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  • Shedding Light on the Shady Industry of Crude Oil Trains in Baltimore | Chesapeake Climate Action Network
    center of the City but rail companies CSX and Norfolk Southern were suing the state of Maryland to keep route information secret A DOT 111 Train running through Baltimore along 26th street near Charles Village So in July of 2015 nearly a hundred of us rallied outside of City Hall as part of a National Week of Action to stop oil trains calling for public disclosure of train routes That same day the City Council held an informational public hearing about crude oil trains and slowly us and the City Council started to learn more about this shady industry Of course the rail companies refused to show up prompting even more questions from the City Council After that hearing they agreed that something needed to happen Finally last Fall we started to shed some light In September a Baltimore judge ruled against rail companies forcing them to release oil train route information to the public confirming that explosive crude oil trains do run through the heart of our city and put 165 000 people or a quarter of the city s population at risk Now the city council is ready to take action Just last week City Council President Jack Young introduced a bill to study the health and safety impacts that oil trains place on the city These are unprecedented studies that should tell us even more about the burden oil trains place on communities We will be able to answer questions like what pollutants leak out of oil trains in communities near rail lines Or what should the city do in the event of an oil train derailment and explosion Of course these simple questions should have been answered before we allowed oil trains to run through the heart of the City but it s heartening to see

    Original URL path: http://chesapeakeclimate.org/blog/shedding-light-on-the-shady-industry-of-crude-oil-trains-in-baltimore/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Meet A CCANer: Baltimore Community Leader Keisha Allen | Chesapeake Climate Action Network
    hall meeting in Baltimore on February 11th at 7pm The Westport Neighborhood Association meets on the first Thursday of every month at the Westport Homes Boys Girls Club Rec Center 2343 Norfolk St Baltimore MD 21230 Your name Keisha Allen Your age 40 Where you live Baltimore Maryland Your profession Medical Billing Systems Trainer for a large hospital system in central Maryland What are the impacts of climate change that hit closest to home for you Flooding Westport is a community in the southern end of Baltimore City that is surrounded by the Middle Branch and the Gwynns Falls River The risk is so great that two years ago the University of Maryland took notice to several communities in my area and interviewed us for flooding preparedness No one had ever warned us and we thought we lived far enough away from the water to not be at risk None of us were ready Why did you decide to get involved in taking action on climate Our community has a lot of environmental stresses such as poor air quality homes with lead and contaminated grounds due to chemical and industrial factories that did not operate using clean energy I ve learned that the number one cause of death in my community and others that surround it is asthma We hope to reduce these stresses by continuing to work with organizations such as CCAN and our Health Department What has inspired you most working with CCAN and or in your community CCAN has knowledge and expertise with environmental matters that my neighbors and I cannot cover alone keeping us up to date with local environmental issues and canvassing our community to reach neighbors who cannot attend meetings What do you hope to see happen in the next year to address the

    Original URL path: http://chesapeakeclimate.org/blog/meet-a-ccaner-baltimore-community-leader-keisha-allen/ (2016-05-02)
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  • CCAN Statement: Vote to Lift the Oil Export Ban Puts Baltimore at Greater Risk | Chesapeake Climate Action Network
    Action Network released the following statement For Big Oil Christmas came early On the heels of historic international climate progress the Obama administration and Congress have caved to the pressure of companies like Exxon lifting a 40 year ban on exporting crude oil overseas With Congress failing to protect our communities from oil trains it s even more critical that the Baltimore City Council steps up Put simply lifting the oil export ban incentivizes the extraction of more fossil fuels This means more fracking in places like North Dakota more explosive crude oil trains rolling through cities like Baltimore and more climate pollution A recent study estimated that the new oil drilled to meet overseas demand could produce as much annual greenhouse gas pollution as 135 coal fired power plants and could put an additional 4 500 explosive crude oil trains on railroad tracks every day What does this mean for our region In Baltimore we re concerned that even more explosive crude oil trains could roll through the heart of the city putting the 165 000 people who live within a mile of the tracks at even greater risk Crude oil trains are already rolling through Baltimore even as we lack a comprehensive understanding of the health and safety impacts In response to today s harmful vote in Congress the Baltimore City Council can and should introduce a city ordinance requiring health and safety impact studies of oil trains which they ve promised to do in January Our communities deserve to know what s at stake as millions of gallons of toxic and flammable crude oil travels by schools churches hospitals businesses the Inner Harbor and even City Hall The evidence is in to protect ourselves from the impacts of climate change and the myriad health and safety dangers

    Original URL path: http://chesapeakeclimate.org/press-releases/ccan-statement-vote-to-lift-the-oil-export-ban-puts-baltimore-at-greater-risk/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Court win increases oil train transparency, but it’s not enough | Chesapeake Climate Action Network
    Westport and then Brooklyn to a shipping terminal on the Fairfield peninsula Reported route of oil trains throughout the State of Maryland Find the interactive version of the map at www blast zone org Oil also comes in from the west directly from Pittsburgh Trains travel on the CSX railroad line through Cumberland passing Harpers Ferry and through Frederick County where it meets the headwaters of the Patapsco River It then follows the Patapsco through Monrovia to Ellicot City where it enters the City through Morrell Park and Mount Winans where it meets up with the northern rail line to the shipping terminal in Fairfield Through research we found out that this puts over 165 000 people in the blast zone in Baltimore In Baltimore city these trains predominately run through communities of color and low income communities disproportionately putting these people at risk and is an environmental injustice In the past two years over 100 million gallons of crude oil have been offloaded from oil trains in Baltimore These numbers come from the State s Oil Control Program which is a regulatory agency that requires oil and rail companies to disclose how much oil comes through the state But here s the catch the OCP requires oil companies to report only when over 1 million gallons of crude oil are unloaded from a train in Maryland This means that if a train is carrying less than 1 million gallons of crude oil about 35 tankers on a single train it can be unloaded and stored in Maryland with no need to report this information to the public It also means that oil trains passing through the state on their way to oil hubs in the Northeast for example go unreported The real amount of oil that travels through Baltimore

    Original URL path: http://chesapeakeclimate.org/blog/oil-train-transparency/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Does your vision of Calvert County include Dominion? | Chesapeake Climate Action Network
    Calvert Cliffs or sharing stories with friends in Solomons To me Calvert County is famous for its friendly communities fresh air and natural beauty Yet for the past 6 months Dominion has been changing that After hiring non local construction workers creating traffic jams and clearing forests they are continuing to build their massive Cove Point export facility to process and ship billions of gallons of fracked gas from the Marcellus Shale overseas As CCAN gears up its legal battle to challenge the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission s approval of Cove Point a relentless and growing group of community members from across Southern Maryland continue to organize holding meetings presenting at weekly Board of Calvert County Commissioners meetings knocking on neighbors doors and pushing against a behemoth company to protect their neighborhoods And it s all leading up to an exciting rally march and comm unity picnic on May 30th The March for Calvert County to be Dominion Free The day will begin with an inspiring rally at the Solomons boardwalk at 9AM Following that you can join the flock for a six mile walk through Lusby ending at Cove Point Park where we will celebrate everything we love about Calvert County Join friends and community members for a family picnic and fellowship at 1PM Click here to join us at the March for Calvert County to be Dominion free On May 30th we will show Calvert County that Dominion s dirty fracked gas facility is not a done deal Since construction started Dominion has failed the community and now it s time to speak up Show Calvert County and beyond that your vision of Calvert county is Dominion Free Let them know we want our communities to be healthy and thriving not polluted with more fracking wells or pipelines

    Original URL path: http://chesapeakeclimate.org/blog/does-your-vision-of-calvert-county-include-dominion/ (2016-05-02)
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  • After Four Derailments in Four Weeks, Maryland Legislators Take on Crude Oil Risks | Chesapeake Climate Action Network
    extraction produces highly flammable and explosive oil that simply can t be transported safely yet more and more is moving through our communities every day A lack of publicly available information on crude by rail weak federal oversight and limited emergency planning only add to the problem However there is good news states and cities across the country are responding to citizens concerns and taking action to shed light on this dangerous practice Now Maryland is joining in the fight Delegate Clarence Lam D 12 is the lead sponsor of House Bill 1073 which addresses some of the problems listed above This bill was introduced in response to recent derailments and the potential threat of a new crude oil shipping terminal in Baltimore proposed by Texas based Targa Resources If the terminal is approved the city of Baltimore and rail communities throughout Maryland could face a new surge of over a million gallons of explosive crude oil every day which you can read more about in my previous blog post The bill would require Maryland state agencies to study risks and impacts in the event of a crude oil spill during rail transport On top of that the bill would also require rail companies to disclose the amounts and routes of crude oil transport throughout the state something rail companies are currently suing the state of Maryland to keep secret The bill so far has received a broad array of support from community members neighborhood associations Democrats Republicans railroad employees and environmental groups alike Last Wednesday during a hearing in Annapolis I testified in favor of the bill along with Delegate Lam Ana Rule a PhD researcher at Johns Hopkins and Will Fadely from Clean Water Action The bill garnered no testimony in opposition With oil train disasters happening on

    Original URL path: http://chesapeakeclimate.org/blog/after-four-derailments-in-four-weeks-maryland-legislators-take-on-crude-oil-risks/ (2016-05-02)
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  • The fight for Fair Development in South Baltimore | Chesapeake Climate Action Network
    Answers proposed trash burning incinerator in Curtis Bay Share this image on your own Facebook page by clicking the sunflower Right now Free Your Voice is working to get public institutions to cancel their contracts with Energy Answers including Baltimore City Schools the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Walters Art Museum Free Your Voice asked Dialogue attendees to share or send their Pledge to Divest logo a sunflower to the BMA and the Walters To pledge your support go here Free Your Voice holds the Fairfield Incinerator as an example of failed development a project planned without the consent or input of the affected communities that will hurt rather than help the surrounding neighborhoods To learn more about Fair Development I attended a discussion within the Clean Air is a Human Right track about alternative sources of energy and alternative uses of the Fairfield site Residents of Curtis Bay are eager to pursue building a solar farm on the site instead which could create good jobs for residents of the neighborhood provide a positive example of brownfield development for other cities and help Baltimore City reach its goal of 22 megawatts of green energy produced in the city by 2020 Within discussion about the practicalities and feasibility of the project John Duda of Red Emma s and the Democracy Collaborative spoke about infusing green development with just economic development A solar farm designed built and maintained by existing out of state solar companies would address the pollution and energy injustices of the proposed incinerator but would do little to address the disinvestment and lack of economic opportunity seen in Curtis Bay and throughout Baltimore But if it integrated the green energy proposal with education jobs training and the development of democratic economic models the solar farm proposal would be

    Original URL path: http://chesapeakeclimate.org/blog/the-fight-for-fair-development-in-south-baltimore/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Bomb Trains: Baltimore’s Next Big Fight | Chesapeake Climate Action Network
    and easily ignitable Bakken crude oil explodes When that happens the resulting explosions look like what nightmares are made of A crude oil train derailed and exploded in Lac Megantic Quebec last year Source Quebecor Media Inc Tragically it was only after a massive explosion in Canada that killed 47 people and leveled a town that federal regulators decided to take action to propose rules to make crude oil transport safer Yet even after massive amounts of environmental destruction dangerous DOT 111 trains still carry crude oil throughout our country Most of the explosive crude oil on U S rails is moving in tanker cars that are almost guaranteed to fail in an accident says Earthjustice attorney Patti Goldman who is currently litigating against the Department of Transportation after failing to ban DOT 111 trains from current use Now oil companies are trying to use Baltimore and the Chesapeake Bay as a throughway to ship Bakken crude and Alberta tar sands to refineries along the East Coast A Texas based company called Targa Resources is proposing to retrofit an industrial shipping terminal in Curtis Bay to ship over 9 million barrels of oil per year which equates to over a million gallons of crude oil every day That means hundreds of DOT 111 bomb trains traveling through Baltimore City neighborhoods every year Is it worth having these travel through Baltimore No way The risks drastically outweigh the meager if any benefits especially with so many unknowns Currently there has been no study on safety impacts environmental health impacts economic impacts or train traffic impacts that Targa s proposed shipping terminal would have on city of Baltimore Rail companies are even refusing to disclose the routes that crude oil would travel through the city going so far as suing state regulators

    Original URL path: http://chesapeakeclimate.org/blog/bomb-trains-baltimores-next-big-fight/ (2016-05-02)
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