SCHUMER: LOCAL RESIDENTS IRKED AND FRUSTRATED WHEN TRAINS IDLE FOR HOURS OUTSIDE THEIR HOMES, POLLUTING THE AIR & SPEWING NOXIOUS FUMES INTO HOMES; SENATOR SAYS NORFOLK SOUTHERN MADE THE RIGHT CALL BY CREATING A DIRECT LINE FOR LOCALS TO REPORT COMPLAINTS
After Hearing Pleas From Corning Residents, Schumer Urged Norfolk Southern To Move Its Idling Cars, Which Emit Noxious Smelling Fumes & Smoke That Permeate Homes, To A Non-Residential Area
Schumer Successfully Secured A Direct Line To Senior Norfolk Southern Official; Norfolk Southern Railway Says Idling Was Due to Adverse Weather Conditions During Winter Months; But, If Idling, Noise And Emissions Continue To Be A Problem Corning Residents Will Now Be Able To Call & Voice Concerns
Schumer: Corning Residents Now Have Direct Line To Norfolk Southern To Report Complaints; Constant Tracking and Documenting of the Nuisance is a Key to Eliminating It
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced today, following his push, that Norfolk Southern Railroad is finally taking steps to address the noise and noxious emissions that Corning residents have dealt with for months as a result of their idling trains in residential neighborhoods. In December 2014, Schumer wrote a letter to Norfolk Southern where he called on the railroad company to find a non-residential area to park its idling trains, which sit for hours beside a residential neighborhood and emit noxious fumes and smoke that permeate homes and yards. Schumer appealed to Norfolk Southern CEO Charles W. Moorman to see whether the trains could be moved to non-residential areas where they would not disrupt Corning residents.
Following his letter and outreach, the company responded contending that the idling was mainly due to adverse weather conditions during the winter months and would not be a problem in the future. However, the company agreed to provide the contact information for a senior level official so that residents witnessing these idling trains in the future could call, express their concerns, and have their voices heard by Norfolk Southern in the event that the idling continues.
Schumer said the direct phone number to a Norfolk Southern representative, who will handle all residential concerns regarding the smoke and noise being emitted from the trains, is a step in the right direction and he vowed to continue fighting for the health and wellbeing of the community to make sure these trains are parked in a non-residential neighborhood.
“Corning residents should not have to worry about living on the wrong side of the tracks when it comes to these idling trains that spew noxious fumes in their homes. I am pleased that Norfolk Southern has reversed course, established this direct line of communication with residents and is taking the concerns of Corning residents seriously. Not only has the company promised this idling activity would cease but it has provided residents with a direct line to Norfolk Southern to voice their concerns if the trains continue to be a problem,” said Senator Schumer. “This is a good first step, but I will be watching this like a hawk and will not rest until the people of Corning can peacefully live without disruption and pollution permeating their homes and lives.”
“We welcome this first step that Norfolk Southern has taken to address train idling on the Northside of Corning. Their response to Senator Schumer’s and my continued urging is very encouraging. I look forward to continuing to work with the Senator and Norfolk Southern to limit disturbances in the City of Corning. Residents experiencing issues with idling should contact the number provided by Norfolk Southern,” said Corning Mayor Rich Negri.
The regional train line owned by Norfolk Southern runs through several residential communities in Corning and residents recently have noticed an uptick in the number of trains idling in their neighborhoods and the duration of time they linger. Many of the trains do not shut off their engines at night, providing a noisy distraction for all of the nearby residents and preventing many of them from getting a good night’s sleep. Many homeowners have registered complaints of noxious smoke, fumes and noise pollution in their backyards.
In December 2014, Schumer wrote to Norfolk Southern Chairman and CEO Charles W. Moorman requesting that the company take steps to alleviate the concerns of Corning residents. Since Schumer’s letter, Norfolk Southern held a community meeting with local residents and Corning Mayor Rich Negri to address the concerns over the train’s noise and emitted smoke. In addition, Moorman provided Schumer and Corning officials and residents with the direct number to a senior Norfolk Southern official who would be the contact for future community concerns. The senior representative is Mike Fesen, Norfolk Southern’s Government Relations Manager for New York. His number is 717-319-6870.
A copy of Schumer’s initial letter to Norfolk Southern Chairman and CEO Charles W. Moorman appears below:
Dear Mr. Moorman,
I am writing to draw your attention to an issue occurring in the City of Corning, NY. Trains operated by Norfolk Southern have been sitting idle for long periods of time within the City causing constant disturbances for its residents. Remedying this situation is a priority for Corning Mayor Rich Negri and many of his citizens, and so I urge you to work to address the issue as quickly as possible.
These trains are located on the tracks in Corning’s Northside, which is a residential neighborhood. The constant noise and exhaust of trains idling, sometimes for more than 24 hours, creates distractions and an unpleasant smell for those living near the tracks. For many people in Corning, this means suffering through their daily routines and difficulties with sleeping at night.
Idling the trains elsewhere, away from any residential neighborhood, would lead to a significant improvement of the quality of life in this neighborhood. I would encourage you to consider doing so as soon as possible. If there is any way I can facilitate an expeditious resolution, please let me know.
If you have any further questions, do not hesitate to contact my office.
Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator