By Mark Hallum
Legislation drafted by U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing) would require freight trains to put a cover over loads of trash and other forms of debris to benefit the people in the southern half of her district.
Areas of Glendale, Maspeth and Middle Village have freight rail lines running in close proximity to the homes of the residents in her district and the Train Coverings for Community Safety Act would keep communities cleaner and safer, Meng said.
“This is a simple bill and is the result of hearing from many constituents who, for too long, have been forced to endure the adverse effects of trains that transport waste and debris through their neighborhood,” Meng said. “Many borough residents in the western part of my district have long complained about the stench caused by this trash, and they’ve been concerned about materials flying out of traveling rail cars. Those who live near the tracks have also been subjected to trash-filled trains sitting idle for days near their homes. Placing covers on top of train cars – so that all waste is completely containerized – would help alleviate these many problems, and ensure that uncovered trains no longer affect the quality of life of area residents.”
According to Meng, trains in her district commonly transport commercial waste, municipal solid waste as well as construction and demolition debris.
Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhall