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Major spill from proposed oil terminal would be catastrophic, report says

This Nov. 6, 2013, file photo, shows a BNSF Railway train hauling crude oil near Wolf Point, Mont. (Matthew Brown / Associated Press)
This Nov. 6, 2013, file photo, shows a BNSF Railway train hauling crude oil near Wolf Point, Mont. (Matthew Brown / Associated Press)
Associated Press

VANCOUVER, Wash. – A new report from the state Attorney General’s Office says an oil train or tanker accident in the Columbia River could cause more than $170 million in environmental damages and could take decades to repair.

The Columbian newspaper said the report released Friday is among the expert testimony submitted in advance of hearings on a proposed oil terminal near Vancouver. The Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council is hold the hearings in June and will eventually make a recommendation to Gov. Jay Inslee, who has the final say.

The report written by the state-appointed lawyer for the environment examined two worst-case scenarios in the event of an oil spill.

If a tanker grounds, 8 million gallons of crude oil spilling into the Columbia would require $171 million for environmental cleanup and mitigation. If a train derails above Bonneville Dam, 840,000 spilled gallons of oil entering the Bonneville spillway would cause up to $85 million in damage to the environment.

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