Letter: Proposal has considerable downsides


To the editor,

Naugatuck Mayor N. Warren “Pete” Hess announced a proposal for a rail and truck hub to be established at the former Chemtura site (Sept. 10 Republican-American story, “Naugatuck could become new ‘port’”). The proposal has considerable downsides.

Operation of the railway hub would take place in the middle of the night. Residential property near the site, across the river on Route 63 and as far as the Cross Street exit on Route 8, would be affected. Trucks would be coming and going to load and unload. There would be loud coupling and uncoupling of rail cars, in addition to heavy industrial activity. Many homes would be subjected to significant noise and diesel fumes. The sleep of nearby residents would be negatively affected.

The truck traffic would add to congestion on Route 8 and local roads. It is not clear that site regulations would be controlled by local government or the railroad.

Pan Am Railways would be transporting freight to the hub. A simple web search exposes concerns about its operations. In 2009, the railway was fined $500,000 for failing to report environmental contamination. In 2016, a Pan Am freight train derailed in New Britain, causing road closures and evacuations. The weight of the derailment broke through brick barriers, spilling waste material onto the road and creating massive backups.

Given the potential consequences, Naugatuck residents should have a say about this proposal. I urge the public to attend meetings and hearings as they come up.

Paul Kostes