Sunday, September 13, 2015

SMELL THAT CRUDE- Observations by Dave Furford


Grays Harbor County and its surrounding area are strategically important to the security of our region and nation. We are the gateway to the coast of Washington, with an international seaport, a rail connection to the main line, a certified airport and a freeway to our states population center and military bases.

We  have  been  muddling  too  long without  a   vision. Our  ecosystems  and   infrastructures  are  in   jeopardy,  with potential   choking points.

Smell that crude, a smothering oil with volatile gases: it's on the horizon, a threat to our security and livability, a temptress that can be easily triggered by a terrorist attack, a natural disaster or a train  derailment.

Without realizing it, we have built "cluster bombs" in the form of hazardous liquid tanks on our waterfront, served with rail and sea tankers, "bombs" in their own  right.

Grays Harbor is now at risk, even without crude oil. The transfer, storage and processing of large volumes of hazardous liquids should be suspended until  those companies that are responsible provide a cleanup and recovery system, with an ironclad guarantee to pay for the damages that may occur.    

We must replace the two rail bridges that were torn down on the Chehalis River, with combined train and car bridges, relocated to join Aberdeen, Hoquiam, Cosmopolis and Junction City into one industrial base, including a "holding and switching yard" for products of concern. These new connections will bring an added efficiency to our emergency departments, while enhancing the security    of our region and nation. 

The   funneling  of   highway   traffic into  downtown   Aberdeen  without  adequate  parking  is  a problem, but  can  be  relieved   by   relocating   the highway  to  State Street   traveling  east, and   to First  Street  traveling  west,  allowing  the  streets  in  between  to  be  converted  to  the  friendlier two-way streets, and with the wider streets, patterned after Broadway Street's angled parking, dramatically  improving    the   parking   and   ease   of   movement.

Broadway Street could be extended to the Chehalis River for a cruise ship dock, and a multi-use depot (for train, riverboat and bus excursions), surrounded by shops, restaurants and lodgings, reflecting our colorful past and rich Native American culture.

With government grants, we can rebuild our infrastructures, with a redundancy  backing-up our region and nation in the event of a catastrophe.

Our common security depends on the quality of our ecosystems and infrastructures, the multipliers of our economy and well being.

David R Furford
Aberdeen, WA 
 (360) 580 - 8564


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