State public hearing/rail & marine oil transport-save the date!

by Sandra Spargo Sunday, September 28, 2014 3:29 PM



According to the Washington State Department of Ecology, each unit train of 100 oil tank cars carries 2,900,000 gallons of crude oil.  Crude oil deliveries by rail do not pay into Washington State’s oil spill response fund—unlike crude oil deliveries by waterborne vessel or barge.

Washington State, a national leader in green energy, is on the verge of also becoming a major global crossroads of fossil fuel, setting up a collision of values and economics. Throughout Western Washington, waterways and railways are becoming fossil fuel corridors.

Governor Jay Inslee directed the Dept. of Ecology to draft the 2014 Marine and Rail Oil Transportation Study. Ecology will release the draft on Oct. 1.

  • The purpose of the Study is to assess public health and safety, as well as environmental impacts associated with oil transport.
  • The Study must provide data and analysis of statewide risks, gaps and options for increasing public safety and improving spill prevention and response readiness.
  • The Study’s findings will direct legislative, executive and state agency actions.

You have the opportunity to comment on the draft, whose link will be emailed to you in the near future.  Your vital participation would inform elected decision-makers how you want the State to respond to the transport of Bakken Crude Oil and Canadian Tar Sands Crude Oil through our communities and onto oil refineries and onto huge terminals that would store bulk crude oil, later to be loaded into waterborne vessels and barges.

Bus transportation and car pools are being arranged for Whatcom/Skagit County, East King County, Seattle, Grays Harbor, and Vancouver/Longview.  Car pools for all areas are also being organized.  Details are located in the RSVP link below.

State of Washington Public Hearing

2014 Marine and Rail Oil Transportation Study

Thurs., Oct. 30, 2014

5 p.m. - 10 p.m.

Olympia, Red Lion Inn

2300 Evergreen Park Dr SW

RSPV here

Do you know that each unit train of 100 oil tank cars carries 2,900,000 gallons of crude oil?

  • Skagit County: The $55 million Anacortes Tesoro Crude Oil Unit Train Unloading Facility has the capability of unloading two,100-car unit trains per 24 hour period—a total of 200 incoming fully loaded oil tank cars and 200 outgoing empty tank cars daily. The Shell Oil Products Proposed Crude by Rail Unloading Facility is being designed to receive up to six unit oil trains per week, a total of ~ 600 incoming fully loaded oil tank cars and 600 outgoing empty tank cars weekly.
  • King County: If all proposed oil terminals were to be built, 23 crude oil unit trains could travel through Seattle per day.  Trains would rumble by Seattle’s sports stadiums, through the railroad tunnel under downtown and along the waterfront past Queen Anne and Magnolia and through Ballard. (Steve Wilhelm, Puget Sound Business Journal, Sept. 6, 2013)
  • Grays Harbor County: The Port of Grays Harbor is going through the permit application process for three bulk crude oil storage terminals, the Westway Terminal Company, Imperium Renewables Storage and Grays Harbor Rail Terminal.  Bulk oil would be transferred from unit trains into terminal storage, and, ultimately, loaded into waterborne vessels and barges.
  • Clark County: The Port of Vancouver proposed oil terminal would require at least four full oil unit trains daily—a total of 400 incoming fully loaded oil tank cars and 400 outgoing empty tank cars.

For information regarding the public hearing, contact Rein Attemann, Washington Environmental Council, at rein at or 206.631.2625.



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