The number of oil trains running across Washington is unacceptable, and the Legislature will consider bills in the upcoming session that mandate advance notification of oil shipments by rail as well as more funding for railroad crossings and emergency response training, Gov. Jay Inslee said Friday.
“[He was] speaking to the Safe Energy Leadership Alliance that met Friday at Olympia City Hall to address the surge of oil and coal trains passing through Washington.
The alliance is a coalition of local, state and tribal leaders from the Northwest who say the trains threaten the environment, economy and public safety.
As shipments of oil increase in the Puget Sound region, so does the likelihood for spills and accidents.”
“Between 11 and 16 trains pass through rural and suburban areas of Thurston and Pierce counties every week, according to reports from BNSF Railway.”
‘It is clear that we have to take significant action including being better prepared to handle an oil train explosion or large scale spill,’ Inslee said.
Although the federal government is the main regulator of the railroads, Inslee said there are some actions the state can take now, such as lowering speed limits of the trains,” quoting Andy Hobbs, The Olympian.
BRAVO to Gov. Inslee continuing to take a stand on this important issue to us in rural Thurston County & statewide!
– UPDATE: November 25, 2014
“Govt Data Sharpens Focus on Crude-Oil Train Routes”
“A ProPublica analysis of federal government data adds new details to whats known about the routes taken by trains carrying crude oil. Local governments are often unaware of the potential dangers they face,” by Isaiah Thompson, special to ProPublica.
“Crude Connections: Where Do Trains Carry Crude Oil?”
See this map, by Yue Qiu, Eric Sagara and Lena Groeger, ProPublica, and Isaiah Thompson, special to ProPublica.
UPDATE: December 1, 2014
Washington State Draft 2014 Marine & Rail Oil Transportation Study by the Dept. of Ecology released
– UPDATE: June 10, 2015
“Oil Trains Don’t Have to Derail or Explode to Be Hazardous, Doctors Warn”
“In May, hundreds of doctors, nurses and health-care professionals from Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) called on Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown to take a stronger position against proposed oil-by-rail shipping terminals in their respective states, in order to insure the health and physical security of families and communities there.”
“The group has sounded the alarm over what it sees as a direct health threat to the country stemming from the oil-by-rail system,” By Dahr Jamail, Truthout.