Ask Joe: Is railroad creating an environmental hazard?

Reported by: Joe Hart

Reported by: Joe Hart
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Updated: 6/30/2014 6:38 pm
From the Ask Joe file, one of our viewers has a question about a possible environmental hazard near the Truckee River.
The viewer did not leave his name, but said while he was walking along the river in Lockwood, he noticed the railroad is working on the tracks and just discarding the railroad ties over the bank towards the river.
He said since the ties are pressure-treated and soaked with oil, he is pretty sure it's not good for the environment.
Our viewer wants to know why the railroad thinks this practice is okay?

Joe checked with Aaron Hunt, a spokesman for the Union Pacific Railroad. He said the railroad complies with all regulations regarding the disposal of old railroad ties. He said the typical practice is to set them on the right of way to picked up by other crews.
However, when Hunt was told about this situation, he said he would send someone to confirm if there are any ties in the river.
Joe also called Jo Ann Kittrell from the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection. She said she is not sure if those railroad ties pose an environmental threat, but they plan to send out two inspectors on Tuesday.
News 4 will follow up to find out what both inspections find.
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