Green Blasts STB for Railroading East End
May 9, 2003
Washington, DC - Congressman Gene Green strongly denounced a Surface Transportation Board vote this morning that gave the go-ahead to a highly controversial railroad construction project in East Harris County.
The Board ignored hundreds of public comments, they ignored safer alternatives, and they added to our dangerous grade crossings. This whole process is broken.
Congressman Green has pledged his support to the City of Houston appeal of the ruling, and supports the City challenging this project in court. Green is the sponsor the Neighborhood Rail Accountability Act (H.R. 413) which would require the STB to give greater weight to public comments for projects in residential areas, determine whether a project has a disproportionate impact on minorities, and punish the submittal of false or misleading information during STB proceedings.
If the STB approves a line from the Bayport plants past neighborhoods and schools, without addressing residential grade crossings, why does the board exist?
In addition to supporting City challenges to the project and championing STB reform, Green is also pushing a county-wide study of railroads and how to address dangerous at-grade crossings. He has requested $1.25 million in funding in appropriations for fiscal year 2004. The study would be done by the Houston-Galveston Area Council (HGAC) and Texas A&Ms Texas Transportation Institute.