Tracking Harm: Impacts of Rail Yards

Railroaded just became aware of Tracking Harm: Health and Environmental Impacts of Rail Yards, an October 2010 report prepared by J. Vivar, M. Vallianatos and A. Hricko.

This is a ‘must-read’ report for anyone living next to a rail yard and for anyone interested in challenging and helping to minimize the negative impacts of rail yards.  The 7-page report is loaded with strong, clear language and descriptions about the health and environmental impacts of rail yards. Following is an excerpt:

“Operating the trucks, locomotives and yard equipment that service rail yards negatively affects communities’ health and quality of life with increased air pollution, noise, traffic congestion, and industrial blight….Of particular concern are diesel particulate emissions, which have been linked to lung cancer and other health effects. Living near rail yards is also a concern because new studies show that living close to traffic-related pollution is related to asthma and reduced lung function in children, heart disease and stroke in adults, and problems during pregnancy or having babies that are born prematurely or weighing less than normal.”

Based on the California Air Resources Board’s recognition that health risks are high within one mile of a rail yard, the report states, “That means that a new rail yard should not be allowed to be sited within one mile of sensitive receptors.”

The report ends with the following excerpt:

“Affected communities have put forward solutions that would protect the public’s health, advance clean technology, and make railroads better neighbors. It is time for Federal and State officials and the railroad companies to bring the railroad industry into the 21st century and end rail yard pollution.”

Be sure to also check out the excellent  Rail and Reason article on impacts of locomotive diesel exhaust referenced in an earlier Railroaded “Latest News” posting.

~ by railroaded on January 23, 2011.

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