What safety precautions has the railroad installed on the site to make sure that chemical spills do not occur, or if so they are contained?

We believe that the railroad is as concerned about safety as the Town of Upton is. To that end they have taken several steps to ensure that their site is equipped to avoid or prevent a chemical spill, and in the unlikely event that such a spill were to occur, to quickly and safely contain the spill. Those steps include:

  • An impervious material has been poured under the area of track where the trains are transloaded. That material is quite thick and prevents any material that does fall from the tank car from permeating the soil.
  • Tank cars are unloaded from the top, rather from the bottom. This protection further eliminates the likelihood that there will be a spill.
  • The railroad employs a vacuum system when cars are being unloaded which reduces the likelihood of spills, and prevents odors from escaping.
  • The railroad is also constructing a detention basin so that if a spill were to occur it would flow into this basin which provides containment. The railroad plans to contract with a company who can test the materials and safety dispose of those off site.
  • The railroad has contracted with an affiliate of the Dana Companies, which has considerable expertise and experience in the safe handling of hazardous materials and which is in charge of training programs and ensuring that transloading operations are conducted in accordance with the applicable federal regulations.

Show All Answers

1. What is the Grafton Upton Railroad?
2. Who are the present owners of the Railroad?
3. What are their plans for the rail yard located on Maple Avenue?
4. I hear that the Dana Company will be involved in the rail road in Upton. Who are they and what is their role in this operation?
5. What has the Town done to investigate the rights of the railroad?
6. Why did the Board of Selectmen decide to form a railroad fact finding committee and what is the status of that committee?
7. What are some of the definitions in federal law that is relevant to the situation in Upton?
8. What are some of the important factors to consider regarding preemption?
9. What activities are subject to local regulation and are not preempted?
10. Which agency has the authority to make a determination as to whether or not a local regulation is pre-empted?
11. What is involved in asking the Surface Transportation Board (STB) to rule on whether or not the G&U is subject to local regulation in Upton?
12. If the Town were to ask for a declaratory ruling, can the Town stop the activities of the railroad until a ruling could be given by the STB?
13. Why can’t the Planning Board retain counsel in order to file for an STB ruling?
14. What local, state and federal agencies are responsible for monitoring the railroad’s activities?
15. What is happening with the site known as the former Upton landfill & Upton Fuel and Construction?
16. What types of products does the railroad plan to bring into Upton by rail and transload onto trucks?
17. Doesn’t the Town have any say in whether or not hazardous chemicals are brought into our Town?
18. How do we know what hazardous materials are in rail cars coming into Upton?
19. Does the railroad have to provide the Town with Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for the hazardous materials that are brought into Upton?
20. How long can materials that are brought into Upton by rail remain on site before they must be removed?
21. What safety precautions has the railroad installed on the site to make sure that chemical spills do not occur, or if so they are contained?
22. Should I be concerned that the railroad’s site is very close to one of the Town’s Glen Avenue well field?
23. What types of inspections have various agencies made of the G&U site?
24. I’m concerned that I haven’t been notified of blasting taking place at the railroad site given how close it is to people’s homes. What is happening and what should people do if they think their home h
25. What types of local regulations is the railroad preempted from?
26. When the railroad is fully operational, how many trains a day will be coming through Upton?
27. What type of noise can I expect will be generated from the site, and will it be confined to regular business hours or other times of day?
28. Will the railroad contribute to increased truck traffic on our roads?
29. Given the rail cart accident this summer where a car was hit on Hartford Avenue South, what is being done to ensure crossings are safe for drivers?
30. Do the Town and the railroad have an emergency response plan in case of an accident at the site?
31. What resources do the Town and the region have at its disposal to manage a chemical accident at the site?
32. If a resident notices a chemical odor at the site, to whom should they report it?
33. What are the economic benefits to having the railroad operation in Upton?
34. Is the railroad paying property taxes on their site?
35. More Questions?