SMART board members are due to meet on Wednesday to discuss the agency’s new role in overseeing freight operations on its tracks, as well as the future of petroleum gas tank cars. liquefied stored for much of the winter on the tracks of the Sonoma Valley.
Storing 80 LPG tankers at a time on Schellville tracks has been a point of contention with area residents, as well as supervisor Susan Gorin, since the Northwestern Pacific Railroad tankers rolled for first time on the Southern Sonoma Valley Tracks in 2016.
Those opposed to the potentially dangerous tankers stationed in the area called them a threat to public safety.
In 2017, the SMART council reached a 30-year agreement with the North Coast Railroad Authority, the agency that previously oversaw freight operations, and Northwestern Pacific Railroad to allow the rail company to continue to store tankers south of Sonoma.
At the time, SMART CEO Farhad Mansourian described the deal as the safest solution for SMART. Should a Federal Transport Council come out in favor of an NWP appeal, SMART could be subject to approval for LPG tankers stored anywhere on the shared track, including passenger service areas, a he declared.
“This agreement limits the storage of hazardous materials to LPG only, and to a single zone,” Mansourian said following the agreement four years ago.
Gorin described herself at the time as “not satisfied” with the deal allowing tankers to stay in Schellville, “one of the county’s most fragile and vulnerable areas and an area highly susceptible to flooding and weathering. raising the level of the bay “.
Another public meeting on the matter is scheduled for Sunday at 12:30 p.m. at the Schellville Fire Department, where Gorin and Mansourian will discuss the storage of LPG tankers.
In a recent email to his constituents, Gorin reiterated his concerns about the sensitive location of the tankers. âLPG tank carsâ¦ are normally stored on the dual tracks south of Fremont Drive,â she wrote. “But if this area is threatened by flooding, the cars are moved into the valley, often near the Sonoma Raceway along Arnold Drive.”
SMART said it was inclined to move tankers to higher ground when flooding in the Schellville area is a problem, as can be the case during heavy rains.
The Wednesday SMART board meeting starts at 1:30 p.m. Visit sonomamarintrain.org/district-calendar for the Zoom link.
Email Jason Walsh at [email protected]