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Norfolk Southern Looking To Expand Ethanol Operation

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Norfolk Southern Railroad is seeking to increase its liquid ethanol distribution.
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Norfolk Southern Railroad is seeking to increase its liquid ethanol distribution.

Norfolk Southern Railroad currently has the ability to offload 14 railcars of liquid ethanol from railcars to tanker trucks. Now the railroad wants to more than double that number, submitting an application to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to allow 30 cars a day.

But neighbors in nearby Cameron Station say they are uncomfortable with a class 3 hazardous substance facility being next to an elementary school.

"This just doesn't make sense to have this happen directly behind a school facility and next to a residential neighborhood," says Leslie Johnson, who has lived in Cameron Station since 2005. "There has got to be someplace else that can occur."

Alexandria has been fighting Norfolk Southern for years. Several years ago, the city spent more than half a million dollars in an unsuccessful fight to shut the operation down.

Now that it wants to expand, Mayor Bill Euille says the city is ready to do whatever is necessary to prevent that from happening.

"We'll just keep pressing until things begin to take shape or form for or against us," says Euille.

Tomorrow night, the Alexandria City Council is set to take up a formal resolution opposing the expansion.

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