WERU News Report 7/16/13

Producer/Host: Amy Browne with special guest co-host, Ingrid Peterson

Segment 1: Last week we reported on proposed legislation calling for an investigation into the condition of the PanAm rail tracks between Bucksport and Brewer, where many derailments have occurred. Legislators at a public hearing in March expressed shock at the deterioration of the tracks, and disbelief that they were still in daily use.
Investigative reporter Lance Tapley has learned that fracked crude oil is being transported by PanAm rail, as well as MMA, the rail line involved in the catastrophe in Quebec. And PanAm has not been filing required reports with the state. Interview with Lance Tapley FMI: http://blog.thephoenix.com/BLOGS/abouttown/archive/2013/07/10/state-to-probe-missing-crude-oil-reports-panam-mepolitics-crudeoil.aspx

Segment 2: A local group is forming to explore ways people in this part of the state might work together on gun control issues. They are having a meeting this week. On our Peacetime segment today, organizer Mary Ann Royal joins us to tell us more FMI: northernme@mcahv.org

Segment 3: The Penobscot River will get one step closer to its wild state on Monday, when the Veazie Dam is removed. Nick Bennett is a Staff Scientist with the Natural Resources Council of Maine, and has worked with the coalition of groups that comprise the Penobscot River Restoration Trust, which has been working for years to bring this to fruition:
FMI: www.nrcm.org

WERU News Report 7/9/13

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

Segment 1: Just 8 days before the catastrophic train explosion in Quebec last weekend, several Mainers were arrested trying to block another train carrying fracked Bakken crude oil from crossing the state.
Barely a week after the arrests, a Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway train, headed for Maine carrying at least 2 million gallons of oil, derailed just 10 miles from the Maine border. The explosion killed a still-unknown number of people, and incinerated a large part of the town of Lac Megantic
At a press conference yesterday, held outside the headquarters of Montreal- Maine-Atlantic Railway, in Hermon, Maine, the arrestees explained why they did it, and expressed condolences to our neighbors in Canada

Segment 2: There have been several derailments on train tracks in Maine in recent years, several of which have involved PanAm rail, which runs alongside the Penobscot River. 4 PanAm rail tankers derailed near the Penobscot River in Veazie last week. In March of this year 13 of their 31,000 gallon crude oil tankers derailed near the Penobscot River in Mattawamkeag. The previous month, two boxcars on a Pan Am freight train also derailed near the Leeds-Wayne town line, and in March of 2012, 4 PanAm cars derailed, with two going into the river, near the Bucksport-Orrington town. Those rail cars carried clay slurry used in papermaking.
In March, we reported on a bill that was being introduced by Representative Richard Campbell of Orrington, that would initiated a study of the condition of PanAm rail lines. Many of the Transportation Committee members who attended the public hearing expressed shock when viewing photos of the condition of the PanAm tracks. The photos they were viewing are posted on the WERU facebook page, if you’d like to take a look while you listen to some of the discussion that took place in March