How about CSX in Four Oaks, neighbors?
I’m not a Bible scholar, but I think the verse goes something like this: If you want to have treasure in Heaven, then sell all of your possessions, give it all to the poor and follow Jesus. Not many in this world would actually give away everything they have, myself among them. However, I think the relevant philosophy for Christianity and most religions is to always love thy neighbor and put others first. I believe the world is a much better place when we do that.
In an attempt to learn more about my Four Oaks neighbors, I rode down and visited with one of the families whose land CSX could potentially use for its intermodal terminal. I was treated warmly and kindly and given a tour of the immediate community. Several families would have to relocate if the terminal goes there. Undoubtedly, those families love their neighbors and community, and they clearly do not want to have to uproot themselves and go elsewhere. I am sure I would not want to move either.
I have also learned that others in that same community are dealing with extreme hardships. They need the money CSX is offering, and if it happens, it would be a tremendous blessing and life-changing for them.
Lastly, I have learned that some in that community would prefer to sell to CSX, but because they do not want the main anti-CSX families to know, they have yet to obligate and have even put up signs against CSX in their yards.
The CSX issue has bounced back and forth over the last several months. I think concerns about what kind of neighbor CSX would be were mostly answered by the local group that went up to Ohio and visited the exact type of facility that would come here. Most of them will tell you that they would be fine with it being in their front yard. If others in the affected community would like to go visit, I understand there are people willing to pay for that to happen.
Ultimately, I guess the question is WWYD, or “What would you do if you had this decision to make?” I believe that in Johnston County, our neighbor is not just next door or across the street, but our entire county. If I could turn around eastern Johnston County economically by selling my land, I pray that that I would do so even without any extra money or benefit to me personally. But again, that’s just me, my conscience and how I believe. Our neighbors in Selma and Micro felt differently, irrespective of how much money they already had in their pockets or how much extra money they were being offered. That was their call, and I am not the one to judge them.
In Four Oaks, CSX is offering to buy land for four times the actual worth and buy homes for twice their worth. How about letting CSX come to Four Oaks, neighbors? If you want to stay in the community, I am sure some of your other neighbors will sell you land at a much cheaper price than what CSX is offering you. You can actually put others first, stay there and make money.
He doesn’t want pollution from CSX hub
I’ve listened to the pros and cons about the CSX intermodal hub, and after much research, I’ve decided I am against this project being close to me, my family and my neighbors.
In a full-page ad in the Benson-Four Oaks News in Review, the Smithfield-Selma Chamber of Commerce stated that for each intermodal train processed at the terminal, 280 trucks would be removed from the roadway. This statement is misleading. The intermodal hub might remove these trucks from long hauls, but each of these trucks would be diverted to the Four Oaks area for loading and unloading.
In researching the Ohio intermodal hub, I discovered that it handles 30 trains a day. Using a conservative estimate of 15 trains a day at the proposed Four Oaks site, 4,200 trucks a day would be redirected to the Four Oaks area.
The Project Scorpion Report, a 91-page evaluation of the proposed intermodal terminal, was commissioned by the N.C. Department of Transportation and prepared by WSP/Parsons Brinckerhoff, an engineering consulting firm. This report stated that emission rates of carbon dioxide, a direct function of fuel consumption, would be 22.4 pounds for each gallon of fuel consumption. The Energy.gov website reports that an idling, unloaded transfer truck uses 0.64 gallons of fuel an hour. Assuming each truck would idle for at least 30 minutes during the stop at the intermodal terminal, each truck would emit 7.168 pounds of carbon dioxide. Using the figure of 4,200 trucks, this would equate to 30,105 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions in our community daily, or nearly 11 million pounds per year.
The reports states that one of the benefits of the hub is that it improves air quality, with nearly 1.6 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions saved. Without taking into consideration the emissions from the additional trains, will the 5,500 tons of estimated emissions from the trucks affect our health? It can’t be good if CSX is trying to save 1.6 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
Health studies show that exposure to diesel emissions primarily affects the respiratory system and worsens asthma, allergies, bronchitis and lung functions. Diesel exhaust contains more than 40 substances that are hazardous air pollutants, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Fifteen of these pollutants are carcinogens, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
Having suffered with asthma, I can’t envision anyone wanting to add this kind of pollution, additional traffic and congestion willingly to the Four Oaks community.
James R. Norris