Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Hood River & Seattle eye Oil Train Resolutions, Emergency Order still stands.

 FRA to railroads: CBR Emergency Order still stands
The Federal Railroad Administration on July 22, 2015 sent a reminder to railroads transporting crude oil that the Emergency Order issued May 7, 2014 (Docket No. DOT-OST-2014-0067) requiring them to notify State Emergency Response Commissions (SERCs) and Tribal Emergency Response Commissions (TERCs) of the expected movement of Bakken crude oil trains through individual states and tribal regions remains in effect and “will be made permanent,” as previously announced.

Hood River County adopts oil train resolution

In their declaration, the County urged Oregon Governor Kate Brown to encourage federal rules regarding transportation of crude oil by rails. They requested that the state and federal government be more coordinated and prepared for potential disasters resulting from derailments.The most vehement provision calls on the state to place the responsibility of derailments in the hands of rail owners and operators. The document urges the state to “require owners and operators transporting crude oil by rail to assume all risk and to be sufficiently bonded and insured against the risk of catastrophic fire and explosion, loss of life and property, environmental destruction and damage and any other harm connected with a derailment or accident.” 
Hood River County Administrator Dave Meriwether asked commissioners if the resolution was suitable, or if they would prefer “a more forceful statement.”Commissioners agreed that the current resolution would convey the County’s concerns regarding the risk of fiery derailments in the Gorge without being “extreme.”“We’re not standing on the train tracks waving pitchforks,” said County Commissioner Bob Benton.
(Ed. note: Maybe it is time to stand on the railroad tracks & wave pitchforks.)

One Year After Derailment Under Seattle Bridge, City Takes Aim At Oil Train Risk

Listen to more: KPLU
A new resolution is going before the city council that outlines Seattle's wish list for regulations of crude oil shipments by rail.
It makes a series of requests to other entities on the state, federal and county levels.
“The reality is there’s not a lot of specific things that the city can do, where we have authority,” said Councilmember Mike O'Brien, the chief sponsor of the resolution.But, he said, city staff have spent "countless hours" researching what could be done to minimize oil-train risks. A senior policy advisor from the Mayor's office briefed the Planning and Land Use Committee on their efforts. The resolution codifies their requests and  points to specific federal laws they endorse.

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