Repost from the Wisconsin Gazette
Calling all kayaktivists and more: Crude oil pipeline on rails threatens our waterwaysBy Citizens Acting for Rail Safety and Milwaukee Riverkeeper, September 12, 2015 07:35
The dangers of shipping crude oil over and along our waterways will be highlighted by clean water advocates gathering at the confluence of the Menomonee and Milwaukee Rivers, near the railroad swing bridge.
This bridge is one of many in the metro area where trains carrying volatile crude oil cross or travel near local rivers. The railroad system was not laid out with this kind of cargo in mind. Nationally, oil train traffic has increased more than 4,000 percent in the past five years, and oil trains are also much longer, which concentrates the risk of an accident, especially in urban areas.
Crude oil trains threaten the Milwaukee, Menomonee and Kinnickinic Rivers and Lake Michigan.
After decades of clean water work, we are alarmed to see an oil pipeline on rails emerge in our metro area. Work to improve water quality and wildlife habitat has also been an essential part of the revitalization of many parts of Milwaukee including the Third Ward, Menomonee Valley, and the Milwaukee River Greenway, and is critical to success of new efforts to develop the Inner Harbor..
An oil spill would have serious environmental and economic consequences.
Citizens have many questions about emergency response plans if a crude oil train were to derail and oil spill into waterways. Many oil trains — some with 100 cars of more — contain the same quantity of oil as an oil tanker, but are not required to have the same level of spill response plans or safety precautions.
- Who would respond?
- How would this oil be contained and cleaned up?
- What would happen in winter when there is ice cover and oil spill recovery becomes nearly impossible?
- How would seiche currents impact clean up efforts?
- What are the implications for our drinking water and quality of life?
Please join clean water advocates for a visibility event highlighting the danger oil trains pose to our waterways.
- When: Sunday, September 13, 3 p.m.
- What: A gathering of kayaks, canoes and banners. Paddlers and other clean water supporters will join in singing and drumming with the One Drop ensemble of Jahmes Finlayson and Dena Aronson. Dona Yahola will begin the event with an Ojibwe water prayer and song.
- Where: Participants will be near the Railroad Swing Bridge at the Confluence of the Menomonee and Milwaukee Rivers. Convergence at the Confluence. Third Ward Riverwalk.