Meng Legislation to Require Covers on Trains – Including Those Negatively Impacting Communities in Queens – Passed by House as Part of Key Transportation and Infrastructure Bill

Jul 1, 2020
Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives passed the Moving Forward Act (H.R. 2), a key transportation and infrastructure bill that includes legislation sponsored by U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens) which would require covers on all rail cars that transport materials, such as those hauling waste and construction debris through neighborhoods in Queens.
 
“For too long, our borough has been negatively impacted by freight trains that pass through local neighborhoods filled with trash and debris,” said Meng. “Residents in these communities, which include several areas in my congressional district, have complained about the smell of garbage, and expressed concern about materials flying out of traveling rail cars and trash-filled trains sitting idle on the tracks. Subjecting local residents to these conditions is unacceptable. Action is needed to combat the effects of these problems. Placing covers on train cars – so that waste is completely containerized – would provide affected constituents with the relief they need and deserve.”
 
Under Meng’s measure, the U.S. Secretary of Transportation would be directed to propose regulations that require materials transported by rail to be completely covered while in transit, including while being held, delayed or transferred.
 
The freight trains that travel through communities in Meng’s district transport waste and debris on tracks in Glendale, Maspeth, Middle Village and Ridgewood.
 
The Moving Forward Act would spend $1.5 trillion over five years to build and maintain infrastructure, and related initiatives. It would also create millions of jobs, help combat the climate crisis, and address disparities throughout the nation. The bill passed by a vote of 233 to 188.