Trains transporting oil cross through Spokane many times a day, at great risk to our citizens and environment. The public safety and environmental implications of one accident occurring in downtown Spokane, like the one that occurred recently in West Virginia, are enormous.
Imagine the destruction that one of these trains could wreak. Lives could be lost, buildings leveled, and oil could become a long-term pollutant in our water. We need to do everything in our power to make sure these trains conform to the highest safety standards possible.
That is why the citizens of Eastern Washington should support the recent bills in the Washington House that aim to improve the safety of these trains. To name two examples; House Bill 1809 requires more crew members on oil trains, and HB 1284 improves yardmaster working conditions.
The relatively small cost of the improved regulation and infrastructure easily justifies averting a catastrophic derailment.