Amtrak continues to insist dumping raw human waste from its trains poses no health risk but did tell Rep. Howard Nielson, R-Utah, on Tuesday that it will take steps to ensure such dumping doesn't happen near train stations or near railroad maintenance crews.
Thomas Gillespie, vice president of government and public affairs for Amtrak, told Nielson that a 1978 report from the old Health, Education and Welfare Department said no evidence had ever been found that dumping along tracks had resulted in disease.Nielson, however, said he doesn't believe that. Labor unions presented photographs and other evidence that crews had been sprayed with sewage from passing trains, and that sewage had been dumped near railroad stations - which is against regulations.
Amtrak officials then said they will reinspect equipment on trains that is supposed to prevent dumping when trains are traveling slower than 25 mph. The officials may also instruct train operators to use override systems to doubly ensure no flushing occurs when trains are near stations or rail crews.