Fred Millar, an Arlington, VA-based chemical disaster expert and independent consultant, is appalled that the federal government is allowing FEC to transport LNG along the east coast of Florida.
“The disaster risk with LNG is considered a high-risk situation that has never been allowed to happen until now,” said Millar. “People are being kept in the dark about this enormous risk. A vapor cloud could travel a couple of miles and someone starts their car and the whole place blows up. Some people will die before they can get out.”
BRIGHTLINE PASSENGER TRAIN
The risk of an accident increases in areas where FEC shares tracks with Brightline passenger trains, which can travel up to 110 miles per hour. Freight trains typically travel 10 to 15 mph in highly populated or congested areas and 30 to 40 mph on long runs.
“Lower-speed freight trains and high-speed passengers trains will be on the same track and that increases the likelihood” of an accident, Wouters said.
FEC joined an Alaskan pilot project on LNG transport begun in September 2016. The Alaska experiment was in a remote area away from large cities and communities. In Florida, however, LNG runs on rails that bisect populous cities like Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Jacksonville with frequent highway-rail crossings.
Millar, who has worked as a lobbyist and environmental advocate for Friends of the Earth, said there is little oversight of LNG transport by rail and approvals happened with virtually no public debate. He said the Trump administration has overturned or gutted rules and laws that keep people safe. He suggests that communities take it upon themselves to ensure safety.
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