November 15, 2013
In July, we won a monumental EJ victory when Global Petroleum withdrew their proposal to transport millions of gallons of ethanol by train into Revere. For two and a half years, EJLS has provided pro bono legal assistance to Chelsea Creek Action Group to prevent mile-long trains from running through Greater Boston environmental justice communities with the highly dangerous substance.
Rail transport is a great risk in densely populated communities like Revere, Chelsea and East Boston where there is no easy way to evacuate in case of a disaster. An ethanol fire must be extinguished with special alcohol-resistant foam, which is in short supply in Boston and area fire departments. Residents, already overburdened with industrial business, pollution from Logan International Airport and commercial shipping on Chelsea Creek, mobilized against the proposal.
After years of Chelsea Creek Action Group’s powerful organizing with legal and technical support from EJLS, the $17.6 billion corporation said, We surrender. During the campaign, we worked with state legislators to enact a law mandating that MassDOT study safety concerns with community participation, convinced seven municipalities to sign resolutions opposing the proposal, supported the passage of a non-binding referendum in Revere against the ethanol trains, and raised awareness among residents and elected officials about transporting ethanol by rail.
Now, we are working to pass legislation to place a multi-year moratorium on ethanol trains in Greater Boston and further study the issue with residents. Thank you for your support in making this community-led victory possible!