Hearing Next Week on Haz-Mat Transportation Plan
Proposal would direct trucks to pass through Needham, other communities along I-95.
Concerned about the City of Boston’s proposal that would require hazardous materials to travel through towns along I-95, such as Needham? Next week is your chance to speak up about it.
On Tuesday, Aug. 30, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation will hold a hearing on the proposal from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Arthur J. Clark Government Center, 119 School St., Waltham. A hearing is also being held tonight at the Thomas Crane Public Library in Quincy.
Representatives from Needham's public safety departments will be attending both meetings, according to Sandy Cincotta, assistant to the town manager. Tonight, Lt. John Kraemer of the Needham Police Department will be attending the Quincy meeting, while Needham Fire Chief Paul Buckley plans to be at the Waltham hearing next week.
Here's a quick look at the issue:
- The City of Boston is proposing that trucks carrying hazardous materials be required to avoid using city streets when the shipment does not originate or stop in Boston, according to the DOT’s hearing notice.
- Instead, the proposal would require such shipments use I-93/I-95 to travel through Boston, which would send those shipments through several communities that 95 passes through, including Needham.
- A study commissioned by the city of Boston, determined that haz-mat trucks traveling through the city pose an unacceptable risk, according to a July 25 press release from Mayor Tom Menino.
- “These vehicles simply do not belong on busy roadways in densely populated areas,” Menino said. “The city of Boston has worked hard over the past year to implement changes to the routing of hazardous cargo through the North End and Charlestown residential neighborhoods, as well as through the Financial District."
- While Needham residents have not yet had a chance to voice their opinion, Burlington officials and residents have.
So what do you think? Is it better to have trucks carrying hazardous materials travel on major highways in less densely populated areas, or would their presence on busy roadways through local towns worry you? Will you be attending the public hearing next week in Waltham? Share your opinion in the comments below.