Metrolink reverses course and commissions health risk assessment
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 14, 2013
Scott Johnson, Metrolink Public Affairs
(213) 452-0205 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Metrolink to conduct health risk assessment of maintenance facility
LOS ANGELES — Metrolink Chief Executive Officer Michael P. DePallo announced today he has directed staff to immediately commence preparations for commission of a health risk assessment (HRA) of the agency’s Central Maintenance Facility located at 1555 N. San Fernando Road in Los Angeles.
“This is a significant step to quantify the emissions emanating from the facility and to solidify a baseline,” said DePallo.
Metrolink Board Chair and San Bernardino Mayor Pat Morris agreed.
“As the mayor of the city that hosts the largest intermodal rail facility in Southern California, I understand the concerns of those who reside near Central Maintenance Facility,” said Morris. “I, as much as anyone, want to know the results of this assessment, along with the subsequent measurement of the air quality improvements we have already made to the facility.”
Metrolink has worked extensively with community groups, key stakeholders and elected officials over the past two years to implement a wide array of facility and operational improvements.
Metrolink made a major contribution toward improving the quality of the environment and future rail system operations with the purchase of up to 20 new low-emission Tier 4 locomotives. These locomotives produce more than 80 percent less particulate matter and oxides of nitrogen than current older engines and will be delivered in late 2015. Metrolink has allocated $129.4 million for the purchase of the locomotives.
The locomotive upgrades will have system-wide benefits, and as well as help reduce emissions in the surrounding communities.
At the facility itself, Metrolink has implemented a plug-in policy that enables trains to utilize ground power while being cleaned and serviced instead of utilizing the engines that power the passenger cars. Nine ground power stations have been installed, while the facility anticipates an additional four stations being built this year.
Metrolink has installed Automatic Engine Start Stop (AESS) technology into its locomotives and implemented an aggressive fuel conservation program. AESS is a mechanism that prevents unnecessary idling, reducing fuel use and emissions. In 2010-11 AESS reduced the amount of fuel used from the previous year by 860,000 gallons and saved the agency $2 million. Currently 33 of Metrolink’s 52 locomotives are equipped with this technology.
In order to reduce noise at the facility, train maintenance, servicing and testing is done during business hours to avoid disrupting sleep and weekend recreation activities. Additionally, staff has reduced the amount of time trains are on service and inspection tracks by 50 percent.
Without Metrolink service, an additional 18,000 vehicles would be on the roads each weekday.
A health risk assessment (HRA) is an analytical tool used to estimate whether current and/or future exposures to certain air pollutant emissions will pose health risks to a broad population, such as a city or a community.
The CMF, which is located on a parcel of what once was referred to as Southern Pacific’s Taylor Yard, has been a rail facility servicing locomotives and rail cars since the 1920s. Metrolink began servicing trains at CMF in 1991.