City Council Looking Into Hazardous Materials Transport


If members of the Memphis City Council have their way, trains carrying dangerous cargo will have to be re-routed around the city.

The City Council's public safety and homeland security committee is trying to draft an amendment that will regulate rail transportation of hazardous materials and waste. The city attorney’s office is still studying the feasibility of the proposal; however, last year, an attempt to regulate trains blocking intersections for long periods of time was ruled to be outside the city's jurisdiction.

Council members also worried that regulating the trains might not solve the problem.

"We don't want them to take [hazardous material] off of railroads and put it on trucks," said Jack Sammons. "Trucks are more likely to have an accident."

Earlier this month, 40 homes in Forrest County, Mississippi, a five-hour drive south of Memphis, had to be evacuated after a train carrying chlorine, hydrochloric acid, and sodium hydroxide, derailed.

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