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Sat., Dec. 21, 2013

Trains carry peril

A plan is in the works to send Bakken crude oil to a terminal in Vancouver, Wash., and from there to refineries. At full capacity, four trains a day, each a mile-and-a-half long, would pass through Spokane.

This summer, in Lac Megantic, Quebec, an oil train derailed and exploded, killing 47 and destroying their downtown area. On Nov. 8, another oil train with new, redesigned oil cars derailed and exploded in Alabama.

A derailment in Spokane, even if it did not explode, would flood the compromised area with volatile, dangerous crude oil that would be difficult to clean up, both from the surface and seepage into the ground underneath. Those engaged in this work would be breathing these vapors, as would anyone who was exposed in the spill area.

This proposed oil terminal poses a danger all the way from Spokane down the Columbia River into Vancouver.

Tom Gordon

Washougal, Wash.

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