Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HR0068
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Full Text of HR0068  96th General Assembly



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2     AMENDMENT NO. ___. Amend House Resolution 68 by replacing
3 everything after the heading with the following:
4     "WHEREAS, On December 24, 2008, the purchase of the Elgin,
5 Joliet and Eastern (EJ&E) rail line by Canadian National (CN)
6 was approved by the Surface Transportation Board (STB); the
7 EJ&E is a stretch of train tracks from Waukegan to Gary,
8 Indiana; and
9     WHEREAS, While many communities in the metro area of
10 Chicago benefited by the shift in train traffic created by the
11 merger, many other communities experienced a negative increase
12 in train traffic; this increase is expected to have an impact
13 on the day-to-day lives of working families along sections of
14 the EJ&E, such as traffic congestion and grade crossing safety
15 concerns, emergency vehicle access, interruption of commuter
16 rail service, hazardous materials transportation safety, noise



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1 pollution, decreased property values, and increased taxes to
2 pay for mitigation expenses associated with infrastructure
3 impact from the purchase of the EJ&E rail line; and
4     WHEREAS, The RTA has expressed concern about possible
5 negative effects that the proposed EJ&E merger could have on
6 construction of the proposed STAR Line, a mass-transit line
7 which had hoped to use part of the EJ&E's right-of-way; and
8     WHEREAS, Railroad transport is one of the fastest growing
9 means of fuel-efficient freight transport in the nation and is
10 expected to continue to grow; and
11     WHEREAS, Significant growth is expected in rail freight
12 traffic in the near and distant future creating environmental
13 and safety concerns for those communities surrounding freight
14 rail lines; therefore, be it
17 encourage and support action by the 111th Congress of the
18 United States to enact legislation to review the Surface
19 Transportation Board to ensure adequate federal support to
20 compensate impacted local communities for infrastructure
21 upgrades due to shifts in track usage; and be it further



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1     RESOLVED, That we believe that the federal government
2 should help fund infrastructure upgrades for communities
3 impacted by mergers, such as the CN and EJ&E merger, that cause
4 significant fluctuation in rail traffic for the health and
5 safety of both the employees of the rail carrier and the local
6 communities such as improvements to State, municipal, and
7 county streets, grade crossings, and commuter rail; and be it
8 further
9     RESOLVED, That we encourage Congress and President Barack
10 Obama to support H.R. 693, the Reaching the Star Act, creating
11 a Suburban Transit Access Route or STAR line inter-suburban
12 commuter rail to ease road traffic congestion in 100
13 communities from Joliet to O'Hare International Airport,
14 providing safe and reliable transportation options for the more
15 than 1.6 million area residents living in high-congestion
16 areas; and be it further
17     RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be sent
18 to President Barack Obama, the Speaker and Minority Leader of
19 the United State House of Representatives, the President Pro
20 Tempore and the Minority Leader of the United States Senate,
21 and to each member of the Illinois congressional delegation.".