Railroads that haul oil trains through Washington state will need to report whether they could afford around $700 million to pay for a derailment and spill, under a recently finalized state rule.
As announced Feb. 9, the requirement is one of three oil train safety rules the state Utilities and Transportation Commission crafted as required under legislation that state lawmakers passed in 2015.
The new rules, which take effect March 11: ▪ Require signs with basic safety information be posted at private rail crossings along routes that carry full or empty oil trains. ▪ Allow certain cities such as Bellingham, Aberdeen, Spokane, Tacoma, and Richland to opt into a state rail crossing inspection program to get free assistance with inspections. ▪ Require railroads to include financial information in their annual report to the UTC to show if they could address a “reasonable worst case spill” of oil.
Railroads objected to the proposed spill scenarios, (because of course they did.) and argued that the requirement to show whether they could afford cleanup was pre-empted by federal law.
HERE ARE ALL THE NORTHWEST CITIES, GOVERNMENTS, AND ORGANIZATIONS THAT OPPOSE OIL TRAINS