For the past year, it has seemed like many in Revere – most especially Ed O’Hara – have been the lone voices in the fight against a plan to bring Ethanol trains to the Revere Global Oil terminal, but now it seems that the fight is spreading and gaining some pretty important allies.
In a sit-down interview with the East Boston Times (the Journal’s sister publication), U.S. Sen. Scott Brown told a reporter that he would be hesitant to back any such plan without local approval – and likened the issue to his opposition of a large Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) facility that once had been proposed in Fall River.
When asked if he would stand with the residents again, he pretty much said he would, which is more than most in the federal delegation have done with the lone exception of Congressman Michael Capuano.
“For me, these kinds of issues are about location and concerns of those in the area who would be impacted,” said Brown. “For instance, I opposed the proposed LNG project in Fall River because I felt that it posed a safety threat to area residents. Community approval must be sought and granted before any project moves forward, especially if the safety of neighborhood residents is at stake.”
Already, Revere has registered a convincing ‘no’ vote on the Ethanol train proposal by Global, voting against the idea in a non-binding ballot question that appeared in last November’s City Election.
Meanwhile, several other neighboring cities that lie upon the commuter rail where the Ethanol trains would pass have also begun talking seriously about the idea.
In Everett, legislative bodies there have debated over the last several weeks whether or not to pass a resolution that would oppose Global’s plan.
Meanwhile, in Cambridge, its City Council has recently passed a resolution that registers opposition against the plan.
Boston City Councillors Sal LaMattina and Mark Ciommo have requested hearings with emergency responders to talk about the dangers involved in shipping the material through populated areas like Allston and Eastie. LaMattina went so far as to say it appeared to be a “recipe for disaster.”
Chelsea passed a resolution strongly condemning the plan at a meeting of its City Council last month.
O’Hara said he is glad to see that the opposition to the plan is gaining momentum.
“It’s about time,” he said. “More people should understand what’s being proposed and how many people this could potentially affect adversely.”
Global has indicated they would like to begin shipments along the rail lines to Revere at some point in 2012.