Advocates look to derail downtown Utica hospital plan with train safety argument

Opponents of Utica, N.Y.-based Mohawk Valley Health System's proposed downtown Utica hospital are raising safety concerns about a nearby train that transports toxic chemicals, according to the Observer-Dispatch.

The train tracks pass within a half mile of the proposed hospital site, which puts the hospital in the dangerous "red zone" that calls for evacuation in the event the train derails and spills its dangerous cargo.

While those opposed to the hospital's construction may believe the proximity to the train tracks should warrant concern from hospital and government officials, Kevin Revere, director of the Oneida County Department of Emergency Services, did not agree.

"To me, it's a non issue. It's so small [a risk], it really shouldn't be under consideration," Mr. Revere told the Observer-Dispatch.

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