CHICAGO — CN announced a voluntary mitigation agreement (VMA) related to its acquisition of the principal lines of the former Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railway Company (EJ&E) with the Village of Lake Zurich, Ill., located 37 miles northwest of downtown Chicago.
With this agreement, CN has VMAs with 20 municipalities that are home to two-thirds of the population living along the EJ&E in Illinois and Indiana.
CN’s latest VMA will provide funding for a range of environmental measures, including rail noise mitigation, maintenance of an existing quiet zone, emergency response training, safety initiatives, and improved communication. CN completed its EJ&E acquisition on Jan. 31, 2009, and, while traffic volumes overall remain down owing to general economic conditions, CN has rerouted a limited number of its trains over the line.
Jim Vena, senior vice-president, Southern Region, said: “CN has made substantial strides in dealing with the effects of the EJ&E transaction on communities along the line, as well as in integrating the railroad into our North American network. We have been committed to developing constructive working relationships with communities on the EJ&E, and we have been particularly pleased that so many EJ&E municipalities have been willing to undertake productive VMA negotiations with CN.
“The current number of VMAs – 20 out 33 communities along the EJ&E – and a series of other measures underscore our commitment to work with municipalities to minimize the transaction’s impacts on EJ&E communities and to ensure safe operations.”