The last 24 oil tanker railcars that were stored all winter on the banks of the Opalescent River were hauled 30 miles south to the North Creek Depot on Tuesday, May 8th.
Just under 100 oil tankers were stored all winter in the Adirondacks. Widespread opposition from state and local leaders, and an array of environmental organizations, last fall stopped storage of oil tankers at just under 100. » Continue Reading.
In March 2016, Ed Ellis stood before the Warren County Board of Supervisors and said that there would be no oil tanker railcars stored in the Adirondacks.
He said it again and again as he pushed county leaders to authorize a new five-year contract to operate the Saratoga and North Creek Railroad (SNCRR). He gave the Supervisors his “word.” » Continue Reading.
The time may have come for Warren County to retire from the railroad business, says Ron Conover, the chairman of the Board of Supervisors.
In his annual message to the board, Conover broached the possibility of replacing the rail line between Stony Creek and North River, which the County owns and currently leases to Iowa-Pacific’s tourist train, with a multi-use recreational trail.
“I think the prudent thing at this stage is to begin to investigate whether a recreational trail should be created, by whom, at what cost, for which users; we should also ask how to pay for its creation and maintenance,” Conover said in his message, delivered at the municipal center on January 4. » Continue Reading.
All those who applauded Berkshire Hathaway’s recent decision to remove its derelict oil tank cars from a junkyard along the Boreas River should also applaud NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, whose unheralded Dec. 12 letter to CEO Warren Buffett helped to persuade the company to act.
It turns out that New York has a large stake in Berkshire Hathaway. New York’s Common Retirement Fund (CRF) owns 5.7 million shares of Berkshire Hathaway stock. DiNapoli administers the CRF. » Continue Reading.
Governor Andrew Cuomo, the Adirondack Council and many others have offered well earned thanks to Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, whose subsidiary Union Tank Car Company announced the day after Christmas the planned removal of its derelict oil tank rail cars from the Adirondack Forest Preserve.
This is a victory for the preservation of the wild character and wilderness of the Adirondack Park and efforts to foster more sustainable vibrant communities. After those who deserve it take a victory lap, there is an opportunity to switch from defense to offense and secure a more positive future for the Tahawus spur above North Creek. » Continue Reading.
The plan by Iowa Pacific Holdings and its owner/CEO Ed Ellis to use the Adirondack Park as a junkyard to store thousands of out-of-service oil tanker railcars has hit significant stumbling blocks in the recent days.
Last week, the Cuomo Administration announced plans to petition the federal Surface Transportation Board (STB) to reject use of the Sanford Lake Railway, which stretches 30 miles from North Creek to the Tahawus Mine in Newcomb, for storage of used, out-of-service oil tanker railcars. Ed Ellis has claimed that he could store between 2,000 and 3,000 railcars along the 30-mile line. Ellis will now have to lawyer-up and fight the state in the official proceedings before the STB. » Continue Reading.
Governor Andrew Cuomo and Basil Segos, Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) released a petition to the federal Surface Transportation Board (STB) arguing against continued use by Iowa Pacific Holdings for rail operations and storage of oil tanker railcars on the 30-mile Sanford Lake Railway, which runs from North Creek to the Tahawus Mine in Newcomb. The State is requesting immediate action. » Continue Reading.
“They own the track so they believe they have the right to store their trains on their track in the Adirondacks. It is unsightly. It’s out of character with the Adirondacks. We don’t own the tracks. There’s a question as to what legal right we have to oppose it. But we oppose it one hundred percent and we are going to do everything we can do to stop the owner from storing the trains on those tracks.” – Governor Andrew Cuomo
So said Governor Andrew Cuomo to media gathered in Glens Falls last week concerning Iowa Pacific/Saratoga-North Creek Railroad (SNCRR) storage of old, supposedly cleaned tanker cars on rails in Minerva, Essex County, close to the designated “Scenic” Boreas River. The underlying land below and on either side of the tracks where tanker cars are being stored is “forever wild” Forest Preserve (Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest). » Continue Reading.
A lot of people in New York State, including the governor, are upset that Iowa Pacific Holdings is storing empty tank cars on tracks in the Adirondacks. But what, if anything, can be done about it?
Iowa Pacific says that railroads are overseen by the federal government and so the state doesn’t have legal grounds to stop the storage.
But Neil Woodworth, executive director of the Adirondack Mountain Club, argues that storing rail cars has nothing to do with rail transportation and so the state can assert jurisdiction. And he believes the state can take steps now to force Iowa Pacific to remove the cars. » Continue Reading.
Some 25 more out-of-service oil tanker railcars were brought through North River, alongside the Hudson River in the Town of Johnsburg, Warren County en route to little used railroad track in Essex County Monday evening. This is the second shipment of out-of-service oil tanker cars delivered to the Adirondack Park. More than 50 tankers have arrived, some parked across ‘forever wild” Adirondack Forest Preserve land. The cars are being brought for indefinite storage by Iowa Pacific Holdings.
Despite strongly worded statements of opposition to this activity by Governor Andrew Cuomo, neither the Adirondack Park Agency nor Department of Environmental Conservation have acted. » Continue Reading.
I have a history of missing the big picture. When I see that a cleaning product “kills 99.9 percent of household germs,” instead of being comforted I worry about that one tenth of 1 percent. What’s that germ got? And will it destroy us all?
So I might be missing a perfectly logical reason why the Chicago-based Iowa Pacific Holdings LLC would think it a good idea to junk 2,000 flaking old oil tankers in the heart of the Adirondacks, where hikers and fishermen are seeking natural and spiritual repast, not a chain of rolling testaments to a (nearly) bygone era of dirty energy.
You wonder how this is this even possible in a land where, to hear some people tell it, you can’t even look at a spruce sideways, and the regulators sit around just waiting for you to commit some overt act that they can take you to court for. » Continue Reading.
At an address at the Glens Falls Hospital on October 25th concerning a new cancer study by his administration in Warren County and Upstate New York, Governor Cuomo addressed the recent controversy around storing used out-of-service oil tanker rail cars by Iowa Pacific Holdings on a remote line in the central Adirondack Park. The Governor starkly denounced the plan.
The Governor said: “It is unsightly, it is out of character with the Adirondacks, nobody goes to the Adirondacks to look at old trains, they go there to look at the natural beauty. We don’t own the tracks, there is a question as to what legal right we have to oppose it, but we oppose it 100% and we are going to do everything we can do to stop the owner from storing the trains on those tracks.” » Continue Reading.
On October 17th the first used oil tankers were transported through Saratoga and Warren counties by the Saratoga and North Creek Railway, part of Iowa Pacific Holdings, to a section of siding track along the banks of the Boreas River in the Town of Minerva, Essex County.
On October 18, twenty-eight used oil tankers cars were lined on track north of the North Woods Club Road on rail line traversing the Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest area of the Forest Preserve. Each tanker car is roughly 58 feet in length and the 28 cars line nearly one-third of a mile of rail track. » Continue Reading.
The Iowa-Pacific rail company took state officials and environmental activists by surprise in July when it unveiled a plan to store hundreds of drained oil-tanker cars on its tracks near Tahawus on the edge of the High Peaks Wilderness.
Ed Ellis, the president of Iowa Pacific, says revenue from storing the cars will help keep afloat its tourist train, the Saratoga & North Creek Railway, which has been losing money. Critics contend Iowa Pacific is creating a quasi-junkyard in the Adirondack Park. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondacks would benefit from some of the priorities expressed by Governor Andrew Cuomo in his 2015 State of the State address on Wednesday. The proposals are expected to help protect water quality, combat invasive species, bolster APA and DEC staffing, increase the Environmental Protection Fund, expand broadband locally, and cut the risk of explosive oil trains moving through the region. The Adirondack Park is the largest park in the contiguous United States and contains most of the motor-free wilderness remaining in the Northeast. » Continue Reading.
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