Public hearings on crude-by-rail held this week

The Washington Department of Ecology has announced that they will conduct public hearings this Friday in Vancouver on two proposed new rules. The hearings are intended to not only look at individual terminals, but at increasing the safety of transporting oil through the state by rail.

Ecology will conduct a separate session for each rule proposal. Public testimony will follow a short presentation by Ecology officials.

The first hearing, scheduled 8 am to noon June 3, will address Contingency Planning for Rail, a rule that would require railroads transporting oil to submit spill response plans to the state for approval. Contingency plans show that railroads are prepared to respond to an oil spill immediately and effectively.

The second hearing, which begins at 1 pm the same day, will focus on proposed Notice Requirements for facilities that receive bulk deliveries of crude oil by rail or pipelines that transport crude oil. The information would help affected communities ensure a rapid, coordinated response in the event of an oil spill.

Those unable to attend the hearings can submit comments online, via email, by fax at 360-407-7288, or by mail to Department of Ecology Spills Program, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600. Ecology is accepting public comments on the two rules through June 10.

June 3 Vancouver public hearing schedule

  • DoubleTree by Hilton – Vancouver, Columbia Room, 12712 SE 2nd Circle
  • Contingency planning for rail, 8 a.m. to noon
  • Notice requirements, 1 p.m.

More information about the upcoming hearings is available on Ecology’s public involvement calendar.

Photo by wahousegop

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