its profits,” Representative Timothy J. Toomey, Jr. said.  “I hope that everyone who has an interest in the future of Cambridge will attend this meeting.”

“Public safety and the environment remain central issues in the shipment of ethanol through the Commonwealth,” said Senator Anthony Petruccelli. “I continue to stand in opposition to the issuance of the Chapter 91 license to Global and I am committed to working with my fellow legislators in assuring that our public safety officers are prepared to protect our communities.”

“The plan to bring ethanol via train through Cambridge raises serious public safety concerns and potential negative environmental impacts for its residents and for the residents of its surrounding communities,” said Senator Sal DiDomenico. “Ethanol is a highly flammable liquid, and this project will greatly increase the risk of spills, releases, and fires along the route in which the 1.8-million-gallon ethanol-carrying train would pass. I urge all residents to attend the meeting to learn more about these risks and how they can be mitigated. We need answers to these serious questions.”

“Running trains carrying ethanol through densely populated residential neighborhoods carries serious potential consequences,” said Senator Patricia Jehlen. “Cambridge residents should take this opportunity to learn more about the process and ramifications of the proposal, and have their voices heard.”

“This meeting is a great opportunity for residents to learn about MassDOT’s safety study and to speak directly with their legislators about how we can stand together to oppose this plan,” said Representative Marjorie Decker. “Please attend this vitally important meeting.”

Representative David Rogers said, “Shipping ethanol through Cambridge will create an unacceptable transfer of risk from a private company to the general public. I am concerned about both the potential for a catastrophe and the ongoing financial cost to the City of Cambridge.”

This meeting will be hosted by the Cambridge delegation, which includes Representatives Toomey, Decker, Rogers, and Hecht and Senators Petruccelli, Jehlen, and DiDomenico.

MassDOT’s ethanol safety study and related documents can be found at

Any questions regarding the meeting may be directed to Dan Weber at or (617) 722-2380.

UPDATE: Cambridge Ethanol Train Meeting Agenda Changed, MassDOT Safety Study Presentation Being Rescheduled

Due to the tragic and disturbing nature of the events that occurred at yesterday’s (Apr 15) Boston Marathon, the Cambridge state legislative delegation has chosen to abbreviate this meeting regarding the transportation of ethanol that was originally planned for 6pm this evening at the King Open School. The delegation has decided that it will go forward with the meeting in a shortened format, and will postpone the presentation of a Massachusetts Department of Transportation safety study by Department officials. Residents who still wish to attend will have an opportunity to discuss their questions and comments with their elected representatives. Residents who attend the meeting will also be able to obtain copies of MassDOT’s safety study presentation. The Cambridge delegation plans to reschedule a full meeting with Department of Transportation officials and will announce the rescheduled meeting’s date, time, and location in the coming days.

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