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Parks group cites gas rail concerns ADVERTISEMENT

Parks group cites gas rail concerns

WATKINS GLEN--The Finger Lakes State Park Regional Commission unanimously passed a resolution outlining concerns over liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) rail traffic passing through the Watkins Glen State Park. The commission oversees the Watkins Glen State Park among other State Parks in the Finger Lakes. The resolution specifically addressed the transportation of LPG through the north entrance to the park and crossing the Watkins Glen Gorge on a trestle privately owned by Norfolk Southern.
The commission expressed concern for the possibility of a severe accident in the park involving a rail car carrying LPG.
"The Finger Lakes State Park Regional Commission discussed possible impacts of the rail line, including the possibility of a catastrophic event taking place in the park involving a rail car carrying LPG," the resolution reads. "[...] The Finger Lakes State Park Regional Commission urges that all necessary precautions be taken to protect the park and its patrons to address this risk including, but not limited to, a current and satisfactory inspection of the Norfolk Southern rail line and trestle that runs adjacent to and through Watkins Glen State Park."
The commission stated there were 715,000 visitors to the park in 2015 who camped and used trails and recreated at the facility.
"If a derailment were to occur in the gorge during tourist season, the visitors would be trapped with no escape from the gas and impending explosion," said Schuyler County Legislator Michael Lausell. "It would be like building a movie theater with no exits."
The resolution was sent to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Acting Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Basil Seggos, State Senator Tom O'Mara, State Assemblyman Phil Palmesano and the members of the Schuyler County Legislature.

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