Media Advisory, July 1, 2014

Contact: Mollie Matteson, (802) 318-1487,

Plattsburgh Rally on Saturday to Demand Stop to Dangerous Crude Oil Trains

Activists to Mark 1-Year Anniversary of Quebec Derailment That Killed 47

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y.— Local activists from the Center for Biological Diversity will join members of People for Positive Action, and other residents in an afternoon rally Saturday in downtown Plattsburgh to oppose crude oil shipments by rail through Plattsburgh, the Adirondack Park and along Lake Champlain.  

The event, part of a week of action in the United States and Canada to commemorate last year’s deadly derailment of an oil train in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, will spotlight the danger oil trains pose to Adirondack communities, Lake Champlain and its tributaries as well as to fish, wildlife and habitat along the Canadian Pacific rail line from Montreal to Albany. Nationally, crude oil shipments by rail have increased 40-fold since 2008. In the past year, a half-dozen explosive derailments in North America have generated increased public concern over the risks posed by crude oil trains to local communities along the rail lines.

The 3 p.m. rally next to the Saranac River and near the railroad tracks will include short speeches by Plattsburgh city councilwoman Rachelle Armstrong, local climate activist and former public health nurse, Tim Palmer, and Center senior scientist, Mollie Matteson.

What: Local activists, including members of the Center for Biological Diversity, People for Positive Action, and, will gather at the Plattsburgh pedestrian bridge on Green Street, just off of Route 9/Bridge Street, to send a loud message to President Obama, Congress and state and local leaders that explosive, polluting, climate-wrecking oil trains are unsafe and unacceptable.

When: 3 p.m.-4 p.m., Saturday, July 5.

Where: Downtown Plattsburgh, pedestrian bridge on Saranac River, Green Street

Visuals and Interviews: Organizers will be available for print and broadcast interviews. Attendees will gather with banners and signs at the entrance to the pedestrian bridge over the Saranac River, from the Green Street side. The railroad tracks and railroad bridge lie to the west just a few feet away; an average of three oil trains a day pass through this area en route to Albany. Attendees will pay tribute those who died in last year’s disaster at Lac-Mégantic, then walk out onto the pedestrian bridge and gather below it in canoes and kayaks to chant and sing against the escalation of oil train transport. The assemblage will highlight the threat to the Saranac River and Lake Champlain, as well as to the safety of downtown Plattsburgh, its businesses, and residents. Participants will be visible from points on the river shore downstream of the pedestrian bridge.

“Oil trains are bombs on rails that threaten our cities, towns and environment,” said Mollie Matteson, a senior scientist for the Center for Biological Diversity. “The practice of shipping oil by rail needs to stop immediately. We know these trains are going to continue to derail and the risks to our health, water, wildlife habitat and climate are far too high.”

For more information:

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 775,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

Go back