Alexandria neighborhood fears plan to expand ethanol transfer op - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Alexandria neighborhood fears plan to expand ethanol transfer operation

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A freight train carrying highly flammable ethanol derailed in Columbus, Ohio not quite a year ago. Residents of Alexandria's West End neighborhood wonder if that could happen near them.

Norfolk Southern Corporation, which operates an ethanol transloading facility near the Van Dorn Metro, has applied for a permit to expand its operation.

Mayor William Euille is upset at a proposal to double the number of rail cars and tanker trucks involved in the loading and unloading process. He's concerned about the environmental impact and wonders how it will affect the area's development plans.

Euille says it would have been more diplomatic of Norfolk Southern to sit down and talk with city leaders before applying for a permit.

Community activist Mindy Lyle says residents of Cameron Station and Summer's Grove already have to listen to the noise in the early hours of the morning. She and the mayor say there have already been some minor spills.

Norfolk Southern acknowledges it has considered plans to expand, but "recognizing that a state air quality permit would be required to proceed with an expansion, the company wants to be able to act quickly to future market conditions and chose to apply to the DEQ (Department of Environmental Quality) for a permit ahead of the need."

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