The View From Prospect Hill – April 3

On April 3, 2013, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times

prospect hill

Peter Drucker, the late business management innovator, once famously said, “People who don’t take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year. People who do take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year.”

While certainly a catchy aphorism, the statement has embedded within it a most sobering suggestion: that mistakes can and will happen.

That is what is at the heart of concerns expressed by city residents and officials as the powers that be determine once and for all whether or not trains carrying loads of ethanol should be allowed to pass through Somerville.

The transportation of the chemical should, needless to say, be regarded as something to be undertaken with the utmost of care. Emergency responders will need to be up to speed with firmly established procedures should a spill or explosion occur.

Although we would probably rest easier if the stuff never came near us at all, we must face the fact that if we don’t allow it, another community will. As long as our fire and HazMat professionals can handle what might happen in a worst-case scenario, it should prove to be a situation that we can live with.

We have dealt with hazardous materials problems in the past and have handled them successfully. We must make sure that our emergency response resources are truly ready to take appropriate and timely action should the worst take place.

Life is never free from risks, but we can certainly minimize the damage by being at our best when it come to preparedness.

 

4 Responses to “The View From Prospect Hill – April 3”

  1. Bostom says:

    “Life is never free from risks, but we can certainly minimize the damage by being at our best when it come to preparedness.”

    We, meaning Somerville, could completely eliminate the possibility of damage here along with its attendant costs if the train didn’t pass through Somerville at all.

    Isn’t “no risk” to our city better than minimizing its possibility? And by so doing, eliminating some of the costs we’d otherwise need to pay to make sure that our emergency response resources are truly ready to take appropriate and timely action should the worst take place? Why should we pay so that a private business can make a bigger profit?

    I’m fairly certain Drucker wasn’t suggesting we take on risks we’re not required to shoulder, nor those that offer us costs but no benefits. For far too long Somerville has borne more than its share of other city’s and town’s and private industries’ burdens – the pollution from 93, the trucks from Cambridge, the 367 brownfields, mostly in East Somerville and Union Square and all requiring costly remediation. I think its long past the time those burdens were more equitably shared.

  2. j. connelly says:

    Yes Emergency Responders come into action after the incident occurs.
    You can bet that if the rail cars were being stored in a railyard in Lexington, Wellesley, etc. The storage would not be allowed and the passage of the trains would be nullified.

    Sure, let 10,000, 50,000, or more poor and middle class be killed. CUT the CRAP. Let’s build a new storage yard away from population and have all the “Transportation “Officials” be forced to live next store to it.

  3. amen says:

    anyone remember the evacuations of 1980/81? chemical spill from a train accident. pretty scary. clouds of chemicals overhead. Bostom has it right–tired of Somerville being the stepped on poor cousin that houses everything and everyone and takes all the risks.
    i love “as long as our fire/hazmat can handle it” — a little blase, you think. what the heck, we’ve got a hazmat unit, let’s do it! i’m very happy to have the hazmat sitting dormant. it means we’re safe

  4. Darnell says:

    Keep this product out of Somerville. Let some other community take the risk. We have enough hazards and potential hazrads coming through Somerville as it is.

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