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Village of Croton-on-Hudson
1 Van Wyck Street
Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520

Phone: 914-271-4781
Fax: 914-271-2836


Hours: Mon. - Fri., 8:30 am - 4 pm
 
Senator Leibell's letter to STB 8-05
August 25, 2005

Roger Nober, Chairman
Surface Transportation Board
1925 K Street N.W.
Washington, DC 20423-0001

Dear Chairman Nober:

I am writing to you today in strong opposition to Northeast Interchange
Railway, LLC’s (NIR) request for a Notice of Exemption from the Surface
Transportation Board (STB).

NIR plans to acquire a waste processing facility currently being run by
Metro Enviro LLC (Metro). The New York State Court of Appeals, after a long
and arduous legal battle, finally confirmed the right of the Village of
Croton-on-Hudson to not renew the special permit that allowed Metro the
ability to operate its waste processing facility because of “repeated,
willful violations” by the company which the court determined to be an
unacceptable threat to the health and environment of the region.

Now, after working so diligently to shut down the existing waste processing
facility, the Village is faced with the prospect of another company, NIR,
taking over the facility and skirting the need for such a special permit
simply because it will call itself a “common carrier by rail” instead of
what it truly is, a processor of construction waste. In fact, the only
significant relationship that NIR will have with the railroad is a 1600
foot section of the track, a spur to the main line, which merely allows NIR
the convenience of shipping its processed waste. NIR will have no other
railway activities other than shipping its own waste on this tiny length of
track. Clearly, this is not the intended goal and purpose of a “common
carrier by rail” but merely a ruse to allow NIR to operate a waste
processing facility outside of the strict regulations set up by state and
local authorities.

As the New York State Senator representing this area, I have worked
tirelessly to enact laws that will protect and preserve the pristine
environment of the Hudson Valley Region and I am distressed at the prospect
of companies such as NIR being allowed to skirt these very same provisions
by taking advantage of this glaring loophole in the law. As you can clearly
see, NIR is not interested in running a common carrier railway business but
is simply attempting to evade local and state regulations by disguising its
waste processing facility as a railroad. I urge you to reject NIR’s
application for a Notice of Exemption and to remain vigilant against other
such businesses that might seek to persuade your esteemed Board in the same
manner.

Sincerely,

Senator Vincent L. Leibell
40th Senate District