Grays Harbor Oil Terminals Permits Blocked
On Wednesday the Washington Shorelines Hearings Board blocked local permits for two oil train terminals in Grays Harbor.
The Imperium and Westway Terminals would bring more than 500 vessels and 900 trains carrying oil to and from Grays Harbor every year.
The State Department of Ecology worked with the city of Hoquiam to approve permits for the terminals earlier this year.
But those permits were successfully challenged by the Quinault tribe and several environmental groups.
The state Shorelines Hearings Board said the permits didn’t adequately assess the environmental risk of oil spills, seismic events, greenhouse gas emissions, and impacts to cultural resources.
The denial of these permits won’t necessarily stop the projects from going forward, but the Department of Ecology may require a more comprehensive review.
More oil is moving into the Northwest by rail with each passing month. Two of the five refineries in Washington are now receiving trains from the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota.
There are seven other places in the region considering rail-to-ship facilities.
Last week a train carrying Bakken oil exploded in Alabama.
Copyright 2013 KUOW.