City of Alexandria, Virginia
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Steve Mason
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City of Alexandria
703.838.3861
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Hon. John Warner
U.S. Senate
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Transloading

This page contains references and links to all electronic communications among City staff, and between City staff, Norfolk Southern, and the community regarding the establishment and operation of the Ethanol Transloading Facility. The communications, furnished in response to requests made under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, cover the period from June 20, 2006 at 8 a.m. to May 29, 2008, at 5 p.m.

E-mail addresses and telephone numbers have been redacted to protect the privacy of residents and of City staff whose home and mobile phone numbers were included on the communications. To contact City officials or staff, please use the links on the left side of this page, or Contact Us.


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From Debra Collins - Cameron Station Civic assoc re: Norfolk Southern


  • To: text converted to image to prevent junkmail harvesting,text converted to image to prevent junkmail harvesting,text converted to image to prevent junkmail harvesting,text converted to image to prevent junkmail harvesting,text converted to image to prevent junkmail harvesting,text converted to image to prevent junkmail harvesting
  • Subject: From Debra Collins - Cameron Station Civic assoc re: Norfolk Southern
  • From: xxxxxxxx@xxxx.xxx
  • Date: Mon, 26 May 2008 19:33:12 -0400
  • In-reply-to: <4902432B.41BAA539.32D8277D@cs.com>
  • References: <4902432B.41BAA539.32D8277D@cs.com>

fyi


-----Original Message-----
From: xxxxxxxx@xxxx.xxx
To: xxxxxxxx@xxxx.xxx
Sent: Mon, 26 May 2008 3:18 pm
Subject: Important Message

Dear members:

I apologize in advance for the length of this email, but this is an
important matter for us in Cameron Station.

In mid-April, the Norfolk Southern Corporation began operation of an
ethanol trans-loading station in the West End of Alexandria.
(Ethanol,
which is mixed in various proportions with gasoline as an automotive
fuel, is a flammable liquid that requires a special type of
fire-fighting foam to extinguish.) The tanker cars pull up on the
railroad tracks behind Cameron Station and Tucker Elementary and, as
many of you have noticed, sit for days or weeks on end. The site is
used for transferring liquid ethanol from rail cars into tanker
trucks
for delivery to gasoline tank farms in Springfield and in Fairfax
City.

Alexandria's City Manager, Jim Hartmann, wrote a memo dated May 15
(one month after operations started) stating that the city
"negotiated" an accommodation with Norfolk Southern on behalf of the
City. The city staff didn't inform some, perhaps all, city council
members - and none of the residents in the area - of these
developments before or after this agreement was reached. At this
time,
the civic association board believes that the only reason this issue
came to light is because after a few residents inquired about the
numerous tanker cars on the tracks during our May 5 meeting, I sent
an
email to city council members, and after several days with no
response, I was eventually sent the May 15 memo by Mr. Hartmann. The
memo can be found on line at:
http://www.cameronstationcivicassociation.org/uploads/norfolksouthern.pdf

The problem is, there is a new federal regulation (I am waiting to
hear back from the city with a specific citation) from the Department
of Transportation's Surface Transportation Board (STB) that prohibits
the city from regulating such a facility. However, the regulation was
put in place after Norfolk Southern had decided to build this
facility
in Alexandria.

While Norfolk Southern may be within its legal rights to build such a
transfer station, there is much doubt among some of us on the civic
association board whether or not the Mayor, City Council members, or
city staff are looking out for the public good of Alexandrians. Were
the Council members uninformed, and if so, why not? Was city staff
given the responsibility of investigating and "negotiating" the
issues
of increased truck traffic, safety, public nuisance, and
environmental
impact with no input from the people who actually live in the area?

The Virginia Paving Liaison Committee, appointed by the Mayor a year
ago to review heavy industrial uses in the West End, was not informed
of this action either.

To add insult to injury, I was informed May 15 from the City
Manager's
office that we should await a "community meeting" with the Norfolk
Southern public relations department to discuss this vital issue.
Apparently City staff, and perhaps Council, are willing to abrogate
its responsibilities for citizen involvement to private interests.

I apologize for not informing you, the residents of Cameron Station,
until now. Many of us on the board have been researching this issue,
piecing together a time line, and talking to city council members to
try to put this story together and determine what we can do. At this
point, the board is developing a strategy and will pursue our
Congressional representatives this week.

There is a City Council meeting on Tuesday, May 27 at 7 p.m. where
city council members Justin Wilson and Paul Smedberg have requested
representatives from all city departments to answer questions about
this topic. There is no time for public comment, but it would help
immensely for  Cameron Station residents to show up en masse at the
city council meeting, and sit up front. I regret that I can't be
there
on Tuesday night due to a  scheduling conflict, however, a
representative from the board will be there. If you are so inclined,
please send emails to the following people to let them know your
views
on this issue:

Mayor Euille: Mayor Euille
City Manager Jim Hartmann: text converted to image to prevent junkmail harvesting
Senator Jim Webb: http://webb.senate.gov/contact/ (online email form)
Senator John Warner:
http://warner.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.ContactForm
(on line email form)
Congressman Jim Moran: http://moran.house.gov/zipauth.shtml (on line
email form)

Please keep an eye out for further emails regarding this issue.
Please
be assured the civic association leadership will continue to work
hard
on this issue.

Sincerely,
Ingrid Sanden
President, Cameron Station Civic Association
xxxxxxxx@xxxx.xxx