CSX Decision Delayed to Allow DC Council Hearing

For Release: August 20, 2014

Contact: Natalie Skidmore, 202.657.1911, Twitter @DCSafeRail, Facebook.com/DCSafeRail

CSX Decision Delayed Until After Mid-September to Allow DC Council Hearing

Norton Request Granted by Federal Highway Administration

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton yesterday announced that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will delay a decision on the CSX tunnel expansion until after September 15, 2014. This will allow the DC Council to exercise oversight over the CSX proposal, including a hearing on August 26, as Congresswoman Norton requested.

“All of us at DCSafeRail extend a heartfelt thanks to Congresswoman Norton for supporting the need for local input into this transportation project with far- and long-reaching implications,” said Maureen Cohen Harrington, of DCSafeRail. “We also thank FHWA for heeding her appeal and delaying the CSX decision. However, as we’ve said repeatedly, a final decision on the CSX expansion should NOT be made until the Council’s DC Rail Plan is complete. This analysis of all rail service in the District will allow the coordinated expansion of passenger, commuter, and freight service. We must not let CSX dictate transportation policy for the District. And we must not allow this policy, and the grant of new right of way to CSX, to have been made behind closed doors. The entire environmental review was tainted by secret agreements between CSX and the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) that were only recently – and incompletely – revealed. The need for Council oversight is critical.”

DCSafeRail has asked DDOT to delay a final decision for the CSX tunnel expansion until the Rail Plan, and Council oversight, is complete.

DCSafeRail Media Availability at 8/26 DC Council Hearing

 

Members of DCSafeRail will be available to the media before and during the August 26 hearing on the CSX expansion. This is a joint hearing by the Committee of the Whole, headed by Chairman Phil Mendelson, and the Committee on Transportation and the Environment, chaired by Councilmember Mary Cheh.

What:               DCSafeRail members available to the media at CSX hearing

Where:                         Outside DC Council Chamber, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

When:              August 26, 11:30 a.m. until the end of the hearing

DCSafeRail is a coalition of citizens, organizations, and elected officials asking for accountability and oversight in ensuring the community’s health, safety, and security in the Virginia Avenue Tunnel expansion project. They are united by the slogan “Stop CSX, Save DC,” referring to the numerous ways the CSX proposal threatens the District – including vastly increasing the transportation of dangerous cargoes through the monument core.

View the PDF of the official statement here: SafeRailDECISIONDELAYEDPreRel 8-20-14

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