Wednesday, October 8, 2008

EDITORIAL: Has TRRAAC derailed F&M scheme?

On June 19 in an article "F&M wows with freight yard relocation program", NewsLanc reported: "The upshot was that even most of the members of TRRAAC, an organization consisting largely of those most impacted, seemed to acquiesce to the relocation of a portion of the freight yard. Most people went away feeling better informed and favorably impressed."

If the TRAAC organization was caught unprepared, out maneuvered, and unrepresented by counsel at the June 18th meeting, on Tuesday evening it made up for its lapse with impressive presentations by an environmental consultant, veteran neighbors as eye witnesses, and legal counsel. They made a strong case for reviews by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

Franklin & Marshall, the owner of the former Lancaster Brickyard which had been a long term dump for Armstrong, has spent over $1.5 of federal funds in developing its case for relocation of the Norfolk & Southern rail yard to the location.

Nevertheless, TRRAAC provided sufficient information during its presentation to raise very serious concerns and to necessitate well funded and impartial governmental evaluations of F & M representations.

A member summed up the mood of the audience when he said "We have been consistently given half-truths, misinformation, incomplete information, and, in some cases it seems to me, outright false information."

TRRAAC has done its job by presenting sufficient information to justify careful government reviews before over $30 million in taxpayers money is spent on the project and the public health of the community is possibly jeopardized.

Hopefully, others will now join with the School Lane Hills community by insisting on full investigations and a conscientious evaluation of possible alternative sites.