The Washington Department of Ecology has awarded a $250,000 contract to a New York firm to analyze how oil trains and marine oil shipments affect the state.
Environmental Research Consulting will work with the agency and stakeholders statewide, producing a report that looks at the growth in oil transportation and safety issues in Washington. The report will identify gaps in the oil spill prevention and preparedness; address public safety and environmental concerns; provide cost-benefit analysis; and recommend methods for funding safety programs.
Gov. Inslee has requested initial findings and recommendations from the study by Oct. 1. The final report is due March 1.
The Department of Ecology is working on the study in consultation with other state agencies, the Federal Railroad Administration and tribal governments.
Disclosures from railroads about oil shipments from the Northern Plains show dozens of the trains passing weekly through the Midwest and up to 19 per week reaching Washington.