oil

Hearing Starts Monday On Vancouver Oil Terminal

Jun 24, 2016
JOSEPHLEENOVAK / FLICKR

Washington state begins its public review today (MON) of what would be the nation’s largest oil by rail terminal in the country. As OPB's Conrad Wilson reports, the hearings are one of the final steps in determining whether the project gets built.

Bruce Fingerhood / Flickr

The Federal Railroad Administration says Union Pacific’s failure to maintain its track and equipment caused this month’s oil train derailment in the Columbia River Gorge.

Sam Beebe / Flickr

Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkely are asking federal railroad officials to use their authority and place a moratorium on crude oil moving through the Columbia River Gorge. The railroad involved with this month’s oil train derailment has said those trains will resume this week.

Edward Kimmel / Flickr

Washington U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell is pushing for stricter rules on oil trains after last week's fiery derailment in Mosier, Oregon.

U.S. Geological Survey / Flickr

The oil train spill in Mosier, Oregon was the latest of about 20 oil train derailments in the U.S. since 2013.That's according to the group Earth Justice. One Washington lawmaker says there's one way to limit the danger of derailments or oil spills in this state: build an oil pipeline.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee wants oil trains to slow down and safety improvements to speed up. Inslee said Wednesday that he personally delivered that message to the CEO of Union Pacific and the executive chairman of BNSF over the last 48 hours.

Friday’s oil train derailment and fire comes as Washington state prepares to put new oil shipment safety rules into effect. In fact, the derailment in the Columbia Gorge happened just as the first public hearing on those rules was wrapping up in Vancouver, Washington.

Washington Department of Ecology / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Crews worked through the weekend to offload oil from tanker cars and remove damaged train cars by flatbed trucks following Friday’s train derailment in the Columbia River Gorge. The water treatment and sewer system in Mosier was damaged as a result of the accident.

Oil Train Derails Near Hood River

Jun 3, 2016
Silas Bleakley via AP

Eleven oil train cars derailed Friday afternoon near Hood River, sparking a large fire and forcing a nearby school to evacuate.

Matt Brown

Washington state officials are holding a public hearing Friday in Vancouver on new rules targeting oil train safety.

One proposed rule would require trains carrying refined or crude oil to submit spill response plans that the state would approve.

Another proposed rule would make oil terminals and refineries alert the state that they plan to receive crude oil. Right now, companies that move oil by rail aren’t required to share that information with state officials.

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