WWL>Topics>>8-11-14 3:10pm Angela: on coal dust pollution in Gretna

8-11-14 3:10pm Angela: on coal dust pollution in Gretna

Aug 11, 2014|

Angela talks with Gretna residents Laurie Ledet and Peter and Gayle Bertucci and Plaquemines Parish resident Linda Ramile about coal dust pollution.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

There's a citizen movement on the West Bank in both like almonds and Jefferson Parish it's. It is all about coal. Coal processing plants that they say are affecting their health and homes. And now these citizens are concerned about a new 600 acre site for a new cold terminal in bill chase. But that's just the beginning of the story. Mile long train cars filled with coal traveling through west we going Gretna affecting traffic homes and perhaps help. These citizens want a voice at the table. -- question is can business and industry and neighborhoods. Lived together. Here to talk about that are Linda Ramel. -- would park resident who was part of a lawsuit against the ion T coal terminal in -- commenced payers and years ago. And is very opposed to the construction. Of the proposed ram terminal near iron ten. On the 600 acre site. We have -- Le -- a Gretna homeowner involved in efforts to preserve regret this historic district. Has spent thousands of dollars restoring her home. Just two blocks from the -- trends. And Peter and -- Bertuzzi are Gretna residents whose home on Madison street is literally on top of the train tracks. She is a retired teacher and Peter works and historic run of a restoration. Because of the location of their home on the tracks and a generation to the rail yard. They're worried about property values in getting blocked end and -- trains are passing out or are stopped. And we have -- Morris who was with the gulf restoration network. I think you all for being here really do this is a fascinating. Fascinating and interesting issue. And I'm reminded of thought the wonderful story that. My nonsense and -- Rodriguez listened to me I do love my Rodriguez Monica Hernandez of channel four did a great great comprehensive story really. On the issues that the residents of iron to -- facing. And it was very graphic because she could see the coal dust on their cars on their porches they're very real concerns about health. What what's going in -- along with some saying that they children born with asthma. Etc. but I think it -- opened all of our eyes to this issue and that was the that's the I MT. Yes and that I'm T had just put their sprinkler system was just putting it and to try to alleviate some of that test so now we hear again. Of the issue of a new. Coal terminal. Well on the horizon. And your concerns about that and about the the possibility of -- train carrying all of the skull. In mile long. Not situations which I'm miles a very long so you've got the issues of your live there. Your concerns and I wanna hear those first and then some of perhaps the thoughts of alternatives. So let me start let's start with you talk to me about. Which are concerned yes. I'm kind of for me now I I live in myrtle grove Louisiana we and then present code terminally. I lived in grant -- and my husband and I decided to retire in myrtle grove it's a beautiful area and as far as he's concerned it's paradise. Can we went and we built a house we plan now house we planned our retirement. I'll win we went down there and built house to coal plant -- across the street I have to admit. It was a smile. Non threatening facility. It seemed like something and then we should even not be concerned about mean. Again they had a little cold air but it wasn't anything to be -- about. So we've built our house we continued work info and then we both retired. Which time pads. Typical plants starting getting larger and larger. They had mounds of -- Gigantic cranes. They had conveyor belts that she could hear running. And a siren. That went off all the time. That concerns me not so much my husband he he was used -- he worked an avenue house he's used to things like cans. Eventually you do get used to things people get used airplanes lion -- and and house naked used to and trains passed an intranet and house. When I would -- visitors at night -- we come wake me up in the middle of the night and telling it was a siren going off and they were concerned because sirens like this only go off when you have. Tornadoes or something I plan. So. But that was okay can now ominous and -- -- -- -- -- code that's in Pasco bass on the -- -- -- on the wind. I can't in I can't even begin to tell you -- it was I would go on my back porch it doesn't even faced that terminal. And I I would hand. Black on my porch have to get and let me tell you what claims it's scrubbing bubbles. And life and you get it right. Paper now wipe it and it'd be co black and you look at this insane -- knew that this is doing to my house but anyway. Denial is a wonderful thing you can just keep saying wow what purity of years you job when I started well down man and nineteen. 98 but I had a trailer may have -- okay okay and when did start expanding where -- was. Just just was landing probably. A couple years it did it it is. We had a buffer between. Between highway 23 and -- house like ten feet of trees. And Bush's but what happened was the Parrish came in cleaned out an area that that there was doing us a favor I'm quite sure. But then we could see his -- -- planned and ended just opened it up -- again if you know for the cold but come on it. Although the code goes Mollison mounts its Holloway -- that iron -- and Harrington probably about four miles from me. It it goes as far it goes all the way back to like hermitage. It it just penetrates every thing and it's not like regular dust. Except. Okay you that I had a fire it's just like sent. We still hiring everybody had to get pressure washes you need so we -- pressure watchers -- won't come off the house in what would you or were you communicating with the coal plant. We will communicating with the Copeland. At the time I was a public health nurse and plaque and repairs. I communicated with everybody in my office. When I would go to state. State conferences and things I would talk to people at the conferences you know different DQ and people from the news. And they they more or less tell me your plaque and they -- do -- -- went down there. And -- that I would reply well I didn't know we succeeded from the young and you know hand they reduce look at you but. We talked to everybody week the police about this aren't we talked to everybody there was and we talked for years and years. And there was some some cooperation with you know now. OK you know I hate to take a break -- we have a lot to talk about but I want everyone to stay with -- I wanna hear about what the people of -- are going through as well. And what their greatest fears stay with -- we'll be right back -- Angel on WWL. Well we just heard the story from Linda -- of myrtle grove about what she's living next to in a coal plant. Directly across the street from her. Some of the issues that have grown over the years some of the things that they had to do they did have to take them to court ultimately the sprinkler system was put in. But -- holiday. But -- and Peter and -- -- both of Gretna. Are facing similar but different issues tell me your concerns. About if they should expand. And I am -- but if they should build another coal plant. Graham. Well Angela. I'm Peter Bertuzzi -- deal we moved to -- now I think it's been closed for years ago and will remove there. We live on Madison street and Madison street -- to train track that runs right down the middle history. And -- there we knew it was there and you know my kids were little it was quaint you know -- comes to train it's going out one to train. So you know but over the years they got more and more intrusive law. Invasive and -- -- train itself. Aaron we live in -- now is. It's an old area. On the houses. On. Very similar are identical really to. The Irish channel are up and down on -- the -- Garden District. So we are attracted all houses and you know so we moved to grand. Now. -- well over the years. The train coming down the street -- street. To a point where. You could hardly drive down the street would have to go to on the streets the front panel know to get to house. The the railroad ties. Would drive and deteriorate and create holes eight to ten inches deep we've just back in your driveway you run into these holes. So. You know we used to complain we go to -- meetings. Council meetings and complain about the street complain about the street. And the council really didn't have any power to do anything with the railroads the railroads. Seemed to be very independent of of any thing. But finally. You know after. I gale meanwhile life was really involved in it. And you know twelve to fifteen years of us complaining finally -- streets. Of Phoenix in 2012. Now we're looking and a scenario where we're gonna have coal trains coming down the street which are going to be uncovered. Oh. Which. Longer. More frequent. And that's the bottom line if you're talking about you just regular trains going through it become an issue with street and etc. But now if you add. Coal trains that are often very long and uncovered and will not be covered. You're going to be facing literally the story we heard from our our previous. I'm sorry Linda about what kind of just might impact those homes. Right and and the way just I mean. Will look inept quality of life issues her you know we moved to. -- that it was quaint little town it's still list. But where were afraid that now with this things could change you know people won't be coming to -- anymore they'll be moving out to get away from. The the coal dust or whatever. Let me talk to Marla day at what it what is your issue. Angela. I'm a lifelong resident of -- And years ago in 1985. Portable -- was designated. A national register of historic district. And there war at that time 552. Contributing elements houses and buildings. That made up this district it was a 57 block area. OK so because of that many people have come to Gretna because they're interested in historic preservation. People in our town have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars buying and restoring these homes. We don't wanna see -- property values go down because of a mile long 100 to 150 Clark coal train. Coming to -- town. Bomb you know the people here and in -- have worked hard for what we have to as a small community. Of people on that -- from -- Matt who lost everything after the car Kahne. And they bought a lot of the new construction of homes in Gretna. And I talked to a Koppel the other day. Who told me all know if we had known that a cold train may come to my -- here. We would've never come to grant and we believe we would've gone somewhere else. So are also very concerned about are the emergency response. Bomb a fighters. Armed you know -- -- -- -- -- the train is going and how can they get through exactly and and Gail and Peter note that are a few years ago and Donna bill. The train was stopped on the track the train we have now and the fire our response could not get to the house in the house burned down. So we're very worried about eight you know they and the alliance responds to getting to sick people. -- accidents. And how many times have we heard that had you gotten to the hospital. You know ten minutes later you'd be debt you know you would have made it okay so. This is scary very upsetting to let let me just say right now you have to train track you have trains going through what they're not coal trains. Your concern is if they build the new ram. They're going to put the coal. On the tracks vs the barges that now carry it. I'm saying that because. Wouldn't it I have you talked to the powers that -- -- mean your counsel people your mayor's -- parish presidents a senator to say. Let's put the brakes on this until we have a group discussion. We had. And an and I don't know the reason line. They don't feel like they can take sustained winds we -- have -- the mayor -- we get a year of west we go and the council has. And we are and that is what we're asking the -- council and the mayor to do. As well. We're we're asking everyone. To come to regret -- council meeting on Wednesday at 530 this what -- is we're going to be talking about this again. And bombed several of us are scheduled to speak and we're hoping that -- -- -- to at least. Say that they don't want. Have you talked to them individually or is it or you're trying to get them to selling paper you know we need -- a group every Monday at the Gretna library. We're putting out signs. We're signing by having people sign petitions. And down the council people have com and sometimes wanted to time a couple of times and kept listening to. Wit grace -- to share. The mayor has been to one it means I'll sell. They steal don't feel like they can and it can commit. Okay we're gonna have to break for a news that mommy come back we're gonna SE I love this because I -- people power. But it does beg the question can we have industry and neighborhoods together. Can stay with us we'll be right back. But we've been talking to residents of the West Bank both Jefferson Parish residents from Gretna and John. Supplements parish resident from myrtle grove. Talking about their deep concerns. About. But the possible expansion of more coal plant coming in or terminal coming in. And a proposed real the use of the rails. Carrying coal that will not be covered. And these are longtime residents and they just are not being very protective of of their neighborhoods. -- we're now joined by Alan from -- that you had a question or comment. Yes sir thank you. May have been. I have nothing to do. Not not for this. Personally spoken to both the -- people. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- There's absolutely nothing. To do. -- actually control number one. But the rains -- -- control. -- -- blocked these treaties. Are actors so the -- an art form there are straight and or not right at the older we -- -- -- -- brought so that there aren't you. And also. They are planning or relocating. The track totally. Out of the city Ratner down Peter wrote yeah it will actually are. What we're doing arts. Chemicals going through. Sitting in the growers. And Cole. Wrote the Cole was not being there are. While it. There are a couple 100000 tomorrow. From and so are so. Because -- also -- The top of the coal. And -- Could -- All -- Statements are all. Brought forward apple are absolutely. Broke a you know there. I'm an Allen. Yes there are restrictions in place nail down that the railroad doesn't abide -- They're not supposed to block the streets as long as they do but they did. And the chief of police has tried to. Get that corrected and he has even been able to do that we realized that we cannot stop the train. But we can stop. The rain and terminal from being the art that is not a done deal as far as it or not and -- -- you made this statement about moving the train to Peters wrote. -- -- Are we just in this for us so we don't key -- that. The pollution is gonna go somewhere else the -- asking traveler one to two miles. Do you realize how far they and he is one to two miles this down. It pollution is when it is. Unloaded. I. No sand notes and he has -- is -- and are covered. The trains are un confident. -- Right coating. On top of the coal gas what are by the timing songs and here it has blown away. And Eleanor. Hazardous waste coming down so. You're reasoning is well rarely have some hazardous waste let's just ahead more -- -- Our argument is we want alas we know we want less not more. Cole is not considered as that are here really so they can go down the middle of your -- -- -- have you had a black along. You know when you're out in the cold. And -- created the power that it -- Nicole. Yes I agree with. It is not being disturbed. When it's coming through the city. What about the we end. That the train is moving in the wing to his. -- it apple. In our book or in -- because it's coming out from the Wyoming in that same statement from the town of coming -- in the area. So it -- not. Because there's no. River. Is gonna come down but he. And also. We are not asking the city to take a stand against the railroad. We're asking our elected officials to take a stand against the -- terminals. Well that it has not been doing what Graham arm at all. -- -- -- It is going to come all through Gretna officer -- and affect our lives. You. They use all of material. That is all the rain is regulated. There is not regret that. Because -- all that rule. So yeah. It you know you're not sitting here. Listen are you eagerly replied permits so it it it must not be. That they can do what they want because they've applied for permits. And my understanding is that. If they don't get the permit gay and they don't get the ram terminal. LYE saying that they can't stop someone hand. That lack of art you have nothing to do it. -- -- One target is being challenged right now. Bomb and the other apartment but by the corps of engineers has not been issued yet so we still have something. -- -- debate anything at all about the -- -- terminal. Down there. It's black and marriage are more concerned with the city of -- there where I live -- -- real. And can we start him on and make done them. Which street do you live on in make Donna bill. -- -- Our our two railroad train and -- aren't. Anger also gonna see the dust that's gonna get all of your house if this goes through. Alan I really appreciate. -- are more concerned with the chemicals. That have been going through there the years that are inside. Thank you Alan I truly -- thank you for calling. Linda very briefly Linda you're calling about the coalition. Yes Alan Brinkley and -- was -- since. If you would check with Robert Kennedy junior respect dark days in jail because he feels like we live on this planet and we. Is planted and that Clean Air Act that was an eighteen years ago should be. You come back we don't do it because they spend. 86. Million dollars on political campaigns. And I'm definitely. And that -- and then say it wouldn't happen. To. We. Stand and clean here. Linda thank you Micah said the show is about citizen power stay with this'll be right back. We were talking about Trent Cole on the West Bank Canada I'm so thrilled with the callers. On and ask you to be kind of briefed as we've got some Manning on -- let's start with -- Gary you're retired train engineer. Yes ma'am the -- saga and Angela I was an engineer that drove. Literally hundreds of trains down and they'll chase highway route going to and from the the yard and and to Westwood and -- to whacked down further below and don't chase and one thing that I'd like to all of call us to think about it that most of these cities buildup eon ago when trying to build yards and a built cities around yards so that was the beginning of it. To start restricting. The amount of commodities and stuff. Stability stranger also that are -- businesses which restricts jobs and income. And such is that one thing I would like these. These dedicated people out believe me outside with -- I've seen it from the engineers see what blows -- trains. Things that don't we as employees sometimes have. Little control over but that's one -- -- like to ask them to bring up the district council meetings this stricter enforcement of the stopping for the train track rules. You have no idea what it's like to be sitting in engineer's seat. Simulated -- the track and clear bites last in the with a pure hate him and -- two babies and babies seats in the backseat. That trinkets that call it goes an emergency we do that is engineers with tournaments which the training -- -- very good chance of Jack nice things going on program. Those same chemical you're afraid of -- -- have a chance just built. Not because of and he also on the engineer -- -- -- -- but because somebody didn't pay attention to the rules they need. Follow your social and so I would like I would like your your listeners and everybody's. And the City Council to take that to Arkansas enforcer -- -- You have trained and heavily populated areas that that that's a very real concern and you bring up the point not only would that car in the occupants -- -- But if -- Jack knifed in the hold over hood. It's it's it's yeah it's not it's unbelievable what can happen to somebody just want to know taken and played two minutes of their time. And I'm like yeah observers a locomotive engineer I I have to -- to control what I can do to attract like that to stop it. These people have full control over not going over the tracks. Gary thank you so much for calling I really appreciate it we're gonna race over the bubble. -- you worked in the coal industry. Yes. -- and three years ago. Presently work in their troubled. Receipt COLT trained. But neither -- in the -- -- environmental impact. Code in our material the -- but yeah. But it heavier concentration that you -- but here are a tree. They need to focus you know the -- -- -- to the contrary. That's gonna take its reach twenty to clear in proxy in fact is the problem could be. We are concerned about -- -- Actually do and we and we -- we. I call we and we did grams zero. They build trains in front of our house. So. You know that that train is blocking us getting looked or Ian. Far a lot longer than we take the train to move the train is actually not even moving. It sits in front of our house. And on it has to back up to. On and each week's house planes -- the it's very unnerved me and this can go on for half an hour more. -- in if we're talking about a mile long coal trains it sounds like it's only can work. She says it shakes out some really -- a house like an earthquake. -- -- -- -- -- -- Yeah they make a lot please call. I'm just looking at a fact he's trying to going to be to get that they're not -- switch there and flesh paper at the banquet in part by a day. Submit a 150 car -- take a long. Go in. The speed limit which at least stick in the governor art speed limit its seven. Electric or 2030 minutes but -- Completely into -- Well and that doesn't count other trains that might be coming -- later with the other things that are normally going through. -- -- -- I want to cheer where they -- order in our site while. So that does that mean com outcrop if you rebuild the country should you happen. But currently the chief Mike Meyer when they -- populated. It would make it to its first -- at the -- Every call but then there's. There's what can track the old Beltre. Keep it in your. -- worry about that the object. Bubba I can't thank you enough for this column I think Cuba's thank you thank you stay with this everyone we'll be right back. Anyone concerned with the -- there's a meeting tonight at what time where. It not not yet tonight 630 at the Gretna and library and then Wednesday is the council meeting council meeting at 530. Let their voices -- heard and that's really the message of these people I think each and every one of you for being and I thank all -- all crawlers will do this again thank you so much.