Rep. Scott Garrett (NJ-05) today called on Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Regional Administrator Les Fiorenzo to address the concerns brought up by local officials and emergency management coordinators at a July 25th forum held by the Congressman in Bergenfield. With oil trains travelling in areas of Bergen County, Rep. Garrett has led numerous efforts to ensure that residents know that their families and their property are safe when a freight train travels through our communities.
Rep. Garrett brought in high-ranking federal regulators and representatives from the rail industry so local elected officials and emergency management coordinators could hear directly from them about efforts to ensure the safe movement of goods on our nation's rail network. The forum included presentations from FRA Regional Director Fiorenzo and CSX representatives to explain the resources available in New Jersey communities, such as crisis management exercises and emergency management coordinator training.
Local officials were also given an opportunity to express concerns directly to the FRA Regional Administrator--the federal regulator directly overseeing northern New Jersey. Some of those concerns have already been remedied or moved to the top of the FRA's priority list thanks to the discussion at the forum. The goal of the forum was to create an open and transparent line of communication between federal and local officials.
Today, Garrett is following-up to get answers from the FRA on five specific concerns that were brought up during the forum:
Concerns regarding idling trains in residential areas and the security of these trains;
Obstructed grade crossing sightlines due to overgrown vegetation;
Requirements and the processes for establishing quiet zones in residential communities;
Reports of grade crossing malfunctions; and
The damaged railroad crossing on Broadway Avenue in Norwood.