Wynn Will Consider Using Rail to Ship out Soils

Wynn environmental consultants said Monday night that they are looking into the feasibility of shipping out some contaminated soils by rail, and are very high on the idea.

Chris Gordon, a Massachusetts-based environmental consultant, said at a public meeting in Charlestown on Monday night that they have been in talks with freight railroad companies and are investigating the idea of shipping out some of the less contaminated soils from the Wynn casino site by rail.

“We’re looking at the option of using the existing rail spur and tracks to take the soil off site,” Gordon said. “We like it because it’s efficient, but we have to look to see if it’s possible or makes sense. If we find that it’s feasible, we like the idea.”

The tracks are owned by Guilford, which controls Boston & Maine Railways and Pan Am Railways. The tracks are allowed to handle any kind of freight, but most of the train traffic comes from the Commuter Rail’s Newburyport and Rockport Lines.

The site includes an existing rail spur that was used by the former Monsanto Chemical Company years ago. While the spur is eroded beyond use, officials said it could be restored on the site. The spur is still grafted into the tracks. The way it would work is that specialized train cars would be positioned on site to be loaded with contaminated soils. Once those cars are filled, they would have to be removed at night when the Commuter Rail is not running.

The most contaminated soils would not be put on rails, they said.

Depending on the final destination of the soils, they could go either north or south on the tracks.

Another Wynn environmental consultant, Jamie Fay, said the idea is being explored, but there are some heavy doubts as to whether it’s feasible.

One of the main positives of using rail for the less contaminated soils is that it would reduce truck traffic on the roads. There is also a lot more of the less contaminated soils on the site in need of being removed.

Wynn consultants are also investigating using barges and trucks for removal of the soils.

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