Haz-Mat TaskForce Roundup Communication

The following email was sent by the “No HC” taskforce to residents of the North End/Waterfront community.

Dear concerned residents,
It’s been a busy week and I thought I’d take this time to quickly update you on some of the things going on:

1) Boston Herald article (June 11, 2010): A powerful article on US DOT’s ties to the Trucking lobbyists in Washington.  Administrator Anne Ferro signed the edict overturning Boston’s regulations the day she became head of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration last November.  As a result, Boston must let all haz mat trucks cut through downtown Boston (North End and Waterfront), at all hours of the day (except for a 2-hour break at rush hour), and along Commercial Street instead of the current Cross Street route.  We currently have a 45-day reprieve, but the “new” regulations will be mandated again as of July 1 unless the FMCSA allows the City to complete its 18-month safety study. (Also see this article on Head of Federal Haz-Mat Agency Has Strong Ties to Trucking Industry).

2) Post Gazette: The community paper published a front page article reporting on the “Community Outrage Voiced at (last week’s) Neighborhood Haz Mat Meeting”.  Click here to see the PDF or go to for more info.

3) A special website has been created to encourage your voice in efforts to rectify this dangerous federal decision.  Check this site as a repository for videos, photos, links, history, news items, and updates.  I hope that you will continue to voice your concern by calling or writing your elected officials, particularly those in Washington (including President Obama, with copy to Ray LaHood and Anne Ferro).  Additionally, for your letter-writing campaigns there are sample (template) letters under “What can I say?” and contact information for elected and appointed officials.  Thank you to Ann Moritz for setting this up.

4) Councilor Sal LaMattina’s Letter to Washington: Many of you have already received a copy of City Councilor LaMattina’s strongly-worded letter to Ray LaHood and Anne Ferro at US DOT.  It is attached for reference.  The City Councilor chides the administration for making it’s “unfair and imprudent decision” even before the agreed 18-month mandated safety study can be completed.  He also argues that residents should have their voices heard and that the “overwhelming feeling in the neighborhood is that the route used for the past four years is fine”. Click here to view LaMattina’s letter.

NoHazMatSign5) “No HC” pins: available starting next week on a first-come-first serve basis.  The buttons measure 2 ½ inches in diameter and are sure to be a conversation starter!  Thank you to Joanne Hayes-Rines for making these possible.

6) NEWRA letter to Washington: draft letter at

7) NEWNC meeting, June 14, 2010: agenda and draft letter at

Our “No HC” taskforce meets weekly and the above items are the fruit of their hard work.  Please forward to your neighbors and let Mario know at if anyone should be added to our mailing list (or if you would like to unsubscribe).

Thanks and all the best, Mario Alfano (NEWNC member)