Friday, February 13, 2015

(Not) Singing Industry’s Tune: people push back at dangerous tank cars, terminals and community impacts

Singing Industry’s Tune: How Rep. Jeff Denham Plans to Delay Oil-by-Rail Safety Improvements

DeSmogBlog   Justin Mikulka   2/13/15

I just want to make sure that we are all singing the same tune that we have a very safe industry and we want to work together on improving that industry.”

Those were the words of Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials on February 3rd at a hearing titled “How the Changing Energy Markets Will Affect U.S. Transportation.” He was directing this advice to Greg Saxton, chief engineer for rail tank car manufacturer Greenbrier.

Denham obviously had a bone to pick with Saxton because prior to the hearing the Modesto Bee, a newspaper in Denham’s home district, ran an editorial making a strong case that the existing tank cars used to transport crude oil are unsafe. The editorial, Delays on safer rail cars are unacceptable,” didn’t mince words. It was clear on what should happen: “The DOT [Department of Transportation] should adopt rules for those cars then set deadlines to replace every single tank car in America. Our elected representatives should insist on it.”

In Modesto, the elected representative who should be insisting on that is Jeff Denham.

Modesto is also home to Greenbrier’s manufacturing facilities and the editorial quoted Saxton for its conclusion noting his position on the lack of new regulations. “We just need a decision. Twenty years is too long.”

This is not the tune that Chairman Denham wants everyone to be singing. In his comments to Saxton at the hearing he explained his intent.

“I’m making sure that the wrong people are not talking to the Ed boards across the country that would give a wrong perception of our current situation.”

Apparently Saxton is one of the “wrong people” to talk to editorial boards because of his insistence on adhering to the facts.....    more here 

Urge Port of Longview to Vote NO on Haven Propane Terminal on Columbia River

[Background here: Port of Longview, Haven Energy delay announcement of lease terms]

The Port of Longview Commissioners are anticipated to vote Tuesday, March 10, 9:30 am, Cowlitz County Expo Center, 430 Washington St., Longview, on a lease agreement with Haven Energy to build a propane export terminal at the Port of Longview  on the Columbia River. Comments will be taken. We hope commissioners will be convinced this project imperils the lives and livelihoods of residents of our community, and all the communities along the propane rail transport route and river export route, and vote NO on the lease with Haven.

This terminal would be the first of its kind on the U.S. Pacific coast, consisting of two 100 foot tall concrete tanks, double-hulled to thwart terrorists not for containment, with a total 900,000 barrels of storage, under constant refrigeration –44 F for propane, 30 F for butane. Delivery will be two 100 car unit trains, DOT 112, every 3 days, product under pressurization, from the N. Dakota Bakken oil fields, usual route through Washington and down the Columbia River Gorge, through Vancouver. Panamax sized carriers, about 3 ships per month, would transport down 66 miles of the Columbia River and across the notorious Columbia River bar for export to Asia, Pacific Coast, Hawaii, wherever. Coast Guard could enforce safety/exclusion zones around the vessels.

On Thursday, February 19 a special Port Commissioner meeting will be held 5:30-7:30 pm at the Cowlitz County Expo Center where Haven Energy will present a powerpoint overview of the project. Commission will accept public comment following the presentation.

Comments/letters to the Port of Longview can be sent as follows:

Make a difference by coming to speak on February 19th or March 10th, and you can also:
1.  Fill out a comment card and leave at a port meeting or mail to the Port
2.  Call the Port and leave a voice mail comment:  360-703-0231
3.  Send an email:  to the Port's general email account:
4.  Comments will be accepted via the Port’s website Click the link on the home page to be directed to the project overview and comment form.
“Comments submitted by February 20th will be compiled and forwarded to the Port Commission for consideration prior to the vote on the Haven Energy proposal scheduled for March 10th.”

General contact information:
Physical address:10 Port Way
Longview, WA 98632
Mailing address:P.O.1258
Longview, WA 98632
Bob Bagaason, Commissioner Board President
Darold Dietz, Commissioner
Lou Johnson, Commissioner
Geir-Eilif Kalhagen, Chief Executive Officer

Thank you,
clip_image002Landowners and Citizens for a Safe Community (LCSC)
P.O. Box 2484, Longview, WA  98632
“Our mission is to strengthen the environmental, social, and economic health of our community.”


Washougal leaders join together in opposing oil terminal -City council, school board adopt resolutions citing grave concerns

Environmentalists oppose DNR's approval of crude oil rail line through La Crosse wetlands  Citizens have raised concerns about secondary and indirect effects of the proposed rail expansion that the DNR should have considered, including the potential for flooding, hazardous spills or train derailments, increased rail noise and vibrations and impacts to local residents’ quality of life, tax revenues, recreation, property values, impacts to water and air quality, endangered and threatened species and more.  However, the DNR said the agency was not required to consider these concerns as a part of the wetland’s fill permitting process....


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