DC Wants Shade, Not C$X Shady Deals!
WHY IS CSX CUTTING DOWN MATURE DC TREES WHILE A LEGAL CHALLENGE IS PENDING?
CSX will remove DC trees as early as May 18. Ward 6 has the lowest tree canopy cover in DC (only 17%), and summer heat and pollution is on the way. These are the only mature trees in our part of the city, and once they’re gone, they’re gone forever. CSX should not be allowed to take these trees down – causing irreparable harm to our community – while there’s a legal challenge underway. CSX wants construction as far along as possible before its recently-discovered nefarious dealings are subject to legal, media, political, and public review.
IS THE CSX EXPANSION LEGAL?
The Committee of 100 on the Federal City (C100), DC’s foremost citizen planning group, is suing to stop work on the Virginia Avenue Tunnel expansion. The C100 has filed compelling evidence that the expansion was given an illegal green light by the DC government before going through the environmental review required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). It also appears that the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) and CSX engaged in “pay to play,” with millions suspiciously changing hands.
The recently-produced 130,000+ page administrative record for the case reveals extensive behind-the-scenes negotiations in which DDOT and other executive branch officials dangled NEPA approval as an incentive for lucrative bargains with CSX. As one example, on January 20, 2010, DDOT’s head of Policy and Planning advised DDOT Director Gabe Klein that DDOT should determine “what leverage we have with the Virginia Avenue tunnel… and how we can use that [against CSX] for other acquisitions.” DDOT presented its wish list, and a slew of secret agreements ensued. CSX also made a 2012 “donation” to DC, the amount and terms of which are still unknown.
You shouldn’t get to tear up a neighborhood if you haven’t followed the rules.
PLEASE HELP SAVE OUR TREES AND NEIGHBORHOOD! CONTACT MAYOR BOWSER & COUNCILMEMBER ALLEN.
Mayor Muriel Bowser: 202-442-8150 and Muriel.Bowser@dc.gov
Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen: 202-724-8072 and firstname.lastname@example.org
(Also consider attending Allen’s talk about our low Ward 6 tree cover at Casey Trees in SW on 5/21/15 at 6pm: http://caseytrees.org/event/advocate-tree-advocates-meeting-with-councilmember-charles-allen/ )
Tell them to put construction on hold while these backroom deals receive proper legal and other review. CSX is rushing to maximize its corporate profits and secure the benefit of its shady deals. Fair process, and the safety and security of residents and the nation’s capital, are paramount. Even the NEPA documents say that the tunnel will be safe for decades. If those are wrong, CSX should cease hazmat shipments through the tunnel immediately.
FOR MORE INFORMATION AND EXTENSIVE DOCUMENTATION, SEE:
Download a PDF here: CSX Tree Flyer (1)