Blames Them for Medical Problems of Commerce, Carson and Downtown Los Angeles Residents.
The complaint, filed in Los Angeles federal court, seeks to hold Union Pacific Railroad and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Co. accountable for what it contends are medical problems suffered by those living near rail yards in Carson, Commerce and downtown Los Angeles.
The suit represents “hundreds of thousands of Californians” who live near the state’s 17 railyards. Some of these people live in Commerce and East Los Angeles and, according to the NRDC press release, have been severely affected by railyard pollution.
The litigants argue that the railroad companies have long disregarded the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, RCRA. Under this act, “if you are a company and you release toxic pollution, you are required to either eliminate or reduce it so that public health is not at risk.
Before suing, NRDC attorneys gave the railroad companies 90 days to reduce harmful pollutants. Methods included using locomotives, trucks and equipment that meet stringent EPA emission standards, such as electric vehicles; adopting idling control devices and prohibiting idling near residences, and fleet modernization. However, “no progress was made or any good faith effort on behalf of UP or BNSF to address the pollutants,” according to NRDC. (EGP News, 10/19/2011)