Publisher’s Perspective

By Tim Douglass, Publisher of the Pope County Tribune

Most of us read or saw news about a catastrophic 38-train car derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.

It’s been a few weeks now since about 50 cars of a freight train derailed in a fiery, mangled mess on the outskirts of East Palestine near the Pennsylvania state line, apparently because of a mechanical issue with a rail car axle. No one was injured in that wreck. But concerns about air quality and the hazardous chemicals on board the train prompted some village residents to leave, and officials later ordered the evacuation of the immediate area as fears grew about a potential explosion of smoldering wreckage.  In recent days, there has been concern about the toxic chemicals that escaped at the derailment and what that could mean going forward for those who live in that area.

Here in Glenwood, we are home to a Canadian Pacific Railway depot and a line that runs through and near the city.

Are there hazardous materials being transported by CP on that line?

We reached out to Canadian Pacific Railway last week and asked them about the issue.  Here’s what a spokesman for CP said in response.

“Railways, including CP, are legally required to transport hazardous materials as part of their common carrier obligations, on reasonable terms and conditions, and to do so in accordance with all applicable laws, including safety and environmental protection regulations.

“We continually strive to make the transportation of hazardous materials and other goods as safe as possible, meeting or exceeding applicable regulations and industry standards, investing in our network infrastructure, implementing advanced technologies to drive safety and working with our customers to continually improve the safety of their tank cars,” said Andy Cummings, a CP spokesperson and manager of media relations.  “CP has led the industry with the lowest train accident frequency rate in North America for 17 straight years, illustrating the effectiveness of our efforts to enhance public safety and protect the environment.

“Along our entire network, CP collaborates with our customers, suppliers, contractors, industry peers, regulators, government agencies, communities and first responders to prepare for and respond to incidents. We maintain proactive processes and appropriate resources to promptly and effectively respond to a wide range of potential emergencies. We assist first responders in assessing the hazardous materials moving through their communities and the safeguards that are in place to protect against unintentional releases,” he added.

Central Square improvement project

included in House bonding bill

We received a call from our Rep. Paul Anderson early Monday to let us know that the bonding bill was being considered on Monday afternoon and that the Central Square Improvement project was included in the “cash” portion of the bill.  That’s good news and we thank Rep. Anderson for his work ensuring Central Square was in the House bill.  There are still a few hurdles, but fingers crossed for Central Square.