The federal Surface Transportation Board (STB) has ruled that some waste-handling activities that New England Transrail would engage in at its proposed transloading facility in Wilmington, Mass., would be subject to state and local regulations. Specifically, the board ruled that shredding construction and demolition debris into 2-foot-long pieces would not be "integrally related" to rail transportation and would therefore not be covered by a federal law exempting the activity from state and local oversight.
However, the board did rule that baling and wrapping municipal solid waste (MSW) at the proposed site would be covered by the federal exemption. STB Commissioner Francis Mulvey issued a dissent from the majority's opinion in which he "vehemently disagreed" that the activities related to MSW should be exempt from state and local regulations.
The STB also ruled that it would not issue final approval for the proposed site "until a wide range of environmental and public interest safeguards are met."
To view the STB's decision, visit www.stb.dot.gov/. Click on the "E-Library" link and then on the "Decisions & Notices" link. Finally, scroll down to "07/10/2007."