A proposed new set of railroad tracks running from the south to the north side of La Crosse have many residents questioning the impact it could have on the land.
Crude oil is one of the top substances being transported through the La Crosse area, but many believe the additional four miles of proposed track, which would also be used to carry the oil, will just increase the chances of a major disaster. A spill or small leak could lead to large amounts of damage in parts of the county, especially around the marshes.
La Crosse's emergency planning committee is working with local officials to see what else can be done to ease residents' concerns.
"The response to crude oil spills, particularly if they catch on fire is a little bit different from most of the substances we have to deal with, because there's a large volume of it. There's almost 30-thousand gallons of it in one of those rail cars so the consequences can be enormous. That's one of the things we're working with the fire departments with not just in the La Crosse County, but with in all 8 counties in Wisconsin," said Emergency Management Coordinator Keith Butler.
An official public hearing on the proposed rail line will be coming up in the near future to address further concerns of residents.