Washington Environmental Groups’ Legislative Focus: Oil Trains

Jan 16, 2014

Oil train safety tops the list of priorities for environmental groups. The groups outlined their goals Wednesday for Washington’s new legislative session.

Right now, rail companies share little information with state agencies. These agencies would have to respond if a train derailed in the Pacific Northwest. Environmental groups would like the Washington Legislature to change that. The Environmental Priorities Coalition is proposing several safety measures and regulations for oil train transportation through the state.

Traisman: “These are fundamental policy questions that need to be addressed. It will take a multiyear effort to get where we need to go.”

One of the main pieces would make oil refineries and terminals report information about oil shipments to the Department of Ecology. The Association of American Railroads said requirements to report that type of information could restrict interstate commerce – and therefore could be challenged in the courts.

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