CSX official decline to meet with Southborough about chemical transfer station

Above: Location of the proposed chemical transfer station (image from Google Maps)

Southborough officials attempted to arrange a meeting with CSX to discuss their proposed chemical transfer station to be located just over the border in Westborough, but CSX has declined saying Southborough has no jurisdiction over the project.

CSX and its subsidiary Transflo want to build a chemical transfer station off Flanders Road in Westborough, about a mile from the Southborough border. Southborough residents have expressed concern about hazardous material moving through the site which is near Cedar Swamp at the head of the Sudbury River. Southville Road residents have also voiced concern about increased truck traffic going to and from the site.

In a letter to Southborough Town Planner Eric Denoncourt CSX representative Maurice O’Connell wrote, “Because the facility is in Westborough, and because that is the community responsible for the approval and review process associated with the facility, CSX has determined, respectfully, not to attend the Southborough Planning Board hearing next week.”

“I’m disappointed CSX feels it’s unnecessary to come to the town of Southborough,” Selectwoman Bonnie Phaneuf said at a board meeting last night. “Residents of this town deserve to have a representative at their meetings.”

But Selectman Bill Boland said he understood CSX’s position. “Our citizens who are concerned need to express their concerns through the permitting authority,” he said. “As neighbors I would expect they’d be willing to address our concerns.”

CSX is currently working with Westborough’s Planning Board on permitting. At some point in the future they also expect to meet with the town’s Board of Selectmen.

Phaneuf said at this point Southborough residents should share their concerns with Fire Chief John Mauro Jr. or Denoncourt, who will bring the issues to their counterparts in Westborough.

Phaneuf also said the board will hold a hearing on the project in January so residents have an opportunity to air their concern, even if CSX won’t be there to hear them. I’ll post information on the hearing once it’s available.

Fire Chief Mauro said earlier this month that he was in communication with officials from Westborough about the project, and in a recent letter to Selectmen he wrote, “Through information learned over the past several weeks, I am confident that the proposed facility poses little risk to the Town of Southborough.”

I’ll share more information from the Fire Chief’s letter, including the types of materials that would — and wouldn’t — move through the proposed site on the blog tomorrow.

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Pat Q
13 years ago

Thanks for keeping updated on this Susan. I don’t recall seeing a recent article
about this in the local papers. I would be curious to see if CSX plans to expand
the list of materials that will pass through the site to include more than they did at the Cambridge site.

13 years ago

Thank you Susan for this information.

Given the local area fire departments mutual aid agreements, Chief Mauro is very wise to be keeping an eye on this. If any significant event occurs at this site, the Southborough Fire Department may be called upon to respond.

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