• Garbage Hauler

  • Discussion related to New York, Susquehanna & Western operations past and present. Also includes some discussion related to Deleware Otsego owned and operated shortlines. Official web site can be found here: NYSW.COM.
Discussion related to New York, Susquehanna & Western operations past and present. Also includes some discussion related to Deleware Otsego owned and operated shortlines. Official web site can be found here: NYSW.COM.

Moderators: GOLDEN-ARM, NJ Vike

  by Dcell
 
So now we know that hauling garbage is almost half of the Susquehanna's freight volume. That's kinda sad, a long way from the glory days of hauling double stack containers of merchandise. I guess the railroad has to take whatever business it can get.

From The Record newspaper.

N.J. asks feds for stricter regulation of trackside sites

Friday, April 20, 2007

By HERB JACKSON
WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT


New Jersey officials urged the federal Surface Transportation Board on Thursday to make trash facilities owned by railroads meet the same environmental, health and safety rules as other trash facilities.

But a lawyer for the railroad that owns several sites in North Bergen that were fined $2.5 million for violations in 2005 contended that New Jersey is out to get his client and urged the federal regulators not to cede control over the issue.

"The state of New Jersey had an agenda ... and their agenda was to shut these facilities down," said G. Paul Motes, lawyer for the New York, Susquehanna & Western Railway Corp.

NYS&W owns five North Bergen facilities where construction waste and contaminated soil from polluted sites are transferred from trucks onto railcars for shipment to out-of-state landfills.

The company convinced a U.S. District Court judge in February that federal laws designed to protect interstate commerce from not-in-my-back-yard local laws make railroads exempt from state solid waste regulations, and the fine was overturned.

The state has appealed, arguing the federal exemption applies to transportation activities, not trash processing.

"No one to my mind has ever said why a railroad can't comply with basic health and safety rules," said David K. Monroe, a Washington lawyer who is serving as special railroad counsel to New Jersey. "Is there a transportation reason they don't have to do that?"

The issue is playing out in other places around the country and within New Jersey, where environmentalists have also complained about trash facilities on railroad property in Saddle Brook and Paterson.

Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., heads the Senate subcommittee that regulates surface transportation and opened the hearing by urging the federal board to take action.

"Unregulated waste facilities, whether on a rail line or not, are bad for our communities," Lautenberg said as aides showed poster-size photos of piles of debris at NYS&W sites.

Thursday's daylong hearing by the transportation board delved into New Jersey's complaints as well as a proposal for a transfer station in Massachusetts.

Motes urged the board not to take any action before New Jersey's appeal is decided and complained that the photos Lautenberg had shown were out of date. He said there are no more piles of waste at its facilities.

He also said the sites serve a purpose, since landfill space is scarce and it would be far worse for the transportation system for trucks carrying the waste to drive hundreds of miles to landfills as far away as Ohio and Quebec.

He also said that railcars filled with waste account for about 40 percent of NYS&W's traffic.

The board chairman, Charles "Kip" Nottingham, said no immediate action was likely, but the issue would be a "high priority."

He and other board members were sympathetic to complaints that a company should not be able to simply buy an old railroad siding and call itself a railroad to evade local regulations.

The federal agency also has limited staff, leading two board members to ask witnesses about the possibility of empowering states to enforce rules, with any disputes settled by the board.

Much of the hearing focused on the differences between "transloading" materials from trucks to railcars, which most witnesses conceded would be exempt from regulation, and trash "processing" that might not be.

E-mail: [email protected]

  by trainfreak
 
He and other board members were sympathetic to complaints that a company should not be able to simply buy an old railroad siding and call itself a railroad to evade local regulations.
If the NYS&W owns the facilities...then it was their siding to begin with and they are still the railroad hauling out the contruction debris. So therefore the NYS&W actually is a railroad. These people should get their information straight.

  by Steve F45
 
what is the difference between "processing" and "transloading"? I dont see how this is "processing" trash, they have debris dumped in the buildings, then picked up and loaded into an open container.

  by RichM
 
I figured one of our expert jailhouse lawyers would have answered you by now.

These environmental definitions vary from place to place... and I guess they still haven't gone through every possible challenge for every possible case...

Generally, if you touch it with the intent of providing a value-added service, you're a processor. For example, if you separate the steel, copper or aluminum, you are a processor, even if it simply involves putting the metals in a separate pile and loading this stuff in different bins. This may also involve holding such materials for consolidation or market timing.

Transloading is just what it says, you receive material and move it out within a defined period, or a generally accepted time interval.

  by Steve F45
 
thanks rich. i know at the southern end facility they seperate alot of metals into seperate containers. Probably making a killing on that end of recycling.