Mendte: Trains And Hazardous Waste

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NEW YORK, NY. (KPLR) – Hazardous fumes still linger in the air over a New Jersey town, days after a trail derailment leaked the toxic material.

Larry Mendte explains why it's a concern for communities across the country.

A train derails in the early morning hours after a bridge collapses in Paulsboro, New Jersey.  Residents are awakened by the frantic cries of evacuation, that was last week and many have still not been able to go home

When the train cracked open, the chemical vinyl chloride filled the air.  It can be deadly.   It will disappear from the air soon enough, but, no one really knows the effects on the groundwater.  We do know it was the second time that the 140 year old bridge collapsed in three years

Billions of gallons of dangerous chemicals are transported by train every year in this country.

Traveling through small towns and big cities and across old bridges like the one in New Jersey.

If you think what happened in New Jersey last week is a fluke, you are incorrect.

There were four accidents involving trains carrying dangerous chemicals already this year; all involved a fire or explosion, evacuations and injuries.

The only fluke is that we have not yet had a major disaster.

One day our luck will run out and one of these train accidents will cause a disaster of historic proportions; especially with the age of our bridges and infrastructure.

It is important to remember that when you hear about money needed for infrastructure in this country; it is not wasteful spending and it shouldn`t be portrayed as stimulus money.  It is one of the core responsibilities of government, to keep this country from crumbling and to keep us safe from disasters.

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