Washington State Oil Trains Run Into Heavy Opposition

"As Washington environmental regulators start wrestling with the safety of new and larger fuel terminals along the Pacific Coast, some residents in southwest Washington communities are getting restless — with worries about the safety of crude oil shipped by rail to refineries and shipping docks.

Oil-by-rail traffic is growing in Washington by leaps and bounds, altering the way oil is fed to refineries and challenging a state that has a good record of oil safety on marine waters.

Traffic went from zero barrels by rail in 2011 to 12.1 million barrels in 2012 and 17 million last year, state environmental authorities say. The amounts are expected to rise in 2014 and eventually go far higher as up to 10 new or expanded facilities are finished in Vancouver, Grays Harbor and at the state’s five existing refineries from Tacoma to Ferndale."

Brad Shannon reports for the Olympian May 4, 2014.


"Despite Rise in Spills, Hazardous Cargo Rides Rails in Secret" (New York Times)

"Trains Carrying Oil Cause Concern in North Jersey" (Bergen Record)

"Oil Train Derailment in Lynchburg, Va., Raises Safety Questions" (Los Angeles Times)

"Va. Senators Seek Stricter Regulation of Crude Oil Trains" (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

"Canada's Oil-By-Rail Shipments Jump Nine-Fold In 2 Years" (Canadian

"Bay Area Groups Seek to Halt Crude-by-Rail" (KQED)

Source: Olympian, 05/06/2014