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Oil Train Coalition Celebrates Two Years Of Activism At Teaneck Rally

A few members of the Coalition to Ban Unsafe Oil Trains at a rally.
A few members of the Coalition to Ban Unsafe Oil Trains at a rally. Photo Credit: www.banunsafeoiltrains.org

TEANECK, N.J. — Two nonprofit groups will hold a rally in Teaneck Wednesday night to celebrate the two-year anniversary of their joint fight against unsafe oil trains rolling through the township.

The Coalition to Ban Unsafe Oil Trains and 350NJ.org will begin their “March to the Future” at 6 p.m. at the Cedar Lane/CSX Bridge between Palisade Avenue and Windsor Road.

That’s where trains carrying highly explosive Bakken crude oil pass homes, schools, child care centers, senior activities, and businesses up to 15 times a week.

The march will end at 6:45 p.m. with a rally next to the solar panels at Thomas Jefferson Middle School on Teaneck Road, across from Holy Name Hospital.

The groups are calling for an immediate ban on freight trains carrying Bakken crude oil.

“We’re so excited to be celebrating the progress we’ve made in alerting the community about the risks and health hazards that these trains bring to our community,” said Paula Rogovin o f Teaneck, founder of the Coalition to Ban Unsafe Oil Trains.

The risks include an explosion impacting those living in the blast zone, she added, as well as contamination of drinking water, and diesel emissions from idling trains causing respiratory and other ailments to people living nearby.

“Diesel emissions are a known carcinogen,” Rogovin said.

The two groups are calling on elected officials, business and educational leaders, and ordinary citizens to take immediate action and usher in a safe, just transition to renewable energy.

According to Rosemary Dreger Carey of River Vale, organizer for 350NJ, there has been “horrific damage” from 22 major derailments and explosions in the past three years in North America.

In a joint statement, the groups stated the extraction and burning of Bakken crude oil and other dirty fossil fuels contributes to the climate crisis.

“Climate solutions begin at the local level,” Carey said. “We must immediately embrace technologies that replace dirty fossil fuels if we are to avoid further, catastrophic climate change.”

Trains carrying volatile Bakken crude oil run on the CSX River Line through 11 towns in Bergen County, across a bridge over the Oradell Reservoir, and through New Jersey's most densely populated cities and towns, including Jersey City and Newark.

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