Again tracking 2 issues – Bakken Oil Trains & Heroin Addiction – addressed in BGR’s October 2015 Candidate Forum:
With every passing day the issues associated with the movement and possible release of potentially dangerous hydrocarbons through Bergen County become more prominent in the lives of Bergen County Residents. On Monday October 5, three tanker cars of a CSX freight train (not carrying hydrocarbon but rapeseed oil) derailed in Englewood. Though in this instance no injuries or releases occurred, the fact that the derailment was on a siding near the main CSX line that carries increasing volumes of highly volatile Bakken Oil through 11 Bergen communities poignantly raised the issues of rail accidents and emergency response capability. For many, the issue of rail accidents is but one concern. Particularly in the northern and western areas of the County, the concern is about possible installation of a pipeline carrying the same “cargo” . The County and the Freeholders have taken some action on these issues. The Forum included discussion of whether those actions are adequate, the right ones and what the County should do to influence rail safety events since most decisions will occur outside the normal scope of County authority. click here
Here are some media references to the continuing Bergen County debate and concerns about these potentially dangerous transportation routes:
Evacuation planning in Teaneck: click here County planning: click here Watershed protection click here Release of information click here Freeholder resolution click here Protesters click here Coalition meeting: click here collateral damage click here
Pilgrim Pipeline: Bergen municipalities click here Freeholder oppose Pilgrim pipeline click here Opponents want action click here Where the treatment occurs click here
Heroin addiction is accelerating rapidly in Bergen County and taking lives at alarmingly higher rates. And the County Freeholders have been working to understand how immediate intervention may not significantly address the task of long term treatment — and that the capacity to address that treatment falls short of the challenge. Most of the candidates have seen what addiction does in the lives of their relatives or friends. At the Forum one of the candidates said he believes such addiction is a personal problem – not one for which a County has responsibility. The others addressed it as not only a human health but also, and perhaps more, as a fiscal taxpayer protection problem that compels County action. The candidate discussion of this issue at the Forum proved to be one of the most extensive of the evening in answer to a BGR-generated question. In addition, in audience questions and in informal discussion before and after the Forum many in the Forum audience reiterated that the County policies and investment in gaps and shortages in health care are truly life and death issues for themselves and/or those they love.
Here are some recent media discussions of the problem: State statistics and Bergen click here County action on You Tube as of Spring, 2015 click here The prosecutor weighs in click here Heroin causes fatal accident click here