Environmental reporters can prepare for possible rail accidents involving hazardous materials — like the one that hit East Palestine, Ohio — by having a keener understanding of what hazmat may be regularly carried through their communities. The latest Reporter’s Toolbox guides you to helpful lists of dangerous substances while offering a rundown of nearly a dozen-and-a-half of the worst offenders and their risks.
"The automobile has been a fixture of urban life for more than a century. Then came the coronavirus pandemic. Congested streets turned into pedestrian safe havens. Now many want to make those changes permanent — but it won’t happen without a fight."
"Ohio filed a lawsuit against railroad Norfolk Southern to make sure it pays for the cleanup and environmental damage caused by a fiery train derailment on the Ohio-Pennsylvania border last month, the state’s attorney general said Tuesday."
"Interior Secretary Deb Haaland late Tuesday revoked a Trump-era land swap that would have paved the way for a road to be built through Alaska’s Izembek National Wildlife Refuge."
"Accidents that result in the release of hazardous materials are rare, but when trains do crash, the consequences can be serious. Most of the recent ones that caused evacuations have happened near small communities, NPR found. Local firefighters who respond are uniquely vulnerable to the effects. But across the country, they are often under-prepared to handle the chemicals when they come off the tracks."
"Activists are blaming a recent spate of humpback strandings off New York and New Jersey on seismic exploration by offshore wind companies. But scientists say the deaths are not unusual and are likely due to increased ship traffic and entanglements with fishing gear."
Under federal rules, states can decide whether to divulge information about hazardous materials rolling along their railways — and mostly they don’t. Not knowing where and when hazmat trains are traveling or what’s on board creates anxiety and raises the risk for those who live near the tracks. TipSheet offers resources and step-by-step instructions for investigating railway hazmat threats to your community.
"A drizzle fell Wednesday morning in Takotna, where more than a dozen Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race teams were bedded down for their 24-hour rests."
"The chief executive of a railroad company that operated a train that derailed and caused a release of toxic chemicals in February told the Senate on Thursday that he is “deeply sorry” for the impact on East Palestine, Ohio, and he is personally committed to “make this right.”"
"The chief executive of one of the nation’s largest railroads is coming to a Senate hearing with an apology and a commitment to send millions of dollars to the village on the Ohio-Pennsylvania border disrupted by a fiery derailment as senators investigate railway safety and the Biden administration’s response to the disaster."