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Former Princeton alderwoman continues fight against train merger amid heightened derailment concerns

Ann Gieger has been speaking out against the Canadian Pacific - Kansas City Southern deal for months — a conviction that's gotten stronger since the Ohio derailment.

PRINCETON, Iowa — As East Palestine, Ohio continues to deal with the fallout of a toxic derailment, the impact can be mildly felt at home in the Quad Cities as the disaster affects opinions of the pending Canadian Pacific - Kansas City Southern railway merger.

For those against the deal, like former Princeton, Iowa Alderwoman Ann Gieger, convictions are getting stronger.

Gieger has been campaigning against the deal for about a year, and now she's using the East Palestine derailment as another word of warning

Since News 8 first sat down with her in August, several cities in the QCA, like Bettendorf and Davenport, have approved deals with Canadian Pacific with settlements of up to $10 million.

If the deal goes through, train traffic across the area would increase significantly, and one extra dimension of that issue would be an increase in hazardous material making its way through the area — a factor that has many wary following the East Palestine disaster.

Gieger's backyard is fenced by the train tracks, and just a few yards away from the Mississippi River — critically important to humans and nature alike.

"The fact that there is water involved — a river, there are homes, the air quality is the big thing we don't hear much, about like bloody noses and all kinds of things like that and that could happen here — not with chemicals, but with crude oil. Crude oil will burn you up," she said.

She's reached out to multiple government officials since last March in an attempt to bring awareness to the dangers of transporting large amounts of hazardous material next to the river and in residential areas.

Canadian Pacific recently provided a statement on the situation, saying that the company strives to transport hazardous material and other goods with utmost safety and that it meets or exceeds all safety regulations and standards.

Even still, Gieger is begging this question — Will disaster strike before something is done?

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