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Gov. Jay Inslee’s decision to reject a permit for a massive oil-by-rail terminal along the Columbia River was influenced by local residents’ worries about the potential for an oil train derailment in Spokane.
An oil train derailment in downtown Spokane would pose “extreme challenges” for emergency responders, a city consultant testified last week at a state hearing. They could be dealing with fire, the threat of exploding tank cars and the evacuation of tens of thousands of people simultaneously.
Building a crude oil terminal in Vancouver, Washington, puts Spokane and other communities at risk from increased oil train traffic, without offering any local economic benefits, opponents of the project told state officials Thursday night.
Consultant linked to railroad, port minimized spill risk.
Local residents will have a chance to sound off Thursday on an oil terminal proposed for the Port of Vancouver that would funnel four more oil trains daily though Sandpoint and Spokane.
The chance of an oil train derailing and dumping its cargo between Spokane and a new terminal proposed for Vancouver, Washington, is extremely low, according to a risk assessment prepared for state officials.